Competition between the running clubs of west Hampshire has found expression every summer since 1983 with the RR10 race league. The league, born out of the running boom of the 1980s, started with six member clubs and grew to encompass fourteen. It comprises a series of races held on Wednesday evenings during spring and summer at various locations across the region, with each race being hosted by a different club. The races are cross country, between 4-5 miles long, and are free to participating club members, provided they wear their club’s colours. Participants vary from the steady to the super-speedy and all paces are welcome.
The 2020 RR10 series was cancelled because of Covid, and the earlier races of the 2021 series went the same way, but as of July this year the series was up and running again, launching with a boiling hot race at Fleming Park in Eastleigh on July 21st. Romsey Road Runner’s Tom Bray won the men’s race, while the club’s Hannah Semeraro took an impressive tenth-place in the women’s.
Traditionally, Romsey Road Runners have hosted their RR10 in the New Forest, but due to concerns over disturbing ground-nesting birds it was decided to move the venue to Broadlands this year, and the inaugural event took place on July 28th. The club turned out in force to provide the necessary marshals, cake bakers, course set-up crew, finish line managers and sweepers, all of whom contributed to the race’s smooth running.
Nigel Hemsted, RR10 race director for Romsey, said:
we had a very successful run with no issues, and the runners almost managed to finish the cakes!
If you would like to take part in an RR10, please see romseyroadrunners.co.uk for information on club membership.
The popularity of running has soared during the pandemic. Part of the appeal is its simplicity – running doesn’t cost a fortune, you can do it anywhere and go at your own pace – but it can be hard to get started and harder still to keep going, especially on your own. Romsey Road Runners’ 2020 couch to 5k course (C25K) was cancelled because of the pandemic, but this year things looked more positive.
Run leader Steve Geary said:
‘over the last year we saw so many people out walking, running and riding their bikes during Lockdown. We wanted to keep that momentum and enthusiasm going.’
C25K, an NHS approved 9-week course that takes people from non-or lapsed runner to 5k runner is a tried and tested formula. This is the fourth year that Romsey Road Runners have hosted the course and it remains as popular as ever.
Run Leaders Steve, Moira and Dorota, supplemented by guest appearances from various members of RRR, were on hand to help the 25 men and women who signed up for the course, encouraging them to keep going on their Tuesday sessions as the running bits got longer and the walking bits shorter.
C25K course member Emma Peel explained her reasons for taking part.
‘I signed up for the course as I wanted to improve my fitness. I found the course structure helpful and the team and coach support amazing. I hope to carry on running as it has helped me meet people, enjoy the outdoors and I don’t want to go back to square one again! Thanks to the friendly people at Romsey Road Runners for organising this course.’
Another participant, Jane Bucke, said:
‘joining the C25K course was a leap of faith for me after a fear of exercise, however, since starting I have not looked back. The support you receive is second to none and you are among beginners like yourself. I took things at my own pace and made it my own personal challenge. The programme really does work and I have amazed myself at the level of fitness I have achieved in nine weeks. I have met some lovely people along the way and plan to continue running to maintain my fitness.’
Nats, another member, added:
‘I joined the programme as I needed to lose weight and increase my activity levels. I have tried to complete C25K on my own before and never succeeded. The support, encouragement, guidance and best practice tips shared by members of the coaching team of Romsey helped break those physical and mental barriers, increasing my self belief and helping me to achieve success in completing the course and running 5k.’
Last week was the final week of the course with the graduates completing a 5k run along the Test Way. Many of them are now going on to an ‘RRR Lite’ course which will prepare them to be full club members. Helen Bull is one of those. Having previously tried to do the C25K course on her own and struggled to complete it, she can now call herself a 5k runner. Helen said:
‘the encouragement and camaraderie of the group has kept my momentum going until the end. You can’t believe when you start that it is ever going to be achievable to run non-stop for 30 minutes, but the programme, along with the support of the fantastic team leaders, does actually work. I plan to continue running to maintain my fitness; I’ve even got to quite like it!’
Current Government guidelines is for 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, per person, per week for good health. Running is a great way to get those minutes done. It improves your cardiovascular fitness and looks after your bone and muscle strength (particularly important for people over 40), and it helps with weight control. Romsey Road Runners offer two training sessions a week throughout the year catering for all speeds and levels of ability and we welcome new members. Please visit our website romseyroadrunners.co.uk for further information.
After an enormous amount of hard work by the organisers, the Clarendon Way events took place on the 4th October and members of Romsey Road Runners turned out in force despite very wet conditions, with some fantastic results, including many podium places both overall and in age categories.
In the full marathon, nine runners from the club completed the undulating off-road course with Becky Tovey winning the ladies race in an amazing time of 3 hrs 32 mins 23 secs. Becky was also 15th overall. Matt Hammerton also ran a great race in a stunningly quick time of 30:01:26 to win the men’s race with Mark Stileman in 3rd place and 1st in his age category in 3:12:56. Other results in the full marathon were: Neil Jennings 8th overall 3:21:36, Sue Sleath 1st in age category 3:50:50, Alice Lane 2nd in age category 4:52:04, Ian Ralph 4:58:25, Abi Cook 4:58:38, Sue Stileman 4:58:57, Susie Parker 5:01:14.
