Running races only part of club’s fun!
HRRL Victory 5
Thirteen Farnham Runners chose to represent the club at the Victory 5 in Portsmouth on a very chilly and windy morning. In its 76th year the flat race attracts runners from a wide area, although the route is much more twisty than it used to be and so not as popular now.
James Clarke was first back for Farnham in a splendid time of 27:08, only 3 seconds shy of his personal best. He was 18th finisher in a field of 539 and 14th senior male.
Chris Matthews impressed with a new PB of 30:02 with 6 minutes/mile pace, while Sam Angell ran his first 5 miler in 32:33 and Chris Raby, fourth M60, clocked a PB 33:20 to complete the A team. They placed 10th in the top division.
There were three contenders for the B team but they needed one more for a complete team. All in their first 5 mile race, they were Andrew Brown in 33:27, Tony Jones in 33:36 and Tony Hollands in 40:30.
Louise Granell came in as 25th lady in a PB 33:32, 9th senior lady, followed by Linda Tyler, fourth F60 (less than one minute from first) in 36:13. Emma Patton and Victoria Dick both clinched personal bests in 36:15 and 39:01 to complete the A team that was sixth in the top flight. Vicky Goodluck took over two minutes from her PB in 40:19, while Jane Georghiou in 40:44 won top spot in the F70s to go fifth on the Run Britain 5 mile F70 rankings for 2022.
SXCL Lord Wandsworth College
Two weeks later it was the third of the Southern Cross-Country League events. This was superbly organised by Hart Road Runners at the venue of Lord Wandsworth College, Long Sutton.
After over a week below zero, temperatures were forecast to rise on the day, but that meant rain. This didn’t deter the intrepid runners with almost 350 turning up on the day, 36 of them Farnham Runners.
Fortunately, as it had been dry for a while, the usual deep puddles, which could have been icy were merely patches of mud, but very slippery. Along with stones and wet roots, not to mention hills, the course was very challenging.
It was still bitterly cold and the rain began before the start. Thankfully, Member Chris Gill had brought a much needed tent to give a bit of shelter before and after the race and to keep the bags dry. Richard Denby managed to snap a group photo just before the race as well as some individual shots after he finished.
With a few key players missing due to illness, Farnham Runners came joint fifth of the 23 teams, with the men ninth and the ladies fifth, just one point away from fourth.
Joe Collins skipped round for 8th, while Sam Angell, 57th, had a good run for the second team slot. Colin Addison, who stayed on to record the team results, was 64th, with John Hill-Venning 84th. Narrowly missing team places were Ian Marshall and Chris Raby, 86th and 87th.
First Farnham lady Kayleigh Copeland was also a fine 8th, followed by Emma Pearson, who managed to find time in a busy schedule to race for the club in 17th. Both had lost a few places after taking a tumble in the mud on the way round.
Emma Patton paced well for 31st, with Sue Taylor getting back into racing in 43rd. Too far back for team placings but finishing close together were Kay Copeland 64th, Vicky Goodluck 66th, Jane Georghiou 67th and Laura Quinn 68th.
Also racing well in the difficult conditions were:
Men: Ivan Chunnett 117, Richard Denby 123, Justin Clarke 130, Mike Carter 142, Terry Copeland 147, Tony Hollands 150, James Goodwin 156, Chris Gill 168th, Terry Steadman 169th, Andy Brown 173, Clive Frostick 183, Howard Inns 186.
Ladies: Amanda Muir 76, Tori Shaw 86, Alison Lamb 98, Penny Schnabel 101, Lizzie Boddington 112, Tina Longman 113, Pauline Hamilton 118, Jackie Wilkinson 126, Nicola O’Connor 130, Rachel Morris 131.
Annual Mince Pie Run
Farnham Runners have also been enjoying their normal full schedule of social events, as well as their training runs and speed sessions. A very successful club supper provided by volunteer cooks was co-ordinated by social secretary Clair Bailey. She also planned the traditional fancy dress Mince Pie Run with stops for mince pies and mulled wine, a club event which has been taking place for at least 28 years.