The Covid pandemic had put paid to Romsey Road Runners’ annual Beer Race in 2020 and again in 2021, so the club was thrilled to be able to return to hosting the popular 5-mile road race in Braishfield village on Sunday 5th June. Over 250 runners turned out to support the event which, despite a dire forecast, thankfully remained dry.
Every participant gets a pint at the end of the race (kindly provided by Flack Manor brewery), and a piece of homemade cake (courtesy of the talented bakers at the running club), so there is every incentive to finish!
Alex Prinsep, fresh from setting a new PB of 2:12 hours at the Dorney Standard Triathlon, was lead bike, responsible for guiding the front runners round the course, and Ray and Lin Webb were the tail runners, making sure everyone got to the finish safely.
The men’s race was won by Southampton Athletics Club’s Matt Coffey in a time of 28:29, and the women’s race by Alice Birch of Totton Running Club in a time of 32:23. RRR Club Chair Mark Stileman presented the prizes.
The children’s 1km fun run was held immediately after the adult race, with the boy’s winner Alex Wade finishing in an impressive time of 3:46 and the girl’s winner, Abi Hammerton in a speedy 4:23. All the participants took home a medal for their hard work.
Other RRR achievements this month include Lottie Budd, who travelled to Sweden to take part in the Gothenburg half marathon. Lottie said it was “an amazing event with a party atmosphere in the beautiful harbour city of Gothenburg. My daughter Emily ran the race twice: first in an earlier start group and later with me. I’m sure she helped me achieve a new PB of 2.08 hours.”
Sue Sleath travelled to Wales to take part in the Trail Event Company’s “long half” (16 miles) in the Brecon Beacons. Sue was 3rd lady and 1st vet in a time of 2:33 hours on a route that covered 900m of climbing.
Debby Ferre completed the Cotswold 113 Middle Distance Tri in an impressive time of 6:20 hours. Debby said “I was really pleased with how it went despite the bad weather. Torrential rain was forecast for most of the race though thankfully the worst was over by the time I started the bike course. The swim (1900metres) is one large loop of Lake 32 in Ashton Keynes; the bike section (93kms) is two laps of beautiful Cotswold villages & the run (21kms) is three laps of trails around the lake. The support was fantastic & the medal was massive! I was very pleased to come 6th in my age group.”
Finally, proving that running isn’t just about racing, Alice Lane fulfilled a long-held ambition to circumnavigate the Isle of Wight on foot. Alice said: “as a committed trail runner, I have always felt anything with a footpath sign deserves exploring, so I decided to dedicate a few days to running the Isle of Wight coastal path. I felt if I ran a little over half marathon distance a day (with one day of just under 20 miles), it would leave me enough time to have a sea swim, a pub lunch and explore the Island.
My start point was Ventnor, where we rented a cottage for the week. With the help of the ordnance survey map app (I am hopeless with directions!) I set off from the coastal path sign on the seafront. My husband planned the route for me and collected me at the end of each section, dropping me back the following day so I could complete the next one.
The coastal path is relatively straightforward to follow, however, much of the island is on clay and therefore victim to coastal erosion, and in places the coastal path was a casualty of this. There were some interesting diversions, the most memorable being the Devil’s chimney, a rather snug rock cleft between Bonchurch and Luccombe, where the surrounding forest is like a tropical jungle.
The weather was perfect for running, with some island breezes and light drizzle. The final two days I was joined by a friend who offered wonderful moral support. On paper, covering 72 miles in five days sounds quite ‘doable’, but by the end I was feeling rather weary and cheerful company was much appreciated.
It was a truly invigorating experience to see all the wonders the Isle of Wight has to offer: quiet beaches with golden sand and clear water; forest tracks where I didn’t see a soul for miles; open fields with wooden bridges built across the marshlands; skylarks happily greeting the day and the impressive sight of the Needles reaching out from the west side of the island from Tennyson Down. This is the joy of running and walking: it gives us a chance to really take in what we have locally; places that are still waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.”