SXCL Staunton Country Park and Brighton Half Marathon

SXCL Staunton Country Park

The prestigious trophy to be awarded to the winning club was on display at the Southern Cross Country League at Staunton Country Park near Havant, organised by Denmead Striders. Clubs were keen to put out competitive teams in this final event of the ever more popular series, which has seen numbers soar over recent years. Overnight rain ensured there was mud-a-plenty to challenge the runners over the 5 mile course before the killer steep ascent to the finish.

Over the series Farnham Runners finished a very creditable fourth out of the twenty-two participating clubs in the league this season. They have gained by putting out consistently strong men’s and ladies’ teams as both tallies are added each time for the overall score. In the final race the ladies came fourth and the men fifth to rank them joint fourth overall on the day. Both squads had a good turn-out of ten competitors.

At the presentation of the trophy to Basingstoke A.C., the league’s co-ordinator, Bob Ayer, particularly thanked the clubs like Farnham, who had hosted one of the races.

Jirka Zaloudik’s huge strides helped him to an excellent 6th, the best Farnham men’s placing for two years, equalling Ian Carley’s result on the same course in 2013. James Clarke had to settle for second club slot in 21st, followed by the reliable Charlie Hill-Venning in 29th. Matt Dellar (41st) and Colin Addison (46th) were pleased to count as 4th and 5th scorers. Stuart Haig came next in 61st.

For the ladies Eloise Stradling is improving with every race, her impressive 16th a new best. New member Nicola Douglas, on her debut in Farnham colours and already kitted out in cross-country shoes, showed her potential in a fine 23rd. Lindsay Bamford underlined her present form by clocking a season’s best 34th as final scorer. An under par Jane Georghiou recorded 52nd with Vicki Clarke (58th) and Anne Snelson (63rd) on her heels.

Other placings Men: Chris Cramp 98th, John Hill-Venning 102nd, Barney Whiter 103rd, Douglas Blyth 184th. Ladies: Kay Copeland 76th, Tori Shaw 78th, Tina Harrison 101st, Cyra Parkes 111st.

Brighton Half Marathon

Two ladies flew the flag for Farnham. Sarah Hill’s superb 1 hour 19 minutes 15 seconds is her second best performance in recent years, only surpassed by her time last year when she won the race and ranked 5th in the UK F40 category for 2014. Leading till half over halfway, she was first in her category on the day by over 7 minutes. Preparing for the Marathon des Sables in a few weeks’ time Susie Chan gained a new personal best of 1:33:28.