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Voice of the runner: what you want from your club

Thanks to everybody that took the time to complete our recent members survey.  Our original plan was to get this summary out to you in the very next Relay, but with everything turned upside down that clearly hasn’t happened.

But even though we can’t meet and train together right now, that doesn’t mean we can’t plan for all the amazing stuff we’re going to do together once’ we’re through this.

What we need more than ever right now is positivity, and you delivered in your droves with the amazing and constructive suggestions you gave us.

Overall, I think it’s fair to say we are diverse bunch of runners, but what ties us all together is a love of running and a desire to retain the heart and soul of what makes us Romsey Road Runners. The challenge for the committee and session leaders comes from the fact we have members on both ends of a number of spectrums:

  • Some want shorter session, others want longer ones
  • Some want more change and variety, others want consistency and familiarity
  • Some want more fun and social running, others want focus and structure

The secret will be in trying to offer choice, whilst not fundamentally changing the nature of the club – a challenge we accept!!

Training: When it comes to Mon and Thu training the preference is, just marginally, to try and keep to these two days but offer more variety of session types.

In terms of the types of new sessions we could add they all seemed popular; but strength & conditioning, winter-track, coached sessions and cross-country come out top.

Looking for quick wins we are planning to some new session types, when we are able.  As ever we encourage you to give them a go and provide feedback:

  • A return to meeting at Woodley Hall for Mon Braishfield sessions now we can run out on the new pathway
  • An optional cross-county training session every other week run alongside regular sessions, led by James Battle and Steve Geary.
  • A 10-week strength and conditioning course led by Becky Tovey
  • And for later this year/early next year some structured training programmes for particular races/distances led by coaches Becky and Ian

Social: The clear theme around social events was for us to just try some different things and a larger number of smaller events throughout the year.  Lee & Steve has some great ideas, including combining the cross-country sessions with some social elements in the summer – look out for the run/pizza/beer combo!

Relay: Whilst Relay is clearly loved, a number of you raised the issue of going digital and asking if there was a more modern way to share news from across the club.  Well, they do say that necessity is the mother of invention and the new blog that has evolved over the past few weeks is evidence of that.  And we are already trying to accommodate some of your suggestion for content; recipes, book/podcast reviews and a focus on a wider range of distances and event types, etc.  I am sure Relay will be back before too long, but maybe in a slightly different format??

Kit: It would seem that on the whole you are happy with the kit offered by the club, but Tam is going to look into options for some sort of zipped/hooded top to be worn over our running kit for travelling to and from training and races.  We also loved the idea of a sew/iron on badge so we could customise our own pieces of kit.

Home Run

There will be a home run from my Ken West’s house in Shootash on Monday, 31 July at 1830. Food and drink after for the usual £2 donation per head.  There will be two run routes: one about 75 minutes and one about 45 minutes.

Southampton Marathon Photos

Southampton Marathon 2017
Neil in amongst it...
Neil in amongst it...
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Marathon Magnificence!

What a weekend this was for runners! Our road runners were out in force, representing Romsey in the London Marathon, Southampton Half Marathon, Full Marathon, 10K and the Houghton 11k trail race. The blue and yellow vests provided some stunning performances both home and away.

RRR Southampton and London Finishers - 2017
RRR Southampton and London Finishers – 2017

In sunny London, the 26.2 miles of tarmac, starting at Greenwich and ending in front of Buckingham place, were pounded by five Romsey representatives amongst 40,000 other runners, the most finishers ever to date. First time London marathon runner Joanna McKenzie represented Romsey by taking up the esteemed club place. Jo completed the race in a time of 4:20, a personal best despite cramping for the last six miles! Tamatha Ryan experienced the privilege of taking up her well-earned championship place finishing in 3 hours 41 minutes. Other fantastic times included Marie Duignan 3:23, James Cole 3:41 and Ian Winkworth 3:57 all who enjoyed the atmosphere despite the pain!

Closer to home, ten thousand runners took part in the three Southampton races. Neil Jennings completed his debut marathon blasting it out in sub 3 hours, finishing an awesome 12th overall with a chip time of 2 hours 59 minutes. Fantastic marathon performances were also recorded by Paul Burnage 3:44 and Dave Gardner 3:49 (a personal best). The Southampton half marathon was entered by eleven Romsey runners recording a good set of strong results: Mark Stileman 1:24, James Battle 1:26, Dan Lurcock 1:37 (PB), Paul Whitaker 1:49, John Quayle 1:49, Penny Jennings 1:50, Mark Winkworth 1:55, Jeremy Hartley 1:55, Ben Sharman 1:55, Liz Prinsep 2:03, Jane Jackson 2:22. Last but no means least, six runners took part in the Southampton 10K which was entered by more than 1,600 runners. First home for Romsey was Alex Princep 41:42, followed by Ray Webb 50:46, Colin Williams 57:29, Lynda Webb 1:02, Ruth Page 1:10 and Naomi Farrington 1:16.

