2022-23 HRRL finishes, various other races…and a hash run

HRRL Alresford 10K and Lordshill 10K races, Snowdonia and Giants Head Marathons, South Downs Way Half Marathon, Elstead Marathon, Isle of Sheppey 10k … and Hash Run across Frensham Common.

2022-23 HRRL

Mixed final tallies for Men and Ladies teams

After the end of the 2022-23 Hampshire Road League series of races, the eagerly anticipated final tallies are now known.

The Farnham Runners ladies A and B teams will both stay in the top division for next year, finishing seventh of the ten clubs in each. (In every race the first four club runners back count for the A team and the second four for the B team.)

The Farnham Runners men found out they will have to battle for promotion back to the very competitive top A and B divisions next season. The consolation is that if they are in the top two clubs in Division 2 for either, they will win a trophy!

Chris Raby has won a prestigious League T-shirt for completing all 12 races, a feat not accomplished by many. It will be presented at one of the races next season.

Nine of the club’s members ran seven or more races, enough to qualify for a prized mug with the names and positions of all who qualified. The men are James Clarke 6th, Chris Raby 61st, Tony Jones 67th, Justin Clarke 77th, Ivan Chunnett 87th, Richard Denby 89th, and the ladies are Louise Granell 12th, Linda Tyler 25th, Jane Georghiou 38th.

Alresford 10K

Farnham Runners line up before the 2023 Alresford 10km

Sixteen Farnham Runners took part in the penultimate race of the season, the Alresford 10km, organised by Alresford Rotary Club. The thunderstorms predicted didn’t materialise, so it was safe for the race to take place, but paces were slowed by the high temperature and humidity, which made the undulating race a stiff challenge.

For two of the first three Farnham Runners home, it was their first 10km road race. James Robinson crossed the line in a splendid time of 37:12 for 14th place in a field of 430 finishers while Joe Collins clocked a fine 38:05. Between them, James Clarke, 3rd M35, had to settle for 37:46 this time.

Nick Grist in 42:33 completed the Hampshire League A team result in 42:33. The team came a very worthwhile 4th in the top A division.

The B team which placed 6th consisted of Chris Raby who was 2nd M60 in 44:05, Tony Jones, 5th M55, in 44:19, Sam Angell in 47:15 and Andrew Brown in 47:18 (these two tied on “gun time”).

There was an incomplete C team of Ivan Chunnett in 48:37, Justin Clarke in 49:21, and 5th M75, Robert Drummond in 1:12:54.

Louise Granell was 20th lady and 5th F35 in 47:24. Bella Weetch clocked 52:16, Jane Georghiou, 2nd F70, in 54:56 and Laura Quinn 55:56, followed by Colette Grist in 57:45. The team came 6th in the top A Division.

The organisers had sustainability at the forefront of their planning. They sourced the wooden finishing medals from the UK and the goodies were cookies baked by the local Arlebury Café and watercress provided by the Watercress Company. The first age group prizes were hampers of local produce and the second prizes were boxes of chocolates from the Alresford Chocolate Craft Company, Chris Raby and Jane Georghiou being two of the lucky winners of these!

Lordshill 10K

Farnham Runners group before the 2023 Lordshill 10km

Two weeks later, in much cooler conditions on a flat course sixteen Farnham Runners represented their club in the final event, the Lordshill 10km. The men’s A team faced a huge battle to stay in the top divisions and, when the results were adjusted to count only the best 9 races for each team, Farnham Runners finished just one point behind Stubbington Green Runners, despite having a faster team on the day and so just missed out on staying in the top division. The A team comprised James Clarke in a speedy 35:22 as 20th finisher, Tony Jones in 41:59, Justin Clarke in 42:44, ahead of Chris Raby in 43:00 this time.

The B team also had too much to do to avoid relegation, coming 7th of 9 clubs on the day. They were Sam Angell in 43:59, Richard Denby in 44:46, James Goodwin in 45:07 and Paul Keogh in 45:03, James being quicker than Paul on his “gun time”.

Dominic Fry ran his first race in Farnham colours for a personal best of 45:59, followed by Chris Gill in another PB of 54:52 and Robert Drummond in 1:11:47.

The ladies were already calculated to be safe in the top flight unless two other clubs both had stellar results, but put out a good team to complete the series. New comer Lizzie May showed her potential in her first appearance for Farnham as 7th lady and 4th senior lady in an excellent time of 39:52, a new PB by over a minute. Linda Tyler was 3rd F60 in 45:44, while Lindsay Bamford, Billy McCulloch and Debbie Moorcroft recorded 50:48, 51:48 and 54:34, a new PB for Debbie.

Full and half marathons

Kate Townsend and Linda Tyler in the 2023 Snowdonia Trail marathon

Kate Townsend and Linda Tyler recently took part in the Snowdonia Trail Marathon.

Starting and finishing in Llanberis, with beautiful panoramic views and tough climbs, ascending 1685m over 28 miles of spectacular trails and ultimately the ascent of Yr Wyddfa, this is described as one of the UK’s most challenging trail races.

Running together, both finished in 8:00:39, an indication of the toughness of the race! Kate was 11th F50; Linda 3rd F60.

John Bigg, Toria Dick and Cath Wernham after the 2023 Giant's Head trail marathon

Three Farnham Runners, John Bigg, Toria Dick and Cath Wernham chose the tough but scenic Giant’s Head Marathon in Dorset on a warm and humid day in June.

Paul Mackie with his medal after completing the 2023 South Downs half marathon

Just a week after running multiple laps at Endure 24, Paul Mackie ran the South Downs Half Marathon, organised by 2:09 Events in a suitable time of 2 hours 9 minutes. He wrote:

“I ran the lovely, hilly Southdowns half marathon with a friend for fun and the scenery.”

Other races

Farnham Runners group before the 2023 Elstead marathon Farnham Runners group before the 2023 Elstead marathon

A large contingent from the club enjoyed the rather shorter Elstead “marathon”, the longstanding race of about 5.5 miles in Elstead, organised by the local scout group.

Meanwhile John Phillips completed the Isle of Sheppey 10km and raised a huge total of £738:54 for the charity Pancreatic Cancer UK.

…and a hash run

Runners crossing Frensham Common during the July 2023 Hash run

Other running and social events continue for Farnham Runners with a huge turn-out for a Hash run on Frensham Common, followed by a curry and a drink at a local venue.

It was organised by Nicola O’Connor, with the trail for the “hares” to follow laid out by Richard Denby, Chris Gill and Toria and Stephen Dick.

See the Photo Gallery 2023 for further photos of he above races and events.