HRRL Gosport Half Marathon and British and Irish Masters International Cross Country

Gosport Half Marathon

Thirty-one Farnham Runners made the long journey to Gosport for the third round of the Hampshire Road League, the Gosport Half Marathon. A sunny morning, warmer than forecast, raised the spirits of team members as they contemplated the 13.1 mile challenge ahead. The two lap course was partly along the promenade with sections giving the opportunity to spur on team mates heading in the opposite direction. The wind slowed times a little in the East-bound sections, particularly in the last mile, though conditions were generally ideal. Gosport Road Runners were congratulated for their slick organisation and enthusiastic marshals. Their club members were banned by the club from taking part, so maximum numbers could help. They had run the same course the week before in their own club race but in pouring rain.

A jubilant Men’s A Team came top in Div 2 and lie second, five points ahead of the third team, so looking good for promotion. Recently back from a trip abroad James Clarke led them in with a fine 1 hour 21 minutes 53 seconds, 82nd of almost 1,700. Next Matt Saker came an excellent 4th in the M50 category with 1:23:39, a new personal best time. Stephen Elliott-Nicholls and Stuart Haig both gained PBs of 1:24:17 and 1:24:46 respectively to complete the A team score.

Stalwart Charles Ashby in 1:28:00 provided the lead for the B squad just ahead of sixth Farnham Runner, Harvey Wickham in 1:28:19, while David Roy impressed with 1:28:45 in his first attempt at the distance. Neil Ambrose was final “B” scorer in 1:29:57. This team, in B division one, came 10th and lie 8th on aggregate of 15 clubs.

Mike Taylor headed the “C”s in 1:32:18, followed by John Phillips in 1:33:28, Colin Addison 1:35:02 and 7th M60 Keith Marshall in 1:37:32. Just out of the scoring were Chris Cramp (1:38:25) and Steve Bailey (1:39:41). This gave a result of 7th on the day rising to 5th on aggregate in B division two.

Delighted to lead in the ladies was Sarah McCulloch who finished strongly to overtake in the latter part of the race for 1:39:40, a new PB by over two minutes. Next Kayleigh Copeland ran well for 1:40:53, with Eloise Stradling in 1:42:49. The team, in the top flight for a number of years lie a safe 7th of ten clubs, finishing 7th at Gosport.

The B and C teams gained solid results in their respective tables and hope to capitalise on some races closer to Farnham in the spring.

Jane Georghiou headed the B team, her 1:47:23 placing her first W65 in the race and 10th on the UK W65 half marathon table for 2018. Anne Snelson in 1:50:13 and Clair Bailey in 2:04:08 put in strong performances for this B team that placed 13th.

Running for the ladies “C”s also in 13th place were Alison Yearsley (2:17:20, PB), Nicola O’Connor (2:20:16) and Julia Tagg (2:21:16)

Other times: Ali Hardaway 1:40:53, Terry Copeland 1:42:49, Richard Frost 1:42:56, Damian Probett (1:47:27, PB) Keith Toms (1:57:43, PB), Ian Loader 2:02:02, Susan McKenzie 2:22:55, Jackie Wilkinson 2:26:52.

British and Irish Masters International Cross Country

The same weekend Linda Tyler travelled to Swansea for the British and Irish Masters International Cross country. She had been selected as a reserve for the Welsh team and was delighted on the day to be asked to take part as a member of the team in this very competitive race.