2016 Alice Holt Forest Races
Almost four hundred aged from 5 to over 70 converged on Alice Holt Forest for the popular family races staged by Farnham Runners. Craig Tate-Grimes again took on the huge responsibility and work load of race director, this year ably assisted by Cyra Parkes, Jacquie Browne and Kathy Brown. “Without the help of these three, the races could not have gone ahead”, he acknowledged. Countless other members, friends and relations gave up their time to ensure that the day went off without a hitch. Chairman Richard Sheppard thanked everyone who had helped, in any way. “I hope everyone enjoyed the day!”, he added. Indeed many finishers commented on how well organised and friendly it all was.
Andrew Lodge estate agents proudly sponsored the race for the fourth time with director Grant Walters taking part in the 10km. Downing Street hairdressers Grant and Co were also key players by sponsoring the race numbers.
Crondall-based active wear and fitness company GFF “goodfoodandfitness” provided a lively warm up to all four races. Local charity the “Hedgehogs” manned the car park, St John Ambulance were in attendance and Farnham Weyside Rotary club took charge of the baggage tent.
Many local clubs and their families supported the races and featured strongly in the results. At the front the competition is fierce but all standards push to achieve their best, whatever their goal. Andrew Lodge presented the prizes for the 10Km and 5km, while Debbie Flanders of Grant and Co hairdressers presented the awards for the juniors’ 3km and 1km.
Farnham Runners member, Richard Lovejoy was a clear winner of the 10km, delighted with his time of 36 minutes 11 seconds over the challenging course. Next came last year’s winner, Luke Shearring from Haslemere Border A.C. in 36:52, with third placed Charl Jordaan from Reigate Priory A.C. in 37:16. Graham Smith (38:08, St Alban’s Striders), Simon Cooper (38:31, Blackwater Valley Runners) and Ben Raggett (39:06, Fleet & Crookham A.C.) were the M40 category winners. Steve Low from Blackwater Valley Runners, who had run the Farnham Pilgrim’s marathon just six days before took the M50 prize in 40:03, while Farnham Runners’ Terry Steadman was first M60 (51:49) with Michael Pearce of Alton Runners the M70 winner (50:10).
Local Sandra Norwood repeated her success of last year to lead in the ladies with an improved time of 42:14 and take the F35 ladies’ prize. Second lady Sally Goble (44:41, Haslemere Border A.C.) was first in the F45 category, with third and fourth ladies from the same club of F35 status, Sofia Shearring (45:09) and Donna Read (45:13). Jemma Zakariyyau was first senior (47:20) while Farnham Runners’ Linda Tyler clocked 49:42 for first F55. Sue Jones (52:44) and Sarah Jayne Baker (57:40, Blackwater Valley Runners) were second and third seniors.
Farnham Runners men were delighted to win the team trophies. After Richard Lovejoy’s lead the rest of the team could not have been much more close-packed, their times from the gun: Ian Carley 39:13, Rob Gilchrist 39:14 and Andrew Ellison 39:15. As second, third and fourth, Haslemere Border A.C. just needed the back up of Lucy Pennant (1:01:33) for ladies’ team victory.
The 5km event attracts many keen local juniors for the under 16 category, with all above this age classed as “seniors”. Joe Blacknell from Aldershot, Farnham and District A.C. won by a huge margin of two minutes in a superb time of 17:23. Next, Jack Pearson showed huge potential in his first race (19.22). In fourth place overall and first senior came Farnham Runners’ Mike Walberton in 20:03, followed by second senior, Joe’s brother, Tom Blacknell in 21:56 (6th).
Senior Cara Brander clinched victory in the ladies race with 22:38 while second senior was third placed Hannah Sainsbury (24:40, Farnham Runners). First and second juniors were Isabelle Adams (23:40, 2nd) and Ellie Addison in 25:04 (5th).
Some impressive times were recorded in the youngsters’ 3km and 1 km races, particularly among the prizewinners, whose times are shown in the tables below:
|3km (9-12 yrs)|
|Boys||Marco Addison 11:55||Olly Webb 12:29||Benjamin Richards 13:17|
|Girls||Amy Strode 12:05||Emma Boswell 12:44||Anna Buckmaster 13:28|
|Boys||Aaron Webb 4:24||Alfie Roseveare 4:38||Alexander Richards 4:41|
|Girls||Emmeline Orbell 4:32||Celeste Long 4:37||Robin Simmons 4:54|