SXCL Lord Wandsworth College

A massive turn-out of forty-four Farnham Runners completed the fourth round of the Southern Cross-Country League organised by Hart Road Runners and held at Lord Wandsworth College. As a New Year challenge, many had taken part in two 5km parkruns, Rushmoor at 9am and Alice Holt at 10.30, the previous day.

The Hart race director warned the assembled competitors before the start that the five mile course was extremely muddy after recent rain but this was no surprise as the event is renowned for its mud. For much of the way racing, while at the same time staying upright, wasn’t easy.

Ian Carley seemed to skip over the mud and up the two steep hills for an impressive 20th place in this increasingly competitive league, with Rob Gilchrist second for the club in 35th. Michael Haines made a fine come-back to racing in 49th, while cross country captain, Matt Dellar, in 57th and Ben Roseveare in 59th were pleased to be part of the scoring team of five men. Not far back were Neil Ambrose 66th, Colin Addison 81st, Stuart Haig 83rd, Mark Maxwell 87th and Mike Taylor 97th.

For the ladies, Eloise Stradling’s determined effort for 18th kept her ahead of an improving Kayleigh Copeland in 21st. Emma Whittaker-Axon marked her return to Farnham Runners with a very valuable 31st as final scorer. Emma Pearson 39th and Lindsay Bamford 44th overtook in the final sections to finish in between Gabi Hitchcock 36th and Linda Tyler 47th.

The ladies were fifth team out of twenty-three clubs, while the men were seventh. This gave the club a useful fifth overall and raises them from seventh to joint fifth in the series.

All those not counting for the team gave of their best to gain as high as position as possible:

Men: Nick Hitchcock 105, Ian Marshall 106, John Hill-Venning 113, John Phillips 116, Barney Whiter 120, Terry Copeland 140, Ali Hardaway 141, Haywood Drake 158, Andrew Laming 166, Keith Marshall 192, Nick Hill 195, Tim Farrant 198, Terry Steadman 209, Michael Williamson 242, Damien Probett 247, Peter Strange 280.

Ladies: Jane Georghiou 55, Fiona Carle 62, Anne Snelson 77, Kay Copeland 87, Mary Denise Fitzgerald 89, Kate Townsend 102, Sue Taylor 136, Becky Martin 148, Shirley Perrett 149, Cyra Parkes 173.