South of England Cross-country Championships and Farnborough Half Marathon

South of England Cross-country Championships

Mens team before the 2020 National Cross Country Championships Ladies team before the 2020 National Cross Country Championships

Nine Farnham Runners chose to run at the iconic venue of Parliament Hill in the South of England Cross-country Championships. The course is renowned for its mud as it doesn’t drain well. This year, after lots of rain over the winter it earned its reputation, though some years it’s been even muddier. The ladies run over 8km, but the men take on the challenge of a 15km course.

Starting in pens stretched across about 100 meters, runners charge for position up a long and gruelling hill before coping with tough undulations and uneven mud.

There were almost 700 finishers in the ladies race, from all over the South of England. The Farnham Runners team came 47th of 70 full teams, with many others incomplete.

Louise Granell impressed with a confident run for 174th place in 36 minutes 48 seconds. Kayleigh Copeland was a strong second scorer in 40:30 (310th), with Lindsay Bamford in 42:29 (387th) and Linda Tyler in 42:48 (405th), final scorers for the team. In addition Jane Georghiou and Kay Copeland clocked 45:19 (480th) and 48:17 (570th) respectively.

This year they were joined by three Farnham Runners men, though not enough for a team of six.

David Roy in 1:05:34 was 605th of almost 1200 finishers, with Stuart Haig 747th in 1:08:18. Both are experienced ultra-distance runners so coped well with 15km of mud! Chris Cramp also made a good first attempt at this race, 1008th in 1:18:03.

Farnborough Half Marathon

The next day, nineteen members of Farnham Runners took on the different challenge of the local Farnborough Half Marathon, though not a league race. With over 1900 finishing, this race is a competitive local event, yet seven Farnham Runners gained top 10 category places, while Douglas Blyth gained a new M75 club record.

William Sweeney was first Farnham Runner back in an impressive 1:23:56, with Harvey Wickham also under 1.5 hours in 1:28:45.

Other times: Keith Marshall 1:33:56 (8th M60), Neil Ambrose 1:34:37, Justin Clarke 1:34:50 (9th M60), Stuart Williamson 1:35:41, Emma Pearson 1:37:16 (9th F45), Damian Probett 1:37:12, Linda Tyler 1:40:30 (4th F55) Billy McCulloch 1:42:26 (8th F50), Chris Jackson 1:46:40 (6th M65), Catherine Timson 1:51:21, Craig Tate-Grimes 1:51:41, Emma Campbell 1:58:22, Vicky Goodluck 2:09:26, Hayley Clayton 2:11:04, Jane Probett 2:15:24, Douglas Blyth 2:24:11 (4th M75) , Lisa Hodgkinson 2:33:32.