In the half marathon, Tom Bray took 1st place overall in 1 hr 20 mins 20 secs. Elizabeth Prinsep came 1st in age category in 1:51:27, Mark Adams finished in 1:56:44, Keith Morris 2:07:44, Penny Jennings 2:14:37, Sue Sylvester 2:22:41, Bob Gold 2:36:18, Jo McKenzie 2:46:57 and Brenda Topliss who was also 1st in age category in 2:54:33.
In the relay event which covers the full marathon distance, a Romsey Road Runners mixed team consisting of Lorna Crouch, Alex Prinsep, Mark Winkworth and Nigel Hemsted finished 5th in a field of 22 in a combined time of 3 hours 21 mins 22 secs.
Meanwhile, Tam Ryan is three quarters of the way through reaching her goal to complete all four of the Centurion Running 100 mile races in a year in order to earn the prestigious Grand Slam Buckle. Although she considers herself to be ‘mid race’, her journey and achievements so far have been incredible.
Tam planned to attempt this goal two years ago but had to cancel until now due to injuries sustained during her first 100 mile race in 2018. Hard work to strengthen injuries, lots of training and the first two races getting postponed pushed back by three months, have made her more determined to complete the mission.
The first race which took place on the 8th August was the longest, 103 miles on the North Downs Way from Farnham to Ashford in Kent. There was a heatwave at the time and although over half the field dropped out, Tam completed it in 29 hrs 44 mins, one of the 45% to finish!
With only four weeks to recover, which wasn’t enough time for her blisters to heal, Tam was back out, this time on the Thames Towpath for the 2nd 100 miler, a beautiful route from Richmond to Oxford and thankfully, the weather a was cooler. This time, she managed to break the 24 hour mark, earning the special “one day” buckle in a time of 23 hrs 46 mins.
The gap between the second and third races was five weeks, after which Tam was challenging herself again, this time in the Autumn100 race in Goring on Thames, four out & back legs along the Thames, Chilterns hills & Ridgeway. Despite no crew allowed and only one pacer in the last 25 miles, she was also suffering from a twisted pelvis and some shifted ribs. Conditions were also against the field with some torrential downpours, very wet, muddy and slippery sections but despite falling over three times during the race, Tam earned herself another “one day” buckle by finishing in exactly the same time as the last race in 23 hrs 46 mins.
Tam, who also suffers with nausea and stomach issues for around 70% of each race, says that she couldn’t have got this far without her fantastic crew and pacers Becky Tovey, Elizabeth Prinsep and Julie Shanker. She now has four weeks recovery time before the last race of the Gland Slam in the series, the South Downs Way 100 from Winchester to Eastbourne. Romsey Road Runners and everyone who knows Tam have everything crossed she reaches her goal.
Romsey Road Runners are back! For all members who wish to and following latest guidelines from England Athletics, our wonderful session leaders have ensured that since the end of June, ‘bubbles’, named after famous marathons, are meeting once a week in various locations in the area, at the same time and days the club would normally take place. With each runner always at a social distance sessions started as social runs along both familiar and new routes with some now developing into interval training. The new circuits from Fritham, King’s Somborne and Copythorne have been well received and are interspersed with the more usual ones in and around Romsey. Thanks from all members taking part go to all who are compromising most of their own running sessions in order to allow the club’s ‘new normal’. In particular, Ian Ralph who creates the bubbles and allocates routes, each and every week.
It has proved a huge success and we are delighted to welcome six new members who have joined since the start of lock-down. They have enjoyed running with smaller groups of a similar speed to themselves.
Whilst most races have been postponed or cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, some, generally with staggered starts and lower participant numbers, have been able to take place. Unsurprisingly, these tend to be very long distance events and despite very hot temperatures, two club runners performed in different events superbly.
At the beginning of the month, Elizabeth Prinsep completed the 31-Mile Reading Ultra Marathon in a fantastic time of 5 hours 13 minutes. This was a personal best time for Elizabeth who came 11th lady overall and 1st in her age category. She said it was “hot, hot, hot but a lovely route along the Thames and water canals.”
Then a week later, again in searing heat, Tam Ryan took part in a 100 mile running event, the Centurion 100 along the North Downs Way. More than half dropped out of the event but Tam was at her resilient best and kept going finishing in an amazing time 29 hours 44 minutes.
UPDATE: Training during COVID-19 restrictions is being limited. Please refer to the club emails for updates. We have a special risk assessment for post-COVID-19 training sessions, which is being updated regularly.Click here to download the document.
In response to the current virus outbreak, England Athletics have advised all clubs to suspend all meetings until at least the end of April.
