HRRL Overton 5 mile
The opening race of the new season (race 1 of 12) of the Hampshire Road Race League at Overton on the Sunday, 2nd September was eagerly anticipated by club runners throughout the region.
Conditions were warm, by the start of the race the temperature had risen to 24 degrees. 491 runners assembled in the new colour coded starter pens before being led out to the narrow lane start. The distance was 5 miles on an undulating course through country lanes just outside Overton. A strong team of 19 Farnham Runners (15 men and 4 ladies) travelled to the event.
The organisation of the event was, as usual, very good. There were plenty of marshals and water stations out on the traffic free course. The course design is ideal for a fast and competitive race, although the heat took its toll a little with slightly slower times than the previous year.
Farnham Runners first finisher was Matthew Morgan (16th overall), completing the course in 29:39. Second was Andrew Ellison (39th) in 30:49, third was David Roy competing in his first race for Farnham Runners was 60th in a time of 31:31 and completing the A team was Ali Hardaway (89th / 6th in his age category) 32:54. The men’s A team finished second out of ten division 2 club teams – a strong start to the season.
“Our Men’s A team narrowly missed out on promotion last season and we’re determined to be promoted to the top division this year and I’m delighted with the start we’ve made to the season here at Overton”, said John Phillips, Farnham Runners Men’s Captain.
The Farnham Runners ladies team, following a few years of strong results, are still operating in the top division in this year’s HRRL. It is highly competitive and despite a slightly depleted team (due to holidays) produced a creditable performance at Overton. First A team finisher for Farnham Runners was Eloise Stradling (29th female), crossing the line in 36:56, followed by Anne Snelson (58th) in 40:58 and completing the A team finishers was Emma Campbell (104th) in 45:42. The ladies’ A team finished seventh out of ten division 1 club teams – a solid start.
The newly promoted Farnham Runners Men’s B Team was led in by their captain, John Phillips in 34:20, closely followed by Colin Addison in 34:37. 3rd in the team was Chris Camp (35:34) whilst Paul Mackie completed the foursome with a PB 35:44. This B Team performance was good enough for 9th place out of 15 teams in the Men’s B Division 1.
The Men’s C team was led in by Keith Marshall in a time of 36:18, then in his debut race for the club James Meekley in 38:08, followed by Tim Farrant in 38:27. Farnham Runner’s legendary Alice Holt Race Director Craig Tate-Grimes was the final scoring runner in the team with a creditable time of 40:11.
Further support was provided for the teams by Terry Steadman – 40:32, Damian Probett – 43:29, Ian Loader – 43:48 and Hannah Bence – 51:00.