HRRL Overton 5 miles

Overton Harriers were hosts for the first Hampshire Road League event of the new season, the 28th staging of their five mile race. The route was new, comprising one lap along fully closed or traffic managed country roads. The jog to the start made a convenient warm up. Many were surprised at the hilly nature of the route compared to the profile provided but there were very favourable comments on the organisation and on the new course, despite the narrow start.

At the final tally last season, Farnham Runners ladies’ A squad stayed up in the top flight while the men’s A team gained promotion. Both men’s and ladies’ B teams stayed in B Division One, with the Men’s C team in B Division 2. This year for the first time Farnham Runners ladies will have a C team, which has been slotted, surprisingly, straight into in B Division One.

The series consists of 12 events. Only twelve runners from the club made the journey to Overton, yet four achieved personal best times.

The reliable James Clarke led them in, 48th of 482 finishers, with a time of 30 minutes 1 second. Andrew Ellison, 50th, was pleased to clock 30:42, followed by Stuart Haig, 97th, in 32:24. Ali Hardaway, spurred on by his third M50 placing in the summer Yateley 10km series, recorded a new best of 33:40. This A quartet, however, were squeezed down by the stiff competition into 10th place. Chris Cramp (PB, 34:47) led in an incomplete B string of Mike Anderson ((36:25) and Keith Marshall (37:24).

The ladies “A”s fared much better, clinching 7th of 10 in their top division. Emma Pearson inched nearer to her full potential with a PB 36:42 (41st lady of 184), while Lindsay Bamford came 10th F45 in 37:20 (45th). Fighting off an injury, Jane Georghiou clocked 39:31 for 4th F55. Tina Harrison (PB, 41:31) and Mary Denise Fitzgerald (43:05) made up an incomplete B string that placed 12th of 15.