HRRL Gosport Half Marathon & British and Irish Masters International cross country

Gosport Half Marathon

Eighteen Farnham Runners enjoyed good conditions in the Gosport Half marathon, warm for November, sunny and with only a light breeze for most of the course but rising to a headwind in parts. This was the third event of the season’s Hampshire Road League, organised by Gosport Road Runners.

Two three mile sections along the promenade close to the outward route gave the opportunity of spurring on team mates, while the Samba band helped runners maintain a good leg speed.

Farnham Runners men’s A team are in contention for promotion and although slipping to third in Division Two after a third place on the day are buoyed up by the challenge. “It’s so much more exciting than battling to avoid relegation” said men’s road captain John Phillips, “but we have to be strong over nine of twelve races and have a long way to go. Our B team is now in second place in their division after clinching fourth today, so if we can maintain strength in depth we could get both teams promoted.”

Leading the Farnham pack with a new impressive personal best of 1:19:55 was James Clarke, 57th finisher of the 2,000 entrants. Andrew Ellison, who tried to catch him in the last mile, wasn’t far behind in 1:20:04 and fourth M45. Battling against rivals from another club, “we both cranked up to 5:45pace in the last ¾ mile to drop them” they exclaimed. A consistently strong performer, Rob Gilchrist was close in 1:21:42 and the final A team spot went to newcomer Tom Page in 1:29:13.

Only losing out in a final sprint to the line, Neil Ambrose, just ten seconds back (1:29:23), took 1:41 minutes from his previous best to lead in the B squad, the other places going to new member Harvey Wickham with a PB 1:31:07, Jason East (1:31:44) and Mikey Taylor (1:32:49).

Fifth in the M60 category came Keith Marshall in 1:33: 34, a time that ranks him second in the club’s M60 category records. Ali Hardaway (1:47:39), Ian Loader (2:09:31) and seventh M70 Peter Strange (2:29:58) made up the C team that came 10th in B division two.

The ladies kept their Division One status at the end of last season and are hopeful of maintaining this. Their A team was seventh of ten clubs on the day and lie seventh of ten on aggregate, while their B team lies mid table.

Steaming ahead in the club’s ladies’ section of the Grand Prix, came the reliable Eloise Stradling in 1:37:01. Easing back into racing was Charlotte Hanson in 1:40:40, followed by Lindsay Bamford in 1:42:42. Leading the B stream, Linda Tyler was rewarded with second W55 prize for her time of 1:43:00 with Rebecca Martin (1:51:04) and Catherine Dutt in her first half marathon (2:13:34,) both making a valuable contribution.

British and Irish Masters International cross country

The same weekend Jane Georghiou travelled to Londonderry, having been selected for a four-strong age group England team for the British and Irish Masters International Cross country for the eighth time.

She gained tenth place in the F65 group, coming home with a bronze team medal.