Half Marathon

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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.

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.

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.

Gosport finishers

Gosport Half Marathon

Gosport finishers

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

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

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

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

Results Roundup

Tam Ryan and Wayne Windebank recently competed in the Ferndown Sprint Triathlon, consisting of a 400m pool swim, a 11.5 mile bike ride on an out and back road course and finishing with a 5k run made up of 4 laps around the sports field and multi surface pitches at the Ferndown Leisure Centre.

It was Wayne’s first triathlon and only Tam’s second yet she finished 9th lady in a time of 1:55:22. A total of 161 competed in what must be one of the last triathlons of the year, with the winter duathlon season about to start.

Elsewhere, Hardley Runners organised the Solent Half Marathon. This is a picturesque single lap road race starting from Gang Warily Community Centre. It takes runners out towards Beaulieu and then to Exbury and the coast at Lepe, where runners are greeted by crisp sea breezes before heading inland via Fawley and back to Gang Warily. Romsey’s Stuart Cripps finished in 1:48:23.

Results Roundup

RR_071013aThe last week has been a busy one for Romsey Runners, a mix of triathons, half marathons and full marathons scattered all over the place. First, Tam Ryan completed in her first triathlon and won her age category, in 1.16.23 seconds. The Southampton Fast Twitch Triathlon, is a sprint tri consisting of a 400m pool swim, 12.78 mile bike ride and 3 mile run out and back from Applemore Leisure Centre in the New Forest. Also finishing was fellow club member, Jo Weguelin in 1:24:03.

The Clarendon Way half and full marathon took on Sunday 6th October and was unusually dry underfoot. Starting from Salisbury for the full marathon and Broughton for the half participants follow the Clarenden Way cross country to Winchester. The route is undulating but rewarded with stunning views.RR_071013b

First home was Neil Jennings in 1:41:13, followed by Penny Jennings 1:58:23, Hannah Richardson 2:05:29, Ken West 2:07:29, Alice Lane 2:15:25, Robert Gold 2:41:11. Mark Stileman completed the marathon distance,coming in 3rd place overall in a very impressive 3:11:05.

The Great Scottish Run Half Marathon attracted 29,000 runners including Romsey’s own Anna Duignan. Starting in George Square in the centre of Glasglow, runners headed out and crossed the Clyde before heading back to Glasgow Green. Competitors past some of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the Riverside Museum, Finnieston Crane, Clyde Arc, the new Hydro venue, and Bellahouston Park. Anna finished in 2:10:47 and raising money in support of Cancer UK.

And finally, 6 RRR’s took part in the Wiggle New Forest Sportive 70 Mile Cycle Ride. Riders could chose routes of 41, 70 and 102-miles around the New Forest National Park. Around 6,000 cyclists signed up for the Hampshire event, selling it out well in advance of the day. Ian Ralph completed the 70 mile distance in 4 hrs 22 mins, Paul Cutbill, Hannah White, Tam Ryan, Becky Tovey and Sarah White all finished together in 4 hrs 43 mins, whilst Jimmy Hunt completed the 100 mile distance in 5 hours 28mins.

Results Roundup

The Test Way Relay took place on 14th September. Organised by Totton Runners and transcending the Test Way, this off road event is very popular with local running clubs. A total of 8 runners; male, female or a mix team complete 8 legs of distances varying between 7.1 km to 11.2 km. The event starts at Inkpen Beacon early in the morning and runners head south, finishing leg 8 in Totton.

The Romsey mixed team finished 3rd in a total time of 5 hours 40 minutes and 59 secs; behind Stubbington finishing 2nd and Totton who were the winners.

Taking part in the New Forest half marathon a week later were Christopher Stocks, completing the course in 1:49:33 and Max Dawson in 2:21:34. Finishing the full marathon was Elaine Armstrong in just over the 4 hour mark in 4:06:51. The weather was warm and humid; with little breeze, perfect for a long Sunday run with friends through the picturesque New Forest. This undulating route starts and finishes from New Milton with loops out to Sway and Burley on-route.

RR_30092013Lynda Brown ran the Eton Man 10k – a fast flat course around Dorney Lake, at the Eton Rowing Club in a personal best. Lynda finished in 44:12, securing her in 3rd place lady and 1st in age category.

Also out competing, Jimmy Hunt finished the New Forest Middle Distance Triathlon (half Ironman) in 4 hrs 55 minutes, finishing 19th in a field of 230. Hunt completed a 1.9km open water swim, followed by 56miles on 2 lap route around the northern part of the New Forest, taking in Fordingbridge, Rockbourne and Sandleheath and ended with a tough and undulating out-and-back run of 13.9 miles on bridleways.

