All posts by Sarah Holmes

New Forest 10

The picturesque New Forest proved to be a beautiful setting for this multi terrain 10 mile race.

Largely fast and flat this forest trail course begins at New Park Farm, just north of Brokenhurst taking our 6 roadrunners around a very scenic circuit amongst the trees and ponies.Danny Faulkner made his competitive comeback to cross the line first out of our little team in a tidy 67 mins.

“I was nowhere near a PB, but all things considered I’m quite happy. The hip injury seems to be going and the various niggles aren’t causing as many problems”

Kev Rann was next in breaking 80 minutes, with Nick Scott-Denness and James Shoulder both breaking 90. The girls ran well despite the heat with Jo Randall coming in way under 2 hours and Lyn Snow completing the team.

“It was grubby on those stony tracks, my legs were so dusty by the end! It was very hot but I knocked a minute off last year’s time! I loved the marshals with water spays!” said Jo

No medals for this race though, the runners earns themselves a rather unique horse brass instead.

Danny Faulkner-1.07.21
Kevin Rann-1.19.15
Nick Scott-Denness-1.28.12
James Shoulder-1.29.10
Jo Randall-1.54.54
Lyn Snow-2.16.36

Dash and Splash

Old Shanklin Pier saw the runners set off on this well organised annual fun run. 5k and 43 groynes stood between the runners and the finish line at Yaverland. 28 of them on dry land 15 on them out in the water.


Started by the mayor of Shanklin, the runners ran across the hard sand from groyne to groyne, nipping through gaps where they could, getting wet where they couldn’t.

“It was such good fun” said Sally Trotman “Great to see so many children taking part. It was a real family day”

Although runners expected to get their feet wet, they had not anticipated getting wet to theirs waists! According to the organisers, the sand level had dropped over the winter months making the water deeper around the groynes and around our runners.

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However it did not perturb our runners as they all finished smiling and happy.
None more so than Bill Goozee as he crossed the line in second place overall and Lucy Deville who triumphed to take the top spot in her age catagory.

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Bembridge Trail 5

Glorious blue skies greeted runners at the inaugural 5 mile event as a part of Bembridge Youth and Community Centre’s Festival of Sport.


Raising money for the Bembridge Youth and Community Centre, a fantastic turn out of club members stood on the startline to support this run in its first year.


5 beautiful off road miles through the countryside around the surrounding area, the course wind its way around Bembridge Down, continuing on to Bembridge Farm and finally along the cliff path at Whitecliff Bay where runners were treated to some fantastic views across the Channel.


It was by no means a walk in the park though, the course was sprinkled generously with hills, gates, steps and stiles. Coupled with the warm weather, it was quite a challenge.

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However, the runners negotiated the well marshalled course with Bill Goozee crossing the line in 2nd overall, Abigail Farwell clinching the ladies title with Sarah Holmes coming in 3rd.




Summer Plod

Ian Dyer took himself just across the water to embark on this solo mission around the countryside surrounding Waterlooville.


This 21 mile course is almost entirely run on footpaths, bridleways and farmland.
Starting in Clanfield the course follows almost the same course for the Winter Plod, winding its way through the Meon Valley, skirting the Queen Elizabeth Country Park and taking in panoramic views across to our beautiful Island from afar.



However to get to this wonderful views, Ian had to conquer some hills… some big hills… and some really big hills! Some of them were way over 700 feet (that’s not too far off Culver and Tennyson Downs put together) so to say it was a challenging course is in many ways an understatement.

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“I was running well for the first 12 miles, but in the heat it was hard to balance my hydration. After a big climb at mile 17 the temperature got the better of me, and slowed me down. I was enjoying it until that point. I’d done the marathon there a couple of years ago so I sort of knew what I was letting myself in for. It was just a different challenge of heat instead of mud this time”

But he made it around the course in one piece in a not too shabby time of 4.28.30 and a fantastic 27th place.


Well done Ian! Luckily there was a pub next to the finish line, so a well earned pint was in order.


Bewl 15

The beautiful Bewl Water. On the border of Sussex and Kent, this challenging off road event was voted the 6th best race in the UK by the readers of Runners World magazine.


Hosted by Wadhurst Runners, the race was started by none other than Dame Kelly Holmes who then participated in the race herself. From Uplands Community College in Wadhurst, this 15 mile course made a tour of the lake before meandering around some of the country lanes and footpaths nearby.

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It’s gently undulating course was no obstacle for our distance king Steve Hickman. In fact this would probably count as a short run for our Kent crusader.


