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Lots of runners, mostly in purple shirts and medals outside a village hall

A very busy March race report

It’s been a fantastic month for the Romsey Road Runners. We’ve had great results in ultramarathons to 10ks and everything in between!

The start of the month saw the last race of the CC6 Cross Country season at Itchen Valley Country park. For a club of our size we ranked very well in the final championship standings. With Jonathan Pillinger-Cork winning his age category and coming 4th overall, Hannah Shutt 4th in the women’s results, Ray Webb 2nd in his age category and Penny Jennings, Lin Windsor and Elizabeth Prinsep 4th, 5th and 6th in theirs. As always it was a great season and a fantastic free way for members of the club to get into cross country racing. We look forward to the next season in the autumn.

10 runners in Romsey vests at CC6 event
Runners at the final CC6 Race at Itchen Valley Coutry Park

Sunday 17th March was an extremely busy day for members of the club. Four members participated in the Hundred Hills 50k Ultra Marathon in the Chilterns. Hannah Shutt finished in just 5:01:22 and was 4th lady, Ian Ralph in 5:20:16, Steven Melligan-Hart in 5:28:27 (his first ultra!) and Susie Parker in 6:36:25.

Four runners in various attire at the Hundred Hills ultra
Susie Parker, Ian Ralph, Steven Melligan-Hart and Hannah Shutt at the Hundred Hills Ultra-Marathon

As a bit of a club staple it was no surprise that we had a great turn out at the Salisbury 10 with seven club members taking part. Matt Bennett was 7th with another strong performance, finishing in just 57:20. Other great club results were Mark Stileman (1:01:26), Neil Jennings (1:08:19), Elizabeth Prinsep (1:12:03 – a 10 mile PB!), Duncan MacDonald (1:16:07), Keith Morris (1:19:33) and Penny Jennings (1:27:25).

Hayley Weston ran the Great Welsh Marathon in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire and won the women’s race in a massive PB time of 3:07:24. We look forward to seeing how she does at the Boston Marathon in a few weeks!

Hayley and two other female runners with their trophies and a person dressed as an elephant
Hayley Weston and other female winners at the Great Welsh Marathon with Gorgeous George the mascot

We also had results from Lottie Budd who did the Bath Half in 2:23:28, Nikkie Baptista who ran the Milton Keynes Festival of Running 20 miler in 3:21:24 and John Wheatley and Nigel Hemsted who ran the Ox ‘N’ Wood Trail 20 miler in 2:50:38 and 3:32:15.

The next weekend on the 24th March saw another huge race for the club at the Eastleigh 10k with a huge 27 finishes from the club. Alex Prinsep who has been going from strength to strength over the past year got a 10km PB of 33:43, Alex Young wasn’t far behind with 33:56 and we had some amazing age category results with Amanda Hull, Elizabeth Prinsep and Nigel Hemsted all getting 4th in their age categories and Ray Webb coming 5th in his.

The Eastleigh 10k is my 7th and shortest race to date this year – mainly running Halves, my first was in Tromsø- northern Norway in January. My running calendar is pretty full the next few months including 5 different countries. Eastleigh is special and always so well attended by the Romsey Road Runners!

Lottie Budd

Cracking day for running the Eastleigh 10k. Felt good, but just missed my PB by 1 minute.

Mark Judkins

On the same day believe it or not, we also had Em Gordon run the LDWA Cerne Giant Challenge 20 miler in 4:19:09, Tam Ryan run the 30 version in 7:16:01.

“I did the Cerne Giant Challenge on Sunday, it’s an LDWA event starting & finishing in the picturesque village of Cerne Abbas, gorgeous day rather muddy & hilly with almost 4,500ft elevation but over 31miles of beautiful Dorset countryside.” Tam Ryan

Jack Wood ran the Thames Riverside 20 miler in 2:47:57, David Morrison ran the Fleet Half Marathon in 1:21:00 and Penny Overy run the Queen Elizabeth Country Park Trail Half Marathon in 2:32:00.

14th January RRR Race Report

This weekend saw two well attended races for the Romsey Road Runners; the 36th annual George Skeates Charity Event in Stockbridge and the 4th CC6 event of the season at Ocknell Campsite.

The George Skeates event is a low key affair with options to walk, run or cycle either around 3 or 8 miles on a cross country course. The event has been running since 1986 after George passed away in a motorsport accident in 1985. It was originally organised by Mike Crossman and is now run by his son Jeb in aid of the George Skeates Benevolent Fund which benefits a number of charities.

This year saw thirteen club members enter the event. Karen Keane said that it’s a “Great charity event. Fabulous scenic route with yummy cakes and raffle to finish. Everyone’s a winner!”

13 runners and a dog in running gear at the George Skeates Run
Thirteen runners and a dog at the George Skeates Charity Event

We also saw the 4th CC6 race of the season organised by Hardley Runners and Totton Running Club at Ocknell Campsite in the New Forest. These races are all around 5 miles and are free to members of a number of local clubs including Romsey; they are a fun, low pressure way to get into cross country racing.

Ten Romsey Road Runners competed this weekend, with some great results; Ray Webb coming second in his age category and Jonathan Pillinger-Cork coming third in his. Jonathan said that this week’s race was “Great hilly, muddy and briefly sunny course”.

9 runners in Romsey Road Runners kit at the CC6
Romsey Road Runners at the Ocknell Campsite CC6 Race

New Forest Stinger 2023

This Sunday saw a great turnout of Romsey Road Runners at the New Forest Stinger, as well as a win! The 10 Mile event has been organised by Totton Running Club for a number of years and has always been popular with the club. However this year must have been a record turnout with thirteen entries and some very strong performances!

Matt Hammerton took the overall win in 1:00:37; almost 7 minutes ahead of the second place finisher! Matt has recently qualified for the notoriously tough Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, having spent the last few years eating Ultra Marathons for breakfast. He holds the fastest known time for Clarendon Way as well as the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and won the Test Way Ultra in 2022.

Hannah Shutt was 3rd woman in 1:11:40 and Sue Sleath saw a return to form and with 1st V60 woman in 1:17:16. Neil Jennings finished in 4th place in 1:07:47.

