It was to be a very special day in the diary for Haslemere Borders AC. After months of preparation the club finally got to present and direct their own inaugural race which was also to be the final event in the Southern Cross Country Series. Held in the stunning scenic National Trust surroundings of The Devils Punchbowl at Hindhead Surrey this really was the perfect setting for the hardy 360 or so club runners who turned up.
The weather was perfectly cold and crisp thereby keeping much of the customary mud at bay to be more firm underfoot. However to make up for the lack of mud there were hills and more hills. One such hill being described by quite a few as a 'mountain' amongst other more unprintable descriptions!
Jackie ("Oh I'm going to be rubbish") Field made a return appearance to come in first for the club in a fabulous 2nd place. Other scoring ladies and following swiftly behind her were the club's cross country star Sofia Shearring in 4th followed by the club's old girl Sally Goble in 5th. Following them and in hot pursuit was the club's stalwart racer Donna Reid in 10th then Issy Peters 15th, Ladies Captain Sian Dixon 35th, Nuria Wallis 44th, Rachael Barlow 92nd, Becky Taylor 112nd, Caroline Lawlor 117th , Louise Turner 119th and the club sweeper Becca Humphreys in 146th. The ladies were delighted to take the overall win in the ladies team event.
David Taylor once again performed superbly and crossed the line way ahead of the rest of the field in 1st place overall. The four other men scoring for the team were the ever high scoring Joe Perkins 3rd, Colin Butfield 8th, Jon Fairs 9th and Luke Brocks 21st. Other results for the men were Lawrie Baker 23rd, Richard Lee 45th, Tom Milns 50th, Andy Webb 51st, Harry Wood 58th, Simon Whitehouse 62nd, John Lewis 78th, John Raynor 92nd, Dave Rutter 94th Tom Whishaw 96th, Dominic Perkins 110th, Marco DiCaprio 120th, Rob Webb 126th, Richard Spandley 131st, Steve Currie 151th, Richard Gillham 158th, John Sanders 173rd, Dave Card 195th and finally sweeper Alastair Doyle in 215th. A fantastic turn out for the men who joined the jubilant ladies team with a 1st place overall.
After the race the large gathering of exhausted runners headed to the grounds of The Royal School to be rewarded with a vast array of refreshments put on by the wonderful club volunteers who took time out to bake, prepare as well as serve their delicious offerings. Meanwhile behind the scenes the numbers were being crunched together by the club mathematician (and occasional plumber!) Jonathan Croucher and finally the results were presented by the club's Vice President Dave Bateman. To loud applause Haslemere took the prize of overall winners for the day's event. However only by one point did they lose out to Basingstoke and Mid Hants AC who were awarded overall winning club of the series.
Thanks and applause then went to Race Director and Cross Country Captain Andy Wareham who all agreed did a splendid job putting the race together. The club would also like to officially thank The Royal School, Haslemere for kindly allowing them to use the school's premises on the day.
Well done to all the amazing runners who took part, the marshalls and the volunteers. What a fabulous day had by all!