To read their statement in more detail, please click here.
As many of you know, we are insured by England Athletics so we will follow their advice which is driven by government guidelines. Our priority is to keep our members safe.
The first RR10 at Royal Victoria country has been cancelled for 22/4. No decision had been made yet if it will be postponed until a future date. I will try and communicate with you all as I find out further information. Hoping you and your families stay safe and well,
After many events were cancelled due to Storms Ciara and Dennis, road racing made a welcome return last weekend. The Winchester 10k is a very popular local event and 11 Romsey Road Runners’ ran some excellent times. The earlier finishers were sent the wrong way and probably covered 10.8 km. Despite this, Mark Stileman was first RRR home in 39 mins 8 secs to come 1st in age category, closely followed by Matt Brown in 39:21 and Alex Prinsep in 40:24. Keith Morris finished in 46:36, Gareth Roberts 48:57, Sue Stileman 49:36, Susie Parker 50:39, Sue Sylvester 54:40, Anna Duignan 1:01:04, Richard Vie 1:02:56 and Rob Gowman 1:08:17.
A few members and friends of Romsey Road Runners (pictured) decided to make the most of a rare fine day to run an off-road social around a normally fairly dry route around Mottisfont. Part way round they found themselves almost knee deep in recent water which had yet to drain away!
In other events on Sunday 23 February, Tam Ryan and Sue Sleathranthe New Forest Long Distance Walking Marathon and Alice Lane completed the Northumberland Enurance Life Marathon which, as usual, was about 28 miles!
Other recent acheivements saw Elizabeth Prinsep complete the Ryde 10 Mile in 1 hr 22 mins 52 secs. Mark and Sue Stileman ran together in a time of 52 mins 16 secs in the Longleat 10k.
Runners from local club Romsey Road Runners have continued to compete over the new year period with some amazing personal achievements by many members.
Alice Lane has fulfilled a long-term goal of running a marathon in under 4 hours when she completed the Gloucester marathon on the 20th January. Alice put in an incredible performance to gain a massive Personal Best in a time of 3hrs 54 Mins
Sunday 27th January saw the Romsey 5-mile race at Broadlands and unsurprisingly Romsey Road Runners were well represented with 41 runners on the day. It was a fine morning if somewhat cold and there were some more great performances from the club. Highlights included 5 runners coming in with times under 30 mins, Neil Jennings was 5th overall in a time of 28.18, Matt Brown was 9th overall in 28.56, Alex Prinsep was 11th in 29.18, Tim Parker 14th in 29.38, and Mark Stileman 15th in 29.48. Amanda Hull finished in 31.52 to finish as 2nd lady and not far behind in 3rd place was Hannah Shutt in 32.14. A massive well done to everybody else who took part and represented Romsey so well on the day.
On Sunday 10th February there was an exodus to the West Country as several events were taking place. Ian Ralph put in a phenomenal performance at the Portland Coastal Marathon covering 2595 ft of climbing on a blustery morning by the sea finishing in 4th place overall in a time of 3.49.11. Also, in Dorset Keith Morris and Sue Stileman took part in the Lytchett 10 Miles and both came back with PB’s of 1.20 and 1.26 respectively. Liz Prinsep travelled even further afield to Dartmoor to run the Wild Night Dark 10, which as the name suggests was a 10-mile run across Dartmoor in the dark. Liz finished 2nd in her age group with a fabulous time of 1hr 59mins.
Two runnng clubs in Romsey put aside their rivalries this Christmas to join together for a joint Boxing Day run. Halterworth Harriers invited the Romsey Road Runners to join them for their annual festive social run. Meeting at Halterworth Junior School at 9.30am the runners headed out via Botley Road to Baddesley Common. There was a variety of runners including several juniors. Some runners were kitted out in Santa Hats and a variety of other running attire on the 4.5 mile route across road, grass and mud. The centre point of the run was stopping for a chat at the wooden boardwalk on the common and the chance to sample some delicious home made vegan energy balls made by the Harriers nutritionist Eleanor Vamplew.
The weather was seasonally mild (and dry) which helped get a good turnout for the event. Some of the runners are training for marathons and decided to meet earlier for a few extra miles before the rest of the runners joined them for the social run.
Everyone agreed that it was a good way of burning off some calories and to get out in the fresh air after a day of indulgence.
We are proud to have been selected by England Athletics for a series of FREE sessions with a leading endurance running coach; Nick Anderson.
Nick is the national marathon lead and regional endurance lead for England Athletics, as well as a part of the Winchester & District A/C. So both experienced and local!
Nick will host three sessions during Feb and Mar, each of which can be booked (for free!!) using the links below. The focus will be on preparing for the spring 10km races (e.g. Eastleigh) but will be relevant for all distance training.
You don’t have to make it to all three, but we encourage you to try as Nick will link each one to the other as he guides us through the why, how and progression of a structured training programme.
Each of the first two sessions will consist of both a full training session as well as a Q&A session with Nick back at Woodley Hall afterwards.
