HRRL Stubbington Green 10K, SXCL Manor Farm Country Park and Farnborough Half Marathon

HRRL Stubbington Green 10K

Farnham Runners were out in force for the two races organised by Stubbington Green Runners, both within a week. The weather forecast for the day of the 10km was heavy rain all morning but that didn’t daunt the spirits of the band of twenty members who set out to tackle the circular course from Stubbington that includes a view of the sea at Lee on Solent. It was the first venture into road racing for four members who started running with Farnham Runners as “Absolute Beginners”.

Billed as “flat” the route still had its undulations. The weather in fact was favourable for running – only light rain, not windy and not too cold. This was the sixth round of twelve in the Hampshire Road Race League.

James Clarke led the Farnham contingent to a flying start with a new personal best of thirty-five minutes 56 seconds for 36th place of 1650 finishers. Getting back into form is Ian Carley, next in 36:29, 49th and an impressive 5th M45. Recently in a new age category, Mike Anderson claimed a new M60 club record with his 39:18 and was third M60 in this very competitive race, while Neil Ambrose recorded yet another personal best of 39:26. This quartet made up the A team that is in the top of three divisions of the “A” section of the league, tenth of sixty-six teams in the league.

The local club’s B squad is in the top division of the two “B” tables. It comprised Mike Taylor 41:08, John Phillips 41:37 PB, Matt Dellar 41:46 and Ali Hardaway 42:17. There was also a complete “C” team of Colin Addison 42:53, Terry Copeland 43:22, Tim Farrant 48:20 and Richard Sheppard, who was very pleased to make the team that was 11th of 19 clubs in “B” division 2, raising them three placings to 12th on aggregate.

Kayleigh Copeland was the first of her family, “Team Copeland”, to cross the line. She took over a minute form her previous best for a fine 42:59 as 18th senior lady. Jane Georghiou was second in her category in 48:02, while Kay Copeland clocked a useful 50:07 for 6th in her category. This team was 9th in A Division 1 but stay 7th of 10 on aggregate.

Cyra Parkes was delighted to head the B stream in just over the hour, 1:00:12 while Alison Yearsley and Jacquie Browne were second and third scorers for this team on their debut. Carolyn Wickham and Shereen Atkinson, also on their debut, formed an incomplete C squad but were not backed up by a third runner.

SXCL Manor Farm Country Park

It was a chilly start for the runners who set off to travel to the fifth of six rounds of the Southern Cross-Country League, but twenty-three from Farnham made the long journey to Manor Farm Park, near the Hamble estuary. The ground was frozen but by the start at 11am it had begun to soften in places, though there were still some icy patches and frozen ruts. In advising about potential hazards before the start, the Stubbington Green race director didn’t mince his words. “It’s dangerous!” he warned. Firm flat sections near the estuary mixed with some short but tough rises, including the sting in the tail steep ascent to the finish.

Leading in the local club, Ian Carley, was pleased with his ongoing return to form in 11th place. Andrew Ellison made a most valuable contribution to the team in 29th, while a beaming Stuart Haig, 52nd, kept ahead of Mark Maxwell, 58th and Neil Ambrose, 60th. These were the five scorers whose efforts were rewarded with fourth on the day, out of the twenty-three teams in the league. Not in the scoring this time, Matt Dellar had to settle for 70th, ahead of Terry Copeland in 80th.

Kayleigh Copeland was again first Farnham lady with a fine 18th, her best placing in the league so far. Not far behind was Eloise Stradling in 21st, while Lindsay Bamford was pleased to be final scorer in 38th. This trio gave the team sixth place and added to the men’s tally gave them third place overall on the day. More close packed than the placings would indicate came Alice Healy 49th, Linda Tyler 54th, Jane Georghiou 57th and Kay Copeland 73rd. Farnham Runners lie fifth in the series but are just two points away from third, with one race to go.

Other placings: Men: Nick Hill 113, Haywood Drake 129, Terry Steadman 148, , Craig Tate-Grimes, 190, Damien Probett 194, Jeff Loomis, 199, Jonathan Salomon, 209. Ladies: Mary D. Fitzgerald 116, Cyra Parkes 148.

Farnborough Half Marathon

On the same day, fifteen chose the new Farnborough Half Marathon, with Shirley Perrett winning her category by over 7 minutes.

Farnham Runners’ times: Stuart Williamson 1:24:51, Jason East 1:27:41, Emma Pearson 1:36:16, John Walker 1:36:22, Keith Marshall 1:39:29, Oliver Drewery 1:43:28, Chris Jackson 1:43:26, Jessica Page 1:43:20, Lucy Hogg 1:43:38, Sarah McCulloch 1:48:34, Kate Townsend 1:49:02, Rebecca Martin 1:52:41, Alistair Wilson 1:57:35, Shirley Perrett 1:59:16, Laura Mackie 2:07:27.