Newsletter – September 2002




3rd LORDSHILL 10 miles SALISBURY half-mar.
17th GOSPORT half-mar.
24th HAYLING 10 miles
31th HANTS. XC Lge. at READING
DEC 1st VICTORY 5miles


With the evenings now drawing in we can all look forward to the winter handicap season. The first starting list is already on the notice board and has caused some distress to several club members. Remember that handicaps are based on your fastest time in your last 3 attempts at that course. If that time is several years old then the rule is the same for everyone…tough titty!!! For people making their debuts I will set a handicap based on the best information I have available, bribes of an alcoholic nature are gratefully received by the handicapper but will not affect his sound judgement.

Last year we had to be a lot stricter about people moving their start times to “have an easy run with so and so” etc.. Once again can I ask that you start at the correct time to prevent the chaos that poor John then had to sort out on the night. With the increasing number of runners taking part can you also please note your start time before leaving the building and ensure you are on the start area with time to spare. Finally…. Please can anyone who is not running on the night please help John with the recording or with marshalling at the Stute?


We have again entered both men’s and ladies team for this competition that incorporates existing races into a league. I have just got the results from last season that show the men finished 4th in division 2 whilst the ladies were 9th in division 2. Our top male was Blissy in 40th spot and Moira was our leading lady in 101st.Full results are on the board.


The weekend was another success for the club with a fair percentage of the race prizes going to club members. Many thanks to all those who helped with the race organisation and those who gave up their time to marshal, officiate or help set up Bridge Street before and after the race (especially when the rain came down). Despite the low number of foreign guests the Saturday night disco and Sunday’s barbecue were well attended and everybody appeared to enjoy themselves, Once again, thank you to all those who made this possible.

HEADINGTON 5 miles. 25th AUGUST.

This year’s Headington 5 attracted a good field of 324 finishers on an overcast but rather humid day. For those of us who have been doing this race for some years these were good conditions compared to some of the very hot conditions experienced before. Our consistency event did not attract a large number from the club but those who did make the effort were rewarded with useful points.

By far the best performer was Mark Simcox who would not have been particularly pleased with his time of 29:29 on a very flat course (he did much better on the much tougher Overton course). Eric was next home and was another who did better at Overton, perhaps he got carried away with the atmosphere on home territory. He only just got the better of Audra who at last seems to have got over her problems with this useful effort to record 33:30 to finish 8th lady.

Dave Titcomb is making rapid improvements in his performances, probably due to regular training and in particular rep sessions. His effort produced a PB for 5 miles, which he again improved to 34.46 on the tougher Overton course. JT had another battle with Gwyneth and just managed to prevail by only 17 seconds…this is too close for comfort. Karen is gaining in experience in every race she does and on this occasion did very well to finish so far up the field and seems determined to improve which she will, no doubt, do.

31st M.SIMCOX 29m 29sec.
91st E.TILBUTY 33m 18sec.
93rd A.DENNISON 33m 30sec.
131st D.TITCMB 35m 20sec.
197th J.THOMAS 38m 59sec.
202nd G.McLAUGHLIN 39m 16sec.
234th K.BURTON 41m 19sec.

324 Finished.

Thanks to JT for the above report, this race was also the club 5 mile championship and so congratulations to Mark and Audra for taking the club titles. The handicap event was tight, possibly due to some runners clocking slower times than the handicapper expected. Dave’s PB gave him the title while Gwynneth took silver with Karen only 2 seconds behind in third.

SOUTHERN LEAGUE – BASINGSTOKE – 03-08-2002 from John Hoare

For the statisticians amongst you here are the results.

A’ String
B’ String

400m Hurdles
R Spreadbury
D Bush

D Johnson
J Reynolds

C Jones
2m 08.2s
K Clark
2m 11.8s

M Bliss
16m 11.2s
K Vallis
16m 56.2s

C Jones
D Bush

110m Hurdles
J Reynolds
D Cuff

D Johnson
D Bush

M Bliss
4m 27.2s
K Clark
4m 33.4s

4 x 100m Relay

3000m S/C
K Vallis
10m 53.7s
D Cuff
11m 33.4s

4 x 400m Relay
3m 50.5s

Long Jump
D Johnson
J Reynolds

High Jump
J Reynolds
I Nikolic

Pole Vault
P Wheeler
D Cuff

Triple Jump
J Reynolds
D Johnson

S Morgan
I Nikolic

D Cuff
S Morgan

I Nikolic
S Morgan

S Morgan
D Cuff

133.5 pts

Isle of Wight
133.5 pts

104 pts

Newton Abbott
104 pts

5 London Irish
28 pts

Aquathlon at Fareham 25th August from Geoff

Aaron Harris, took part in an Aquathlon, comprising a 400metre swim and a 3Kmetre run. Aaron comfortably won his category by over a minute completing the course in 14mins 40secs.