The third session will be a talk from Nick on endurance training, with an opportunity for us to probe Nick with all those questions we’ve always wanted to ask. Food will be provided to make this a truly fun & social (as well as educational) evening.
So, what are you waiting for? Click on the links below to find out more about each of the three sessions and sign-up!
The last couple of weekends have seen some fantastic results for Romsey Road Runners. Last week Mark and Sue Stileman took part in the Remembrance Day 10K in Portsmouth. Mark won the event with a a fantastic time of 39mins and 30 secs whilst Sue also finished in an amazing 57 mins 12 secs. This weekend the Stilemans followed this up by travelling to the Cotswolds with Mark completing the Broadway Marathon in 3h 36mins coming in an incredible 5th overall. Sue took part in the Tempo Winter Series 10k finishing 10th in age group with a time of 57 mins 12 secs.
Sunday also saw Romsey Road Runners out in force at the ever-popular Gosport Half Marathon which is part of the Hampshire Road Race League. 13 Romsey Road Runners joined 2000 other competitors in what were perfect race conditions following the double loop course from Stokes Bay along the sea front at Lee On Solent and back. It was a cold clear autumn morning but the sun was shining and the atmosphere was buzzing. This is one of the fastest and flattest half marathons in the UK and the amazing times of the Romsey team really reflected this. First in for Romsey was Alex Prinsep in a Personal Best (PB) time of 1hr 22mins and 51 secs. Next came Remi Francois (1.29.28 PB), Becky Tovey (1.33.51 PB), Ian Winkworth (1.34.08), Nigel Hemsted (1.35.29 PB), Hannah Semeraro (1.39.27), Christopher Brown (1.41.01), Dave Gardner (1.41.46), Cliff Reeves (1.44.47 PB), Ben Sharman (1.47.55), Liz Prinsep (1.48.49), Alice Lane (1.52.31) and Keith Morris (1.53.29).
Breamore 10km was back for its second year on the 29th October. Run on trails around the estate Alice Campbell completed the two-lap course in 54.35mins followed by Anna Duignan in 1hr. Wendy Couper finished the 5km option in 40.05mins winning her age category. Meanwhile Mark Stileman thoroughly enjoyed one of the biggest off-road marathons in the UK; The Beachy Head Marathon. This race incorporates the famous seven sisters in the last five miles. Mark finished in a fantastic time of 3hrs 25mins placing him 2nd in his age category, his wife Sue also enjoyed the 10km race finishing in a time of 1hr 2mins.
Romsey’s Liz Prinsep travelled to Dublin to run her first road marathon. Liz finished in a brilliant of 3hrs 46mins, meaning Liz has qualified to apply for a good for age place in the London marathon.
The following weekend saw the Oakhaven half marathon which Alice Lane completed in 1hr 53mins and 1st in her age group and Jo McKenzie in finished in 1hr 59mins. At the Hayling 10mile Liz Prinsep achieved a time of 1hr 24mins.
Romsey went on to clean up at the picturesque New Forest Stinger this year. Neil Jennings won the 5-mile race in 35.35mins closely followed by James Battle in 2nd place in a time of 36.15mins and Mark Suddaby 5th in 39.59mins. The ladies were on form too and Becca Lurcock was first lady to finish in a time of 44.21mins with Sue Stileman in 51.36mins, Anna Duignan 57.28mins and Wendy Couper 1.16mins. In the 10mile race Mark Stileman was 2nd overall in 1hr 05mins with Becky Tovey 4th lady in 1hr 15mins, Abi Cooke 1hr 22mins, and Penny Jennings 1hr 36mins.
Three Romsey Road Runners were fortunate enough to fly over the pond and take part in the amazing New York Marathon. Liz Slade decided she would use it to mark the occasion of a special birthday with friend Annie Tomlinson. They weren’t disappointed and some great goals were achieved firstly by Nigel Hemsted who earned himself a good for age place by easily making the qualifying time finishing in 3hrs 35mins.
Liz and Annie shared the experience together and crossed the line in 4hr 23mins earning Liz not only a Personal best but also a good for age qualification.
Having caught the ultra-bug with a series of 50mile races Romsey Road Runner Tamatha Ryan vowed never to attempt the 100mile distance but on the 13th October, she toed the line to begin her first 100mile race the Centurion running Autumn 100. Centered around Goring-on-Thames the four out and back legs run along the Thames path and Ridgeway national trails. Leg 1 went well despite the heat and headwinds, the first 25miles completed in 4hrs 4mins, leg 2 was far more technical and brought stomach issues but a solid run in 9hrs 18mins took her to 50miles. Tamatha was then joined by her pacer Abi Cooke for leg 3, head torches donned the pair started the Ridgeway spur at 8pm, but an old injury was now starting to make running difficult, 75miles was completed in 15hrs 54mins. Becky Tovey had the task of pacing duties for the last 25miles. The heavens opened and at 2.25am the pair braved the elements to attempt the last spur out to Reading and back. However, running was becoming impossible due to pain and tightness and hypothermia wasn’t helping but despite the odds Tamatha made it back to finish the race in 26hrs 24mins.
