More marathons Three Forts Challenge, Southampton and Belfast

Just one week after the London Marathon, more Farnham Runners were in action tackling yet more marathons.

Three Forts Challenge

There were strong performances from the four Farnham Runners participating in the Three Forts Challenge. It was a beautiful day, cool and bright with a gentle breeze (which was a little stronger on the hill tops). The course is technically an Ultra at 27.2 miles and a significant challenge with 3450 feet of elevation. 261 runners completed the course within the 6 hours cut off. Stuart Haig, finished second just three seconds behind the winner. Stuart explained:

“This was my fourth attempt at this race and as the first marathon I ran was close to my heart. I knew I was running well having finished third at the QECP marathon a few weeks earlier and had trained hard up to this race. So I fancied my chances of doing well.

From the off I was in third place and remained so until around 16 miles at the notoriously steep pig farm! This was where I caught the second placed runner. At this point I knew I had to dig deep. A marshal at mile 25 said the leader was two minutes ahead, so I settled for second and knew I could finish under 3hrs30.

It was with around half a mile to go I saw the leader and decided to kick as hard as I could. Unfortunately, although he was slowing, he saw me as he turned for the last 100m, pipping me at the line by three seconds. But I was delighted with second. Maybe next time?”

Stuart’s time was 3:28, his quickest on that course by nine minutes.

The Hill-Venning brothers, keen trail runners, had a sibling battle in the hills. This time John came out winner in 3:52 and 15th overall. Charlie, not far back was 21st in 3:59. John Phillips, in training for the North Downs Way 50, came 45th in a time of 4:12. John commented:

“It’s a superb race organised by the local Rotary Club. You run around three Iron Age Hill Forts on the South Downs. There are beautiful views for a good portion of the race and we were blessed with terrific weather on Sunday”

Southampton Marathon

Vicky Goodluck and Shirley Perrett chose the Southampton Marathon, finishing together in 4:51:55. Said Vicky,

“This was my first marathon and may well be my last! Running a marathon was never in my plans but being a member of Farnham Runners showed me you don’t have to be super human to run one, just train well and be determined. Running with Shirley Perrett was absolutely amazing, she is a wonderful inspiration and really kept me going.

This was a really well organised event there was so much support the whole way round, including from my wonderful extended family.”

Shirley Perrett was over the moon to be third in her age group and achieve a London marathon “Good for Age” qualifying time in her 17th marathon.

Belfast Marathon

Helen Bracey was delighted with a whopping PB by over 37 minutes in the Belfast Marathon.

“My brother and I ran it for slightly nostalgic reasons, as our Mum is from Belfast and the route took us close to our late Grandmother’s house. Nice to be back in a city we remember from our childhoods.

The route started in the impressive grounds of Stormont and took in a varied cross section of the city following the River Lagan for a while and finishing in Ormeau Park. Weather conditions were fairly kind, although the hilly route and additional 0.3 miles accidentally added to the route by some inaccurately placed cones added to the demands on racers. The organisers later adjusted people’s times to reflect the additional distance.

The people of Belfast gave runners a warm welcome, with so many additional drinks and fuel stations set up by churches and local communities, runners were never far from refreshment.”