A ticket to Ryde and other races

HRRL Ryde 10 miler

2022 HRRL Ryde 10 Farnham Runners team before the race

It was touch and go whether the whole Farnham Runners team would make it to the Isle of Wight for the Ryde 10 miler, the sixth event in the Hampshire Road Race League calendar for the season. Gusts of 48 mph were predicted for the time of the crossing to Ryde. The hovercraft was cancelled the night before but some made it across the water on the car ferry instead, so all thirteen managed to get to the start line in time. Only a few managed to get the Farnham Runners traditional photo of the group in bitter conditions in front of some tropical palm trees.

Conditions weren’t in fact too bad for the run, much warmer than it has often been in the past, though it was windy. Six of the thirteen managed to get personal best times despite the hills.

Nik Darlington was first back for the club, in an impressive 14th place and a personal best time of 1:01:26. Justin Clarke was delighted to win the M60 category in 1:13:43, while Richard Denby was pleased to be third in the club’s A team with his PB of 1:16:42. Peter Callow, 8th M60, was final scorer in 1:27:32, pacing well in his first 10 mile race. Craig Tate-Grimes finished in 1:32:35. The A team placed 7th of 10 clubs in the top flight.

The reliable Linda Tyler was 2nd F60 in 1:19:46 to lead in the Farnham ladies. Bridget Naylor gained a PB 1:25:13, followed by Lindsay Bamford in 1:27:22 and Gill Iffland in 1:32:23. This team came 8th of 10 clubs in the top division.

Heading the B team was Kate Townsend in 1:36:35. Next came double Paralympic gold medallist in two different sports, Rachel Morris, now a member of Farnham Runners as a wheelchair athlete. This was her first experience of a Hampshire Road League race and she crossed the line in 1:44:36 to take second place for the B team. Alison Yearsley clocked 1:50:45, followed by Nicola O’Connor in 1:57:43. This B team came 11th of 16 in the B division.

View more photos on the 2022 photo gallery page

Brutal 5k

2022 Brutal 5k a proud Rachel Morris in her wheelchair after the race, with Farnham Runners Kate Townsend left and Nicola O'Connor along with Lee Ludlow

In a very different event, three Farnham Runners took part in the Brutal 5km, a race that certainly lives up to its name. Held on a tough route at Chawton, GB Paralympian Rachel Morris, Kate Townsend and Nicola O’Connor, toiled round a hugely challenging course through mud, water and up some steep hills.

The first wheelchair runner to complete a Brutal, Rachel and the team were buzzing at the finish:

“That was better than winning a gold medal at the Olympics”.

Lee Ludlow was also in support, providing some serious pushing power through the mud. The photos say it all! An amazing team effort.

English National Cross-Country Championships

2022 Parliament Hill team Kayleigh Copeland, Linda Tyler, Lindsay Bamford, Kay Copelend, Jane Georghiou

Five Farnham ladies enjoyed taking part in the English National Cross-Country Championships, held at the historic venue of Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath.

Renowned for its mud, recent rain had ensured there was plenty most of the way round the 8km course, though a swampy section of previous years appeared to have been drained.

Kayleigh Copeland led them round in an impressive time of 38:33 to place 289th. Next came Lindsay Bamford in 44:56, Linda Tyler in 46:49 and to complete the team score, Kay Copeland in 50:42. Jane Georghiou followed in 51:15. The team came 81st of 104 complete teams from all over England.

Surrey Half Marathon

Kayleigh, who took a chunk of over 3 minutes from her previous best half marathon time at the Surrey Half Marathon the following weekend, recording an excellent 1:29:59, wrote:

“Parliament Hill is the “home” of English Cross country and this year it certainly didn’t disappoint! Over 1000 women charged up the first hill and endured 5 miles of sloppy mud and gruesome hills. The iconic views of London softened the blow. The atmosphere was incredible and competing in the same race as Olympian Georgia Taylor-Brown is something I’ll remember for a long time!”

(Georgia won a silver medal in the Triathlon at the Tokyo Olympics, before going on to be part of the silver medal winning team in the mixed relay triathlon.)

Wokingham Half Marathon

The next day there was success for Farnham Runners at the Wokingham Half marathon, a flat course on rural roads. Three of the four gained new Personal best times. Nik Darlington, back in 1:15:15, reported

“A PB by well over a minute, and more than 13 minutes quicker than the same race 2 years ago. A headwind on the way back might have cost a sub-75 but I’m over the moon. Thanks for the Farnham Runners’ support along the way! And my amazing support crew.”

Though not a PB, Sarah Hill clocked an excellent 1:27:55, while Emma Pearson was delighted to deduct over a minute from her previous best for 1:33:06 and Stephen Tarrant recorded a PB of 1:38:42.