HRRL Hayling 10

Farnham Runners clinched encouraging team results in the Haying 10 miler, the fourth event in the Hampshire Road Race League calendar. Organised by Havant AC, it first heads north from the coast before turning south again on an off road section of over a mile on the track of a disused railway, the Hayling Billy. Against the prevailing wind it then heads west, retracing this route to the start of a mile along the sea front, before turning once more into the wind. After an early start for the 9.30 race, conditions were chilly but brilliant sunshine gave rise to some spectacular coastal views for those with time to look.

The ladies A and B teams both gained promotion to the top flight in 2015 and have maintained that status comfortably since, the A team finishing sixth of ten teams in 2016 and fifth last year. At Hayling they put out a strong A team that came fifth of ten on the day to consolidate a safe ranking of seventh on aggregate this season. The B string came a fine second in the top B division, which raises them to seventh of fifteen on aggregate, while the Cs top slot in B division two on the day raises them to tenth place.

The men were delighted at gaining top slot in B division two, which puts them top in the division after four events. Their B squad was second also raising them to top in B division two while the Cs stay in the top half of B division two, seventh on the day of seventeen teams.

Adding to the success of the outing to Hayling, Farnham Runners came back with three age group prizes between them, twelve top ten age group positions and eleven personal best times among their twenty seven entrants.

Uncatchable in the clubs’ Grand Prix 2017 table, James Clarke was just twenty seconds off his personal best, despite the off road section and the wind. He placed 19th of the 582 finishers in 59 minutes 28 seconds. Andrew Ellison claimed third prize in the competitive M 45 category in 1:01:33, with Rob Gilchrist ever on his tail in 1:01:56 (5th M40). In his first 10 mile race, newcomer Matt Saker impressed with 1:02:34, fourth M40.

Harvey Wickham took almost two minutes from his previous best in a promising 1:06: 26 to lead in the B team, backed up by Neil Ambrose (PB 1:07:16), Ali Hardaway 1:10:00 and 5th M60 Keith Marshall (PB 1:11:04). This was a new club M60 10 mile record, deducting almost five minutes from that set by Chris Jackson at Bramley in 2016. Tim Cummins headed the Cs in 1:11:23, with John Phillips 1:12:18, Chris Cramp 1:15:47 and Steve Murphy, who was pleased to be back racing after a break, in 1:17:32. For further back up for the men was Stu Laurie (PB 1:21:05), Mike Taylor 1:22:56) and 6th M70 Peter Strange (1:48:33).

Emma Pearson continued to improve with a PB 1:12:33 (6th F40, 29th lady) to lead in the Farnham ladies. Emma Russ was close to her previous best in 1:12:56 (9th senior lady), with Eloise Stradling final A team scorer in 1:13:26 (10th senior lady). Linda Tyler continued at a relentless pace for 1:17:24 to pick up first W55 prize. Lindsay Bamford paced sensibly to overtake in the last mile for 1:17:48 (6th F50) while Jane Georghiou was first F60 in 1:18:31, setting a new F65 club record and going sixth on the UK F65 ten mile table for the year. Anne Snelson was first for the C team in a debut 1:19:55 (10th F50), backed up by Kate Townsend and Rebecca Martin with PBs of 1:23:12 and 1:25:39 respectively. Emma Campbell clocked 1:28:12 while Alison Yearsley and Jacquie Browne enjoyed their first ten miler, both in 1:51:26.