Category Archives: Latest News

Lanzarote Marathon

Whilst the rest of the Road Runners froze back in the Uk, club marathon man Steve Hickman decided to catch a tan and of course a cheeky 26.2 miles whilst in Lanzarote. Sadly the winter weather still found his way to Steve and he went into his race with cold and bad cough. The marathon is a simple coastal out and back however was surprisingly lumpy and was no walk in the park.

With fairly warm weather and a light breeze it was great conditions. Steve made his way from Los Pocillos before heading up through Arrecife to Costa Teguise and back. Steve started strong but his cold had other ideas. ‘The wheels fell off in the early stages. It meant a considerable amount of walking’. But the Road Runners are known for being tough cookies and he ploughed on and finished in 4.55 just as the rain started. Brilliant effort Steve, a marathon is full of obstacles already so to overcome an extra one is always a big achievement.

Awards Night

After some brilliant accomplishments by every single Road Runner in 2019 the annual christmas party was a chance to reflect and celebrate . The night opened to a great video presentation featuring the highlights from the year with our athletes taking in huge challenges, busting out some rapid times and travelling all over the country and beyond to do it. Chairman Keith Winchcombe and Vice Chairman Sarah Sharpe presented the awards for the night, firstly reviewing trophies given throughout the year.

IoW Half 1st male Stuart Backhouse

IoW Half 1st female Jodie Wilmott

IoW Mar 1st male Bill Goozee

IoW Mar 1st female Rosie Sexton

St Georges 1st male Stuart Backhouse

St Georges 1st female Rosie Sexton

Club 10K 1st male Ross wilkes

Club 10k 1st female Rosie Sexton

5k series 1st male Ross Wilkes

5k series 1st female Sue Hunter

5k most improved Claire Jasper

Winter Nominated Gary Sharp

Summer Nominated Sarah Sharp

In the Hampshire League Kevin Rann, David Blake and Ross Wilkes walked away with the mens prizes while Jodie Wilmott, Bridget Keyte and Zoe Sherwin got the ladies.

Onto the rest of the awards, first up was most improved female athlete. Shortlisted was Lyn Snow, Gill Bushell and Jodie Wilmott with Jodie taking the award. With PBs across all distances and a brilliant leader as ladies captain this year it was well deserved. In the mens, shortlisted were James Shoulder, Ross Wilkes and Simon Pilcher with Ross picking up the award. For the clubmans award shortlisted were Stuart Backhouse, Ross Wilkes and James Shoulder with Stuart getting the trophy. Stuart has been inspiring to everyone in the club helping others with training and leading Monday bootcamps. In the club ladies award nominated was Bridget Keyte, Jodie Wilmott and Sarah Sharpe with Sarah taking home the prize. Sarah is and always been one of the central people involved in keeping the club running smoothly and works tirelessly for the Road Runners.

After a quick food break we moved onto the London Marathon draw presented by Nick Kenney 6 members had completed the required amount of qualifying races with George Butler, Giorgio Marinelli, Bridget Keyte, Steve Bennett, Tracey Houdoire and Ross Wilkes. As each envelope was opened one by one Tracey and Ross got the winning golden tickets for next years big race.

With a raffle, disco and plenty of drinks a great night was had by all, a massive thank you to everyone who organised.

Chilly Hilly

One of the highlights of the December festive races, the Chilly Hilly always attracts many athletes from the Island and even beyond (it was the feature race in Runners World recently). With the clubs christmas awards night the evening before our Road Runners may have needed a bit more of a nudge to get out of bed to the race than usual but were out in great numbers and giving it their all. Organised by West Wight Leisure Centre, it has a 10 mile route on mixed terrain and as the name suggests plenty of hills.

Starting from the Sports Centre it heads through to Freshwater Bay before heading up to the dreaded but beautiful Tennyson Downs all the way to the Needles whereupon our runners head across Headon Warren, down to Totland and Colwell before heading back home. Though the weather was kind the wind proved challenging to the runners in the first half of the race with thick mud being a obstacle in the latter.

First in was Ross Wilkes getting 2nd place overall. Next was clubman of the year Stuart Backhouse getting 9th overall and 1st in age category. Simon Riley and David Blake came in together both getting top 20 and Simon getting 3rd in age. Gradually the Road Runners pushed there way to the finish. Margeret Niland Murphy grabbed 2nd in age with Julia Parker getting 3rd in hers.