Sunday the 14th was also the 14th Studland Stampede, a tough 12km along heathland and sandy beaches, Sue Sleath was first home in 1hr 3mins followed by Julia Abab and Derek Kelly in 1hr 20mins.
On the 21st October Alice Lane gained a massive personal best in the Amsterdam marathon working hard to finish in a fantastic time of 4hrs 17secs. It also proved a great day for personal bests in the Great South Run too, with perfect weather conditions Matt Brown managed to break the hour for 10miles just dipping under in 59.24mins (PB). Matt was closely followed by Alex Prinsep in 1hr 2mins (PB), Amanda Hull 1hr 6mins, BeckyTovey 1hr 10mins (PB), John Quayle 1hr 16mins (PB), Emily Gordon 1hr 19mins (PB), Liz Prinsep 1hr 20mins (PB), Keith Morris 1hr 25mins, Moira Sankey 1hr 43mins (PB), and Dorota Hatch 1hr 46mins.
Romsey Road Runner Anna Duignan was on home turf when she won her age category in the Glasgow half marathon, Anna finished in a fantastic time of 1hr 56mins. Meanwhile, continuing their training for the New York marathon Annie Tomlinson and Liz Slade completed the Windsor half marathon finishing in 1hr 59mins and 2hrs 02mins respectively.
More locally the Ageas Bowl 10km proved to be a great race for many Romsey Road runners to achieve a new personal best. Matt Brown was first home in 35.33mins, closely followed by Alex Prinsep in 36.32mins (PB), Mark Stileman 37.39mins, Amanda Hull was 3rd lady overall in 40.10mins, Mark Suddaby 40.16mins, Ian Winkworth 40.39mins, Becky Tovey 41.21mins (PB), Vytas Jakimavicius 41.22mins, Hannah Semeraro 41.33mins (PB), Liz Prinsep 47.37mins (PB), Alice Lane 49.25mins, Linn Webb 56.53mins (PB), Ray Webb 57.06mins, Rob Gowman 1hr 1min, Ali Fielder 1hr 1min and Jo Puttick 1hr 06mins (PB).
The following weekend was another big hitter for Romsey, the popular Clarendon marathon.
Neil Jennings had a good solid run in the marathon finishing 10th overall in 3hrs 22mins and Stewart Liesnham also had a great run in 4hrs 11mins. Cliff Reeves rose to the challenge and made a last minute decision to debut the distance on such a demanding course and finished in a great time of 4hrs 43mins. The half marathon was won by our very own Matt Hammerton who despite a broken collar bone managed to finish in an impressive time of 1hr 23mins.
He was followed home by Rob Webb in 1hr 40mins, Remi Francois 1hr 41mins, Nigel Hemsted 1hr 46mins and 2nd in age catergory, Hannah Semeraro 1hr 47mins and 4th lady overall, Annie Tomlinson 2hrs 7mins, Heidi Godfrey 2hrs 7mins, Penny Jennings 2hr 9mins, Liz Slade 2hrs 11mins and Keith Morris in 2hrs 39mins. Wendy Couper won her age category in the 5mile race finishing in 1hr 11mins and our relay foursome of Anna Duignan, Karen Keane, Julia Abab and Derek Kelly thoroughly enjoyed the day finishing in 4hrs 27mins.
To round the weekend off nicely Susie James bagged herself a personal best in the Bournemouth half marathon finishing in 1hr 55mins. Mark Stileman was very happy to come 1st in his V50 age cat at the Chester metric marathon in 1hr 46mins and Vytas Jakimavicius completed the Oxford half marathon in 1hr 42mins.
On Saturday 8th October Abigail Cooke and Tamatha Ryan challenged themselves with the Chiltern Wonderland 50 race. A 50mile single loop with 5600ft of climb around the Chiltern countryside and picturesque villages made famous by British film and television. Tamatha completed the very challenging course in 9hrs 10mins, 5th lady, 1st in age and 30th overall. Abigail followed closely in 9hrs 50mins, 10th lady and 61st out of 211 finishers. Elsewhere, Alex and Liz Prinsep took part in the Eaton Dorney triathlon. Alex completed the Olympic distance in 2hrs 34mins whilst Liz made her debut in the Sprint finishing in a time of 1hr 56mins.
Brothers Mark and Ian Winkworth travelled to Germany to take part in the 45th Berlin marathon which saw Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge set a new world record in 2.01.39! Ian completed the fast course in a personal best time of 3hrs 27mins and Mark finished in 4hrs 7mins. Meanwhile, Liz Slade and Annie Tomlinson ran the Goodwood 20mile as a training run for the New York marathon. Liz finished in 3hrs 15mins and 2nd in her age category and Annie in 3hrs 18mins.