Despite the challenging wet and slippery conditions there were some great times across the board; Ian Ralph 1:11:27, Steven Melligan-Hart 1:13:06, Lorna Crouch 1:17:46, Duncan MacDonald 1:19:30, Nigel Hemsted 1:22:46, Susie Parker 1:27:28, Em Gordon 1:28:51, Penny Jennings 1:34:42 and Penny Overy 1:38:44.

A number of runners in Romsey vests at the New Forest Stinger
Romsey Road Runners at The Stinger
A woman running next to a lake

Hannah’s Lakes in a Day adventure

On 7th October I took part in ‘Lakes in a Day,’ the 50-mile British Trail Running Middle Distance Championship which goes from the top to the bottom of the Lake District. I wanted to see what my limits were. It was absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I was a nervous ball of energy on the start line and had to stop myself sprinting the first few miles, remembering it was 50 miles, not Ganger Farm Park Run! After the first climb, we crossed a waist-high river. It was absolutely terrifying. Then I “ran” (plodded) uphill through a bog with no defined footpath, in a cloud, on my own. When I got to around 600m I starting panicking about descending Hallsfell ridge in 60 mph winds, but we got diverted to avoid the slippery ridge. This added an extra 5km to the overall distance but it was a good thing because the wind knocked me over several times ascending Helvellyn. At that point, I cried on a man called Gary who held my hand till I pulled myself together. 

I told myself I was dropping out at Ambleside, but when I got to Ambleside, changed my shoes, had some squash and realised there was just 35km left to run it all felt bizarrely achievable so I cracked on. I tried to view being submerged in Lake Windermere up to my pants for the next 1km as a good thing, a free ice bath. 

At the final checkpoint, I realised I had a chance of being in the top ten ladies. I was a bit unclear of my actual position but my competitive edge spurred me on in the dark, trying to not confuse sheep eyes with race signage, and I made it in just two minutes ahead of the 5th lady. The first three women did insanely amazing times. For the British Trail Running Championships I’m very happy as a Romsey *Road* Runner who lives nowhere near any mountains to have come fourth! 

I’ll be very happy to not think about racing for a while. It’s been a wild 6 months of training. Fun, but not sustainable!!

11 runners in finishers t-shirts and medals

April 2023 Race Report

April is traditionally the start of marathon season, and members of Romsey Road Runners have been in action throughout the month competing in the iconic 26.2-mile race.

11 runners in finishers t-shirts and medals

Mark Judkins and David Morrison kicked things off for the Club in fine style on April 2nd at the Brighton marathon. Mark set a new PB of 4:37, while David finished in a blistering 3:01, also a new PB. Mark said of his experience: “I had a great Brighton marathon in near perfect conditions. Tough course, but I was pleased with a 1 min PB.”

On the same day, Giovanni Buldrini was in action in Italy, completing the Maratona Di Russi in 4:06, while the day before, Romsey’s Hannah Shutt took on the 50-mile Test Way Ultra finishing in 9:37 hours and coming 1st lady.

April 2nd was also Southampton marathon day. This year, Romsey didn’t have anyone in the marathon event, but there were plenty doing the half and 10k. Neil Jennings ran an impressive 1:19 in the half marathon after recovering from a bout of Covid, followed by Penny Jennings (1:55), Alice Lane (1:56), Susie Parker (1:51), Rob Sherringham (1:51), Sue Sylvester (1:58), Lauren Freestone (running her first half marathon in 2:04), and Emma Bailey (1:57). The 10k saw Mark Stileman pace his friend Mitch Robson to 39:21; Andy Brown finish in 40:56; Steve Melligan-Hart, returning from injury, in 43:28, and Bridget W in 1:15. Also on April 2nd, Romsey’s Lottie Budd (2:07 PB) and Molly Maslen (2:15) headed to Kew Gardens to compete in the half marathon.

Dorota Koschmidder-Hatch ran the Bieg Piasnicki 10k in 1:06 on the 15th April, and on the 16th, Romsey fielded runners in the Manchester marathon, Boston half marathon, Pepperbox Chase half and 10k, and the Newport 10k. 

Andy Brown set a richly-deserved new marathon PB of 3:02 at Manchester, while Sam Weston completed his first marathon in an impressive 3:18. Sam said of the experience: “I went into it equal parts excited and nervous. The crowds and atmosphere made it a lot of fun and I had the opportunity to high five many children and hit lots of Mario power-up mushrooms which I’m sure helped me come under my 3:20 target time.”

Meanwhile, Alice Lane (2:25) and Tom Wharton (1:59) were in action at the Pepperbox Chase half marathon near Salisbury. Lin Windsor completed the 10k in a solid 1:06. Lottie Budd was back in action in Boston, Lincs on the same day, finishing the half marathon in 2:09 after helping a struggling fellow runner to reach the finish line, and Sue Sylvester was in Newport, completing the 10k in 52:19.

April 23rd was London marathon day and Romsey fielded four runners for the event. Penny Overy (4:53), Alice Lane (4:05), Nigel Hemsted (3:27) and Hayley Weston (3:17) took on the wet conditions to do themselves and the Club proud. Alice said of the experience: “it was a cold and very wet start to the annual London marathon. However, the support from the other runners and spectators really made up for it. It’s such a wonderful event bringing out the very best in humankind.”

As the marathon runners were pounding the streets of London, Mark Stileman was in the slightly more rural environs of the Corsham 10k near Bath, where he set a blistering time of 37:21 to come first in age. Tam Ryan and Sue Sleath were also out in the countryside, this time around Avebury, taking part in the 36 mile Pewsey Downsaround. 

Well done to all our brilliant runners.

RRR Race Report March 2023

The weekend of March 18th/ 19th was a busy one in Romsey Road Runners’ calendar. Saturday was the Endurance Life Coastal Trail Series in Sussex. Romsey was ably represented by Matt Hammerton who won the Ultra (53k and 1500m of elevation) in a storming time of 4:27 and Tam Ryan who finished the (also very hilly at 1200m) marathon in a fantastic time of 5:38 to come 2nd in age.

Saturday night was Big Feat Event’s Big Night Out. Romsey’s Hannah Shutt came home first lady in the 16-mile night-running event in a time of 2:06, while Tim Parker took 3rd place in 1:50 and Steve Geary finished in a solid 2:12.

