With the new year barely a couple of months old, it did not take long before Haslemere Border AC members were participating in a variety of events.
First up was Rosie Dyke taking to the South Downs and the Sussex village of Amberley, to take part in the Maverick Exposure Lights Dark West Sussex trail race.
She opted for the longest route of 15km, which is known to be one of the Maverick Dark series’ toughest routes, with rolling hills, wide open trails and known for being fast if dry and very muddy if wet.
And for Rosie it was certainly ‘muddy’. Fortunately she managed to keep her shoes on, and despite the mud loved the whole event and finished in an excellent time of 1:29.47 for 17th place overall and fourth lady.
The next day, Helen Crainey set off to London and the annual Cancer Research London Winter run, a 10km route starting in Trafalgar Square and taking runners past many iconic landmarks – St Paul’s Cathedral, The Shard, London Eye and Big Ben – before finishing on Whitehall, outside Downing Street.
With her first race of the year, Helen finished with an excellent time of 1:16.24.
Sunday, February 12 saw the annual return of the Bramley road race which is facilitated by the Reading Road Runners and offers two options of either a ten-mile or 20-mile distance.
The route is a slightly undulating but fast road run, taking runners through the Surrey village of Bramley just on the outskirts of Guildford and is often pipped as one of the ‘races to do’ in preparation for a spring marathon.
Haslemere Border athletes Tom Millns and Jon Fairs had both signed up for the 20 miles and having already got some phenomenal mileage and, indeed, race results under their belt, this was another milestone en route to London.
Jon pulled up, having already topped ten miles just shy of one hour, in a superb time of 1:05.08.
With one man down, Tom was ready to bring triumph home – and that he did, finishing in an awesome time of 2:13.39 and taking both home a V50 club record and a personal best.
Meanwhile, Goodwood motor circuit was hosting its first running event of the year, which saw HBAC runners taking part in the 5k, 10k and half marathon events.
First up was the 5k race, in which Tina Farminer and Gemma Reeder were competing in.
Both had set themselves a target – for Gemma sub-25 minutes and for Tina, returning to running after injury, to finish the race.
Gemma crossed the line in a time of 25.02, narrowly missing out on her sub-25 minute target, but still managed to achieve a PB.
Tina was very happy finishing in a time of 41.21 and, like Gemma, achieved a PB.
In the 10km, HBAC were represented by Steve Taylor, who completed the two-lap race in an excellent time of 39.42 – taking an incredible four minutes off his previous PB – to finish first in his age group and 18th overall.
Finally was the half marathon and for club runner David Mais, five laps of the undulating course awaited.
Any pressure of maintaining the 100 per cent PB achievement by club runners at Goodwood was blown away when Dave finished in an impressive time of 1:38.36, was 14th overall and, like the others, achieved a new PB.
With all HBAC runners at Goodwood achieving PBs, it is further proof that the combination of a high standard of training available to all at the club and individual determination can truly reap rewards.
The Winchester 10k took place on Sunday, February 19 and for two HBAC ladies it was just what they needed to ‘Curb their Enthusiasm’ for the hills that awaited them.
Gemma Reeder and Janet Govan, who are regular running partners in crime, are both in the midst of training for half marathons and this was just another stepping stone on their training journey.
The race itself starts at the historic Winchester Guildhall, adjacent to the prominent statue of King Alfred and then heads out of the city into the neighbouring villages.
The runners were treated to a mixture of terrain, including road and trail and one or two hills to conquer – and both ladies rose to the challenge and, indeed, finished in some excellent times, Gemma in 54.52 and Janet in 1:04.58 with a personal best.
On Saturday, February 25, the rather lovely Kingley Vale half marathon took place which starts and finishes at the Glorious Goodwood racecourse.
The route then leads the runners out into the South Downs National Park and through the Kingley Vale Nature Reserve.
The race itself has a total elevation of 1,857ft with a mixture of wide gravel roads, bridleways, tarmac and grassland, before heading back to the finish line on the Goodwood circuit.
Susie Adams, who has recently recovered from an injury, laced up her trail shoes to run a superb race in a time of two hours.
Last month also saw a number of parkrun milestones. First up was Janet Govan who reached her 50th parkrun and her 50th volunteer milestone on the same day.
Janet can be seen most weekends at Hogmoor parkrun on car park duties and then sprinting off to run the 5k.
Jon Fairs and John Raynor both reached their 100th milestone and for Dave Bateman the tremendous achievement of reaching his 250th.
Dave ran his first parkrun at Alice Holt in 2013 and is hoping it does not take him another ten years to reach the next parkrun milestone of 500.
To help Dave celebrate such an occasion, there was the customary cake and coffee afterwards for all to enjoy.
The club’s Get Up And Run course, which started in January, has now reached week six and the incredible group of more than 20 runners continue to go from strength to strength.
Throughout the six weeks the runners have endured all weathers – rain, ice, frost, wind and sunshine – but this has not weakened their determination to succeed in reaching their goal.
With the expert guidance of club coach Annalisa Alexander, the group are well on their way to reaching their target of completing a 5km run and HBAC members are looking forward to celebrating the group’s achievement and welcoming them into the club, so they can continue their journey.
Ann Varnes and Philomel Bennett