Results Roundup

RR_17062013b20 Romsey Road Runners and partners headed to Plymouth over late May Bank Holiday for the club’s annual weekend away, which coincided with the final event in Endurance Life’s Coastal Trail Series.

Members competed in the 10k and half marathon races, which were held at the private Flete Estate in South Devon near Ivybridge. On a glorious day with a cool breeze, the half-marathon course followed the spectacular Erme Estuary and took the field through woodland awash with wild garlic and flowers, along the clifftops and fields before finishing by wading through the estuary (fortunately at low tide) before a 1.5 mile climb to the finish. Continue reading

Results Roundup

RR_25032013_1Freezing conditions and chilling winds met runners at a local level when eight Romsey Road Runners took part in the annual Eastleigh 10k, with several of them managing a personal best. Runners completed a single lap through Eastleigh, finishing on the damp grass outside Fleming Park Leisure Centre.

Romsey finishers included Ian Ralph 39:45(PB), Wayne Windebank 41:08(PB), Paul Burnage 43:10, Hannah White45:43(PB), Heidi Godfrey 48:29, Christopher Stocks 49:02, Alice Lane 51:49(PB) and Dave Evenden 1:01:31.

Three RRRs also braved freezing conditions to take part in the Cranleigh 15/21 last Sunday. Lynda Brown and Di Cross, both training for the London Marathon, tackled the 21-mile route, while Mark Adams ran the 15-mile event with Di, leaving her to complete the final six-mile lap on her own. He finished 72nd overall in a time of 2:10:42. Lynda finished 153rd overall in a great time of 2:49:18, she was the 27th woman to complete the course and 11th in category (VW35). Di followed in 3:01:19, 244th overall and 12th in category (VW45). Continue reading

Results Roundup

The Bramley 10/20 mile road race took place on Sunday 17 February, organised by Reading Road Runners. The route is entirely on road, mostly flat, with a couple of undulating sections, using Bramley Primary School as the start and finish point.

This is a key event for all those preparing for a spring marathon and is used to indicate how training is progressing. The conditions were perfect for the longer distances; cool and sunny. There is a choice of a single 10 mile lap, or two laps making 20 miles.

Max Dawson completed 10 miles in 1:48:21. Tackling the 20 miles were: Jimmy Hunt, finishing in 103rd position in 2:15:27, Tam Ryan 2:28:51 (PB), Lynda Brown 2:38:17 (PB) and Sarah Thorn who completed her first run at this distance in 3:02:38.  Continue reading

Results Roundup

Results roundup 181112A dry crisp Sunday morning set the scene for the Gosport Half marathon. There was a good turn out of Romsey Runners with 8 taking part. Conditions for runners were near perfect, little wind, cool and dry. The course is flat and provided a number of runners with personal bests. First Romsey man home was Jimmy Hunt in 1:19:38; first Romsey lady was Lynda Brown in 1:37:31, both PBs. Continue reading

Results Roundup

Results roundup 141012Sunday 14th October saw both the Liverpool Marathon and Oxford Half Marathon take place. Romsey runner, Lynda Brown took part in the Oxford event with her brother, Michael Todd. The race was started by Oxford resident Sir Roger Bannister, from the Kassam Stadium. Over 4,000 participants raced through Oxford’s streets, taking in the sights of the Thames towpath and the Cowley car factory, whilst being cheered on by supporters. Both siblings ran the event together, finishing in an impressive 1 hour 41 minutes – a good sub 8 minute mile pace. This was a 4 minute improvement for Lynda, 1:41:24, and marked the first ever half marathon for her brother,1:41:37, – PB’s all round! Continue reading

Results Roundup

Results roundup 071012Five Romsey runners took part in the Clarendon Half Marathon on Sunday 8th October, an annual event now organised by the Rotary Clubs of Winchester and Salisbury. The day includes a cross-country marathon from Salisbury to Winchester along the Clarendon Way, with the half marathon joining from Broughton to Winchester. The route was undulating with the ground underfoot quite wet from a lot of rain over the week leading up to the event. On the day, it was dry and the sun shone for most of it; excellent conditions for Amanda Hull to claim 1st female club position and 3rd senior female. Finishers: Amanda Hull 01:36:56, Candice Snelling 01:49:37, Fiona Crowther 01:53:57, Penny Jennings 01:59:28 and Charlotte Maslen 02:21:15. Continue reading

Results Roundup

Results roundup 230912Wet and blustery conditions did not deter Amanda Hull from Romsey Road Runners from achieving an outstanding performance in the recent New Forest Half Marathon. Amanda completed the undulating course in 1:28:05 – gaining automatic entry to next year’s London Marathon. Amanda finished 3rd female and was presented with her prize by local well known athlete, Liz Yelling. Wendy Yelland and Elaine Armstrong also completed with times of 1:44:23 and 2:11:15 respectively. Continue reading