“It was very hot on the trails and hills, but that I was pleased with the run” he said afterwards

He smashed round the course in 2.37.05, looking very pleased with himself at the finish.


IWRR 10k Championship

A very welcome dip in temperature (although it was still 19c) arrived on the perfect day during this weeks heatwave.
Was it the allure of Chip butties and Mrs.Rays raffle afterwards that drew so many contenders out on this sunny Summers evening? Or the fact that it was a nominated race also, meaning that there was a chance of winning even if you didn’t win (make sense?)

Excitement was building as the Roadrunners congregated along with invited guests from other Island clubs, to collect their numbers for the annual 10k championship. Nominated times had been submitted the previous week, largely by guesswork as the route had not yet been announced.


The Runners assembled at the bottom of Hillside for the start. Off they went, running alongside the River Medina following the footpath past the School and the harbour until they got to The Folly Inn. Folly Lane was their only incline on route, but it was a long drag to the top, where they were safety ushered across by the main road into Brocks Copse Road where they then turned for home running back along Alverstone Road, the Racecourse and finally Fairlee Road.


Bill Goozee was first back to the bottom of Hillside followed by Simon Pilcher, both breaking the 40 minute mark. Next in was Peter Sexton to take 3rd and Phil Mannall, who took a nasty tumble breaking his elbow in the last half mile, held on to take 4th.


For the ladies, Rosie Sexton was the first back to Hillside in a triumphant 7th overall. Polly Segar showed she is back to form with a speedy 2nd place. Lou Dover overcame her recent knee injury to finish 3rd lady.


But as a nominated race, the real winners of the night were those closest to their nominated times. So after a celebratory drink & complementary chip butties back at the runners HQ of the Riverside Centre, the winners were announced.
Overall winner of the coveted shield was none other than club stalwart Sue Hunter with only 2 seconds between her estimated time and her digits on the night.
Well done to her and all the other success stories of the evening. Also wishing Phil a speedy recovery from his broken elbow.

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Nominated Winners
Sue Hunter
1.Tim Howell
2.Simon Pilcher
3.Steve Bennett
1.Sue Hunter
2.Belinda Rockall
3.Sarah Holmes

Bill Goozee-39.25
Simon Pilcher-39.39
Peter Sexton-43.01
Phil Mannall-43.56
Simon Randall-44.00
Matt Fletcher-44.21
Rosie Sexton-45.53
Garry Sharp-46.23
Tim Howell-46.30
Darren Cole-47.35
Polly Segar-47.37
Dave Cass-48.12
George Butler-48.55
Richard Beezer-49.34
Glen Jones-49.47
Kev Rann-49.49
Harry Vernon-50.17
Lou Dover-50.31
Judy McCabe-50.36
Steve Bennett-50.37
Benita Kochanowska-50.38
Jenny Dewing-51.25
Sarah Holmes-52.46
Kelly Forster-54.38
Charlotte Williams-55.13
Nick Scott-Denness-55.20
Claire Howard-55.40
Elaine Harris-55.48
Margaret Niland-Murphy-57.02
Tarnia Eldridge-57.33
Jane Andrew-57.42
Claire Harvey-57.58
Dave Smith-58.26
Julie Rasmussen-58.31
Adrian Burroughs-59.37
Sarah Sharp-1.01.05
Fiona Attwood-1.01.13
Callie Hatcher-1.01.35
Laura Holme-1.01.37
Adam Morris-1.02.05
Sarah Delaney-1.02.35
Sally Trotman-1.02.48
Nick Stilwell-1.02.59
Belinda Rockall-1.03.03
Steve Hunt-1.03.51
Misha Hetherington-1.03.58
Claire Jasper-1.04.16
Alison Butcher-1.04.21
Dawn Pointer-1.04.22
Lucy Deville-1.05.22
Tracy Pole-1.07.02
Sue Hunter-1.07.58
Coral Leach-1.14.45
Lyn Snow-1.20.27


Brading 10k

No early start for those running the local Brading 10k on Sunday.


“It’s so nice not to have to be on the 6.25am boat like we normally are!” said one bright eyed and bushy tailed Roadrunner as they picked up their number from the registration desk”


The weather was kinder than of late with temperatures in the late teens. Despite clashing with a Hampshire League race, the Roadrunners were out in force fielding strong teams for both the men and the ladies.

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Starting and finishing in Smallbrook Stadium this Ryde Harriers organised race, takes the runners along the Ashley Road, down Lanes Green, West and Coach onto Beaper Shute, the Brading Road and back to the Stadium.

