HRRL Salisbury 10 miles

Eleven Farnham Runners travelled to the scenic Salisbury Rod Smith 10 miler to support their teams in the 8th event of the season’s Hampshire Road League. With the ladies A team in the top of three divisions and the men’s A in as strong position for promotion to the top division, the club punches above its weight in this league. Five of the eleven gained top 10 age category placings.

This year the race raised funds for the charity Alzheimer’s Support to mark the contribution to the event’s previous years of success by its former race director.

The route, which started from and finished at the running track at Five Rivers Leisure Centre, made a gradual ascent of one side of the Woodford Valley and back down the other. A record entry of 950 athletes took on the challenge but those hoping for an easy 5 mile downhill stretch on return were disappointed, as there were some more uphill sections and some of the downhill was against a strong breeze.

Matt Saker raced to a 10 second personal best in an excellent 1 hour 1 minute 36 seconds for 6th in the very competitive M50 category and 29th place overall. He just managed to keep James Clarke, next in 30th, at bay in 1:01:50. The ever improving Harvey Wickham sliced 1 min 24 seconds from his previous best, his 1:04:32 giving him 11th in the M45 age group. There was no stopping Keith Marshall who chopped a massive 4 mins from his PB for 1:08:46 and the final A team place. The quartet came 2nd in division two on the day, giving the club an 11 point league at the top of division two over next club Portsmouth Joggers.

Getting back into his stride after injury was Chris Cramp in 1:13:39 with Ali Hardaway pacing carefully ahead of the London Marathon in two weeks’ time in 1:14:06. Geoff Brown in 1:22:31 and Mike Dunkley, 7th M65 in 1:40:34 were pleased to make up the B team which lies 10th in B division one after 11th place on the day.

First Farnham Runners lady to cross the line was Jane Georghiou in 1:21:52, 2nd F65 to go 6th on the UK age group table for the year so far. Easing back to racing came Tina Harrison in 1:41:08, while Kathy Brown completed the scoring in 1:48:52. This trio came 9th in division one, giving Farnham 6th on aggregate.