Category Archives: Race Reports

Half Marathon Round Up

This weekend saw not one, not two but three big half marathons as the Spring marathon prep suddenly stepped up a gear.

First to the Wokingham Half Marathon, which saw five 26.2 members take part. For those who haven’t run it before, the circular route takes in a number of closed rural roads on the outskirts of Wokingham. The course, whilst not completely flat is still a very quick one and whilst the wind occasionally played its part, quick times were definitely on offer for runners.

First over the line for 26.2 was Alastair McGeoch-Williams in a time of 1:19:27, followed by Steve Ramek (1:25:38) and Lawrence Bromley (1:29:10) – both earning PBs. Unfortunately Danny Norman and Libby Marchant both had days to forget. Illness hampered both their efforts, with Libby making a 15 minute pit-stop at the St Johns Ambulance approaching the halfway stage and Danny’s man flu getting the better of him at the 8 mile mark.

The men’s race was a hotly contested affair with first place Paul Pollock recording the second fastest time ever at Wokingham with an amazing 1:03:46. Incredibly there was a dead-heat finish for third place with both John Beattie and Kojo Kyereme finishing on 1:06:13! First lady was Caryl Mair Jones from Swansea Harriers in 1:14:32.
Full results are available online.

Back closer to home it was the Hampton Court Half Marathon and again five 26.2 members were in attendance.

The wind was arguably more of a factor in this race given the proximity of much of the route to the exposed River Thames. Martin Threakall was first 26.2 member back in a storming time of 1:29:00. Kirstie Mitchell bagged a fantastic PB of 1:41:50 as first 26.2 lady over the finish line – clearly in good form in the build up to London.
John Rahim in 1:47:03, Lucy Hitchinson in 1:53:59 and Laura Hooke in 1:58:02 completed the 26.2 contingent for the day. Full results are available online.

Lastly of course there was the Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon. 26.2 member Richard Goulder completed the race in an impressive time of 1:34:35 – though as he did so representing his second claim club, it didn’t really happen 🙂

A full set of results are available online

Alastair 2016 Wokingham Half

Alastair crossing the Wokingham finish line (photo from A. Jewel)

GP10 – The Bookham 10k Race Report

Blinded by the sun...
Blinded by the sun…

Yesterday saw the 10th installment of the club Grand Prix series – The Bookham 10k, organised by Events To Live.

 

Mercifully, Storm Imogen had yet to darken our skies and as such we were treated to bright blue and sunny morning. That being said, given the chill, most runners enjoyed the warmth of the race HQ – a lovely little primary school tucked away down a residential road out the back of Bookham. Tea and cakes were on offer and no doubt this was welcome for marshals and runners alike.

The course start line is just on the road outside of the school. Prior to the race starting, as per the tradition of this race, all the runners were invited to sing ‘God Save The Queen’ (the national anthem, not the punk-era defining Sex Pistols’ track of the same name – which would have been even more of a novelty).

This race is famed for its tough course and it starts off with a 1.5 mile climb up a mud and gravel track before a sharp and somewhat death-defying half mile drop back down again. Whilst this brief downhill was of course welcome, what followed was somewhat more challenging with a steep 350ft ascent over the next mile or so – made all the more tricky by the thick and heavy mud underfoot.

The second half of the race is much easier, even if there is a third and final nasty little climb thrown in before the 8km mark. The final mile is all downhill and shortly before exiting the Downs, runners must first pass through the infamous ‘Footwash’ – a rather deep, muddy and 20ft-long puddle. The photos of this section on the Sussex Sport photos website are well worth a look 🙂

Twelve members took part in the race (as well as Kate and Vicki helping out) but special mention should go to Alastair McGeoch-Williams for his first place finish in a time of 42:02 (which should indicate to most of you how tricky the course was) and Steve Ramek who  took the Men’s V50 prize. Full results are available online.

The GP competition itself now has just two further fixtures to go – GP11 is Crane parkrun on Saturday 27th February and last but by no means least is GP12, the Fleet Half Marathon on Sunday 20th March – which has now sold out but not before 33 of you signed up!

 

With two fixtures remaining, Steve Ramek sits top of both Male competitions with Alastair and David George in hot pursuit. Andrea Bennett is sitting pretty atop both Ladies competitions with Sarah Petterfer, Sue Garnish and Ann Bath following behind.