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Farnborough Winter Half Marathon 2020 – Members Highlights!

Just under 40 Sandhurst Joggers turned up for the 4th episode of this evolving event, some were first timers and some had run all of them.

There was a broad spectrum of runners taking part with several finishing with sub-1:30 times, I have to say I do agree with Lucy Ong’s sentiments regarding those who managed that – HOLY SH*T!

There were also more that bagged their own PBs plus those of us who did our own thing and here they are to tell us about it.

Images are courtesy of RandRphotos (who provided free photography for the event) and members own pics. Below was the latest medal on offer.

WAYNE BOARDMAN

What it takes to hit a PB

I’m in training for Rotterdam Marathon that takes place on 5th April and today was my first race of the year. I wasn’t sure whether to treat the race as a training run or whether to test myself to see where my current fitness lies. I eventually made the decision to test myself with the aim to run well and keep a pace that was below 8mmp. 

I’ve done FHM a few times and have always enjoyed the course, I think each year has been different in parts, today’s new course is by far my favourite one. I loved the out and backs which made it easy to spot many club mates and share a few high fives. 

I went out bold from the start at a decent pace, soon realised it was a little too quick, but decided to take each mile at a time and focus on keeping the pace fairly consistent. Wheels came off for a short period between miles 10 and 11, but a stern talking to myself and a caffeine gel resulted in a quick final couple of miles. 

Happy to have achieved a PB today, but more importantly were the lessons I learned on race prep – still some improvements to make. 

FHM is well organised, has friendly supportive marshals, and with the addition of a small start area with easy to access baggage storage and plenty of loos, it’ll remain an annual fixture in my diary for a few more years yet.

PAUL SLIWINSKI

This was my second half marathon, my first was Bracknell last year. As my first winter Farnborough half, I did not know what to expect I knew it was quite straight not a lot of hills and road based no grass running. The only point was parking and worried if I would get there on time for run, but was quick and easy. The course itself was good and well organized and plenty of friendly faces and well sign posted.

I only started running last year doing park runs in Bracknell, a 5k race on inflatable run in Farnborough, then in May Bracknell half marathon which I finished in 2hrs 21mins.

Later in the summer I joined Sandhurst joggers, running Monday nights, Sundays tried Tuesday too and been to Friday night track to gain speed. I have done 2 cross country runs this year and enjoyed it great company from Sandhurst joggers and friendly faces. My latest run half marathon in Farnborough I came in at 1hr 47 mins so improved since May, happy with that!


My friend also told me that the 2.09 event was put together by someone that ran the London marathon in 2.09 wow thought, then saw him that day. My parkruns from when I first started were 30.25 in Bracknell but know its 22.10 happy with my times from running with Sandhurst Joggers, thanks 

LINA JOHNSON

With shoes

I was really looking forward to the Farnborough Half and felt quite good about it as I had trained and recently completed a 14 mile training run with no real issues. The race started off well but at mile 5 my trainers started to rub the arches of both feet. It meant that I had to run walk and by mile 10, it just got even worse so, with over a mile to go, I took off my shoes and ran in just my socks. It was such a relief to take off the shoes, in fact, it was actually more comfortable just being in socks!!!!

What a trooper 🙂

I hadn’t run this race before but I enjoyed the route and it was very well organised. What I enjoyed the most was the camaraderie and encouragement from so many amazing SJs not only those that were in the crowds but also those running the course themselves.

ANDREW BROOKS

I was pleased to see that the organisers had reverted back to a course that follows some sort of loop as I didn’t enjoy last years out and back route at all (or maybe it was the cold wind I didn’t enjoy last year!). My race plan was to sit at the back of the 01:30 pacing group and just see how I felt. This plan fell apart when I attempted to line up in the starting pen and discovered that everyone else had already lined up and there was no way to make my way through to the pacing group.

After 11km I had finally caught the 01:30 pacing group and eventually finished with a time of 01:29 – target achieved. Overall, I don’t find Farnborough the most inspiring half marathon route but being one of the first half’s of the year it’s always on my race calendar.

ALISON WINDERS

I’d never run Farnborough Half but I’ve run several half’s before.

I’d said I’d run with Ellie as she’s not run a half before so I wasn’t worried about a PB.