Sunday was the Eastleigh 10k, an event that is always well supported by the club. It’s known for being a fast and mostly flat race and draws over 2000 runners eager to improve their road-running times. This year, twenty-nine members of the club took part and between them produced a great set of results.

A group of about 20 runners wearing green finishers t-shirts and medals
Eastleigh 10k Finishers

Romsey’s Alex Prinsep led the charge by setting a fantastic new PB of 33:57. He was closely followed by Alex Young with an impressive 34:20 and Neil Jennings, who also set a superb new PB of 34:52. Matt Brown came home in 37:34; Andy Brown 43:12; Nigel Hemsted 44:22; Steve Geary 45:00; Liz Prinsep 45:14; Keith Morris 45:55; Alice Jenden with a super-impressive first 10k time of 46:40; Susie Parker 48:28; Mark Judkins with a fantastic 50-second new PB of 48:47; Emma Bailey 49:12; Ray Webb 50:39; Lauren Freestone with an impressive new PB of 54:11; Stuart Rowe 55:16; Lottie Budd with a fantastic new PB of 57:55; Sue & Mark Stileman (who were pacing Lottie) 57:55; Nikki Skeates 58:16; Rob Gowman 58:41; Bridget Wells 59:43; Jane Jackson 100:43; Lin Webb 101:42; Gemma Ingason with a great PB of 104:36; Deborah Rees 111:26; Clare Somerton 111:48 Jessie Hughes 112:24 and Karen Collins with a great post-Covid time of 120:53. They all did themselves and the club proud.

Alice Jenden said of her Eastleigh experience “I had been doing the 10k training programme led by Ian and Steve. The programme prepared me really well for the race, and although it was tough, crossing the finish line and achieving a PB was just amazing! Thank you to Steve and Ian.” Nigel Hemsted noted that “although it’s not the most attractive course, the Eastleigh 10k is a very well organised race, and fast with only one hill to contend with. I set off with a target of 45 minutes, and was able to run with the 45min pacemakers for the first half of the race. I then passed them and finished in a time of 44:21.” Alex Young reflected that he “really enjoyed the event, especially seeing my club mates achieve their goals, and I’m motivated to apply myself to training with the aim to improve on my time next year.”

Finally, Alice Lane rounded off an excellent weekend of racing for the Club by heading down to Dorset to take part in the LDWA’s Cerne Giant trail ultra. This was part of Alice’s preparation for the Lakeland 50-mile race in July. Alice completed the challenging event in a superb time of 6:52 hours. She commented afterwards that it was “fab” with “lots of hills and mud and beautiful sunshine all day. The LDWA were amazing, supplying lots of food and I got a certificate too.”

Ronners in blue Great South Run finishers t-shirts

RRR in action at the Great South Run

The Great South is a ten-mile road race held on the streets of Portsmouth with a field of 25,000. It’s usually well represented by the Romsey Road Runners and this year was no exception, with 19 members taking part. The weather Gods were smiling and the day dawned bright and fair- perfect conditions for running – so the club was hoping for good results and the runners did not disappoint.

Ronners in blue Great South Run finishers t-shirts
Great South Run Finishers

Ryan Snell was the first RRR to finish in an impressive time of 56:36, swiftly followed by Matt Brown in 1:02. Sam Weston followed soon after in a very creditable 1:09, setting himself a new PB in the process, while his wife Hayley was just behind him in 1:11, also setting a new PB. Nigel Hemsted finished in 1:15; John Quayle 1:17; Em Gordon also 1:17; Liz Prinsep 1:19; James Byrne 1:25; Mark Judkins also 1:25 and setting himself a new PB into the bargain; Ray Webb 1:25; Nikkie Baptista 1:26; Lin Windsor, who was running in her first ten-mile event having taken up running the previous year, finished in a superb time of 1:30; Cliff Reeves 1:36; Lottie Budd 1:37; Lin Webb 1:44; Bridget Wells 1:46 and Gemma Ingason in 2:03, also setting a new PB.

The Studland Stampede, a 12k (7.5Mile) multi terrain trail run starting and finishing on the beautiful Studland beach, was also held on Sunday. The route offers stunning views of Old Harry Rocks, Brownsea Island and the Isle of Wight and is not for the faint-hearted. Sue Sleath finished in 1.00, 4th lady and 1st in age group; Julia Abab and Derek Kelly both finished in 1.31.

Also on Sunday was the Bath Half, another large city road race consisting of two laps and attracting a field of over 7000. Romsey’s Jonathan Stevens took part, netting himself a PB in a superb time of 1:37. Jonny said: “I set off too quickly but managed to hold on to get a PB. I believe it was a new, revised route this year…my first time. Would recommend the race to others, they’ve managed to find the only flat 13 miles in Bath, bar the last 400 meters!”

21 runners mostly in yellow clarendon shirts with 3 in purple london shirts standing in a field

RRR at the London and Clarendon Marathons 2022

Sunday 2nd October was a busy day for Romsey Road Runners. Four members headed up to London to take part in the marathon, while twenty-five opted to stay closer to home and take part in the Clarendon, a point-to-point race offering several distance options along the ancient Pilgrim Way linking the cities of Salisbury and Winchester.

In London, Alice Lane netted herself a Good For Age qualification for next year’s race by finishing in a superb time of 4:03; Liz Prinsep finished in an impressive 3:48; Ben Sharman in a solid 4:14 and Megan Batchelor, who was running in her first marathon, finished in 3:59.

21 runners mostly in yellow clarendon shirts with 3 in purple london shirts standing in a field
Clarendon and London Marathon Finishers

Megan described the experience as: “a real mix of emotions and a mental test. The crowd lifts you the whole way, I’ve never experienced anything like it. Seeing my family just after mile 18 gave me a huge boost and then seeing them again just before the end was exactly what I needed to keep pushing. I even went for a ‘sprint’ finish at the end. I can honestly say the feeling of crossing that finish line almost gives me the drive to want to do it all again!”

London also offered runners the chance to compete virtually, which is what Romsey’s Hayley Weston did, clocking up a fantastic time of 3:34 to secure herself a Good For Age qualification for 2023. Dave Gardner also took the virtual option, finishing in 6:28.

Back in Hampshire, the Clarendon dawned overcast and wet, stirring memories of 2020 and Storm Alex which turned many of the tracks to muddy rivers. With rain forecast throughout the day everyone was prepared for a similarly soggy outing, but it proved not to be the case as by mid-morning the weather Gods were feeling munificent and the sun shone.

