Overton 5, Great Pilgrimage 15, Pilgrim marathon, a 100th parkrun and Bar Talks

HRRL Overton 5 miles

Farnham Runners group before the 2023 HRRL Overton 5

Farnham Runners members who braved the very warm temperatures were rewarded with a fine set of results in the first Hampshire Road League race of the new season, the Overton 5 miler organised by Overton Harriers.

The hot sunny afternoon was a shock after a cool July and August. The course was similar to last year with its three challenging hills and there wasn’t much shade with the race keeping to the traditional start time of 2pm.

Two Farnham Runners managed new personal bests despite the conditions while for others it was their first road race at this distance.

The men’s teams gained an excellent 2nd place of 10 clubs in the A2 table, while the B2 team was top of 13 clubs. Their C team also did well placing 5th of 9 clubs.

The ladies in the A1 and B1 tables came 6th/10 and 4th/10 respectively, though there were not enough ladies for a C team.

First back was James Robinson with a new PB of over 30 seconds, 17th finisher in a time of 28:56. For the next four it was their first attempt at a 5 mile road race although some of them have run marathons or even ultras! Toby Loomis impressed crossing the line in 31:22, Joe Lee in 32:14 and James Lyons in 32:34 as final A team scorer.

Nick Grist headed the B team finishing in 33:28, while Ivan Chunnett clocked a new PB of 34:48. Tony Jones and Andy Brown completed the B team in 36:00 and 36:14 respectively.

Chris Raby holding up his prestigious T-shirt awarded for competing in all 12 of the 2022-23 HRRL races

Returning to racing after a short break was Chris Raby who led in the C team in 37:24. He was delighted to receive his commemorative T shirt for completing all twelve Hampshire Road League races last season a feat not achieved by many!

Newcomer Dominic Fry’s time in his first 5 miler was 38:38 while 2nd and 3rd in the C team were also back in under 40 minutes – James Goodwin in 39:20 and Tim Farrant in 39:40. Terry Steadman was 2nd M75 in 48:36.

The ever reliable Linda Tyler was first back for the ladies, as 3rd F60 in 39:35. Bridget Naylor came next in 42:51, while Candy Waller was delighted to be 3rd in the A team, crossing the line in 43:15 in her first ever road race. She was followed by 2nd F70, Jane Georghiou in 44:33.

Gemma Whitehouse and Colette Grist, both in their first 5 mile race were first and second in the B team in 45:12 and 48:00 respectively. Just one second back in 48:01 was Julia Jones with Alison Lamb as final scorer in 50:30, while Penny Schnabel recorded 54:06.

Hogmoor Inclosure parkrun

Bruce Peto completing his 100th parkrun at the Hogmoor Enclosure on his 81st birthday

Bruce Peto celebrated his 81st birthday recently by running his 100th parkrun at Hogmoor Inclosure. Bruce is a longstanding member of the club who has been very keen to represent the club over the years, proudly wearing his club vest, or to help out by marshalling at races. During the last twelve months he has been travelling to local parkruns to challenge the age group records. He reports:

“My first aged 80 age record was at Woking on 24th September last year and I did 32:22, a time that has now been broken but I still currently hold three 80 year old course records – at Hogmoor 33:19, Broadwater 32:16 and today, a week after my 81st birthday at Cranleigh 37:29, where it was very warm and humid.”

Great Pilgrimage 15 mile race

Clair Bailey and Linda Tyler ready for the 2023 Great Pilgrimage 15 run

Two Farnham Runners recently competed in the Great Pilgrimage 15 mile race from the Mayflower Park in Southampton to Titchfield Abbey, following the start of a newly discovered Pilgrim Trail called the Old Way. The course followed beautiful, but tough, coastal and countryside trails and runners were given stickers for their numbers at each of the famous pilgrimage landmarks along the way such as Netley Abbey.

Linda Tyler completed the course in 2:31:36 and was 1st FV60, while Clair Bailey was 8th FV40 with the time of 2:46:51.

Pilgrim marathon and half marathon

The Farnham Runners group before the start of the 2023 Pilgrim marathon

Ten Farnham Runners completed the local Pilgrim marathon, (Joe Collins, Joe Lee, Steve Bailey, Nick Haire, Sue Taylor, Emma Dawson, Paul Mackie, Clair Bailey, Kate Townsend and Mark Maxwell) while six did the half marathon (Stephen Elliott-Nicholls, Laura Butchart, Andrew Holderness who came first in the 60+ category, Craig Tate-Grimes, Sally Lawrence and Catherine Wernham).

Kate Townsend writes about the experience:

“A fabulous team effort at the Pilgrim marathon. The time whizzed by as we chatted and laughed. I can’t recommend this race enough; the course is fab, marshals friendly and enthusiastic and so many aid stations to make sure we didn’t melt. To top it off there were three of our own out there cheering us on and mopping our fevered brows. Thanks Gillian Iffland, Chris Gill and Louella Westchester.

Nick Haire and Steve Bailey were also there but being super speedy left us for dust, not to mention the two Joes who came 5th and 6th. An altogether grand day out!”

“Bar Talks”

Organised by Debbie Moorcroft the club now holds regular “Bar Talks”.

Steve Till speaks at one of the Farnham Runners post run Bar Talks

Frequent Herald columnist, Steve Till enthralled members by talking about his unstinting efforts to run in a GB vest, after being inspired by watching the Olympic Games as teenager. He explained how he went on to represent GB in 100km and 24 hour events and won medals at National Championships. He showed copies of his book “The Run of Life”.

Physical therapist Will Lane speaks at one of the Farnham Runners post run Bar Talks

Just one week later local physical therapist and Yoga teacher, Will Lane gave a very informative and useful talk about how many injuries arise and what can be done to avoid them.

See the Photo Gallery 2023 for further photos from these events