Ross Wilkes 1.12.40

Stuart Backhouse 1.14.07

Simon Riley 1.18.32

David Blake 1.18.35

Jamie Brenchley 1.19.31

Nick Kenney 1,20.26

Andy Macarthur 1.21.45

Steve Apsey 1.23.20

Guy Mattinson 1.24.18

Noel Finn 1.25.03

Rob Hunter 1.25.22

Simon Weeks 1.34.14

Petya Todorova 1.37.14

Margeret Niland Murphy 1.38.03

Zoe Sherwin 1.41.53

Jane Andrew 1.53.30

Julia Parker 1.53.30

Chani Jones 1.56.02

Louise Morris 2.00.57

George Butler 2.02.33

Tarnia Butler 2.02.33

Alison Butcher 2.03.36

Fay Tosdevin 2.03.54

Well done everyone, such a hard course but great results from all!

Victory 5M HRRL #5

15 of our Road Runners went over to compete with over 800 other athletes at Lakside North Harbour Portsmouth on the flat 3 lap course, perfect for a speedy time. The 5th Hampshire League race of the season attracts a decent field of some of the best athletes in the south.

Mens A

Simon Pilcher 26th 27.26 PB

Ross Wilkes 36th 27.38 PB

Gary Sharp 205th 33.49

Simon Paul 218th 34.02

Mens B

Kev Rann 352nd 37.04

James Shoulder 391st 38.16 PB

Steve Bennett 456th 40.33

Matt Fletcher 531st 42.45

Ladies A

Jodie Wilmott 20th female 33.25 PB

Judy McCabe 125th female 40.32

Karen Phillips 144th female 41.32

Ladies B

Sarah Sharp 162nd female 42.30

Bridget Keyte 235th female 46.31 PB

Sue Hunter 243rd female 46.49 PB

Tanya Clifford 285th female 50.23

The Downland Devil 9M

Promising plenty of hills, mud and cattle grids to navigate, the Downland Devil would be the perfect challenge for Ian Dyer who travelled to Lancing West Sussex to take on the tough multi terrain route. Organised by Worthings RunAcademy Ian joined the other 350 runners taking full advantage.

And as promised the route proved tough . Right from the start the course proved challenging. ‘The race was hilly from the off, it too me a couple of miles to get into it’, but Ian persisted and took on every obstacle before getting to the final mile. ‘The hardest hill came at the last part’. What goes up must go down though and Ian finished strongly on the descent to the end. He managed to finish in 1.23.26 taking 130th.

Brilliant running Ian!

New York Marathon

New York, New York! Land of the Skyscraper and home of the American Dream. 5 boroughs and 8.5 million people….. All watched over by the glorious Lady Liberty. Its bigger, bolder and brasher than you can possibly imagine. 

It’s little wonder that it has become host to the world’s biggest, brashest marathon too.

Founded in 1970 by Fred Lebrow, just 55 runners embarked upon the course which took them around and around Central Park costing just a dollar to enter. It wasn’t until 1976 and the US bicentenary celebrations that they decided to take the course through all 5 boroughs of the city as a one off parade. Over a million people lined the street that year making it an unforgettable spectacle that the city had to adopt. It’s remained the same ever since. 

Steve Hunt was lucky enough to get a place on the public ballot

“I applied through the ballot on the off chance thinking I wouldn’t get in. I’d only ever wanted to do London which I was already doing this year, so I really didn’t think I’d get in”

Jane Andrew made the Tranatlantic trip to run with son in law Richard Clark in memory of her sorely missed late husband and fellow IWRR Darren.

“It was the one marathon that Darren really, really wanted to do”

Jane, her family and many of Darren’s friends have been embarking on all sorts of sporting challenges raising a phenomenal £13,000 to date for the ICU unit at St Mary’s and raising awareness for the importance of organ donation. Rich had taken one of Darren’s club vests to wear on race day as a beautiful tribute to his memory.

They all arrived a couple of days early so they could explore the city and excitedly collect their numbers.

Steve’s first port of call after getting his number was the 9/11 museum, paying his respects to those who died in the city that fateful day, before he started having fun

Race day arrived and they excitedly made their way to the start.

“They has free tea at the start” said Jane

And we all know how much our Jane loves her tea! 

A clear blue sky shone above them as they lined up in their start corrals in Fort Wandsworth on Staten Island. The course goes straight over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in what can only be described as one of the greatest sporting sights known to man.

“The Verrazano Bridge looked daunting” said Steve “but there was so much energy in the air that you didn’t really notice the climb. Once you stepped off into Brooklyn you were hit by a wall of noise”

Once over the bridge the runners enter the second borough of Brooklyn. Known for its creativity and entrepreneurship, this borough is the most populated. Through the neighbourhoods of Bay Bridge, Sunset Park, Williamsburg and Greenpoint they ran, cheered on by some of the 2 million spectators that now line the route. 