Hursley 10km is always popular with Romsey Road Runners and this year was no exception. Mark Stileman was first to finish in a time of 39.04mins placing him 7th overall and 2nd in his age category, he was followed by Nigel Hemsted in 46.25mins, 1st in his age category, Paul Whitaker in 47.58mins, Sue Sleath in 49.18mins, 1st in her age category, Alice Lane in 54.37mins and Sue Stileman in 55.35mins.
The following weekend Daniel Lurcock completed the Solent half marathon, part of the Hampshire Road Race League, Dan finished in a fantastic time of 1hr 33.29mins. A slightly hillier option was the Winchester half marathon which saw James Cole first to finish in 1hr 34.11mins, closely followed by Becky Tovey in 1hr 36.49mins. Next home for Romsey was Ben Sharman in 1hr 49.10mins followed by Alice Lane in 1hr 56.38mins, Anna Duignan in 2hr 03.04min, 1st in her age category, and Paul Davies in 2hr 05.38mins.
September has had a spectacular start for Romsey Road Runners so far and it hasn’t all been about running! Sunday 2nd Sept saw the start of the Hampshire road race league, the first race, the Overton 5 mile, is an undulating 5-mile loop. Alex Prinsep was first home for Romsey in 30.04 minutes (PB) closely followed by Mark Stileman in 30.52 mins. Sue Sleath came 2nd in her age category finishing in 35.22 mins followed by Liz Prinsep 42.21 mins, Sue Stileman 41.19 mins and Brenda Topliss in 43.33 mins.
Meanwhile, Steve Bullock was fortunate enough to take part in the Half Ironman 70.3 Isuzu world championship in South Africa. Steve finished in a total time of 4 hours 57 mins with a swim time of 35.54 mins, bike time of 2 hours 35 mins and half marathon run in 1 hour 39 mins.
The popular New forest Marathon took place on Sunday the 9th September offering runners various distances. Amanda Hull came 2nd lady in the 10km finishing in a time of 42.51 mins and Anna Duignan completed the race in 1 hour. Alex Prinsep had a great run in the half finishing 13th overall in a new personal best of 1 hour 22 mins, and the PB’s just kept coming, Remi Francois 1 hour 33 mins (PB), Liz Prinsep 1 hour 48 mins (PB), Keith Morris 1 hour 48 mins (first half marathon, PB), Liz Slade 2 hours 1 min and Susie Parker 2 hours 6 mins (PB). Alice Lane toughed it out in the marathon finishing in 5 hours 11 mins.
Cliff Reeves completed the Bournemouth Sprint distance triathlon in 2 hours 37 mins and even managed to finish the 10km run with a PB!
The grand finale has to go to Becky Tovey making
her debut at the Iron Man triathlon distance in Wales. One of the toughest Iron Man courses set in the seaside town of Tenby the 2.4-mile swim takes place in the choppy seas of Tenby’s north beach. The 112-mile bike ride is set around some brutal country lanes of Pembrokeshire with narrow sections and sharp turns. The course ends back in Tenby with the small matter of 26.2 miles to run. The crowds came into force to cheer on the tiring runners completing 4 laps around the town of Tenby. Becky finished the challenging course to the unforgettable words “BECKY TOVEY YOU ARE NOW AN IRONMAN!!” in the fantastic time of 12 hours 59 mins 19 seconds. Her swim time was 1 hour 23 mins, bike time 7 hours 4 mins and run time 4 hours 18 mins. Becky came 8th in her age category, 47th out of 203 females and 726th out of 2044 overall
June 23rd saw the 6th Giants Head Marathon and 100th race for the Whitestar running Company. Starting in the beautiful Sydling St. Nicholas, the race runs through the very challenging and hilly Cerne Valley and under the famous Giant. Despite the heat of the sun, it was a good day for Romsey with not one but two podium finishes. Tamatha Ryan finished 1st lady in 4.14 and 10th overall, closely followed by Abi Cooke who finished 2nd lady in 4.32 and 23rd overall. Ian Winkworth came in at 4.36, 2nd in age out of 465 finishers, whilst Pete and Maria Hartley-Oinn ran the Sydling Bell 10km finishing in 1.05 and 1.16 respectively. On the Sunday of the same weekend, Stuart Pinch, Ray and Linn Webb all ran the Southampton Airport Runway run 5km.
Romsey also fielded a good contingent in the ever popular Lordshill 10km. This proved to be another hot run but still some great times were recorded. Alex Prinsep 38.30, Mark Suddaby 38.48, Amanda Hull 42.29, Nigel Hemsted 44.26, Becky Tovey 44.59, Mark Stileman 45.28, Paul Whitaker 48.23, Liz Prinsep 48.47, Brenda Topliss 50.42 and Sue Stileman 54.26.