Young Athletes Track Meeting at Woking on Sunday 1st September from Geoff

Aaron Harris, took part in the 800metres for under 15 Boys at the annual Young Athletes Track Meeting at Woking, in sunny and conditions. In the heats, Aaron warmed up with a comfortable second place in 2min 15secs. In the final he was up against tough opposition from several English Schools finalists, and decided to track them in order to try and improve his personal best time. This he achieved, finishing in fifth place just behind Lawrence Cox of Aldershot in a time of 2mins 14secs but just outside his personal best.

Committee Meeting 9/09/02

Present : G. Cloke, M. Dennison, C. Wheeler,

Matters Arising.

BBQ Should we buy one for Club use? Geoff to investigate
Fixtures list is in hand. Franny and Geoff to publish ASAP
Overton 5. Race went well. Saturday entertainment was a success. Sunday BBQ was low in numbers , but the food was excellent.
Questions over the whether the Overton 5 was worth the effort were aired. But these decisions were better taken by the Race Committee.
Treasurers Report

A very healthy financial position

Income £417

Expenditure £621

Current £1106

Reserve £2178


Vote of thanks to all who helped make the Overton 5 such a great success
Next Meeting 14th October

OVERTON 5 miles. From Franny 7th SEPTEMBER.

In a close run race Vince Garner of AFD. narrowly got the better of Bournemouth’s Mark Hargreaves. Blissy continued his fine string of results in this event to take third place to lead home the club interest. Jamie, wearing his wrong vest, suffered stomach problems and was forced to jog for a short time but still managed 9th spot. Ian ran as strongly as ever for 10th with Keith Vallis taking 12th for Alton. Mark was some way down on these two and seemed a bit below par but did enough to anchor the men’s team to victory. On the other hand Keith Clark showed signs of improved fitness to break the 30 minute barrier and was chased hard by Andy who just failed to break the same barrier. Completing the B team that finished 5th was Dave Bush who made a rare outing on the roads and showed a lot of promise…. What could he do with regular training?

I continued my run of good form to take 49 seconds off my course best ahead of new member Greg who will be a welcome addition to the club while Gavin continued his path back to race fitness following his holiday with a useful run. Eric had a solid run while Dave Bright seemed slightly down on his training performances of late. Jill used the strength built up on the Spanish hills to lead home the ladies squad with a superb 3rd place overall. Dave Titcomb showed his continued improvement, breaking the 35 minute mark on this tough course. Liz narrowly got the better of Nicky as the pair completed the victorious ladies team and Liz also got onto the Vets. prize list. Completing the club interest was Belinda who had another good run to continue the improvement she has made over the last 12 months. Also completing the course in a very respectable time was Nick’s wife Laura who has obviously maintained her training since London, maybe we can see her in a club vest in the near future.

M.BLISS 25m 53sec 40th
G.DUNCAN 32m 15sec
I.FORD 27m 48sec 50th
E.TILBURY 33m 03sec
M.SIMCOX 29m 10sec 57th
D.BRIGHT 33m 35sec
K.CLARK 29m 41sec 60th
J.HILLS 33m 57sec
A.HARTLEY 30m 08sec 66th
D.TITCOMB 34m 46sec
D.BUSH 31m 22sec 76th
E.SANDALL-BALL 36m 30sec
R.FRANCIS 31m 34sec 77th
N.CLARK 36m 41sec
G.ENGLAND 31m 50sec 113th
B.LADE 42m 16sec

126 Finished.

The one lap event was closely contested with Matt making the faster start, however Josh managed to pull clear along Dellands for a 31 second victory. Scott ran well for third place with young Alex taking a fine fifth. Adam made his yearly outing on this course and was closely followed by Tim who enjoyed the experience. Farther down the field was Greg’s son Matthew and completing the field was Gillian Duncan who put in a good effort over the hilly course.

J.BLISS 16m 33sec 11th
A.FRANCIS 23m 08sec
M.BRIGHT 17m 04sec 12th
T.HILLS 23m 15sec
S.GRAHAM 18m 24sec 19th
M.ENGLAND 27m 28sec
A.BRIGHT 19m 28sec 24th
G.DUNCAN 33m 09sec

24 Finished.

Some more Juniors Results from Geoff

The core of our rapidly expanding under15 Boys squad, Josh Bliss, Aaron Harris and Craig Williams, journeyed to Southampton, on September 15, to compete in this season’s last Track Meeting, eager to improve on their personal best times.

