SXCL Hindhead Common and Brighton Half Marathon

SXCL Hindhead

Haslemere Border AC kindly stepped in to fill a gap in the schedule for the final event in the season’s Southern Cross Country League. With headquarters at the Royal Senior School, the course took full advantage of the hills at the Devil’s Punchbowl, Hindhead Common area. After an ascent to Gibbet Hill a long downhill started on the Greensand Way before veering off along a stony, uneven and then sandy track to reach a compulsory stream crossing (avoiding a nearby bridge)! But what comes down must go up and the savvy knew what was coming. Up, up and up it went before a short descent and final tough incline to the finish.

Winners three times in the last seven years, Farnham Runners lay fourth in the series out of the twenty three clubs now in the league before this race, and were pleased to hold on to this position. Their men came third on the day, the ladies seventh, giving a combined score of fourth. Although only five men and three ladies can count for the team, runners of all standards enjoy the competition and camaraderie of these races and the club fielded a total of thirty six.

Co-ordinator of the league, Bob Ayer, thanked all the host clubs, including Farnham, before presenting the trophy to winners Basingstoke and Midhants AC.

First back for Farnham was Ian Carley in a fine 15th, with James Warren (16th) on his tail the whole way, a repeat of the scenario at the recent Ryde Ten. Not far back was Stuart Taylor in 19th. Gerald Wyatt (28th) stayed ahead of final scorer Charles Ashby (31st), who was delighted to be getting back to full strength. Just out of the team were Stuart Haig (36th) and Matt Dellar (38th).

Eloise Stradling clocked another first place for the Farnham ladies in a 19th, with Kayleigh Copeland a valuable 25th. Improving in confidence with every race and boosted by a personal best time at the Alice Holt parkrun the previous day, Alice Healy was a delighted third counter in 34th. Other contenders were Emma Pearson whose strong finish gave her 36th, Jane Georghiou (39th), Lindsay Bamford 40th and newcomer Lucy Hogg 43rd.

All made a great effort on the challenging course. Other placings Men: John Hill-Venning 47, Colin Addison 56, Tim Cummins 61, Rupert Kemp 67, Stuart Williamson 68, Steve Bailey 95, Haywood Drake 97, Hallam Foster 111, Keith Marshall 115, Geoff Brown 122, Peter Chapman 140, Craig Tate-Grimes 155, Damien Probett 167. Ladies: Kay Copeland 50, Anne Snelson 57, Lina Haines 62, Mary Denise Fitzgerald 74, Tina Harrison 89, Clair Bailey 109, Cyra Parkes 110, Elaine Ashby 111, Kathy Brown 136.

Brighton Half Marathon

On the same day Sarah Hill was second lady in the Brighton half marathon, a prestigious race with over 8,000 finishers. Her impressive time of 1 hour 18 minutes 22 seconds was her best since 2001. She was first F40 by 7 minutes and her time puts her second on the UK F40 half marathon table for the year so far. She is currently ranked seventh on the Run Britain National F40 Handicap Ladder.