2020 Club Championship, Atlantic Coast Challenge, South Downs Way 50 and Maverick Jurassic Coast trail race

2020 Club Championship

A group assembles ready for the start of the 2020 Club Championship A group assembles ready for the start of the 2020 Club Championship

Showing just how important and popular the Farnham Runners club championship is to members, forty-seven took part in the 2020 event early on Sunday morning, just in time before the second “lockdown”.

Although it was run over the same traditional route of almost 10km, it was a very different event from normal, which, since its inauguration in 1991, has always been held in June.

This time it had to be held according to Covid-19 secure guidelines from England Athletics. There could be no gathering or group photo beforehand as the start had to be staggered, and there could be no presentations or BBQ afterwards.

Predetermined groups of six of mixed paces set off at five minute intervals.

Group sets off at the start of the the 2020 Club Championship

Race director, Craig Tate-Grimes had put a great deal of work in to organising the race under the new conditions to keep everyone safe and had marked out the course so clearly no-one could get lost!

 Route sign in the woods for the the 2020 Club Championship Steve Payne marshalling at the 2020 Club Championship

He had arranged for a few marshals to be positioned around the course, but there could be no water station. A key player was timekeeper, Kathy Brown. The runners were very grateful to all the helpers for giving up their time so that the event could go ahead.

The route is challenging, mostly on undulating roads, with a steep up and down foray into the woods before a gentle incline and final dash to the finish on Bourne Green.

The usual trophies were up for grabs:

  • Men U 23, Senior 23-39, Veteran 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+
  • Ladies U 23, Senior 23-34, Veteran 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, 65+.

James Clarke and Sarah Hill were overall men’s and ladies’ winners, James for the third time and Sarah for the11th time. James, first senior man, clocked 36:32 and Sarah was sixth overall and first F45 in 41:20.

Second fastest over the line in 38:03 was James Warren, first M40 as in 2019 and 2017. Third to finish and second in the senior men’s category was new member, Nik Darlington in 38:37. Colin Addison took the first M50 slot in 39:20.

Mike Walberton was disappointed to slip over in the final sprint to the line to miss a new course record for the M60s by just 10 seconds. He recorded 42:48 so the record 42:38, set by Terry Steadman in 2008, still stands. Terry took the M70 shield for 2020 in 54:02.

Second lady was Emma Pearson in 45:28, second in the F45 category. Third lady, Kayleigh Copeland in 46:18 won the senior ladies shield.

In their first attempts at the challenging route, newcomer Amie took the U23 ladies’ trophy in 54:39, while Gill Iffland won the F35 category in 54:20.

Linda Tyler repeated her F55 success last year in 49:06, while Jane Georghiou was unopposed F65 in 55:11.

Carolyn Wickham and Jacquie Browne after the 2020 Club ChampionshipOther times: David Roy 39:58 (3rd SM) Andrew Ellison 41:39 (2nd M50) Phil Hames 41:49 (2nd M40) Neil Ambrose 42:22 (3rd M40) Jack Ferguson 43:00 Keith Marshall 44:57 (2nd M60) Chris Cramp 45:38 (3rd M50) Tim Cummins 45:52 Terry Copeland 46:53 (3rd M60) Ali Hardaway 46:57 Damian Probett 48:43 Andrew Brown 48:45 James Goodwin 49:12 Becky Starbuck 49:28(2nd SF) Tom Geyton 49:43 Rachel Harris 50:12 (3rd F45) Lindsay Bamford 51:01 (2nd F55) Caleigh Smith 51:49 (3rd SF) Peter Callow 52:32, Kay Copeland 54:22 (3rd F55) Vicky Goodluck 55:32 Brigid Walters 59:19 (2nd F35) Jane Probett 1:01:32 Carol Dare 1:03:01 Penny Schnabel 1:04:05 Robert Drummond 1:05:00 (2nd M70) Alison Yearsley 1:05:27 Susan MacKenzie1:06:46 Jonathan Salomon 1:08:57 Julia Tagg 1:09:22 Jackie Wilkinson 1:10 41 Carolyn Wickham 1:11:42 Jacquie Browne 1:14:59 Anna Samuel 1:26:02 (3rd F35).

Atlantic Coast Challenge

Sarah Hill put in an amazing performance as third lady and eighth finisher overall in the recent Atlantic Coastal Challenge, organised by votwoevents. The route starts near Padstow and finishes at Land’s End and involves covering up to 78.6 miles (3 marathons) over three days.

Sarah found the course challenging, saying after finishing:

“It was such an extremely memorable event, the hardest I have ever completed. The South West coastal path should not be named a path in between St Ives and Pendeen. I have never run anything so hard and technical. I loved it.”

She had taken just 15 hours 6 minutes and 17 seconds to complete the whole route.

South Downs Way 50

John Phillips was delighted to complete his second 50 miles race – The South Downs Way 50, organised by Centurion Running. He clocked 9:08:43 and placed 72nd.

Over 300 began the race, setting off between 6:00 and 8:30am. With the freedom of a rolling start, John started just before 7am to give himself the best chance of finishing the event in the daylight.

The next day he commented:

“It was a bit windy and rainy at times, but there were always lovely views and good camaraderie with the other Ultra runners and volunteers. The day before I was having some serious doubts that I’d be able to finish, but once I got started it went fine. In fact it was a personal best! My legs are still battered and stiff, but hopefully no long lasting effects.”

Maverick Jurassic Coast trail race

Nik Darlington describes the Maverick Jurassic Coast trail race, in which he came an excellent second in the 20K distance with a time of 1:21:44.

“The scenes were almost unbelievable. Perfect weather, views for miles, and I’ll never forget that stretch along Nine Barrow Down towards Corfe Castle.”