Dorota Koschmidder-Hatch was running her first marathon at the Clarendon and did herself proud in a brilliant time of 5:15. Matt Hammerton, recovering from Covid, took fifth place in 3:11 and Ian Ralph finished in a solid 3:51.

Dorota said of her first marathon: “the support from club members was amazing and the scenery truly made it worthwhile. I really enjoyed the first 24miles, but the last 2 were tough. Will I run another one? Maybe after I forget how much my legs hurt!”

In the half marathon, Romsey’s Neil Jennings blasted his way to victory, taking first place with a superb time of 1:27, while Matt Brown came 5th in 1:43 and Sam Weston 12th in 1:49. Duncan MacDonald 1:52; Nigel Hemsted 1:55; Keith Morris 2:14 and Bob Gold 2:35. Sue Sleath was 2nd lady in 1:50; Penny Jennings 2:13; Sue Sylvester 2:19 and Lottie Budd 2:32.

Sam commented: “I went into the Clarendon Half expecting beautiful views and brutal hills and it did not disappoint! The conditions were absolutely perfect and it was a great motivator to see so many members of the club along the way. Everyone I met was friendly and considerate along the sometimes narrow trails. I’d do this again over an overcrowded city race any day!”

RRR also fielded two Relay teams. The imaginatively named “Get in Gear, feel the Burn and Battle the hills in Style” of Steve Geary, James Byrne, James Battle and Mark Stileman took 4th place in 3:19 while team “Us and Him Again” (Derek Kelly, Anna Duigan, Liz Slade and Julia Abab) finished in 4:47. RRR’s Lin and Ray Webb also ran the Relay with friends Frankie Colling and Sharon Ardley to finish in 4:19.

Derek said “conditions on the first leg were slippery in the rain, but by the time I reached the changeover point and gave the baton to Anna, the rain had stopped and the sun came out. It was still shining when Liz started leg three and it continued shining for Julia on the final leg from Farley Mount to the finish at Winchester. It was a day full of fun and camaraderie with cheering, encouragement and support between the runners. We loved it”.

Smiling runner in a blue hat and red running backpack with backdrop of cliffs and coastline

Race Report – August 2022

August has been notable for two things: heat and drought. Running in hot weather brings its own challenges, mainly trying to keep hydrated while avoiding heat stroke. Ryan Snell navigated both during the Tadley 10k on August 14th. Running in temperatures exceeding 30 degrees, Ryan completed the course in an impressive time of 36:17 to take second place. Ryan said of the event “the Tadley 10k is a pretty route and was well organised by Tadley runners. It was very hot (unsurprising for August) and there was some climbing in the second half.”

The same day, Jonny Stevens was competing in the Newark half marathon, where he set himself an impressive new PB of 1:38. Jonny noted that “the course was fast and flat and it was a proper warm day, over 30 degrees by the time I finished! I got a PB so it was all worth it. It’s definitely a race I would go back to.”

The following weekend things had cooled down a bit, which was just as well as Alice Lane was taking on the very challenging LDWA event the Dorset Doddle. This involved running from Weymouth to Swanage, a distance of over 32 miles with 1800m elevation. Alice, a seasoned long-distance runner, completed the course in 7:37 hours.

Smiling runner in a blue hat and red running backpack with backdrop of cliffs and coastline
Alice Lane at the Dorset Doddle

On the same day, Romsey’s Lottie Budd took part in the Big Pilgrimage, a 15-mile run that follows a Pilgrim Way recently rediscovered on the 13th century Gough Map. Lottie, who completed the run in a time of 2:50 hours, said of the experience: “the Big Pilgrimage has to be my favourite race so far. It’s very varied trail but predominantly follows the coast from Southampton to Titchfield with a short ferry ride en route. Despite talking a wrong turn and joining the marathon runners for a short bit, I came 7th in my age group.”

Also competing on August 21st were Louise Holliday and Megan Batchelor who crossed the water to the Isle of Wight to take part in the Ryde half marathon. Louise finished in an excellent time of 2:18 hours, while Megan netted herself a fantastic new PB of 1:55.

Louise said of the race “the Ryde half marathon is an undulating course through Ryde, Nettlestone and St Helens. Some of it was off-road on gravel tracks but otherwise it was mostly on quiet lanes. It was a small, low-key event with only around 200 runners but it was very friendly and I would definitely do it again. I had some trepidation as the race was in the middle of the day in August, but luckily it was a lovely cool morning with glimpses of the sea over the fields every so often to make us think refreshing thoughts!”

Finally, Romsey were in action in the inter-club competition The Mile of Miles at the end of the month. The club fielded two teams for this popular event which this year was held at the athletics track at Mountbatten School. Each team consisted of ten members, with each member running a mile over four laps of the track. Romsey’s teams posted times of 1:06:03 and 1:08:59 respectively, with the faster team taking 8th place overall.

Susie Parker at the Snowdonia Trail Marathon

Race Report – July 2022

July was another busy month for the members of Romsey Road Runners. James Byrne kicked things off in style at the Goodwood Duathlon taking 20th place in a time of 1:19. James said of the run-cycle-run event: ‘having been to Goodwood many times for the motoring festivals it was a unique experience to be competing in an event on the racetrack. Being a (mainly) flat course we could get up to some good speeds on the cycling section (despite the headwind!). It was a thoroughly enjoyable day. We were even treated to a spitfire flypast at the start of the run which was a bonus!’

The same weekend, Matthew Hammerton took part in the 3000m elevation UTS (ultra-trail Snowdonia) 50k, which is part of the UTMB (ultra-trail Mont Blanc) World Series. Matt came an impressive 3rd in a time of 5:51, qualifying for the OCC UTMB 50k race in Switzerland in the process. Meanwhile, Alice Lane and Nigel Hemstead travelled down to Dorset to take on the Charmouth Challenge, a hilly 8-mile run along the coast near Golden Cap. Alice finished in 1:26 and Nigel in 1:18. Alice then headed up to the Lake District for Derwent Athletic Club’s midweek Lambfoot Leap, a 10k fell race, which she completed in 55:25.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and it was time for the Snowdonia Trail marathon which coincided with a heatwave. Romsey’s Susie Parker proved she was more than up to the challenge of both mountain and weather, completing the 27-mile, 1865m elevation route in a superb time of 6:49. Susie described the run as ‘beautiful but brutal.’  She went on to say that ‘the heat pushed me to my very limits and I really struggled at times, but I got through it, met some incredible people and feel proud to have conquered it!’

