Ryde 10 road and Bourne Woods cross-country races and our Annual Awards Dinner

HRRL Ryde 10

Farnham Runners group before the start of the 2024 Ryde 10 road race

Eleven Farnham Runners enjoyed an annual “overseas” trip to the Isle of Wight this year to take part in the Ryde 10, organised by Ryde Harriers. Conditions were pleasant for running, with some sun and only light winds.

After an early start to cross the Solent they had a 20 minute walk to the new race HQ.

Two won age category prizes and many rewarded themselves with fish and chips on the way back to the ferry.

The scenic 10 mile route out to St Helens gives some spectacular views of the coast on the return leg. It includes four steep, long hills with a total ascent of 674 feet.

Joe Collins flew round in an impressive time of 1:02:04, giving a huge boost to the club men’s A team as they came top of the A2 division on the day and maintain their lead after seven of the 12 events. He came 12th overall of 497 finishers. Nick Grist in 1:09:15, Richard Denby in 1:10:58 (3rd M55) and Tony Jones in 1:11:52 completed the A team score.

An incomplete B team placed 6th on the day but Farnham Runners stay top of the B2 table. They were Ivan Chunnett in 1:11:52, Justin Clarke in 1:14:10, (a prize winner as 2nd M60) and Chris Raby in 1:21:23.

There were just four ladies supporting the team which placed a useful 6th in the A1 division. Linda Tyler was first F60 in 1:23:29, followed by Bridget Naylor in 1:25:51, Colette Grist in 1:32:19 and Debbie Moorcroft in 1:44:45.

SXCL Bourne Woods

Farnham Runners group before the start of the 2023-24 SXCL Bourne Woods cross-country race

Two weeks later was the final round of the Southern Cross-Country League, as the last planned one at Fareham had to be cancelled. Farnham Runners’ race director, Craig Tate-Grimes obtained permission from the Rural Life Centre and set a challenging course. He organised a large numbers of helpers to help set the route and help in many roles on the day.

There was no shortage of hills or mud, especially as it had rained heavily overnight.

The series was very competitive at the top with Farnham Runners lying in joint fourth place before this last round. Despite the best efforts of the runners they had to settle for 5th place in the series out of the 23 clubs in the league.

The ladies team came 5th and the men 6th on the day.

The four scoring ladies were Lizzie May in 8th, Leza Milligan in 13th, in her first race in club colours, Emma Pearson in 23rd and Louise Granell in 29th.

For the men came Joe Collins in an excellent 4th, Liam McMurray 11th, Toby Loomis 17th and Bob Brimicombe 76th.

Others not far out of the teams were Sue Taylor 47th, Linda Tyler 49th, Ivan Chunnett 80th and Colin Addison 82nd.

Annual Awards Dinner

Justin Clarke receiving the Chairman's Award at the Farnham Runners 2023 season awards dinner Debbie Moorcroft with the Smiley Award being presented by Nicola O'Connor at the Farnham Runners 2023 season awards dinner Chris Gill receiving the Steve Parker Award at the Farnham Runners 2023 season awards dinner

Farnham Runners celebrated their achievements of 2023 at the Annual Dinner. After welcome drinks and a meal, a large number of presentations were made by chairman Nicola O’Connor and men’s captain Justin Clarke.

First up were the Club’s Grand Prix winners rewarded for both their participation and performance in the season’s road and cross-country events. In order from the top were Chris Raby, James Clarke, Sam Angell, Joe Collins and Tony Jones for the men and Louise Granell, Linda Tyler, Jane Georghiou, Bella Weetch and Lindsay Bamford for the ladies. Trophies for the most personal bests in the road league went to Chris Raby with 5 and Bella Weetch with 3.

Hampshire Road Race League mugs went to James Clarke 6th, Chris Raby 61st, Tony Jones 67, Justin Clarke 77th, Ivan Chunnett 87, Richard Denby 89th, Louise Granell 12th, Linda Tyler 55th, Jane Georghiou 38th.

The marathon trophies were won for the second time by Nik Darlington and Emma Pearson for their times of 2:38:58 and 3:14:15 in the London Marathon.

Debbie Moorcroft took the club’s unique “Smiley” Award for her positive contributions to the club, including organising the recent club talks.

Nicola O’Connor chose Justin Clarke for the chairman’s award notably for his sterling work organising the new club kit and the Spond system for registration in training and events.

Finally, the prestigious Steve Parker Award for the person who has done most for the club in 2023 went Chris Gill who was also “Highly Commended” for his volunteering by the Farnham Sports Council. He is now a “Leader in Running Fitness” and regularly leads runs. He has helped the race director with numerous tasks and always seems to be on hand to do whatever is needed.

Thanks and a gift were given to Louise Granell and Debbie Moorcroft for organising the Annual Dinner and to the club coaches, Linda Tyler, Jane Georghiou, Craig Tate-Grimes, Julia Tagg and Louise Granell.

The evening then continued with some very energetic dancing as well as a casino.

See the Photo Gallery 2024 for further photos from these events