Great views – but wow, all those hills!

Two HRRL races, the Woodland Woggle and various training sessions…

HRRL Alton 10

Farnham Runners group before the start of the 2023 Alton 10

Although runners had a tricky choice between two local races on the same day, a contingent of Farnham Runners gained some useful Hampshire Road League points for their team in the Alton 10, organised by Alton Runners. Two of them were worthy prize-winners in their categories.

The Farnham participants gave the new course at Alton a thumbs up and preferred it to the old route. Some sections were similar, with the same spectacular views over the Hampshire countryside in the second half and there was no getting away from the hills! The earlier start time meant many could complete most of their run before the sun came out, when temperatures rose.

James Clarke overtaking another runner in the 2023 Alton 10

On a roll at the moment was James Clarke, who clinched a new personal best by 30 seconds to finish as second senior man and 8th overall in a splendid time of 58:23.

Not far back were James Robinson, 10th senior man and 18th overall, in a new PB of 1:00:54 and Joe Collins, in 1:02:56, again a PB. Nick Grist in 1:08:27, completed this A team that placed an excellent 4th out of 10 teams in the top division of the league.

Just two seconds behind Nick on his chip time was Chris Raby who was 3rd M60 in 1:08:29, another PB despite the hilly course. Also in the B team were Tony Jones, 5th M55 in 1:11:19, Matthew Wernham 1st M65 in 1:12:04 and Justin Clarke, 5th M60 in 1:13:39. This team was 6th of 9 clubs in B division 1.

Running for the C team were Ivan Chunnett, battling injury in 1:16:18, Richard Denby in 1:18:22, James Goodwin in 1:18:45 (a PB by one second), and, making a welcome return to racing, Steve Murphy in 1:32:55. Andrew Brown, recovering from a cold, clocked a time of 1:36:22. The team of four was 4th/8 in the C table.

Leading in the ladies was Louise Granell, 3rd senior lady in 1:13:52. Next was 1st F60, Linda Tyler in 1:19:25 with Bella Weetch following in 1:20:45. Jane Georghiou, 2nd F70 was surprised to be the final A team scorer in 1:29:52. The team placed 5th of 10 clubs in the A1 division.

There was a much needed B team of Lindsay Bamford in 1:32:54, Laura Quinn in 1:34:02, newcomer Karen Storey, 3rd F60, in the her first ever road race in 1:55:03 and Vicky Goodluck and Nicola O’Connor crossing the line together in 2:03:48/49. This team came 5th of10 clubs in the B1 division.

Farnham Runners ladies celebrate after completing the 2023 Alton 10

See the Photo Gallery 2023 for further photos from the Alton 10.

Woodland Woggle

Farnham Runners group before the start of the 2023 Woodland Woggle race

On the same day, the Woodland Woggle with stunning views through the bluebell woods of the Hampton Estate and over Puttenham Common, organised by Blackwater Valley Runners, was the choice for many. Bob Brimicombe was the first Farnham Runner back in the 10km in 12th place and 1st in the M60 category, with Chris Gill next to finish. Catherine Crawford was 10th overall and 6th lady in the 6km, with Chris Jackson 13th and 1st M70.

See the Photo Gallery 2023 for further photos from the Woodland Woggle.

HRRL Netley 10K

Farnham Runners group before the start of the 2023 Netley 10km

The next week, a small select group made the journey to the coast to be part of 600 runners of all standards in the 10th event of 12 in the Hampshire Road League, organised by Southampton Athletics Club. This Netley 10km has been going for around 45 years and involves three laps around the Royal Victoria Country Park, a very pleasant route. On a beautiful sunny day, the runners appreciated that much of the course was in shade.

Chris Raby just pipped Tony Jones for first Farnham Runners slot, and he was 2nd M60 in 41:51, with Tony in 41:59. Newcomer Tom Lee, on his debut recorded 44:38, while Richard Denby was jubilant to find out he was ahead on his chip time of 44:34, though one second back over the line. The team came 9th in A division one.

Linda Tyler pushed hard to the line for 2nd F60 in 47:15 with Jane Georghiou 2nd F70 in 53:03.

Various training sessions

Participant group at the May 2023 Shane Benzie course on the Bourne Green in Farnham

On the same day as the Netley race Farnham Runners organised another popular training camp with Shane Benzie, the renowned running technique coach and movement specialist.

Participants running on the Aldershot athletics track duing a Farnham Runners Monday night training session Participants running in Farnham Park during a Farnham Runners Tuesday night speed session

Weekly training with Farnham Runners continues, with speed sessions at the Aldershot athletics track on Monday evenings and in Farnham Park on Tuesday evenings, as well as Wednesday evening and Sunday runs.

Linzi Bamford instructing a stretching exercise to the 2023 Get Me Started course participants

In addition the Get Me Started course for those new to running is, at the time of writing, over halfway through in Week 6.