IMG_3634Simon Pilcher was the first Road runner back in an awesome 6th overall with Michael Douglas not too far behind in 8th, Simon Randall in 9th, (taking the 1st V40 spot) and Tom Forster in 12th. Michael Coultrup was next to cross the line with a PB and the 2nd V50 place.

DEF81016-654A-47CE-B371-49A09C9BAC04F95DAA58-2087-45DE-A992-6A6F1ACC789D340DEDCB-A18F-44F5-B00E-589768862A37D4EC9EBF-0946-41F9-AE45-914F45277812FCF11A7A-9BD6-4F2F-A09D-9A7D632459B9But it was the girls who stole the show! A clean sweep of the podium places went to the tremendous trio with a phenomenal win for Holly Newton, (also 25th overall and 1st Senior Female) followed by Sharon McNally in 2nd (also 1st V50) and then Judy McCabe in 3rd (also 1st V35)

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Also running well and placing high in their age categories were Steve Bennett 2nd V55, Katie MacKenzie 1st Junior Female, Jenny Dewing 1st V40 (also running herself a tidy PB), Lucy Deville 1st V65, Tarnia Eldridge 3rd V45 and Claire Howard 3rd V50.

Alison Butcher, Kelly Forster and Laura Holme all continued their great recent form by all running themselves personal bests.

The Roadrunners also faired well in the team competition with the ladies taking the 1st and 2nd spots (1st Newton, McNally, McCabe – 2nd Dewing, Douglas, Howard) and the fellas grabbing 2nd (Pilcher, Douglas, Randall)


Great running everyone

Simon Pilcher-37.28
Michael Douglas-38.42
Simon Randall-39.26
Tom Forster-39.50
Michael Coultrup-42.34
Holly Newton-43.50
Sharon McNally-45.03
Judy McCabe-45.40
Steve Bennett-45.41
Dave Cass-46.10
George Butler-46.19
Kev Rann-47.10
Jenny Dewing-48.08
Ashleigh Douglas-48.34
Ian Dyer-49.26
Claire Howard-50.02
Kelly Forster-51.16
Katie MacKenzie-51.36
Dave Smith-53.29
Tarnia Eldridge-54.10
Alison Butcher-56.03
Fiona Atwood-56.04
Laura Holme-56.32
Misha Hetherington-57.11
Emma Ford-58.02
Sarah Delaney-58.40
Callie Hatcher-1.00.27
Lucy Deville-1.00.28
Tracy Pole-1.03.37
Adrian Burroughs-1.03.38
Jo Randall-1.04.13
Sue Hunter-1.05.20
Coral Leach-1.08.35
Lyn Snow-1.16.36


HRRL #12 Lordshill 10k

The final race of the 2016/2017 Hampshire Road Race League.

From September to the end of June the league Races cover all corners of the county and some 96 competitive miles between them.
For this last race, perfect conditions greeted the runners as they assembled at the Ordinance Survey Building, just north of Southampton for the 9.30 start.


A single lap course of mainly road saw our Roadrunners rocket around the Industrial Estate before heading up toward Lee Manor Farm and back through Nursling before heading head to where they started.


Pete Sexton continued his consistent form and was the first team member home in just over 40 minutes with Matt Fletcher close behind him bagging himself a tidy PB. Next over the line was Simon Riley. Great to see a strong race from him after a lengthy illness. Garry Sharp was next in followed by the first of the girls Abigail Farwell. Glen Jones followed to shave 2 and a half minutes of his previous best time. James Shoulder ran a great race despite having a niggley knee. Next in were our Ladies Captain Julie Ray and Vice Chair Sarah Sharp followed by Nick Scott-Denness

“I started off taking it pretty easy” said Sarah “but as the race progressed I felt good. I got to the last mile and realised I was close to my PB. That’s where Darren’s track sessions kicked in and I really used what I’ve learnt there to keep me powering to the line”

And power home she did securing herself another pb. But that wasn’t the main cause for Sarah’s celebrations yesterday. She became one of only 6 females in Hampshire to complete all 12 of this seasons races. A massive achievement for her made all the more poignant by her string of injuries.


Belinda Rockall was also reaping the benefits of her track sessions as she smashed her PB.
“I am actually a 9 minute miler!!” She beamed “I can’t believe it, I’ve never run that fast”

Next home was Steve Hunt also securing himself a personal best

“It was my first away day as a roadrunner and I had a great time. Everyone has been so friendly and supportive over the last few weeks since I joined and that’s led to me get another PB. Thanks again, you’re a fantastic bunch!”