First away were Craig and Josh in the 1500metres, with both opting for a sensible opening lap of 75secs in third and fourth places respectively. Craig continued to track the leaders with Josh some twenty metres down until the final lap when Craig gained second place and made his bid for home. However he faded towards the finish, lost second place and was beaten into fourth place by a fast finishing Josh. Craig’s tactics did not gain him a winner’s medal, but they did enable him to slash a massive eight seconds from his previous best time to finish in 4mins 53secs. Josh finished in third place in 4mins 51secs knocking three seconds from his personal best.

Aaron Harris opted for the 800metres, which he has concentrated on all season, and hoped for some good competition and fast times. Unfortunately the competition was not there, leaving Aaron to do all the work and lead the race from start to finish. However he did have the consolation of reducing his personal best by almost two seconds to finish in 2mins 12secs.

On September 7 both Aaron Harris and Craig Williams took part in the Triathlon Inter Regional Team Championships held in Wales, comprising teams from all over England and Wales. Craig was 14th in the 15/16 year age group, and Aaron won the corresponding 13/14 year group.

Scott Graham, another member of our under 15 Boys squad, is also an avid golfer and member of the Test Valley Golf Club. He recently won their summer handicap competition, a holiday for two in Portugal, and reduced his handicap to twelve.


The notices for this event had been on the board for several months but there seemed little interest amongst club members. The event is held over 3 races in one weekend with the races starting on the Esplanade at Ventnor and encompassing a variety of routes up, sometimes over, then back down the ruddy great ridge that rises to the north of the town. With a 3 miler on Saturday morning followed by a 7 miler the same afternoon it was going to be survival of the fittest by the time the 13 mile race started on the Sunday morning. Jill was hoping to reap the benefits of those big hills she encountered in Spain whilst I was nursing a badly turned ankle from the previous week.


St. BONIFACE DOWN 3 mile. (775 feet climb).

Despite my sore ankle I made a brisk start on the long twisting climb up through the town but upon hitting the down I was reduced to a stumbling walk using steps cut into the chalk as we formed a human caterpillar up the hill. Overtaking was the last thing on anybody’s mind as with lungs bursting we all struggled our way to the top. 775 feet of climb in just over a mile was followed by a short loop around the TV transmitter before plummeting back down the same route that we had just climbed. A quick glance back at this point and I could see Jill a couple of hundred meters back….well she wasn’t going to catch me. Going down was worse than going up..fell runners are lunatics and go into “freefall” mode on the descents and plenty passed me as I “pussy footed” my way down to the road. Another quick glance back at the base of the down and…Jill had become a fell runner and the gap was a lot closer. Not to worry, I had plenty left in the tank and was flat out for the last half-mile drop through he town. Jill however finished even faster and was only 6 seconds behind me at the line. Another 100 meters and she would have beaten me. I was disappointed with my position as I had been quietly confident of making the top half of the field while Jill’s superb effort gave her 3rd lady behind 2 experienced fell runners.

55th R.FRANCIS 25m 10sec
57th J.HILLS 25m 16sec

79 Finishers.


VENTNOR HORSESHOE 7 mile. (1500 feet climb).

Jill’s great run in the morning had left her full of confidence for this run while I was fully expecting to be our second runner home. We had been warned that the advertised distance wasn’t accurate and in truth the actual distance turned out to be slightly over 8 miles. I made a steadier start for this race and Jill was close behind as we climbed the first ascent of the down via a different path to the morning’s race. There were a lot more steps, which sapped the legs, and at the top there was about 80 meters between us. After hurling some verbal abuse at me Jill soon made this up on the first semi-steep descent and passed me just before the three-mile mark. I managed to get past her again on the next climb and managed to open a lead along a section of old railway but from here everything went pearshaped for both of us.

The climb back up to the summit of St. Boniface down took us up through the aptly named CLIFF COPSE…. Three flights of steps broken up by a series of short banks and three stiles and topped by a long steep hill the equivalent length of Foxdown hill, but much steeper. I had pushed hard along the disused railway and was short of breathe when I hit the first steps, it was baking hot as I scrambled up the banks and the last flight of 77 steps, I counted them the next day, was the final straw as my arms now ached as well as I use the handrails to pull myself up. Getting to the finish was all I could think off as I literally walked down the descent of the final hill with my quads in agony. Jill meanwhile was paying the price for her earlier efforts and like me was struggling on the long climb and was passed by two women on the final descent. She finished the race in some discomfort as fourth lady and promptly announced that she would not be running the next day.

43rd R.FRANCIS 1hr 13m 12sec.
56th J.HILLS 1hr 16m 21sec.