With the new month came new goals. The Summer Plod took place on the 1st July and four Romsey Road Runners enjoyed the tough but picturesque 10mile route around the Meon Valley. Mark Stileman was 1st home finishing 4th overall and 1st in age in a time of 1.18, Hannah Semeraro had a good run and came 4th lady in 1.34, followed by Abi Cooke 6th lady in 1.38 and Sue Stileman in 1.53. Alice Lane also had a great start to the month finishing 3rd lady in the Abbotts Anne 10km in a terrific time of 56.43.
Romsey Road Runner, Nigel Hemsted, whilst on holiday in Scotland was tempted to enter a local 10km race ‘Vale of Leven’. Nigel completed the flat course in 44.33 and was 2nd in his age category. The following weekend, on the 8th June, twelve team mates travelled to Reading to take part in the Endure24 event.
Considered to be the ‘Glastonbury’ for runners it is a 24-hour race consisting of a 5-mile loop around beautiful surroundings of Wasing Park, with all camping facilities available. Runners set off at midday on Saturday and run as many laps as they can in 24 hours. There are many options for different types of groups; solo, pairs, small and large teams. Becky Tovey and Tamatha Ryan ran as a pair clocking up 29 laps in 23 hours 48 mins and 145 miles between them, winning them 1st place in the female pairs. Abi Cooke joined Alex and Liz Prinsep to run as a small team completing 26 laps in 23 hours 48 mins. Mark and Ian Winkworth made another small team with Marc Nichols completing 25 laps in 24 hours 1 min. Finally, Alice Lane, Jo McKenzie and Julie Shanker put in a sterling performance, unfortunately Julie was forced to pull out on her first lap due to a knee injury meaning Alice and Jo had to carry on as a pair. The girls managed 17 laps in 22 hours 46 mins.
Meanwhile on Sunday 9th June, Sue Sleath travelled to East Sussex for the Weald 50km Ultra Trail Challenge which she completed in 5 hours 43 mins. The same day, Francesca Hough took part in the internationally acclaimed event Man V Horse, an extremely popular race that has been taking place since 1980 in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales. Runners quite literally race horses and their riders to the finish, Francesca completed the tough course in 5 hours 15 mins. On the Sunday of this weekend, Mark and Sue Stileman ran the Lacock 10km, Mark finished in 42.21 and 1st in age and Sue came in 53.30.
The following weekend, Saturday 16th June, saw Tamatha Ryan complete the beautiful South Downs marathon in 4 hours 2 mins placing her 1st in her age group. Kate Olingschlaeger and Ben Sharman thoroughly enjoyed the half marathon with Kate finishing in 1 hour 56 mins and Ben in 2 hours. Sunday 17th saw the postponed Eastleigh 10km take place. The weather was perfect and eleven Romsey Road Runners put their training to the test and were not disappointed with some fantastic personal bests achieved. Neil Jennings just missed out dipping under 35 mins but still got a PB with an amazing time of 35.04, other times included Alex Prinsep 37.26 PB, Mark Suddaby 38.45 PB, Ian Winkworth 39.51 PB, Rémi Francois 40.28 PB, Ray Webb 46.41 PB, Keith Morris 47.01 PB, Liz Prinsep 49.01 PB, Nikki Skeates 58.41, Linn Webb 1.01 PB and Bridget Wells 1.01.
Elsewhere Mark Winkworth and James Wilson opted for the Arlesford 10km with the pair finishing in 46.42 and 49.04 respectively. Mark and Sue Stileman ran the Cheltenham Challenge 10km, Mark finished 5th overall in 42.11, 1st in age and Sue finished in 58.53. Finally, to round off a series of tremendous results, Kirsty Jones won the Falkirk Race for life 5km in a fantastic time of 20.02.
On the 19th May Romsey’s Ian Ralph and Tamatha Ryan made light work of the Centurion Running North Downs Way 50 miler. Starting in Farnham and picking up the North Downs trail through Guildford, the tough course incorporates numerous sets of steps, the hardest being 274 up Boxhill at only the half way point! The trail continues on to Reigate Hill and finishes on the outskirts of London. Despite the hot sun and a total climb of 5,600ft the pair rose to the challenge with Ian not only smashing his first Ultra race in a fantastic time of 8 hours 27 mins placing him 15th overall, but enjoying it too. Tamatha also had a great run finishing in a time of 9 hours 4 mins and was rewarded by not only coming 3rd lady overall but by being presented her medal by the world record breaking ultra-runner, Mimi Anderson.
The following day Dave Gardner and Liz Prinsep took part in the Hook 10 mile race, a rather undulating course not made any easier by the hot weather again. However, Dave still managed a personal best finishing in 1 hour 13 mins with Liz not far behind in 1 hour 26 mins. Sue Sleath and Brenda Topliss stayed closer to home running the Hampshire road race, Netley 10km, Sue finished in 43.29 mins and Brenda in 52.35 mins.
Meanwhile, Romsey Road Runner James Groves used the Swashbuckler middle distance triathlon as training for his upcoming Iron Man UK, James finished the 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and 13.1 mile run in 5 hours 21 mins.