Great to hear he is enjoying clublife and being rewarded for the effort his is putting in to improving. Treasurer Bridget Keyte was next in, sneaking in under the hour with Tanya Clifford putting her injuries to bed and bringing the team home in style.

What a successful way to end this years Hampshire League. Thank you and congratulations to every single club member that has participated in any of the races over the course of the season. Your blood sweat and tears scores points for our wonderful club every time you cross that finish line -so well done to you all #teamIWRR

Pete Sexton-40.05
Matt Fletcher-40.12
Simon Riley-41.06
Garry Sharp-42.35
Abi Farwell-45.00
Glen Jones-46.26
James Shoulder-49.58
Julie Ray-52.29
Sarah Sharp-53.00
Nick Scott-Denness-53.09
Belinda Rockall-56.21
Steve Hunt-57.04
Bridget Keyte-58.46
Tanya Clifford-67.00


Challenge the Wight

Anyone that’s ever done Walk the Wight over the years will know how difficult the course is in places. With its famous “undulations” it is a test of will and stamina. As if that wasn’t test enough, 3 of our amazing Roadrunners decided to run it in reverse, in the dark! Namely Challenge the Wight.

26.5 miles traversing left to right across the centre of our diamond isle, using mostly off road trails and footpaths, the terrain is tough. With 5 downland to conquer amidst hills, forests and chalk cliffs, the elevation is brutal at times.


But for our terrific trio, who incidentally, have clocked up 6 marathons between them in the past month alone, it was well worth the effort as they raised money for disadvantaged children right here on the Island.

Starting at 9pm from The Needles and heading east Bill Goozee, Julie Salter and Paul Butcher all set out with their headtorches, the light already sinking into the sunset behind them .


Bill went ahead early hoping to get himself in the running for a lead position whilst Paul and Julie were taking it at a more leisurely pace.

“Going over Tennyson was my favourite bit” said Paul “There was still a bit of light then”

Over Freshwater Golf Course, Mottistone Down and through Brighstone Forest they ran before finding themselves on the Tennyson Trail then dropping down to Carisbrooke.

As a part of the same challenge, there was starting at 11pm, Challenge the Wight Lite. This started at Carisbrooke Castle and covered the last 12 miles of the course to the finish at Yaverland. Roadrunners Nick Stilwell, Rachel Dempsey and Daves Smith & Cass embarked on this section of the journey, running over St George’s Down into Arreton, Brading and finally dropping down to Yaverland.

It was hilly and winding” said Dave “Smithers” Smith


“Running in the dark definitely slows you down” said Paul “Roots and Holes were the biggest problem”
“And fog and cows!” Julie interjects jokingly (or not as it turned out)

“We got lost on Brading Down” Paul added “They could have have done with a few more marshalls. We didn’t lose too much time really, but we did have to double back on ourselves, one poor guy ended up in St.Helens!”

Bill also got lost not once but twice, making him run an extra mile and a half. But he still cracked it out in 3.52.10 making him 1st overall.

“I did come in first, but it wasn’t really a race. I found the terrain and night conditions hard but really enjoyable as it was something different. I did get a little lost but I think everyone at some point got lost! I wouldn’t say it cost me much time it was too dark and uneven to pick up much speed”


Paul and Julie completed their quest in a respectable 5 hours and 38 mins. They bumped into Nick and Rachel at the finish area as they finished their section of the course at coincidentally a similar time. Both the Daves has already left having been the first across the line for the Lite course in a fantastic 2 hours 15 minutes.

Kent 50 Mile Endurance Run

Distance supremo Steve Hickman is back! And when I say back I mean BACK!! No messing about with a half marathon or even a marathon for him this weekend, he’s straight back on the saddle with a 50 miler.


Despite an obscenely early 6am start our Marathon King took on this 50 mile endurance event. Made up of 6.25 mile laps on the Brooks Farm estate, the course is multi terrain following paths through the farm toward Reculver and Thanet.

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“I’ve done this event several times before” Steve tells me in his usual low key manner “Apart from feeling awful on the 1st lap, it went well. But I put that down to the early start”

He was right, it did indeed go well with our Steve completing the challenge without taking too much in the way of breaks.


“You can’t hang around for too long between laps” he quips. He would know I guess, he’s an old hat at this sort of thing.
And so he completed the 8 laps of the course with no trouble at all  in an awesome 11 hours 2 minutes and 16 seconds. That was his 139th time running a marathon distance or over. Unimaginable for us mere mortals.