Susie Parker at the Snowdonia Trail Marathon

The weekend after Snowdon, Ian Ralph and Matt Hammerton took on another tough challenge in yet another heatwave, this time the Wendover Woods night 50k. The route consisted of three ten-mile laps with an accumulated elevation of 1800m, so it was not for the faint-hearted. Matt took first place with a new course record of 4:27, while Ian, who was returning from a knee injury, completed the route in a solid time of 6:20 to take a well-earnt 34th place. 

Matt summed up the event as ‘tough but fantastically well organised,’ while Ian commented that ‘on the face of it, a night race on the hottest weekend of the year should have been ideal, but the temperature never got below 15 degrees all night, and it was tough and sticky going for all the runners. It was a case of surviving up the steep climbs then trying to stay on your feet as you got running again while navigating the trails in darkness with only your head torch to show you the way.’

Lottie Budd was also racing on the hottest weekend of the year so far, completing the Dorney Lake half marathon in 2:17 to take 25th place, coming second in her age category. Roll forward a couple of weeks and Lottie was in action again, this time at the Piggy Plod, a hot, hilly 10.5k race set on a cider farm in Dorset. Lottie finished the race in 1:08, taking first place in her age category.

Ryan Snell winning the Dartmoor Discovery 2022

Race Report – June 2022

The past fortnight has seen a plethora of Romsey Road Runners in action on the roads and trails of southern England. On Saturday, 11th June, Ryan Snell was busy representing the club at the Dartmoor Discovery, a hilly road race of 1,152m elevation spread over 32.5 miles. Ryan stormed home in 3:46 hours to take a well-deserved first place. 

Ryan said of the race: “this is the best race I’ve ever done for so many reasons. The organisation is incredible, with every detail thought through from registration to the disco at the end. To be waited on with all the food and drink you want is brilliant, and to have your own drinks at super-friendly drinks stations makes a massive difference too – you don’t have to carry anything if you don’t want to. The course is obviously stunning, totally brutal and a real test – anyone who can get around it is an awesome runner. Claire on the lead bike was so much more than just a person to follow. It was pretty much non-stop encouragement and positivity all the way (except when distracted by David Tomlin!), while the ‘well lubricated’ announcer was fab. The atmosphere got better and better as more finishers were there to cheer their fellow runners home. The t shirts and medals were excellent as was the hoody. It was also really nice having Dartmoor Discovery legend Sian Longthorpe buzzing around the course with her cow bell and smiles. This race was a big one for me after giving up at 20 miles in 2017; it was a total privilege to come back and lay those demons to rest.”

Ryan Snell winning the Dartmoor Discovery 2022
Ryan Snell winning the Dartmoor Discovery 2022

The following day, Alice Lane was in Wales for the Man V Horse, a tough 22-mile race involving horses and runners, with the aim of seeing whether a human can beat a horse to the finish. Alice was running the relay, but ended up doing two legs of the hilly course when one of her team-mates fell ill. She finished in an impressive time of 2:54 hours, having run 14 miles over an elevation of 740m. The event was won by a human for only the third time in its 42-year history.

Meanwhile, Susie Parker was busy competing in the Dorset at the Big Sea 18-mile event on the Purbecks near Corfe Castle. Susie finished in an impressive time of 3:27 hours and said of the experience: “it was the perfect run for a sunny day – views of the Purbecks and a stunning run into Corfe Castle – even better that I could cool off in the sea afterwards!”

The same weekend, Alex Prinsep took on the Dorney Lake Olympic-distance Triathlon, gaining himself a new PB of 2:09 hours; Gemma Quarendon ran the Dorney Lake half marathon in the heat in 2:04, and Keith Stone ran a 200m track event in Winchester in 39:1, ranking 6th in the UK.

The following weekend Alice headed down to Cornwall for the Clovelly marathon, completing the hilly course in a time of 6:49 hours, while Mark Stileman took second place at the Ferndown 10k in a time of 38:05.

Monday evening saw several RRR’s competing in the Copythorne Carnival’s 5 and 10k races. Tim Parker took first place in the 10k in an impressive 35:42 calling the event a “really fun and friendly race”; Matt Cheales, running in his first competitive race, gained an excellent PB of 47:15, and Sue Sylvester came 2nd in her age group in a time of 53:03. 

Matt said of his experience: “I really enjoyed it. It was a lovely route and there was a great atmosphere with a BBQ and music afterwards,” while Sue added: “I enjoyed the race very much. The route was two laps around the country lanes and village of Copythorne. There was a great atmosphere with a pre-race warm up and super support from the villagers all the way round.”

Excelling in the 5k were RRR’s Anna Duigan, who romped home in 29:35 to take first in age, and Wendy Couper who finished in a strong 46:58 to come fourth in age.

Large group of runners running across a field at the start of the 2022 Beer Race

News Round Up – June 2022

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!

Large group of runners running across a field at the start of the 2022 Beer Race
Beer Race. Photo credit: Derek Jennings

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.”

Alice Lane on her Isle of Wight adventure  standing on the coast with a view of the sea
Alice Lane on her Isle of Wight adventure.
Houghton Trail Race Finishers

Race Report – 17th May 2022

The 8th of May was Houghton trail race day. Moira (1:23); Sue (1:04); Ray (1:00); Linn (1:17); Derek (1:20); Julia (1:30); Anna (1:18); Karen (1:24); Alice (1:06); Liz (1:06); Louise (1:15); Gemma (1:28); James (1:23); Amy (1:15) and Giovanni (54:24) all braved the hot weather to complete the 11k race.

Houghton Trail Race Finishers
Houghton Trail Race Finishers

Anna said of the experience: “the Houghton run was an excellent route for its 11k distance across the countryside from the village, including plenty of hills along farm tracks and woodland paths with a good length of the Test Way towards the finish across the valley floor. I found it tough and hot but well worth the effort! The results showed that I had won my age group!!! My time was 1.18.21.” Julia said: “a few of us have done this race for several years now and it was great to be able to return to it after the Covid lay-off. It’s a tough route with some sharp hills but made up for by the stunning scenery when you finally get to the top!” And Moira said: “according to Strava my time was 1 hr 23. I’m going with that one as it is a few seconds quicker than the Houghton race table! (I started my watch when I crossed the start line). Really enjoyable run, good atmosphere and warm!”

