HRRL Solent Half Marathon, Sri Chinmoy Annual Self Transcendence 24 track race, Bournemouth Marathon and World Masters Athletics Championships
HRRL Solent Half Marathon
Braving a terrible weather forecast sixteen Farnham Runners travelled to the coast for the second round of the Hampshire Road League series, the Solent Half marathon. The rain was hammering down first thing and everyone was very reluctant to move from the hall into the rain to the start line, many wearing bin bags as protection. The rain soon eased off but it stayed a chilly 8 or 9 degrees in the northerly wind, though there were short glimpses of the sun. However, the wind strength increased as the route turned north, making the last 4 miles even more challenging than normal.
The marshals and supporters around the course were very encouraging and there was a terrific atmosphere amongst the runners and helpers considering the weather.
Both men’s and ladies’ Farnham Runners’ teams continued their strong start to the season. The ladies “A”s, in division one came a very creditable 4th, pulling them up to 5th on aggregate. The men repeated their second place in division two, while their “B”s came 7th on the day to keep them an aggregate 7th.
Back to racing following a recovery phase after a number of ultra-distance events James Clarke was the first in Farnham colours to cross the line – in 1hour 25 minutes 11seconds, 41st overall. Second for the Farnham squad was Stephen Elliott-Nicholls returned to racing in great style, recording 1:27:02.
In training for the Bournemouth marathon Ali Hardaway, was close to his personal best in 1:32:53 while Harvey Wickham was final scorer for the A team in 1:33:50.
Men’s captain, John Phillips had run the Berlin Marathon the weekend before and so was pleased with 1.34.02 to lead in the B team. Next came Chris Cramp in 1:38:37, followed by Stephen Tarrant in a PB, 1:40:45 and James Meekley posting 1:42:19 in his debut half marathon. This team, in B division one came 7th (aggregate 7th).
Not far back and returning from injury, Steve Bailey (1:42:28) led an incomplete C team which placed 7th in B division two, giving an aggregate tally of 3rd, as few clubs in the division fielded complete C teams. Damian Probett (1:51:09) and Ian Loader (2:01:23) both gained new PBs.
Delighted to lead in the Farnham ladies and taking 5 minutes from her previous best was Billy McCulloch in 1:41:53. Linda Tyler was first W55 in 1:44:02, while Emma Russ returned to racing in 1:48:33. Anne Snelson in 1:49:49 and Clair Bailey in 2:03:56, who took an incredible minutes off her PB, made an incomplete B team that came 10th of 15 in B division one.
Sri Chinmoy Annual Self Transcendence 24 track race
The same weekend in appalling weather Susie Chan tackled the Sri Chinmoy Annual Self Transcendence 24 track race at Tooting Bec in London, an International Athletics Federations bronze event. A selection of 45 of the UK’s most experienced and promising Ultra runners took on the physical and mental challenge of trying to keep on their feet for 24 hours, making as many loops of the track as possible.
Susie reported after the race,
“It rained for 20 of the 24hrs and by the end it was horrendously difficult as I ran out of dry clothes. Thanks to great help through the night with supporters handing me much needed drinks and snacks I managed to push through the last 2hrs and overtook the 5th and 4th placed females to end in 3rd place on the podium!”
She had run amazing 102.33 miles.
Sarah Hill was first lady in the recent Bournemouth Marathon in a spectacular time of 2 hours 55 mins 39 seconds. She finished almost six minutes ahead of the runner-up. This followed her victory in the Police Sport UK 10 mile Road Race Championship at Bangor in Wales where she was never challenged, regaining the title she won in 2015 and taking the overall veterans’ award, in 1:00:14, 7 minutes and 25 seconds ahead of the second placed runner.
She led the Hampshire ladies’ team to retain the team title and also take the veterans’ team trophy.
World Masters Athletics Championships
Jane Georghiou travelled to Malaga to take part in the World Masters Athletics Championships which involve a full programme of field, track and non-stadia events. Over 8,000 competitors above 35 years of age came from 101 different countries to compete in 5 year age groups.
She took part in the 8km cross-country (at a venue reminiscent the Bourne Woods in Farnham) and the 10km road race, coming 7th for her age category in both. The cross-country was a team event and she placed second in the gold medal winning W65 British team.
Over 700 GB athletes took part and GB topped the final medal table, equalling Spain’s 80 gold medals but with one more silver.