2018 London, Southampton and Brighton marathons
Twelve Farnham Runners stood at the start line among 41,000 others in the hottest London Marathon ever, with temperatures of 24 degrees recorded. They had to adjust their expectations of finish times but all completed the race and enjoyed the atmosphere and the superb support of the crowd, not least from the enthusiastic group from the club who went to cheer them on.
One member, Emma Russ along with her husband Graham, decided to run as a way of celebrating their first wedding anniversary, having both joined a local athletics club aged nine. They were raising funds for Shooting Star Chase Children’s Hospice, a charity that supports children with a life limiting condition, and their carers, and were both interviewed on local radio to help their cause.
Added to sums raised at the Brighton Marathon two weeks ago members have raised over £4,500 for charities this year, taking the total since 2000 to over £231,000.
First in for Farnham was experienced marathon, ultramarathon and track runner, Sean Smith who ran well within his pace for 3 hours 18 minutes 57 seconds. Next came Emma Pearson in her ninth marathon. She is renowned within the club for her even pacing and she hardly slowed at all during the 26.2 miles, despite the heat. She clocked an excellent 3:35:22 for 123rd place in the tough F40 category.
Linda Tyler was not far behind and a fine 21st in the F55 group with 3:48:47. She bettered her time clocked in the Paris marathon just two weeks ago. She raised £400 for Cancer Research UK in sponsorship. Charles Ashby suffered in the conditions and had to settle this time for 3:52:31.
It was Kayleigh Copeland’s first attempt at the distance and she was delighted with 3:57:56. Emma Russ clocked 4:06:17, slowed by the heat but helping to collect £2,600 in sponsorship. Hallam Foster wanted to beat his time last year but the temperature took its toll and his time was 4:08:17.
Neil Ambrose settled for a steady 4:30:19 to be sure of finishing safely, an hour slower than his first attempt two years ago. Tara Hunt ran her third marathon and first London in 4:38:28, and Tina Harrison her second in 4:46:16. Gerald Wyatt, who has a sub 3:15 time to his name, recorded 4:48:37.
Last but not least came Chris Chapman, smiling all the way round, over the moon to complete her debut at the distance with no worries about her time. She clocked a respectable 5:50:30 and gave huge thanks to Farnham Runners. “ I couldn’t have made it without them” she said.
Meanwhile on the same day, two ladies, both stalwarts of the club teams, took on the Southampton Marathon, in similar temperatures but with some hills to contend too. In a spur of the moment decision to enter after doing well in the Cranleigh 21 miler Eloise Stradling took 3:54:55, 24th lady and 13th in the senior category on her debut. Lindsay Bamford was an excellent 4th W50 and 28th lady overall in 3:56:20.
Two weeks previously when nine members ran the Brighton Marathon, Michael Stevens collected almost £1,300 for the NSPCC through sponsorship while Philip Masters raised £300 for Get Kids Going.