Alice headed down to Cornwall mid-week for the Godrevy 10k on the 11th May. This is an evening, off-road hilly run that starts at Godrevy beach before heading out along the coast path to the dunes where it drops down onto the beach and follows the wide expanse of Gwithian sands before finishing by the river. Alice had a super run and finished in a very respectable time of 59:36.

The 15th of May saw Gretel take on the GU36 – a 36-mile hilly circuit of Guernsey, which she completed in an impressive time of 6:55, while Alice, Mark, Bridget and Nicola ran the Netley 10k, a multi-lap course of Royal Victoria Country Park. Mark finished in an impressive time of 37:25, coming 33rd overall and 3rd in age, while Alice finished in 52:12 and Bridget and Nicola in 1:01.

Backyard Ultra 2022 Finishers

Race Report – 2nd May 2022

The bank holiday weekend was a busy one for Romsey Road Runners. Four intrepid friends from the club headed to the Isle of Portland on Friday to undertake an unusual challenge: the Portland Pig Backyard Ultra. Competitors have to run consecutive 4.17 mile laps within an hour, timing it so they can rest and refuel before the bell rings for the next lap. The winner is the last person standing. The record for a Backyard Ultra is 354.2 miles and 85 hours, and the Portland Pig winner eventually finished on 120 miles. Having started running at midday, Ian Ralph and Hannah Shutt called it a day at midnight, after completing an impressive 12 laps in 12 hours and covering 50 miles, while Matthew Hammerton and Becky Tovey ran through the night to finish an amazing 24 laps in 24 hours covering 100 miles. 

Backyard Ultra 2022 Finishers
Backyard Ultra 2022 Finishers

Hannah said of the experience: “I signed up on the spur of the moment, thinking more about a fun weekend camping with mates rather than running in circles for a long time. Over the following months, it dawned on me what I was about to try and do!! Having never run further than 30 miles before I had no idea what I would be capable of, but I knew I needed to finish and still be able to function as a mum, wife and employee by the end of the bank holiday weekend. Ian, Matt and Becky are phenomenal ultra-runners so I learnt a lot from them about how to plan nutrition and pace myself. The first few laps were a lot of fun as we chatted to each other while the sun shone. About 30 miles in I had a bit of a strop- I was starting to ache and I was questioning my life choices – but the joy of this format is that every hour you’re reunited with your friends who encourage you to get going again and shove you over the start line. I absolutely loved running into the night and through the Portland quarries by torchlight. At midnight, 12 hours and 50 miles in, I happily called it a day with Ian. Watching the others continue through the night was exciting. It’s definitely got me thinking about other ultra-marathons in the future but I think I’ll take a few months off long distance for now!!”

Matt said of the experience: “The BYU was always going to be a challenging event. Not just for distance, sleep deprivation and fuelling, but also the fact that speed really didn’t matter. I was definitely out of my comfort zone. The race had fantastic highs – running with mates, the applause as each lap was completed, the party atmosphere back at base. And it had difficult lows – one in the morning with failing muscles and the thought of doing another 11 hours to hit 24. However, the laps ticked by and with the rising sun and fantastic support, those last few laps (cake and cola fuelled) became manageable. I was hugely ecstatic to cross the line for 100 miles beside my fantastic friend and fellow athlete Becky. ‘Just one more?’ the organiser asked us. A brief second passed before we decided – no let’s leave it on a high – we’re done!”

Saturday saw four RRR runners – Sue Sleath (40:00), James Byrne (42:49) and Alice Lane (50:47) – take on the Hurstborne Tarrant 5-mile trail run. Sue said of the event: “It’s a lovely run with a stiff climb at the start but the reward of some beautiful bluebell woods to run through when you reached the high ground.” 

Sunday was Broadlands Relay Marathon day. Romsey have won the event in the past and were keen to do so again, despite fierce competition from the Winterslow Whippets who put Romsey’s A team under pressure from the start. After a very exciting final leg by Matt Bennet, Romsey snatched victory from the Whippets by 42 seconds to win in a time of 2:29 hours. Out of the 112 teams taking part, Romsey’s B team came 8th in 3:05; the C team came 35th in 3:27 and the D team came 83rd in 3:54.

Bank Holiday Monday saw Susie Parker, Alice Lane and Steve Geary take part in the Big Way Round, a multi-distance event staged in the countryside around Winchester. Susie completed the 14-mile event in 2:10, Alice the marathon in 4:55 and Steve finished the 50k, his first experience of ultra-marathon running, in 5:07. 

Monday was also the Harewood Forest 10k. Liz Slade (1:00), Anna Duigan (1:09) and Sue Sleath (48:48) took part, with Liz saying: “The route through the forest was stunning with the bluebells at their absolute best.”

April 2022 Race Finishers

Race Report – April 2022

April 2022 Race Finishers

April has been a busy month for Romsey Road Runners. Ryan Snell kicked off proceedings with an accomplished performance at the Brighton marathon on April 9th, taking 7th place in a blistering time of 2:35. Ryan said of the event: ‘conditions were pretty perfect – sunny but with a gentle cooling crosswind coming off the sea. 8000 runners started in 3 staggered waves and there was plenty of vocal support along the route. All the volunteers and marshals were super-friendly and helpful. I ran to feel rather than HR or pace and felt strong through halfway in 78:04 in about 20th place. I spent the second half working my way through the field and came back in 77:21 for 2:35:25 and 7th place. The last 3 miles were very painful (as normal!) but the big crowds definitely helped.’

On the same day, Lottie Budd took part in the Kew half marathon. Lottie only started running in August 2021 after encouragement from her daughter. She had the Winchester half, which she completed in September 2021, as her initial goal. At Kew, she knocked 26 minutes off her half marathon best by finishing in a time of 2:11. Lottie said of the experience: ‘Kew Gardens is the perfect setting for a half marathon. We ran in the gardens at first, then out along the river Thames and back. It was perfectly flat and very scenic in the beautiful sunshine; the loveliest place to achieve a personal best! My family and I finished off with a picnic in the garden. Being very new to running, it’s days like this that make running perfect.’

