HRRL Hayling Ten Mile, Victory Five and the Alice Holt 5km parkruns

With thirteen personal best times in two weeks of racing members of Farnham Runners are showing a significant improvement in individual performances. Some are getting stronger with every race, notably Neil Ambrose and Eloise Stradling, even though they tackled three Hampshire Road League races, the Gosport Half Marathon, the Hayling Ten Mile and the Victory Five in consecutive weeks.

Hayling Ten Mile

The Hayling race was back in the Hampshire League calendar after a gap of 10 years. Being near the coast the course is often windy, but this year conditions were good, if chilly. A contingent of twelve set off early from Farnham for the 9:30 start.

Ian Carley was easily the quickest, back in close to the hour, 28th and 6th M45 in one hour 55 seconds. Neil Ambrose took over 2 minutes from his previous best in 1:08:37, while Alistair Hardaway clocked 1:09:12, ahead of Tim Cummins in 1:09:33. Chris Cramp led in the B squad in 1:14:15, followed by Keith Marshall who overcame injury for 1:16:43 and Steve Murphy whose return to racing gave him 1:17:20. Richard Sheppard had time to chat on his way round and was surprised to find he had contributed to the best Farnham “B”s result of the season so far.

Eloise Stradling’s new best is 1:11:16, an improvement by one and a half minutes. The team that placed 7th in the top division was completed by Lindsay Bamford in 1:18:48 and newcomer Kate Townsend in 1:23:20, another PB. Tina Harrison gave valuable support in 1:33:29.

Victory 5

The following week was the 70th anniversary of the Victory Five. Conditions were favourable, the frequent battle against wind in the last mile was replaced by a breeze on some of the route and the bitter temperatures overnight eased by the civilised start time of 11am. There were some noteworthy age group results from Farnham Runners.

James Clarke took 34 seconds from his PB in 28:35, a fine run for 47th place of almost 700, with Ian Carley on his heels, 48th in 28:39, nine seconds faster than his previous best set 6 years ago. This impressive performance was rewarded with third place in the M45 category. Rob Gilchrist posted 29:28 for 7th M40 and third A team place with Mike Anderson winning his new M60 category in 30:46. This A squad faced tough opposition for tenth in A Division One.

Mike Walberton, who headed the B quartet, was close to his best for 5th in the M50s with 31:12. Other PBs were from Mark Maxwell in 31:34, Neil Ambrose in 31:43 and Alistair Hardaway, at his third race in three weeks, in 32:50. They came ninth in B Div 1.

As ever getting a good start was Tim Cummins in 33:07, followed by Chris Cramp in 35:30 and Keith Marshall in a PB 36:21. Steve Payne (43:39) was final scorer for the “C”s that came 8th of 18 in B div 2.

Again Eloise Stradling was first Farnham lady, her 34:23 a PB by 2 minutes. Jane Georghiou clinched second in her category with 37:27, with Tina Harrison (41:15, PB), in her third consecutive Sunday race, grabbing the final A score from Mary Denise Fitzgerald (41:21, PB). Helen Bracey ran her first 5 miler in 47:06.

Alice Holt Parkruns

A number of Farnham Runners help to organise the local Alice Holt 5km Parkruns, which are held every Saturday at 9am. Other Farnham Runners featured in the 2016-17 awards.

Tim Cummins won the male points table for the fourth year in a row and Terry Copeland was second.

Special volunteer certificates were awarded to Keith Marshall, Colin Addison, Linda Tyler and Carolyn Wickham.