With the nights drawing in, Tuesday, August 30 saw the last of the Haslemere Borders AC summer social pub runs.
Dean Kellaway had set three routes of varying distance, all of which involved a steady climb up to the Temple of The Winds at Blackdown – with a 281-metre elevation, the route was certainly challenging.
But all runners were rewarded with stunning views, which more than made up for the hills. The descent back to Fernhurst saw the evening completed with drinks at The Red Lion – well, all runners know hydration is so important and there was also time for a chat with fellow members.
A few days later – Friday, September 2 – saw a welcome return of the Haslemere Border Bowlhead Green Handicap.
It invites runners to firstly run the 9.2 Bowlhead Green Loop, record a time and then submit to the organisers who this year were Philomel Bennett and Ann Varnes.
There were a total of 23 runners who participated, and the handicap was set from the slowest to the fastest based on the timings given.
It not only gave people a chance to have some fun, chasing down their fellow athletes – all in good faith but with a competitive streak! – but for some it was a chance to test their speed, and indeed people excelled themselves with some fabulous times.
The overall winner who took home the coveted trophy was Dudley Walker, in second place was Sammy French and third was Pete Varnes.
As this indeed was a ‘team’ event, oranges were kindly provided at the halfway point by Catriona Wiles, followed by a little ‘shindig’ on the Punchbowl complete with bubbles, beer, nibbles and cake, all underneath the HBAC gazebo.
It was another fun evening for all and further enjoyment of the beautiful local countryside.
On Sunday, September 4, a group of nine Haslemere Border athletes took part in the ever-popular – and rather lovely – Farnham Pilgrim Marathon and Half Marathon respectively!
Now in its 12th year, the race starts and finishes at Farnham Recreation Ground, and is organised splendidly by the Rotary Club.
The marathon runners set off at 8.30 on what was a rather muggy, overcast morning but to plenty of cheers and support from the marshalls and team.
The route first takes runners along the road into the outskirts of Shalford, alongside the River Wey following the Pilgrims Way and North Downs Way, taking in the beautiful Surrey Hills and some of both the prettiest and historic architecture along the way including St Catherine’s Hill and the lovely St Martha’s Church with stunning views for miles.
The first runner home was Katy Ward, putting in another perfect performance in 3:37.14, and was indeed first lady overall, followed by Tom Millns who ran a superb race (with very little training) in a time of 3:58.38, Philomel Bennett (4:08.31) and new club member Michael Scanlon in 4:54.23.
While the marathon quartet were already out on the route, five eager HBAC runners were heading out on their quest of their equally-challenging half marathon.
Those being put through their paces were Tania Corrigan (1.51), Sarah Smith (1.55), Tom Bampton (2.09), Paul Croad (2.20) and Louse Bampton (2.23).
All five ran a superb race, one or two having either competed in other HBAC races earlier in the week and, in Paul ‘s case, having just returned from injury in what was a tough but rather lovely day out for all.
Further afield in London was the Big Half Marathon starting at Tower Bridge, then passing through the four London boroughs of Southwark, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich before finishing beside the Cutty Sark.
The race is often used by many athletes as a training run prior to the London Marathon, which was one month away.
HBAC had their own team of elite runners taking part, with Dave Jarrett and Laura Smith using the event as part of their London Marathon training.
Clair Pearson and Peter Surma competed in the event for the first time – and, in Peter’s case, was a big step up, having run only 10k before.
The hot and humid conditions were not ideal for runners but despite this the club team performed well.
First home was Dave Jarrett in a time of 1:18.03, followed by Claire Pearson (1:58.34), Laura Smith (2:05.24), Peter Varnes (2:13.05), Ann Varnes (2:24.17) and Peter Surma (2:32.00).
Philomel Bennett and Ann Varnes