Daily archives: November 23, 2021

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Gosport finishers

Gosport Half Marathon

Gosport finishers

Romsey Road Runners were out in force for the Gosport half marathon on November 21st. This local race is popular with running clubs because the flat route has good PB (personal best) potential. But even with a flat route, weather conditions on the day can make a big difference to a runner’s time, and while November 21st dawned sunny and bright, it was also windy. Despite this, Romsey proved their mettle with four club members clocking up new half marathon PBs. 

Elizabeth Prinsep set a new PB of 1:35 to come second in age, despite her feet being numb from the cold; Keith Morris knocked two minutes off his previous best set earlier this year to finish in 1:42; Louise Holliday achieved a hard won new PB of 2:09, despite her head “not being in the right place at all. I almost stopped after the first lap so I was particularly amazed and pleased with my time at the end!”, and Tim Parker completed the set by achieving an impressive new time of 1:24.

Andy Brown, who is training for the Malaga marathon in December, paced Elizabeth round, completing the run with her in 1:35, while Alex Prinsep finished in an impressive time of 1:20 despite running in to a headwind on the final stretch. Nigel Hemsted came home in 1:41; Becky Tovey in 1:28 (netting herself a qualifier for the Chester Elite marathon along the way); Alice Lane in 1:59 and Susie Parker in 1:54. Susie, who had had Covid only three weeks previously, said of the race: “it was fantastic to run alongside the sea against a backdrop of beach huts. The organisers and marshals couldn’t have been more supportive.”

The previous weekend saw Sue Sleath in action at the Test Way Ultra. This is a very different race to the flat roads of Gosport, with forty or fifty mile options of hilly, point to point trails. Sue, who is an experienced ultra-runner, finished the forty-mile run in a time of 6:54 hours to take second place lady in what she described as “the short route”. 

News Round Up – October 2021

Romsey Road Runners were out in force for the London Marathon and Clarendon races on the first weekend of October.

After last year’s Storm Alex turned the Clarendon into a muddy river, this year the weather was pretty much perfect for running, with the exception of a single heavy downpour in the afternoon. Dave Gardner used Kendal Mint Cake to fuel the Clarendon’s hilly 26.2 miles, completing the route between Salisbury and Winchester in 5:09. Neil Jennings took second place in the half marathon in an impressive time of 1:30, with Sue Sleath (1:47) and Liz Prinsep (1:49) coming third and fourth ladies. Brenda Topliss (2:43) and Sue Sylvester (2:17) both won their age categories. Sue said “it was a tough, hilly, muddy course but with a wonderful friendly atmosphere.” Nigel Hemsted (1:52) came second in his age category, with Penny (2:07); Keith (2:04 PB); Alice and springer Jim (2:43), Sue & Jack Russel Poppy (2:08 PB); Chris (2:19) and Giovanni (2:07) also running. In addition, RRR fielded two relay teams. Derek, Julia, Anna and Liz finished in 4:44 ably supported by Karen driving between hand-overs, while the Webb family of Lin, Ray, Rob & Laura finished in 5:06. Kate, Mark and Westie Ted were marshals, helping to keep the runners going.

On the same day, Susie Parker ran her first London marathon in an impressive time of 4:05. She said running through the capital had been “an incredible experience and one I’m thrilled to have been part of.” Gretel Hardwick finished just behind Susie in 4:09, and Becky Tovey and Matt Hammerton secured entries in the Championship race in 2022 by finishing in 3:13 and 2:37 respectively.

Meanwhile, Duncan MacDonald proved you don’t need to run a marathon in an organised race by doing one along the Test Way on Sunday morning in support of a friend who was running the Virtual London marathon. Duncan completed the 26.2 miles in an impressive first marathon time of 4:32.

Happy finishers

News Round Up – September 2021 (Part two)

Romsey Road Runners have been in action recently at the Brighton marathon, the CapTen (a ten mile fell race run over Golden Cap and Thorncombe Beacon along the Dorset Coast); the Great North Run (the largest half marathon in the world in Newcastle); and, closer to home, the Winchester half marathon, the Lordshill 10k and the Romsey 5.

While Sue Sleath was running the Brighton marathon in a time of 3:42 (“not bad on no marathon training!”), Alice, Sue and Becky were climbing the 720m elevation of the CapTen race on a very warm day. They celebrated Becky winning the ladies race with a dip in the sea and a picnic on the beach afterwards.

Andy Brown made the journey up to Newcastle to take part in the Great North Run, which he described as “a tough course with a mega atmosphere…an absolute bucket list race.” He finished in a very respectable 1:32:45.