The start was great the bag drops were easy. Everything was close together.  Loo queues weren’t too bad. 

I enjoyed the course. The roads at the beginning were wide and there were no bottlenecks. I liked the variety of the course, road, airfield, country roads, Queens parade, then a golf course.

Good finish with lots of support and fantastic goodie bags.

I’d recommend the run and would do it again.

Negatives

We queued for ages for the car park pay and display machine. It would have been helpful if Rushmoor could have had someone to help.

We were lucky that the weather was mild, I understand that it can be very cold. 

Ellie and Alison having a bit of a party!

ELLIE WATSON       

Loved Farnborough Half’s event I would class it as my first half as several years ago I was due to run Reading however it was cancelled due to snow (I still ran it on my own slowly round Virginia water) . This year I felt more compelled to take on the challenge, partly because I have a place for London marathon but also because i have been training and running as much as I could through winter which I certainly didn’t do in preparation for my last.

I have been running with Sandhurst since May and I would have to say my running has improved so much since, considering a year ago I would class a  ‘long run’ , as a mile down the road and back to now when I am running 3,4 times a week at 6 to 7 miles and longer runs at the weekend I have come a long way in the space of a year and I certainly would not have predicted that I would be attempting to run a half marathon in just over 2 hours.

I would like to thank everyone in the club for being so supportive as I am thrilled to have a achieved my first ‘real’ half marathon and a special shout out to Alison Winders who was my amazing partner and pulled me through it even when I was whinging at mile 5! The event itself was well run, and I thought the medal was the best I’ve received yet was definitely well worth the struggle! And I am now considering entering another! 

JIM LAIDLAW

The warmest winter half so far, a very enjoyable run. The route was very free flowing without any major hills to tackle and was a fantastic start to the new year.


The change in the route this year meant a lot more support around the 8-9 mile marks just when you needed that little boost to remind you that there isn’t far to go to finish.


Looking forward to next year’s event

Jim did fail to mention himself that he beat his previous PB by 46 secs to finish in 1:28:01 probably helped by some gravity defying moments such as

JIM HAFFEY

I parked in my normal car park for work @ Rushmoor Council and then it was a short walk to The Hub to collect my race pack where there was quite a good buzz in the start area made even better as more Sandhurst Joggers turned up. The start line had the pacers lined up to give you an idea where to start, I was looking at the sub 2:15 but Dave Bartlett convinced me to get to the sub 2 hour pacer which was a spot-on call!

I enjoyed the variety of the route and I did enjoy the bits through the airport and although not really a fan of “out and backs”, I actually really enjoyed this one as there were so many other runners I knew and was quite fun shouting each other out etc. It also meant that supporters had more opportunities to see more too, thanks Blanche, Sophie and Gareth (and the others I surely missed) for your support!

As for the run, I decided fairly early on to just track the pacer and I was glad I did as when I got to 10 miles or so I was feeling the lack of miles I had (not) done.

Having that visual guide also meant not being a slave to the Garmin and I clung on for dear life to him until the last half mile when I just about went past him and skidded towards the finish line. I got in under 2 hours so was very pleased with that as a starter for the year and was rewarded with a warm pair of gloves, a great medal and nice bit of stuff in the goody bag. Probably off to Alton Sports soon 😊

I will definitely be back next year.

SHARON BURFIELD

I only entered Farnborough half at the last minute, having been persuaded by the lovely Alison Jones!  I ran the first two years of this local event, but missed last year due to illness, so it was nice to be back.

As it was only a training run, I wasn’t worried about running a particular pace or time, and didn’t really feel the race nerves (although I did need a last minute nervous wee – but there was no time due to the huge queues!).

Before long the start was upon us.  Alison and I set off together at a nice steady pace and chatted our way round.  Time seemed to fly by and we were soon at 6 miles, there we discarded gloves and sorted out a bottle malfunction for Alison, and then off we went again.

I don’t normally like the out and back sections, but did enjoy looking out for fellow SJs, and shouting out a hello!  Once heading back the way we came, we were on the home stretch, and it once again seemed to fly!

Before I knew it, we were heading down the home straight where I left Alison for a brief moment and headed for the (slippery) finish!

The goody bag was great, and the gloves came in handy straight away for the walk back to Sarah’s car… 

All in all, a lovely local event, and the weather was kind this year!  No doubt I will be back next year.