Angela Milln also ran the Kew half, finishing in a new PB of 2:17. Angela said: ‘I managed a new half marathon PB (by all of 48 seconds – nothing if not consistent!). I thoroughly recommend the event. The venue is beautiful. It is a flat course and well organised, and there is the added the bonus of being able to stay on in the gardens afterwards.’

Fast forward a couple of weeks and Southampton Marathon Weekend arrived. RRR traditionally fields a strong line up of runners for the four events of 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon, and this year was no exception.

Gretel Hardwick (3:59), John Turner (3:28) and Giovanni Buldrini (4:44) all completed the marathon. Alice Lane (2:01), Paul Kennedy (1:58), Sue Sylvester (1:59), Penny Jennings (1:54), Matt Harris (2:03), Neil Jennings (1:21) and Tim Parker (1:22) completed the half marathon. Tim, who set a 7-minute new PB at the race said: ‘it all came together on the day and I was really spurred on by the amount of support on the course,’ while Alice noted ‘it was a wonderful community atmosphere with incredible support from all the locals coming out of their homes on a sunny spring day to support us.’

Elizabeth Prinsep was 6th placed woman on the 10k in a time of 44:57, with Angela Milln (59:20), Richard Vie (1:07) and Sarah White (57:20) also completing the 10k. Amy Spencer ran the 5k in a solid 28:45.

Salisbury 10 Mile 2022 Finishers

Race Report – 2nd & 3rd April 2022

The weekend of 2nd – 3rd April was another busy one for the club, with Matthew Hammerton kicking things off at the Test Way Ultra on Saturday. Matt won the fifty-mile race, his first competitive run over that distance, in an amazing time of 6:41, a clear 40 minutes ahead of the nearest competitor. He said:

“It was a fantastic event with great conditions. The Test Way was largely dry allowing for a quick pace with minimal boggy bits! With the support of Ian Ralph as crew, I was able to achieve a long-term ambition of running the Test Way with the bonus of achieving 1st place.”

On the same day, Mark Nixon completed the Podium 5k in a fantastic time of 14:50.

Salisbury 10 Mile 2022 Finishers
Salisbury 10 Mile Finishers

On the Sunday, Alice Lane completed the 24k, 942m elevation KVK race in Cornwall in an impressive time of 3:15, despite taking a nasty fall on the route, while Andy Brown (1:08), Susie Parker (1:20 PB), James Byrne (1:22 PB), Nigel Hemsted (1:14), Rob Gowman (1:37 PB), Neil Jennings (58:49), Penny Jennings (1:24), Duncan MacDonald (1:14 PB), Alex Prinsep (58:54 PB), David Morrison (1:07) and Dorota Koschmidder-Hatch (1:34) all ran the local Salisbury ten-mile race. Penny said: “I was thrilled to finish in under 1:25 and found the event brilliantly organised”, while Nigel said:

“We had a perfect morning for running – cool and bright with no wind. The course was very attractive, following the river to the Woodfords and then back to Salisbury.”

James, who was running in his first ten-mile event, said the route went through “superb countryside with a very supportive group of runners,” and Susie noted that it was “a really lovely route, taking in some of the most picturesque scenery round Salisbury.”

Also on the Sunday, Elizabeth Prinsep took first in age in the Manchester Marathon with a brilliant new PB of 3:19. Liz said of the event:

“24,000 runners lined up in near perfect weather conditions. The day started cool but it stayed dry and there was hardly any wind. It was a flat course and there was good crowd support. I felt strong and kept a consistent pace throughout and was really pleased with my new PB.”

Romsey Road Runners at the Eastleigh 10k 2022

Race Report – March 21st 2022

The weekend of March 19th-20th was a busy one for Romsey Road Runners. Saturday saw Nikki Sparkes complete the Lulworth Marathon, a tough run with 1823m of elevation, in a solid time of 6:52:07, while Tim Parker took second place in the Maverick Hampshire trail 16k in an impressive time of 1:05.

On the Sunday, Amy and Giovanni completed the Weymouth half marathon in 2:13 and 1:40 respectively. Amy said of the race: “the course was spectacular, with the first section along the seafront then through a nature reserve, a hill fort and finishing with the harbour. We are both really happy with our results.”

Also on Sunday, James Byrne completed the 5k run, 21k cycle and second 5k run of the Buccaneer Duathlon Sprint at Buckler’s Hard in a fantastic time of 1:54. James said: “being a keen cyclist as well as a runner I was curious to try an event which combined the two. There was a strong headwind during the cycling section but the route through the New Forest was huge fun. I’d highly recommended the event for anybody who is curious about dipping a toe into a multi-sport event.” James had also completed his milestone 25th parkrun the day before.

Sunday was also Eastleigh 10k day. This local road race with PB potential attracts some of the fastest club runners from around the UK. Leading the charge for RRR was Ryan Snell who came 55th overall in a time of 33:58 which got him 7th V40 place. Next in was Neil Jennings who finished the “brutally fast but enjoyable” race in 35:07, quickly followed by Alex Prinsep who set a new PB of 35:24. Mark Stileman was the fourth RRR home, taking 10th V50 place in an impressive post-injury time of 37:23. Mark was very happy to comprehensively beat his previous Eastleigh 10k time of 37:38 set in 2013. Keith Morris (44:13) and Elizabeth Prinsep (43:43, 2nd VF55) both achieved new PBs, with Keith very pleased to “finally go under 45 minutes!”

Romsey Road Runners at the Eastleigh 10k 2022
Some of the Eastleigh 10k training group

Clem Kinsgtone completed her first 10k in five years at Eastleigh in a time of 1:01; Cliff Reeves in 54:01; Steve Geary in 42:46; Rob Gowman in 58:37; Alice Lane in 51:35; Lin Webb in 1:03 and Isabelle Prinsep in 52:58. Gemma Quarendon got herself a PB of 52:04; Dorota KH a PB of 54:19; Lin Windsor a PB of 54:58; Sam Weston a PB of 40:36; James Wardle a PB of 1:04; Gemma Ingason a PB of 1:07; Natalie Gore PB of a 1:08 and Coach Ian Ralph, who was running to support the club’s Eastleigh 10k training group, finished with Natalie in 1:08.

