The first race of the Southern Cross Country League took place on 11th October at Pamber Forest, near Tadley. The day was very pleasant after a cold start and there was a little sunshine towards the end to help.
The Pamber Forest route is perhaps the flattest of this season’s 7 races in the series, with only the one hill to combat and that was a bit of sting in the tail as it was at the end. A five mile route starting in a field, the runners enjoyed a downhill start which ended up onto a gravel path into the forest. The path was straight, but after half a mile the path turned from gravel to a mud track and was easy to navigate this year as there has been a lack of rain. This track carried on for another half mile after which the runners came out into a field.
After going through the field you came back into the forest where the paths were quite narrow and twisty, for the next mile. A right turn took the runners onto a wider track with a bit more mud and puddles and then a left turn where the runners crossed a small ditch which was dry. After this point the runners carried along a narrow path which took them back to the gravel path where you started and so the finish was now close. However, starting downhill meant that the finish was up the hill.
The first Alton runner home was Philip Scrase in 101st position followed by Chris Sandy in 107th and then came Tiziano Tesolin 128th, Jeremy Edwards 153rd, Michael Pearce 162nd, Jim Armitage 169th, Dave Molyneux 228th, Richard Scrase 232nd, Terry Newman 237th and Terry Blake 251st. The first Alton lady was Jane Scrase in 88th, who was followed by Karen Masson 110th, Charlotte Featherstone 111th, Elaine Molyneux 164th, Caroline Freeman 176th and Jenny French 183rd. Overall the team came 20th which is a steady start for the season as there are 23 clubs taking place.
On the same day Claire McLeod took part in the Munich Marathon, her first marathon. She completed the course in 4 hours 47 minutes and came 977th.
Previously, Alton Runners had competed in the first 2 Hampshire Road Race League races which took place in September, the results of which were as follows:
On 4th September the Overton 5 Mile took place – Ladies results – Julie Humphries 17th 35:32, Jane Scrase 95th 44:09 and Caroline Freeman 137th 54:28. Men’s results – Alistair Morey 93rd 32:47, John Arbury 167th 36:50, Michael Sennett 174th 37:23, Mike Pearce 186th 38:20, Derek Collins 235th 45:25, and Terry Newman 238th 46:54.
On 27th September the Solent Half Marathon took place – Ladies results – Diane Byrne 1:39:54 16th, Susan Bryan 1:57:39 48th and Fran Light1:57:40 49th. Men’s results – Philip Scrase 1:31:02 57th, Alistair Morey 1:32:01 63rd, David Hayles 1:35:33 87th, Mike Pearce 1:42:34 121st, John Arbury 1:43:25 125th, Michael Sennett 1:56:59 155th and Derek Collins 2:27:50 171st.
The Ladies A Team are currently 4th in A Division 2 and the B Team are 14th in B Division 1. The Men’s A Team are currently 7th in A Division 2 and the B Team are 9th in B Division 2.