SXCL Haslemere and Brighton Half Marathon
For the second year Haslemere Border Athletics Club hosted the final event of the Southern Cross-Country League, with race headquarters at the Royal School. Any route around the Devil’s Punchbowl and Hindhead Common is not going to be flat and the runners had to be prepared for a series of long steep uphills and descents. Overnight rain meant patches of mud even though the ground is sandy.
In fifth place after five races, Farnham Runners put in strong men’s and ladies’ teams as consistency between the two is key to a good tally in this league. They were rewarded with an excellent joint third of the 23 clubs, tying with Waverley Harriers but moving above Hart Road Runners. Haslemere Border A.C. were deserving winners, above second placed Basingstoke and Mid Hants A.C.
First back for Farnham in 15th, Ian Carley impressed as he had run from Farnham as part of his marathon training. On his heels was Andrew Ellison in 16th, pleased to overtake by running up all the hills while some slowed to a walk. James Warren made a welcome return to racing in 20th, followed by James Clarke in 25th. Ultra-runner Stuart Haig made a very useful contribution as final scorer in 43rd. This team came a fine fifth on the day.
Team captain Matt Dellar, 60th, led a supportive trio with Neil Ambrose 63rd and Colin Addison 67th, followed by Tim Cummins 88th.
Gabriella Hitchcock, on the way back to her previous form in 13th, headed the ladies team which came fourth. Kayleigh Copeland (18th) took a tumble and Eloise Stradling (16th) forged ahead for the second of the three scoring places. Not far behind were Vicki Clarke 21st, Alice Healy 24th and Lindsay Bamford 28th with Linda Tyler 36th and Jane Georghiou 41st.
Other placings Men: John Phillips 94th, Craig Tate-Grimes 124th, Haywood Drake 140th, Damian Probett 141st, Jonathan Salomon 163rd.
Ladies: Tara Hunt 50th, Kay Copeland 62nd, Kate Townsend 75th, Mary Denise Fitzgerald 99th, Clair Bailey 104th.
Brighton Half Marathon
On the same day Sarah Hill was third lady in the Brighton Half Marathon, a prestigious race with over 8,000 finishers. She was first F40 by over four minutes with a time of 1:21:34, just seven seconds short of second place.