78 Finished.


WROXALL ROUND 13 miles. (1500 feet climb).

With the lowest height climbed per mile this was rated as the easiest course of the weekend and could explain the participation of a certain Mark Simcox who turned up only after the two hardest events were finishing. The most worrying news was that the last 4 miles were the same as the previous afternoon including the now infamous steps. There were quite a few withdrawals on the morning but the field was bolstered by runners like Mark doing just the one event. Despite very sore legs Jill decided to give it a go and the slightly gentler start along the Esplanade and out over the cliff top path helped to loosen up tired muscles before the first big climb around the 3 mile mark.

This long climb was on a nice flat path and was taken at a steady walk by myself as I decided to save my energy for the final climb. The sky was clear and it was very warm, but the view from the top was spectacular stretching westward over Freshwater Bay to the Needles some 7 miles away. From here I got into running some very scenic but undulating footpaths and bridleways and hit the dreaded steps with some energy in hand. Following the hard slog up came the final plunge into Ventnor. The feeling of accomplishment after finishing that last steep downhill took over and I managed to raise a sprint down through the town to the finish.

Jill had started the race 3rd in the overall standings and was going well early on. The temperature rose as the race went on and there was only one drink station just after halfway. Suffering in the heat she managed to mug a couple of marshals of their drinks and despite being passed by several women who had not raced previously managed to cross the line in 6th place and retain her 3rd place overall.

Mark hasn’t really produced the goods in his last couple of road races but his performance here was more promising as he finished well up the field in quite a fast time. He obviously has some mountaineering experience as he merely described the long trek up the steps as “a nasty sting in the tail”.

The prizegiving for all 3 races took place after the final race where Jill’s’ reward was just £7 of vouchers for finishing 3rd in the opening race, however had the club been registered with the SEAA for fell running she would now be the Southern Counties Champion.

52nd R.FRANCIS 1hr 56m 1sec.
63rd J.HILLS 2hr 03m 18sec.

72 Finished.

Despite all the effort this was a great weekend with some teams: Colchester, Dulwich, Worthing and Portsmouth joggers making it a club trip with runners of all standards competing in all or just one event. Eating out amongst other runners in the evening added to the occasion and is possibly one for your diary next year.

Thruxton 10K 22nd September from Liz

In good but windy conditions Dave Vosser was 2nd in 36m 37s and Liz Sandal-Ball won the Ladies Vets race in 45m 57s. About 80 runners finished.

Southern Counties Road Relay Championships Rushmoor Arena 28th/29th September from Geoff

Our over 40s Men’s team finished 36th. Mike Bliss ran the 9th fastest leg of the day, completing the 6Km course in 19m 24s, Dave Titcomb 25m 46s, Richard Francis 24m 17s, and Dave Vosser 21m 59s.

Our over 50s Men’s team finished 31st. Eric Tilbury ran our fastest leg of the day, completing the 6Km course in 24m 49s, Geoff Cloke 26m 31s, John Hodge 27m 57s, and JT 30m 14s.

Our under15 Boys squad, were in action on the same course against the South’s best teams from Cornwall to Kent to Norfolk. Each of the boys were required to run a very tough 3Km undulating course in unseasonably warm weather, under intense pressure created by the desire to do well for themselves and for the team. Josh Bliss, the youngest of the quartet, went first and after a careful start found himself in 36th place after about 5 minutes of running. From there his confidence grew and he gradually started to haul in runners to hand over to Scott Graham in an incredible 20th place. Scott also started cautiously, but lacked race fitness to emulate Josh’s efforts and lost 6 places to hand over to Aaron Harris in 26th place. By this time significant gaps were emerging between groups of runners and Aaron had to contend with running on his own for most of his race. However he still found the incentive to move the team up to 17th place, before handing over to new member Craig Williams. Craig started tentatively and but soon caught up a sizeable group which he proceeded to gradually overtake, en route to finishing in a fantastic 12th place.

Our Ladies team finished 35th. Cath Wheeler ran our fastest leg of the day, completing the 4Km course in 14m 51s, Audra Dennison 15m 36s, Jill Hills 16m 6s, and Liz Sandal-Ball 17m 29s.


Up to date tables are now on the notice board. Once more apologies for the delay but I cannot compile the tables until I have a list of finishers in each race. It would help me greatly if ANY of the runners could provide me with this information, not just JT. All I need is the finishing order, times and positions are not necessary. As it stands Mark is starting to take command of the men’s’ league with Eric holding a 26 point advantage over Mike for second. In the women’s’ event, regular racer Karen has moved to the top ahead of Audra. Belinda lies third ahead of a closely packed group of four.

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