By Leah Tavner
Photos thanks to Kylie Torr, Clare Jesson, Sam Cox and Adam Ruddy
48 Spitfires took part in the 33rd Gosport Half Marathon on the 18th November. Known as being “fast and friendly” Gosport certainly has been the home of many Personal Bests for lots of people! This is the 4th consecutive year that Spitfires have turned out in their masses to race (see photo). Some of you may recall that the first two years (2015 and 2016) were some of the worst years weather wise – we ran along the coast in 40mph winds and rain, helped along by storm Angus in 2016.
This year however was near perfect race conditions – cold but not too bitterly cold, beautifully sunny and a light breeze. We assembled for the usual group photo before rushing to the bag drops or toilets and then onto the start line. This year the race started bang on time with little fanfare and not even a mass warm up. As we set out on the first loop along Marine Parade it was lovely to see some familiar faces such as Kylie Torr and Sam Cox cheering us along. We fell into our race stride and soon got to see the faster runners as they looped back along the promenade towards the end of the first lap. One of the reasons why this is amongst my favourite races is because you get to see so many other Spitfires (both running and supporting) on the way round due to the course being 2 laps. That and the fact that the Gosport volunteers put on a great support act with a samba band and friendly water stations. You do need an Engineering degree though to be able to work out how to easily drink from the water pouches, or maybe that's just me being useless!
The miles went by (more quickly for some than for others), and before we knew it 10 miles had come and gone and we were making our way back along the promenade for the final miles towards the finish. For me the twelfth mile was the hardest, as you're not quite in your final mile so don't want to push it too much and there's a slight incline as you come up off the promenade through the car park and back along Portsmouth Road. Finally though the finish line was in sight, and big thanks to the supporters such as Paul, Heather and Teresa (and many others!) who cheered us all along that final few hundred metres. The best goody bag awaited with cake, lion bars, plenty of water and lots of other goodies.
As for the results, the first Spitfire across the line was Alastair Wilkins, in an impressive time of 1:14:29. The overall winning man was Tom Merson of Exmouth Harriers in a new course record of 1:7:33 and the overall winning lady was Lorna Russell of Winchester and District AC in 1:18:52. Many of us Spitfires were proud to set new PB's, and many of us were just very, very proud to have made it all the way round the 13.1 miles to the finish line. Well done everyone who raced and thank you to everyone who supported, see you there again next year hopefully!
By Jan & Sue
We are on the countdown to a very different event this year.... a catered event, loads of space for everyone, bar, DJ and disco. So, let's make it one to remember! The 8th December is the Spitfires 4th birthday!
We will, hopefully have a tombola, so if you anything you would like to donate, please bring to Club or on Saturday and give to either Jan or Sue. The photo booth will be up and running! Medals for all those who participated in the Club Champs! And don't forget the lucky dip for the 2 London Marathon places up for grabs! If you haven't sent your commiserations email please send it to Amelia ASAP!
Raffle tickets available, even if you aren't able to attend as we are busy writing names on the back of all tickets sold to date. You've got to be in it to win it and stop Gerry winning all the goodies! We have some incredible raffle prizes, listed below:
We have organised for 2 Radio Taxis to be available starting from 12 MN. There is NO parking on site overnight. Finally, if you haven't let Sue or Jan know if you have any dietary requirements we need to know by TUESDAY!
Looking forward to seeing many of you there. Jan & Sue
By Andy Walker
Photos thanks to Adam Pratt
While most club runners were at the Gosport half a small, yet perfectly formed group of Spitfires took on the Southampton MoRun 10k. The course involved 2 loops of the bottom half of the standard park run course and 4 of the top half. Given the excellent conditions and long downhills it was an ideal day for setting fast times.
The participants rose to the challenge and PB’s abounded. Ian Buckman was first in with a PB of 47.25 with Adam Pratt, Vicky Pratt, Andy Walker, Nicky Pugh all setting fast times and Danny Pratt completing his first 10K!!
By Tim Coles
Photos thanks to Lana Williams
Two weeks after the Great South Run came another 10 mile race in the Portsmouth area; the Hayling 10, organised by Havant Athletic club. A small wing of Spitfires made the short journey east from Southampton to Hayling Island, several of us using the race either as a rehearsal for the Gosport half marathon a fortnight hence, or for marathon training for races later in the calendar.