Andy at the Great North Run

Closer to home, Liz Slade ran the Romsey 5, held in the grounds of Broadlands, in a time of 42:09 to come 3rd in age. Liz said “after a few days climbing mountains and canoeing in the Brecon Beacons, I enjoyed running a flat course!” Other RRRs taking part were Sue Sylvester (41:53) Duncan (35:42), Dev (32:25), Liz P (35:24), Keith (35:47), Chris (39:11), Penny (40:19), Dorota (45:15), Sue (39:31), Tim (29:34), Debbie (46:44), Moira (51:01), Richard (50:23) and Alex (28:11 and 1st in age).

RRR at the Romsey 5

On the same day as the Romsey 5, Alice (2:04), Lorna (1:36), and Bob (2:25) did the Winchester half. Bob, a veteran of the race said: “the event seemed as busy as ever and with good weather it was a lovely run.” Meanwhile, Freya (59:37), Matt Brown (38:55), Matt Bennet (35:22) and Daniel (39:31) all completed the Lordshill 10k. Freya noted that the race was “brilliantly organised with a great atmosphere and the new venue at Oasis Academy worked really well.”

News Round Up – September 2021

There are lots of good reasons to be a runner: health, wellbeing, adventure, time outdoors. There are also many different ways of running: for enjoyment, for solace, on your own, with friends, running every day or once a week, training hard or running easy. Each approach is as valid as the next and we are proud that Romsey Road Runners encapsulates these different qualities.

Whilst it can be a good motivator to enter a race and set yourself a target time to complete it in, running competitions can also be about having fun, helping a friend, achieving something new, or getting a good result in your age category, as the ten Romsey Road Runners who took part in last weekend’s Southampton ABP races proved.

On what was an unexpectedly hot day, Neil Jennings finished the 26.2 miles of the marathon in an impressive time of 2:59. Neil commented: “the fourth time up the Itchen Bridge was where the fun began, but I held on just long enough for a sub-three-hour time. I’m very happy.”

Romsey’s half-marathon finishers were Louise Holliday, who completed her first half marathon in 2:22; Penny Jennings who ran the 13.1 miles in 1:53; Lin Webb (2:33) and Mark Adams (1:31), while Alice Lane helped her friend Kate complete the hilly course in a time of 2:45.

The 10k contingent consisted of Elizabeth Prinsep, who was third-placed lady in a time of 45:11; Jonathon Stevens, who earnt himself a new PB by completing the 6.2 miles in 43:45; Richard Vie who finished in 1:10, and Colin Williams, who took the V70 prize in a time of 56:07.

Colin said “at the age of 70 I am very fortunate to be still taking part in wonderful events such as the Southampton ABP 10k. The atmosphere on Sunday was amazing as we gathered under a blue sky awaiting the start, excited at competing and being together again. As always, there was wonderful support throughout the route, particularly on Itchen Bridge which is a much steeper climb than it looks and by far the toughest section of the course. The event was extremely well organised and for me most enjoyable as I ran around the City where I have worked all my life”.

Southampton ABP finishers

News Round Up – August 2021

Romsey Road Runners have been in action at various races over the past couple of weeks. Wednesday 18th saw a strong club turnout for the penultimate RR10 race which was held at the IBM grounds in Hursley. Romsey’s Tom Bray has already won the men’s championship, taking first place in all four of the previous races. Liz Prinsep is on track to win the V50 category; Mark Adams is currently M50 champion and Anna Duigan is in with a fighting chance of taking the V70 prize. With one more race to go in the series it’s still all to play for.

RR10 Hursley

The following Sunday, Alice Lane, Freya Pearson and Hannah Semeraro took part in the augural Big Pilgrimage, a 14-mile point to point run along an ancient pilgrim track known as the ‘Old Way,’ recently rediscovered on the 14th century Gough map. The race started at the Mayflower in Southampton and ended at Tichfield. Freya summed it up, saying: “I would definitely recommend the Big Pilgrimage. Lots of lovely trails, great snacks and every now and then someone in a top hat gave us a sticker!”

The same day Susie Parker made the trip up to London to take part in the London Vitality Big Half as a precursor to running the London marathon in October. The 13.2-mile race started near Tower Bridge and ended at the Cutty Sark and Susie clocked up a well-earnt PB, finishing in an impressive time of 1:49:58. She said “it was a really great race. I was really pleased with how it went and I felt it was a good test bed for London.”

Also on Sunday, Keith Morris was busy charging round the lanes of Lytchett in Dorset competing in the Lytchett ten mile race where he produced a strong finishing time of 1:20:21, despite the 230 metres of elevation on the course. If you would like to be part of a friendly, supportive and encouraging running club please look at our website romseyroadrunners.co.uk for details of how to join.