Perfect unison!

ALISON JONES

This was my 3rd Farnborough Half Marathon.  I use this half marathon to gauge where my fitness is for the spring marathons coming up.  The route was once again altered, but for the better I felt, especially after the first year when we looped for the first 4 miles just around the start / finish area and I liked the fact that we did not just go out and back along the same roads. 

Also the weather decided to play ball and it ended up a fairly warm day interspersed with a few light spots of rain to cool us down, as opposed to minus temperatures and snow, which we have endured in previous years.

I ran with Sharon Burfield since we are both training for Manchester in early April, another nice aspect was meeting other SJ’s on the looped sections we could all encourage each other.

I was happy with my time of 1.55 and 3rd in my age group, especially since we had another 5 miles to complete, which we duly did feeling comfortable, so looks like we paced it well.

Goody bag was good, with gloves to match the hat and buff we previously received, maybe next year we can expect the matching onesie!

DAVE BARTLETT

Easily accessible with a reasonable start time, what more could you ask for? This was my fourth running of this event and has so much meaning as it was my first ever half marathon. Having never run the same route twice it is always an enjoyable run. Well organised and marshalled it’s a fantastic event which all those looking for a local Half Marathon should do at least once.

Well supported by Sandhurst Joggers you never have the fear of being out there without a friend close by. I’ll be back again next year and every subsequent year until they reach the free shoes for all finishers!

LIZ UJSZASZI-EVANS

This was my second Farnborough Half after running last year for the first time. One bonus this year was that it was quite warm compared to last year!
We live in Farnborough so no issues regarding parking for us as we walked. We got there in plenty of time and met up with lots of lovely SJ’s.

The race was very well organised as always, and the new route was good too. To be honest I found it tough, my head didn’t seem to be in the right space and Nigel had to do a lot of encouraging to keep me going and actually finish it. This was my 6th Half Marathon and in the end my 2nd fastest, so not too bad.

Maybe a PB next year?!

CAROLINE CUTLIFFE

Nice little sprint finish from the “old Irish bird” Caroline!

First half marathon since August 2019 and second time for Farnborough!  

Perfect conditions for running and a great buzz at the start.  I knew they said they changed the course a bit so wasn’t sure what to expect.

The roar of plane engines on the airfield was interesting – at one point, it was as if the aircraft was there waiting for us to board, it was so close.  The first 7 miles felt good and then I got a stitch which stayed with me until the end – all the way along the long straight road at Aldershot to then do a U turn and come all the way back!!!!  Hmm, not my favourite part of the course.

I knew I was ahead for the 2.15 pacer and wanted to stay that way, so had to dig very deep for the last 3/4 miles and so surprised when I finally realised that I had taken 8 minutes off last years time to come in at 2.11.55. 

There’s still life in the old Irish bird yet!!!  Recommend it – especially first timers.

SARAH JONES

I was looking forward to the 5k this year as it was my 2nd one here and I really enjoyed it last year. When I arrived at the start of the race, I met with Tracey and Rowena and then we started. I really enjoyed the course this year, it went through the airfield and the views were nice along with very few inclines so mainly flat!

I then had a good finish at 36 minutes and was able to get a hot drink and slice of cake from the lovely St Peters church (which was free- I had to make sure of this more than once!) and then looked in my goody bag and found some lovely warming gloves which I then used to clap and cheer the SJ half marathon runners across the line.

Overall an enjoyable event, will be doing it next year and who knows I may be doing the half!

ROWENA BOOTHAM

Finishing strong for that PB!

I signed up for the Farnborough 5k to keep myself entertained before cheering the fantastic SJ runners across the line after the half…. and if I’m completely honest because the medal has penguins on it!

However, I really enjoyed the new course and got a cheeky PB out of it.

The course last year went out to Costas and back with a couple of small loops, however this year was more interesting and varied heading out to the airfield

Well done to all the runners – very inspiring!

Firstly, thank-you to all of you who took the time to share your experience with the rest of us, I am sure we all like hearing the different perspectives on it. We all start from different places and turn up with different expectations but hopefully all end up the same. Knackered but proud 🙂

A well organised local event that was well attended by our club and well supported too! Looking forward to 2021 and hope to see lots of club shirts next year too!

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