Though there was overcast and drizzle as we left Southampton, in Hayling the rain had cleared and there were sunny spells as the race got underway. The temperature was significantly cooler than at the Great South, with a fresh breeze blowing in from the sea on the open parts of the course.
The race starts near the sea front in West Town, and heads north towards the village of Stoke; thence south and west to the Hayling-Eastney ferry, and finally east along the seafront, finishing back at Hayling Park. The route is flat and scenic, with a mix of country lanes, gravel trail and seafront footpaths, affording views over Langstone harbour and the Solent
The race was largely a successful one for the Spitfires' contingent, with a scattering of 10-mile personal bests, and Al Wilkins and Charlotte Rennie both placing in their respective categories, Al finishing 3rd overall. Lana, Richard and Darren applied an unorthodox tactic of doing a 7-mile "warmup" run before the race, which might not have helped their race times, but did see Lana through to her longest day's running as part of buildup for the Portsmouth coastal marathon.
If you don't fancy running with tens of thousands of people at the Great South, or if you are just after another 10 mile timed run, I would definitely recommend this bijou insular race for next year, scheduled for the 3rd of November. I would also suggest it for people who are low on wardrobe space, as the metaphorical goody bag includes a pair of ankle socks rather than a technical T-shirt.
By Adam Ruddy and Lana Williams
Photos thanks to Horatio Morgan
Fantastic turnout for both our men’s and womans teams at the latest cc6, as well as a quality turnout from a large support contingent cheering us all in, capturing photos and recording our scores!
Our men’s team were led in by Alastair Wilkins who actually won the race by a considerable margin. Congratulations Al!!
Our men’s team now move into 9th place in the league with HedgeEnd well in our sights!
Al Wilkins 1st
Jamie Foster 25th
Gill McClure 49th
Steve Williams 51st
Cameron Hewitt 55th
Adam Ruddy 77th
Dan Lovell 122nd
Simon Beer 123rd
Darren Palmer 129th
Mark Tiller 156th
Gareth Evans 157th
Chris Jones 160th
Stuart White 179th
Our ladies team were led in by Susan Bryan in 19th place and the team now move into 7th place, right on the heels of Totton!
Susan Bryan 19th
Gabby O’Brien 48th
Clare Blay 55th
Charlotte Rennie 64th
Joanna Dorman 86th
Catherine Elsom 88th
Lucy Ashton 99th
Sue Haig 115th
Really look forward to seeing everybody on the 9th at Janesmoor Pond. This is a highlight of the cc6 league as runners are encouraged to wear Christmas attire and Lordshill do a fantastic job marshalling, hopefully the legendary tuba player will once again be out on the route! Stay tuned for race details, though on the grape vine we’ve heard it’s a brand new course this year!
Finally a message from the one and only...
Cap’n Lana here – as I didn’t run I figured Ruddy would be the best placed to give the course lowdown and stats – along with all the excitement of the course, which means I get the thank you task!
I have to say, it made a nice change to watch you all run in – our cheer squad of the Hewitts, VC Hannah, Harry, Harriet, Katie and baby Freya got very excited when we spied Al running towards us leading the pack by a large margin! There were some amazing finishes, and it was fun to take photos of everyone. Thank you all of you who supported. Harry thank you also for photos and videos – Cam was filmed as part of his GCSE PE portfolio, good luck Cam this year, we’re sure you will be ace.
Thank you to Sue for sweets afterwards, and also for before the run for me (as well as Caroline or ‘Lana’ for the banana!), and Simon for the mulled wine. Thank you also to Chris Jones and Caroline for results processing for us this time – please do ask Adam and I how you can help if you haven’t yet managed to volunteer and you’d like to run, there’s not many races for this league so we’d rather help you run!
The next race is my personal favourite, if the tuba player isn’t in the woods playing Christmas carols this year I will be kicking off as it’s so much fun to run past him, and the santa’s grotto boom box! It’s the day after our End of Year Social, so let’s all go have some fun/run hungover – Simon has promised hot chocolate this time, and Stuart I believe will be bringing cake…if that’s not enough, the course last year involved mud and a minor river! Cannot wait!
|Lou Lou Pead||2:21:42|
Click on the links below if you are interested in any of these events
Please be aware that there is no club session on either Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this month’s news. The newsletter is still seeking someone who can take charge and write it in the future. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.