SXCL Queen Elizabeth Country Park and other races
SXCL Queen Elizabeth Country Park
After a chilly start, runners enjoyed unseasonably warm and sunny weather for the second round of the season’s Southern Cross-Country League, organised by Portsmouth Joggers. Recent rain gave rise to slippery mud for most of the way and runners were thankful of shoes with good grip as they tackled the numerous hills at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park venue. A minutes silence was observed for remembrance Sunday before the race began.
Nineteen Farnham Runners men vied for the five scoring places, with sixteen ladies in competition for just three such club places. Men’s and ladies team positions are added to give a final points score, so consistency between the men’s and ladies’ teams is key.
Farnham Runners came away with a valuable fifth place overall out of 23 clubs, after their men placed 6th and ladies 5th.
After a demanding cross country the previous day, Richard Lovejoy strode round for a fine 6th place. Excellent performances among tough competition saw Ian Carley 22nd, Andrew Ellison 28th, Stuart Haig 49th, and John Hill-Venning 58th complete the team. Strong in support were Matt Dellar 79h, Neil Ambrose 86th, Nick Hitchcock 88th, Ali Hardaway 92nd, Colin Addison 96th and John Phillips 97th.
Improving with every race, a jubilant Eloise Stradling led in the ladies with an excellent 10th place, 6 ahead of her previous best. Back to competitive racing, next came Gabi Hithcock (12th). Strong over cross country courses, Lindsay Bamford, 32nd was final scorer. Not too far back were Kayleigh Copeland, 43rd, Fiona Carle 52nd, Jane Georghiou 55th and Anne Snelson 66th, while Kay Copeland 77th, Grace Carley 92nd and newcomer Kate Townsend 100th made the top 100.
- Men: Terry Copeland 112, Steve Bailey 161, Geoff Brown 193, Simon Brander 208, Tim Farrant 201, Craig Tate-Grimes 202, Peter Chapman 212, Jeff Loomis 264.
- Ladies: Mary Denise Fitzgerald 101, Becky Martin 103, Tori Shaw 136, Cyra Parkes 153, Clair Bailey 162, Kathy Brown 185.
Linda Tyler was pleased to run the New York Marathon in an excellent time of 3:47:14 for 20th in her age group. Globetrotting Susie Chan ran 3:40:02 in New York and just a week later the same distance in Cannes Marathon, France in 3:32:45.
Three intrepid Farnham Runners completed the “Druids Challenge” a three-day 84 mile ultra along the Ridgeway in Berkshire. The indefatigable Sarah Hill finished 4th overall and first lady by a one and a half hours, her total time 12 hours 43 minutes 10 seconds. This is after she lost the trail and running two extra miles the first day. It is possible she could have won the whole event without this! Paul Day clocked 16:48:13 and Ian Calder 17:14:54, very commendable 53rd and 63rd respectively of the 105 who completed all three days.