Dorota noted that she was “particularly impressed with our 2021 class of Couch to 5K runners who smashed their first 10k at Eastleigh, less than a year after starting running.” Lin Windsor, one of those 2021 C25Kers, said that she was “really pleased with a time of 54:58 for my first proper race,” adding her thanks to all at the club for their support and encouragement. Natalie Gore, another graduate of the club’s 2021 C25K class, was thrilled to achieve two PBs during the race: her 5k time dropped from 34:04 to 33:30, and her 10k time from 1:14 to 1:08. Sam Weston, who also did the 10k training course said it had been “great to be part of a group of people with a shared goal and a clear training plan. The support we’ve all felt over the last ten weeks and on the day has been a real boost.”

The Grizzly

News Round Up – March 2022

The Grizzly

Romsey Road Runners have been busy representing the club at races across the country in recent weeks. Early February saw Alice Lane travel to Beesands in South Devon to complete the Endurance Life Coastal Trail Series marathon. This is a tough race with over 1300m of elevation. The following weekend, Alice took part in the Greenham Common 40th Anniversary Peace Camp run in chilly, damp conditions, and the week after that she travelled up to Northumbria to take part in another Endurance Life Coastal Trail Series marathon, this time running along the coast to Bamburgh Castle with her dog, Jim. The same weekend, Tom Watson and Gretel Hardwick completed the ten-mile Hard Yard trail run in East Hampshire, while Elizabeth Prinsep ran the Brighton half marathon. Liz said: ” it was a bright day but very cold around the streets of Brighton. There were thousands of runners competing, and the race was well supported with a great crowd. However, the last 3 miles along the sea front were a battle against a strong head wind. All things considered I finished with a strong last km in 1.39.”

Sunday 6 March was another busy day for RRR. Liz Slade, Emily Gordon, Amy Spencer, Elizabeth Prinsep, Alex Prinsep, Neil Jennings, Giovanni Buldrini and Matt Cheales all did the inter-club CC6 competition at Badger Farm in Winchester; Sue Sleath took on the WSR Larmer marathon in Dorset; Louise Holiday ran the Cambridge half marathon with her daughter Sophie; Jane Jackson completed the Bideford half along the beautiful Tarka Trail in Devon, finishing in 2:18 hours, and Alice Lane, Susie Parker, Hannah Shutt and John Horton took on the Grizzly, a tough, twenty-mile race over cliffs and through bogs and rivers around the coast between Seaton and Branscombe.

Louise said of the Cambridge half: “I ran the Cambridge half marathon with my daughter Sophie. Sophie was running for MacMillan Cancer Support in memory of her grandmother who passed away exactly a year before. Amazingly she has raised over £900. The race was Sophie’s first half marathon and my third. It is quite a big event with over 14,000 runners. The course is very picturesque as it winds through King’s College, along the Backs and out to the pretty village of Grantchester. It is also flat which is probably one of the reasons it is so popular! There was great support all along the route with lots of live music which made the event really fun. The weather was also kind to us, although it was pretty chilly at about 3 degrees C – it was a relief to get going but as soon as we had warmed up we both really enjoyed it.”

Romsey 5 2022

Romsey 5 Mile

Romsey 5 2022
Romsey Road Runners at the Romsey 5

Romsey Road Runners turned out in force to support the Romsey 5 at Broadlands last Sunday. They ran the flat, five-mile course in perfect running conditions with Alex Prinsep, returning from injury, taking sixth place for the club in a time of 28:13.

James Byrne, who finished the race in 42:33, said: “I took it a bit cautiously due to a recent knee injury but had enough energy left at the end so I will try and break that time on my next 5-mile race.”

Keith Morris set a new PB of 35:13, knocking 34 seconds off his previous time, while Sam Weston finished in 32:50, 90 seconds faster than two years ago.

John Quayle was also happy with his result of 34:57. He said: “I was aiming for under 35 minutes. I also got a “PB” for the section up to the Gatehouse and back which means I was finishing more strongly than I have done previously.”

New member Angela Milln finished in 43:37. She said: “this was my first race with the benefit of club support (which was fab!) and only 30 seconds short of my PB for this event so I was happy.”

Susie Parker set herself a new PB of 37:18 and noted that “it’s always great to run on home territory and what a super turnout, not just runners but fabulous, enthusiastic supporters. The perfect backdrop for a lovely run!”

Jonny Stevens finished the race in 35:10 and Clem Kingstone, another new member, ran it in 48:48. Clem said she was “glad to have completed my first race of the year. Loved having the supporting cheers of fellow Romsey Road Runners!”

Meanwhile, in Cornwall, Alice Lane was taking on the Stormforce 10, which she described as a “great undulating road race around country roads surrounding the town of Camborne.” Alice finished in an impressive time of 1:26.

Wendy Couper's 250th Parkrun
Wendy Couper’s 250th Parkrun

The same weekend, Wendy Couper completed her 250th Parkrun with friends from the club turning out to support her at Eastleigh parkrun. Everyone at the club is very proud of her.


34th George Skeates Charity Run, Stockbridge

Derek Kelly

Five Romsey Road Runners took part in the 8 Mile George Skeates run on Sunday,
9th of January. The event was established in 1986 by a friend of George, a
Champion British sidecar racer who suffered a spinal injury in a motorsport accident
in 1985, and it is staged in aid of the George Skeates Benevolent Fund which
benefits the spinal injury charity INSPIRE, Wessex Heartbeat and Horacio’s Garden.
As well as the longer running course, there are also walking, a shorter run and
cycling options. 

It’s a friendly, low key event that takes in the fantastic countryside around
Stockbridge, and although this year’s run was boggy in stretches, the sunny weather
made for some stunning views on the higher parts of the course. 

While not being a race as such, Liz Slade and Sue Sylvester were awarded joint 3rd
lady, finishing in 1:21; Julia Abab timed her run as 1:24; Anna Duignan 1:27 and
birthday boy Derek Kelly crossed the line to a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ in 1:31.

Refreshments, including homemade cakes, and a raffle at the end made for a
thoroughly enjoyable morning and it was a great way to kick-start the New Year. The
run has always been well supported by Romsey Road Runners, especially when
there’s no clash with other races this early in the year.