SXCL Lord Wandsworth College and Portsmouth Coastal Marathon
SXCL Lord Wandsworth College
Keen to get back to competition soon after Christmas several hundred runners assembled at Lord Wandsworth College, Long Sutton for the fourth of the six rounds of the season’s Southern Cross-Country League. Renowned for its mud, this year, with no rain the previous week, the course was relatively dry. This meant that calf deep puddles were only ankle deep and shallower ones were reduced to mud patches. The 5 mile course is two laps and so includes a steep hill, that some chose to walk up, twice. Lots of exposed tree roots add to the challenge but host club Hart Road Runners had very carefully marked them in yellow.
All the Farnham contingent survived, still smiling at the end. The ladies team was rewarded with eighth place, the men with ninth giving an overall tally of joint eighth of the total of 24 clubs in the league.
Two relative newcomers to the club stormed round to lead in the Farnham teams. Andy McCall placed a fine 27th for the men, while Louise Granell put in an impressive performance as 17th lady.
Charlie Hill-Venning (59th) just got the better of Harvey Wickham (60th) on the last hill to the finish, while, not far back, Mark Maxwell (66th) and Colin Addison(68th) completed the scoring. Also in good form were Tim Cummins, now with the benefit of trail shoes, 81st, Neil Ambrose 82nd, John Phillips 85, Phil Barker 93, Terry Copeland 100.
Eloise Stradling, 33rd and Linda Tyler 35th both made an invaluable contribution to the three-strong Farnham ladies’ team, followed by Sue Taylor 46th, Jane Georghiou 51st, Sarah McCulloch 53rd, Lindsay Bamford 54th, Anne Snelson 57th and Kay Copeland 70.
- Men: Damian Probett 109, Steve Bailey 130, Tim Farrant 150, Justin Clarke 152, Craig Tate-Grimes 158, Terry Steadman 169, Geoff Brown 184, David Hay 216.
- Ladies: Helen Bracey 91, Clair Bailey 110, Jane Probett 129, Pauline Hamilton 154, Sally Lawrence 159, Catherine Dutt 164, Jacquie Browne 166, Carolyn Wickham 168, Sue McKenzie 170, Jackie Wilkinson 171, Kathy Brown 174.
Number tabs had to be collected and listed by the team captains, then it was time to enjoy the usual spread of home-made sandwiches and cakes provided by the hosts, who had thoughtfully also put out buckets of water to de-mud shoes and legs.
Portsmouth Coastal Marathon
The previous weekend six Farnham Runners completed the flat Portsmouth Coastal Marathon, battling windy conditions.
No stranger to winning was first lady Sarah Hill in an enviable 3 hours 9 minutes 17 seconds. Next Emma Pearson fought off illness for a very respectable 3:45:09 and 7th place in her category, F45. Mike Taylor clocked 3:55:50 while Neil Ambrose recorded 3:56:43 in his third marathon of the year. Craig Tate-Grimes took a massive chunk off his previous best with 4:33:41, sportingly paced by keen marathoner Linda Tyler whose time was also 4:33:41.