Runners produce their best efforts in two runs

HRRL Gosport Half Marathon

At 2021 Gosport Half, Nik Darlington is first for Farnham Runners Sue Taylor heads the Farnham ladies at the 2021 Gosport Half Terry Steadman 3rd M70 at the 2021 Gosport Half

Seventeen Farnham Runners made the journey to Gosport for the very popular half marathon, organised by Gosport Road Runners. The flat two lap course took runners West against a strong breeze before returning beside the coast in glorious sunshine. The fast course helped many to gain personal best times, helped by them continuing to train regularly, either alone or with others, throughout the pandemic.

The Farnham men were led in by Nik Darlington in a splendid time of 1 hour 17 mins 15 secs, for 23rd place out of over 1300 finishers. Next was 6th M50, Matt Saker in 1:22:11. David Roy clocked a PB with 1:28:13, while star performer Keith Marshall won the M60 category by almost 3 minutes and gained a new PB of 1:29:06. This A team came 8th in the top division of Hampshire Road Race League.

Heading the B team, Justin Clarke was 5th M60 in 1:37:10. Chris Raby took almost 5 minutes form his previous best for 1:37:58, while Richard Denby narrowly missed a PB with 1:42:37. In his first attempt at the distance Peter Callow completed the B score as 10th M65 in 1:50:53.

Terry Steadman came in as 3rd M70 in 1:54:13, followed by Damian Probett in 1:57:42 but the C team was incomplete.

Sue Taylor was delighted to be first Farnham Runners lady home in 1:43:42, taking a huge 14 minute chunk off her PB. Next Linda Tyler, who was first F60 in both the Swansea Trail and Marlowe half marathons recently, had to settle for 4th F60 in Gosport in 1:47:59. Running her first Hampshire League race, newcomer Bridget Naylor placed 10th F55 in 1:50:34. After a summer of training with Farnham Runners, Bella Weetch took a massive 18minutes from her PB in 1:51:09. This A team came 9th in the top flight.

Jane Georghiou, 3rd F65, led an incomplete B squad in 1:53:39. Gill Iffland recorded 1:56:51, followed by Vicky Goodluck in a PB 1:59:24.

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HRRL Victory 5

Two weeks later, on a bitterly cold morning, 24 Farnham Runners made their way to Lakeside North Harbour in Portsmouth for the Victory 5. It was the 75th anniversary of this prestigious 5 Mile Road Race, run over a flat and virtually traffic free two lap course, though restrictions meant that the course couldn’t avoid some tight turns. Begun in 1946 the race used to attract runners from all over the country, as a very rare 5 mile event at the time with a fast flat route. It retains a very high standard of competitor in all age groups.

Despite the strong wind, eleven of the Farnham contingent gained personal best times. Nik Darlington in 28minutes 30 secs was 38th of the almost 700 finishers. Matt Saker was an excellent 4th in the strong M50 category. Justin Clarke in a personal best 33:22 was 6th M60 and Damian Probett, returning to fitness after injury, in 34:39 completed the A team.

This team came 9th in Division One on the day but lie 6th in the table after four of ten events.

Both in the M60 category, Michael Smith (34:48), battled with Terry Copeland (34:58) while James Goodwin (35:58) and Richard Denby (37:10) both recorded personal bests. This B team were 11th at the Victory 5 but lie 8th in B Division One on aggregate.

The C team was led in by Terry Steadman, 6th M70 in 40:23. Next was Clive Frostick in a PB 40:19. Steve Payne clocked 43:02, while M70 Phil Masters finished his first 5 mile road race in 45:50 to give a C team result of 12th of 19 teams, 11th on aggregate. Jonathan Salomon’s and 7th M75 Douglas Blyth’s times were 55:14 and 56:01 respectively.

For the ladies Kayleigh Copeland in 32:50 had a fine run to be 33rd lady of 269, gaining a PB of almost 3 minutes. Completing the A team were Catherine Timson in 38:22, Bella Weetch in 39:05 and 7th F55 Bridget Naylor in 39:37. For the latter two it was their first 5 mile road race. The team came 7th, lying 6th in the top division.

Leading the B team was 5th F65 Jane Georghiou in 40:50, followed by Vicky Goodluck in 42:33 and Kay Copeland (6th F60) and Clair Bailey in 42:34. Both Vicky and Clair achieved PBs by a second or two. This close–packed team placed 8th at Portsmouth and are 4th on aggregate.

Jane Probett raced to 48:58, while Alison Mungall took a huge 10 minute chunk off her PB in 56:14. Sadly there weren’t enough ladies to count for a C team but, as few other clubs had full C teams, Farnham Runners’ Cs are still 7th of 15.