They all tried to settle into a steady rythmn and not get swept up in the excitement of the occasion… or in Steve’s case trip over and manholes! 

“I couldn’t believe it. I was 2 years ago exactly to the day that I fell over and broke my nose on the Hayling 10!”

But he got up, dusted himself off and carried on

Halfway point. And the runners cross the Polanski Bridge into Queens. Despite being the largest borough, the course only takes in 2 and a half miles of it as it soon reaches the Queensboro Bridge. Briony and Charlotte caught sight of Jane, Rich and friend Paul but despite their screams the trio didn’t hear them amidst the noise. 

“The support was amazing” Jane tells me “The Police and the Fire departments were all out in force cheering, the entertainment, the gospel choirs, it was all just fantastic” 

And then…… Silence…. The Queensboro Bridge. Taking them over the East River, crossing over the top of Roosevelt Island with only sound the metronomic sound of trainers hitting tarmac and the swirling wind. 

“That was a real uphill struggle” said Jane “It seemed to go on forever”

“I hated it too” said Steve “but I knew my wife was just on the the other side, that kept me going”

On the other side they emerge into the skyscrapers of Manhattan and the 16 mile mark. This is where Steve indeed managed to find his wife Donna in the crowd. 

1st Avenue took them north through the Upper East Side before crossing the Willis Avenue Bridge into The Bronx, ticking off the final borough. 

After only a mile and a half they made the turn for home as they crossed the Madison Avenue Bridge and the 21 mile mark. 

Only 5 and a bit to go…. 

Through Harlem they went. At last the sight of Central Park looms before them but they are by no means out of the woods. Just under 4 miles are still left to go. 

After a mile on the periphery they entered this iconic park at 23.5 miles. The ups and downs of the park taking their toll but softened by the huge level of support from the crowd. Jane spotted the girls this time and Steve randomly high fived Santa before they finally reached Colombus Circle and the 385 yards to the finishline outside the famous Tavern in the Green.  

Jane Andrew – 5.03.16

Steve Hunt – 5.12.43

Dedicated to the memory of Darren Andrew 

23.05.1965 – 09.01.2018

Hayling 10 – #HRRL3

Returning to the HRRL calendar, Havant AC were the hosts for the Hayling 10 mile race.

On the Southern tip of Hayling Island, the Roadrunners fielded two full teams to take on this fast and flat 10 mile course. The conditions were surprisingly good after the record 109 mph winds and torrential rain of the previous day. 

Starting on Bacon Lane they went through West Town before heading on to a particularly fast out and back section of the course along the Old Hayling Billy Railway Line which was littered with debris and huge puddles from the now dissipated storm. 

Returning back onto the roads they passed the Ferry Boat Pub and then onto another out and back on the seafront at Eaststoke. 

“It was great seeing other runners going the other way” said Vice Chair Sarah Sharp “It gave me a lift on tired legs” 

Finally they returned to Bacon Lane and the welcome sight of the finish. Ross Wilkes took 28th overall giving him…. yes you’ve guessed it….YET ANOTHER PB!! Garry Sharp also had a cracking run who finished a few seconds quicker than his recent Great South Run. 

Polly Segar was the next IWRR to make it back in a tidy 77 minutes and 5th V35 – a very welcome return to racing for this little rocket – well done Polly! 

Ian Dyer also ran well to finish next in 81 minutes with James Shoulder battling a cold getting his medal next. Steve Rackett, (making his club debut alongside his sister Sue Hunter), finished next followed by the the rest of the ladies team as Sarah, Sue and Lyn as they all ran steadily to complete the course with smiles on their faces. Sue took 11th her age catagory – great running Sue! 

Ross Wilkes – 1.01.35

Garry Sharp – 1.11.20

Polly Segar – 1.17.25

Ian Dyer – 1.21.33

James Shoulder – 1.26.09

Steve Rackett – 1.28.23

Sarah Sharp – 1.31.46

Sue Hunter – 1.38.41

Lyn Snow – 2.03.10

Gosport Half Marathon #HRRL4

It was all smiles as 27 Roadrunners lined up amidst a 2000 strong field outside Bay House School on the 34th running of this fast and flat Hampshire league race. Despite heavy rain the previous day, the sky was clear and pleasantly warm and not a hint of the seemingly traditional hurricane force winds that generally plague this race. 

Starting from Browndown Road the crew in white red and blue set out on this 2 lap race along the Portsmouth Road continuing to Marine Parade before finding the samba band for a few mesmeric beats before finding the unusually packaged refreshments at the water station and continuing toward the only slight incline on the course before making the turn onto the Promenade for the return leg. 

