HRRL Alton 10, Woodland Woggle 10km and South Downs Way 50 miler

HRRL Alton 10

Thirty five Farnham Runners took advantage of a local venue for the eighth round of the Hampshire Road League, the Alton Ten miler. A warm day added to the challenge of the hills on the route that wends its way out from Alton through Holybourne to Binstead and Blacknest before returning along more country lanes via Isington. The slightly downhill first mile which is run in reverse on return makes for a tough finish.

The Farnham Ladies, with both A and B strings in the top flights consolidated their positions. The men’s A and B squads stay in strong contention for promotion from Division Two, in the top spot for each. However, as men’s captain John Phillips points out, with only nine of the twelve races counting at the end of the season, it’s not as clear cut as it seems and is going to be very close at the end.

Back in racing form Andrew Ellison clocked 1 hour 3 minutes 24 seconds for an excellent second in the M50 category and 20th place overall. A close packed trio of Matt Saker 24th in 1:03:43 24th, James Clarke 26th in 1:04:00 and Rob Gilchrist 27th in 1:04:03 also helped the A team to a score of 82, the third best of the whole league, well clear of any opposition in Division Two.

Not often seen in road races Stuart Haig made a fine contribution to lead in the B string in 1:06:38, followed by Harvey Wickham in 1:08:29, Colin Addison in 1:10:16 and Mike Taylor in 1:10:47 for a convincing win in B Division Two. Notably the second team in this division, showing strength and depth, were the next Farnham four, making up the C team. They were Ali Hardaway (1:12:20), Richard Frost (1:12:34), John Phillips (1:15:46) and 4th M60, Keith Marshall in 1:16:00.

Linda Tyler was over the moon to lead in the Farnham ladies for the first time. Seeming to be indefatigable she raced for the sixth time in seven weeks, her distances including a 21 miler as well as the Paris and London marathons. She clinched first place in the F55 category in 1:18:12. Eloise Stradling and Kayleigh Copeland had to settle for 1:20:47, and 1:22:36 respectively. This team placed 8th to keep the team 8th of ten, but safely above the bottom two teams on points. A trio of Anne Snelson (1:25:41), Sarah McCulloch (1:27:32) and Kay Copeland (1:31:37) gave the B string a fine fourth. After a lay-off, Jane Georghiou was pleased to head the Cs in 1:31:59 for 2nd in the F65 group. New member Vicky Goodluck in her first ten miler and Pauline Hamilton both recorded 1:35:43 giving the Cs second slot of 17 clubs.

Other times: Terry Copeland (1:16:21), Chris Cramp 1:18:10, Craig Tate-Grimes 1:19:13, Kevin Laurie PB 1:19:21, David Rogers 1:19:32, Steve Murphy 1:20:45, Tim Cummins 1:27:20, Ian Loader 1:34:40, Clair Bailey 1:36:10, Helen Bracey PB by 10 minutes,1:36:37, Emma Campbell 1:44:35 (debut), Hannah Bence 1:45:37 (debut), Hayley Clayton 1:49:32 (debut), Susan MacKenzie 1:54:13.

Other races

On the same day some Farnham Runners, including many who started with the club as “Absolute Beginners” chose the Woodland Woggle 10km. Emma Pearson was to delighted win the ladies’ race.

Farnham Runners’ James Warren came sixth and first M40-49 in the recent South Downs Way 50 miler, 80% of which is on trails, in a time of 7 hours 49 minutes.