Houghton 11k - 2017
Houghton 11k – 2017

Meanwhile off-road at Houghton, just outside Stockbridge, ten Romsey road runners completed the 11k trail race. This cross-country course is set in beautiful scenery through bluebell fields and incorporating a few hills. The runners soaked up the sunshine enjoying both the course and the cakes at the end! Times included Steve Reed 52:44, Steve Edwards 54:20, Becca Lurcock 54:31, Andrew Archibald 56:00, Lynda Brown 57:07, Dorota Hatch 1:07, Nikki Skeats 1:08, Bridget Wells 1:11, Derek Kelly 1:15 and Julia Abab 1:15.

Finally, the previous weekend saw Mark Stileman complete the Isle of Wight’s West Wight three hills race finishing 8th overall in a time of 54:26 and Sue Sleath ran a fabulous time of 3.36.20 in the Boston marathon.

Southampton Marathon 2017
Neil in amongst it...
Neil in amongst it...
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Pasta Party

We are pleased to announce that our annual Pasta Party has been booked for Tuesday 18th April 2017 at The Sun Inn (Winchester Road, Romsey SO51 7JG) at 7pm for 7.30pm sit down to eat. (Parking available behind the pub.)

There’ll be a set menu, at a special price of just £10.00 per head (drinks, desserts and coffee can be ordered and paid for separately on the night).

If you wish to come along and support our London Marathon and Southampton Half Marathon/Marathon entrants, please complete this form and hand it to David Nixon or Liz Slade by Thursday 13th April – along with payment details (cheques made payable to Romsey Road Runners).  Alternatively email the form to [email protected].


  • Beef lasagne
  • Mild Bean Chilli with Rice (suitable for gluten free and lactose intolerant)
  • Garlic bread
  • Green Salad

Please let us know if you have any other dietary requirements (the pub is very accommodating)

Results Round Up – 04/05/16

Harewood Forest 10k - 2016
Harewood Forest 10k – 2016

It was a great start to May for the Romsey Road Runners, with a hardy bunch of 8 taking part in this year’s relentlessly hilly Harewood Forest 10k.  The course was a lovely mix of track, road and grass, with the stunning Wherwell village serving as the perfect backdrop and having the best part of the day’s weather too.

First home for Romsey was Neil Jennings, in an amazing time of 40:18, to bring him home 5th overall.  Next came Rob Webb, in 20th position with a time of 48:00, followed by Hannah Hunt, cruising home in 54:47 to make her 9th lady.  Following home for Romsey was Alice Lane in 56:25, Penny Jennings in 57:52, Julia Abab in 59:28, Anna Duignan in 1:01:00 and Derek Kelly, who crossed the line in 1:05:00.  All fantastic times for what was a demanding 10k course on tired legs, just one week after many of the runners completed the Southampton Half!  Next up for Derek, Julia, Alice and Liz is the Wootton Bassett Triathlon on the 15th.

Message from the Chairman

After the CC6 in Dibden Enclosure on the 22nd of November we received a complaint from a dog walker with her young child alleging that a Romsey Road Runner swore at her during the race. While there were no other witnesses, and we have been unable to identify the runner in question, as a club we have to take this kind of incident seriously and I would like to take this opportunity to remind us all of the need to demonstrate good behaviours when running on shared use land.
Both the CC6 and RR10 races make use of land owned by the Forestry Commission and race permissions are only granted on the grounds that it doesn’t interfere with other users of the land. Incidents like this could lead to the withdrawal of permissions and the end of CC6 and RR10 races at some of the venues we enjoy regularly.
I know that the vast majority of races pass off without incident and I struggle to believe that anyone in our club could behave this way but please do make sure that even in the heat of a race we display the right behaviours to those around us.