On the 27th May Sue Stileman made her debut at the marathon distance completing the Dorchester road marathon in 4 hours 25 mins. This race runs through picturesque villages and Sue enjoyed her experience alongside two other Romsey runners; Sue Sleath who had a good run in the warm conditions finishing in 3 hours 55 mins, followed by Alice Lane in 4 hours 42 mins. Run in conjunction, the Casterbridge half marathon route takes in the beautiful Puddletown forest and joins the marathon route to finish the course. Ian Winkworth and Liz Prinsep enjoyed the race finishing in 1 hour 38 mins and 1 hour 59 mins respectively.
Meanwhile Becky Tovey and Emily Gordon made the long journey up to Edinburgh to complete what is the UK’s 2nd largest marathon. An all-encompassing route which runs through the heart of Edinburgh, with the iconic castle as a back drop, local sights are abundant. The race has a descent of almost 90m to the finish, it is believed not only to be the fastest UK marathon route, but also the world’s. Both girls had a fantastic run breaking some bench mark times, Becky finished in 3 hours 29mins and Emily in 3hours 59mins.
Always popular with Romsey Road Runners is the Houghton 11km cross country run, a mainly off-road race with pretty good terrain, this year Romsey’s Neil Jennings was first home winning the race in a great time of 42.36mins. Alex Prinsep was close finishing behind, 6th in 48.16mins, Raymond Webb followed in 56.09mins, Liz Prinsep 1hr, Penny Jennings 1hr 02mins, Gemma Quarendon 1hr 04mins, Penny Overy 1hr 08mins, Andy Cherrett 1hr 09mins, Liz Slade 1hr 09mins, Dorota Hatch 1hr 10mins, Derek Kelly 1hr 13mins, Linda Webb 1hr 13mins and Wendy Couper in 1hr 40mins. Meanwhile the same weekend, Sue Stileman was down in Dorset taking part in the Bad Cow Half Marathon finishing in a time of 2hrs 20mins and 29th overall.
The following weekend saw more trophies coming Romsey’s way at the Marlborough 20mile, Mark Stileman was 3rd overall in a time of 2hrs 35mins followed by Sue Sleath in 2hrs 49mins and 2nd Lady overall. Ian Winkworth and Abi Cooke enjoyed the self-navigating route finishing together in 3hrs 18mins. Elsewhere Vytas Jakimavicius ran the Whitstable 10km finishing in a great time of 42.09mins.
Another firm favourite for Romsey is the ‘Harewood 10km’ which Poppy was 1st dog to finish with Sue Stileman in 1hr 01min closely followed by Julia Abab 1hr 03mins, Alice Lane 1hr 06mins, Liz Slade 1hr 06mins, Karen Keane 1hr 07mins, Anna Duignan 1hr 13mins, Derek Kelly 1hr 15mins, Ruth Page 1hr 16mins and Wendy Couper finished the 5km in 43.57mins.
The results continued to pour in, Anna Duignan and Wendy Couper ran the ‘Maverick original’ 9km Dorset run on the 13th May finishing in 1hr 05mins and 1hr 21mins respectively. Whilst Alice Lane travelled a little further afield to run the “Race the Tide marathon’ in Flete Estate, Mothecombe, Devon, comprising 29 miles of tough terrain and two estuaries to negotiate, Alice had an amazing run finishing in 6hrs 19mins 6th Lady and 1st in her age category. Kirsty Jones and Andrew Archibald ran the Lymington Lifeboat 10km, a beautiful course for a good cause, Kirsty finished in 46.14mins with Andrew close in 47.40mins.
The Grand Finale for Romsey Road Runners came at last Sunday Broadlands Relay Marathon. Returning for its sixth year and run entirely around the estate, teams of up to 10 each run 2 laps of the 1.3mile course making up the 26.2mile distance, with every penny going to charity it’s popular with many local businesses supporting it. This year Romsey Road Runners entered 3 teams and much to our delight Romsey A team were this year’s winners finishing in a course record of 2hrs 31mins. Matt Brown, Neil Jennings, James Battle, Alex Prinsep, Christopher Brown, Daniel Lurcock, Lee Harris, Ian Winkworth, Matt Hammerton and Mark Stileman were very proud to receive the trophy.
Romsey’s B team weren’t too far behind finishing in 3hrs 1min and 4th overall: Sue Sleath, Richard Cross, Wayne Windebank, Mark Winkworth, Jo McKenzie, John Quayle, Ben Sharman, Cliff Reeves, Abi Cooke and Dave Gardner were all delighted with their performance. Romsey’s 3rd team finished in 3hrs 41mins and 53rd overall: Linn Webb, Liz Slade, Julia Abab, Derek Kelly, Brenda Topliss, Anna Duignan, Karen Keane, Deborah Rees, Dorota Hatch and Liz Prinsep. Finally, a big thank you to Becky Tovey for organising and Oscar the Mascot!