From Abu Dhabi to Portsmouth – Haslemere Borders just love to … – Liphook Herald

From Abu Dhabi to Portsmouth – Haslemere Borders just love to …  Liphook Herald

Haslemere Border Athletics Club (HBAC) athletes will travel far and wide to compete, and for one member his challenge took him to Abu Dhabi to participate in the World Triathlon championships.

Paul Seymour had been training extremely hard for all three disciplines – swimming, cycling and running.

Paul’s split times were: swim (1,500m) 23:40, T1 3:51, cycle (38.94km) 59.50, T2 2:16, and run (8.77km) 44:07, with a total finish time of 2:13:43.

Paul excelled himself in the extreme Arabian weather conditions to finish in 11th place in his V45-49 men’s category – an extraordinary achievement.

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Congratulations Paul and yes, you did deserve that beer – or two – at the end.

On Sunday, November 27 grey skies were upon us and in the drizzling rain three HBAC runners headed out of Kingston Sports Ground for the Kingston upon Thames half marathon – which also incorporated a 10km race. The route follows the Tow Path along the River Thames amid the height of activity on the water, adorned with rowers being put through their paces by their coaching team all out to enjoy the lovely weather!

The run incorporated three loops of the same, with one short interval on the last lap, and although mainly on Tarmac, because of the recent weather there was a muddy section throughout which became more challenging as each lap passed. The HBAC trio all finished in excellent times.

First home was Rob Webb in 1:39:15, gaining himself a new personal best, followed by Chris Lee, who had not entered a race for more than a year so was pleased to have finished in 1:41:39, and Philomel Bennett in a time of 1:43:21 to finish as the V50 first lady – not bad after completing a 50-mile Centurion race ten days before.

The Hurtwood 50km event is always a very popular race, with its endless climbs across the Surrey Hills and picturesque landscape, and for three HBAC athletes who had trained hard this was ‘no mean feat’, taking in 4,573ft of elevation along the way. The route starts at Dorking, and follows the Greensand Way passing through Leith Hill, Holmbury Hill and Pitch Hill along the way, before heading back to the finish at Dorking.

First home was Colin Butfield, who completed a superb race in 5:32.11, followed by Rodger Morley in 5:49:14 and Steve Taylor completing his epic race in 6:58:49. Well done chaps – some fantastic running and now time to relax with a well-deserved beer.

As the month of December started, for some thoughts turned to Christmas preparation, while others took up the opportunity to take part in a race, rather than trudging the High Street stores.

First up was running buddies Hesta Gilham and Gemma Reeder, who had chosen to run the Weybridge 10k.

The scenic route offers a mix of town centre, rural and riverside scenery, with a ‘hill’ thrown in as a ‘little surprise’ for Hesta and Gemma – well, who doesn’t love a surprise.

Despite the ‘surprise’ both achieved 10k personal bests, with Hesta finishing in 42:19, and sixth lady, and Gemma finishing in 51:44.

Another set of excellent results, in what has been a very successful year for both.

Elsewhere, others took to the popular Goodwood race circuit to take part in one of the events, in the Goodwood Running GP.

Sammy French completed the 10km event in an excellent time of 53:54, third in her age category and a new 10km personal best – well done Sammy, an excellent day’s work.

As a late entry to the race, Jon Fairs had opted for the half marathon, with a total of five laps to complete the distance. Jon finished in an excellent time of 1:17:16, second in his age category and sixth overall.

Two weeks later on a wet, blustery December day, with the Christmas vibe well under way, a group of 14 excited athletes headed down to Portsmouth for the ever-popular Portsmouth Coastal half marathon, which is known for its festive atmosphere and Christmas treats. For the majority of runners, it was their last race of the year.

There was also one HBAC athlete taking part in the Coastal marathon, which set off from Southsea Castle.

Steve Taylor headed off on his festive jaunt which takes runners along the coastal path up on to the trails above the sea level and then back down again, all the while battling the heavy showers and blustery winds along the way. But with the support from the crowd and the sound of cow bells and musicality Steve was spurred along to complete his race in a superb time of 3:53:03. There was also the added bonus of a pint of beer at the end, along with his prestigious medal!

An hour later the ‘Intrepid 13’ headed off into the head wind and heavy showers for their race and among the group were some of the club’s fastest athletes, who did not disappoint, as Jon Fairs was first home in a time of 1:18:10 and first place overall, a fantastic achievement.

Jon was followed by Dave Jarrett – who was fourth male in 1:23:04, Colin Butfield, who was fifth male in 1:23:49, Luke Brocks 1:25:26, Will Butcher 1:26:30, Tom Millns 1:26:54 and first in his age category, and Daniel Alloway 1:30:19.

Katy Ward finished first in her age group and third lady overall in 1:32:42, followed by Hesta Gilham in 1:39:51, and Sarah Smith, who was third in her age group, in 1:45:22.

Paul Fleming finished in 1:52:23, Tom Bampton 1:57:10 and Louise Bampton 2:16:03.

Completing the line-up was ‘Mr Dopey’ himself, Steve King, who has been clocking up the miles and raising funds for his ‘Dopey Disney Challenge’ in the new year in full festive gear. A tremendous effort from all runners, many of whom grabbed a personal best against all the elements.

At the same time the third race of the Southern Cross Country League was taking place at Lord Wandsworth College, and in the most atrocious conditions a team of eight runners braved the cold, wet and windy conditions.

For Janet Govan it was her first cross country run – some might say it was the perfect day to try out a traditional XC race – cold, rain, mud, ice, slippery tracks, and a hill thrown in, what’s not to like Janet!

Bringing the team home first was Alistair Rose, followed by Alex Mitchell, Dudley Walker, Tanis Corrigan, Dave Bateman, Sam Walker, Janet Govan and Lorraine Herring.

Philomel Bennett and Ann Varnes