FREE PIZZA! (Notice of Club AGM)

The club AGM is being held on Wednesday the 11th of November, 7.30pm at Crossfield hall (opposite Aldi). It would be great to see as many members as possible – there will be Pizza afterwards!
If you have any items you would like considered by the club at the AGM please send to me or have a chat with one of the Committee members
There are a number of committee vacancies that need to be filled at the AGM:
Treasurer; See Mark Stileman for more details but the role involves keeping track of the club’s finances. The club is set up with on-line banking and Mark has some excellent spreadsheets.
Press Secretary: The role of press secretary involves collating any race results or news items from club member’s together with photographs and drafting them into a short article for both the web and Romsey Advertiser.
The onus is on the club member to send any news worthy results, funny stories or anecdotes with a photo (makes it more  interesting and likely to get in the press) by to the press secretary by Tuesday evening so that they can be included in that weeks copy of the RA. Very rewarding!!
Social Secretary(ies); Organising the social side of club life is a lot of fun – and it’s a role that’s made for sharing. The main activities over the year are: booking and organising the Pasta Party and Quiz Night ahead of the London Marathon in April; arranging the post-Beer Race barbecue in June; organising a club weekend away (optional); and booking and organising the Awards Night in November. There is also scope to organise social and home runs – or anything else you think will enhance club life. A more detailed crib sheet will be available for anyone taking on the role.
Session Leader Coordinator – coordinate and promote quarterly training schedule, organise regular meetings with Session Leaders, record time trial results and predicted times for handicap.
Newsletter editor; Di is happy to continue with this on a temporary basis but anyone who wants to take on the role would be very welcome. Ask Di for more details.
Feel free to ask Jo or other committee members any questions.
Marathon place; The draw for the (one) marathon pace will take place at the AGM. Please could anyone with a rejection e-mail/ letter (I believe they will all be sent by Wednesday!) who would like to go in the club ballot please show Jo your rejection letter, before the 9th of November. Jo will be at club nights more from this Thursday.

Happy Birthday Romsey Road Runners!

On Sunday 13 September, around 50 past and present members of the club met at the Mill Arms in Dunbridge to celebrate 30 years of Romsey Road Runners. Led by two of the club’s founding members, Keith Stone and Steve Lees, the group divided, some opting for the seven-mile run while others enjoyed a four-mile walk before returning to the pub for baguettes and chips then birthday cake. Great fun! The full story of the club’s history can be found in the current issue of Relay.

Founding Members Keith Stone & Steve Lees
Founding Members Keith Stone & Steve Lees

The Walkers
The Walkers

The Runners
The Runners

50 RRRs
50 RRRs

Results Round Up – 24/03/15

Neil Payne completed the New Forest Running Festival 20 mile race on Sunday 22nd March, finishing in a time of 3hrs 28 mins. The event took runners on a mixture of gravel tracks and off road bridleways through the New Forest starting from Linwood. ‘The event was very well organised event with great feeding stations, it provided excellent preparation for next months the London Marathon,’ said Payne.

Eastleigh 10k 2015
Eastleigh 10k 2015

On the same day, a contingent of RRR participated in the annual Eastleigh 10k. This local event is now very popular and often rewards runners with personal bests (as its on road and flat). According to those taking part, ‘the beautifully sunny day was surprisingly colder than it looked, but warmed up nicely with the sunshine.’ The course and those taking part didn’t disappoint and personal bests came in their masses.

RRR Eastleigh 10k Finishers:

  • Neil Jennings – 37:00 PB
  • James Battle – 37:00 PB
  • Ian Ralph – 38:24
  • Tam Ryan – 41:49 PB
  • Jo Weguelin  – 46:04 PB
  • Ali Solomon 48.11 PB
  • Stuart Cripps – 50:37
  • Debby Ferre – 61:31

Anna’s Retirement Walk

Anna's Retirement Walk 2015
Anna’s Retirement Walk 2015

Anna retired from Test Valley Borough Council recently. To mark the occasion, she lead a walk with participants consisting of fellow work colleagues, friends and some RRRs from Andover to Romsey. The journey was 19 miles in length and took approximately 8.5 hours, including pit stops. The weather was damp on and off but sprints and enthusiasm remained high. A total of £1000 was raised in the process for Cancer UK. We hope you enjoy your retirement, Anna.

Pasta Party!

Our annual Pasta Party – held to give our London Marathon runners a good send-off – will take place on Tuesday 21 April at The Sun on Winchester Road, Romsey. There will be a choice of pasta dishes and garlic bread (and a quiz!) – for a very reasonable £10 per head (partners welcome).

Download this form for further details or to book your place. Speak to Di or Lesley if you have any queries.