The course feeling almost like an out and back, our fantastic team could see each other at different stages of the race, offering cheers and whoops of support as they passed. 

A sharp U-turn at the halfway point sent them away on to their second lap, still glimpsing their teammates at the many vantage points along the way. 

Simon Pilcher was the first IWRR over the line taking a magnificent 24th overall in another PB super speedy time for him. Bill Goozee was next home with Stuart Backhouse not too far behind taking 12th in his age category. Jamie Brenchley took his medal next completing the first men’s team. 

For the ladies it was Jodie Wilmott that headed them home in yet another cracking PB taking 31st female and 11th in her age category. Petya Torodova made her official club debut in style as she smiled her way around the course. Margaret Niland-Murphy saw a welcome return to form as she completed the first ladies team in a tidy PB, taking 4th in her age category in the process. 

In they came, one by one and two by two. All taking advantage of the favourable conditions by running their hearts out. A special mention to Lucy Deville for placing 5th in her age catagory and to Glen Jones, Andy Tickner, Gill Bushell, Julia Parker, Alison Butcher and Carolyn Littleton for running themselves PB times, especially Gill as she not only took a whopping 35 minutes off her time but also took partner and chairman Kev Winchcombe’s scalp along the way. 

“That was the fastest I’ve ever run… and I beat Kev!! I loved it!” She beams on Facebook 

“I’m so proud of her” said Kev, taking it in his stride 

Well done team

Simon Pilcher – 1.16.44 PB

Bill Goozee – 1.22.51 

Stuart Backhouse – 1.26.11

Jodie Wilmott – 1.32.30 PB 

Jamie Brenchley – 1.32.45

Glen Jones – 1.41.01 PB 

Petya Torodova – 1.43.17

Margaret Niland-Murphy – 1.45.56 PB 

Kevin Rann – 1.47.14

Andy Tickner – 1.52.00 PB 

Ivan Ward – 1.53.43

Gill Bushell – 1.55.34 PB 

Dave Wilcock – 1.56.00

James Shoulder – 1.56.13

Chani Jones – 2.00.03

Lisa Upstell – 2.00.14

Julia Parker – 2.01.03 PB

Alison Butcher – 2.02.52 PB

Kevin Winchcombe – 2.03.00

Carolyn Littleton – 2.03.33 PB

Briony Andrew – 2.09.02

Sue Hunter – 2.11.17

Steve Hunt – 2.21.16

Lucy Deville – 2.22.43

Gillian Shaw – 2.38.16

Beverly James – 2.40.55

Lyn Snow – 2.56.52

Cannock Chase Half

Sarah Ward and husband Ivan Ward took advantage of a trip to her hometown of Stafford by taking part in the inaugural running of this event nearby in the forests of Cannock Chase.

“Cannock has a special place in our hearts as we used to walk our dog Max there” says Sarah 

With 2 distances on offer, (also a 10k), the event sold out quickly with some 700 runners keen to explore the trails in full Autumnal bloom.

Despite some pretty apocalyptic weather causing travel chaos the day before, the sky was blue as team Ward lined up just in the nick of time for the kick off.

“There were loads of road closures due to flooding in the area. We only just made it!”

They set out from Penkridge Road on their 2 lap journey into the muddy, leafy, enclaves of the Forest. The single track made the first few miles hard going especially with the 10k runners setting off at the same time, but as the field stretched out a bit, team Ward got into their stride.

The course was challenging with copious undulation and treacherous conditions underfoot. However the glorious display of Autumn colour more than made up for it as the trees shone resplendently in the sunshine.

“I felt better in the 2nd lap” said Sarah “although you did know that the hills were coming” 

They did brilliantly in the conditions with Sarah completing in 2.08.32, taking 3rd in her age category and Ivan not too far behind in 2.16.02. 

Abbott Dash to the Finish

The marathon was not the only race being held in New York last weekend. Taking full advantage of the trip over the Atlantic to watch their mum take on the marathon on Sunday, Bryony Andrew and sister Charlotte hit the city streets and Central Park paths that make the last 5k of the marathon in the morning.

Starting outside the United Nations building, over 10000 runners tear through midtown Manhattan. Passing the Chrysler Building, Grand Central Station and Bryant’s Park, they then turned up 6th Avenue passing the world famous Radio City Music Hall.

They then emerged into Central Park. Bryony and Charlotte wound their way through the park, passing the City Zoo before snaking their way along to the finishline outside the famous Tavern on the Green. 

Bryony finished first in 26.14 with her trademark smile

“That was brilliant!” She chirps “The weather, the crowds… coming through Central Park was amazing”

Charlotte wasn’t far behind in 33 minutes.