THE Great South Run welcomed back runners to take part in the 2021 race, to be run on the ten-mile course through the city, taking in many of its historic sights.

A group of 35 Haslemere Borders athletes made the journey to take part in the race.

Ideal conditions awaited them. For club runner Helen Spandley and her guide, fellow club member Philomel Bennett, the opportunity to be leading the race came their way, as they set of before the elite runners started.

Helen and Phil completed the course in an excellent time of 1:40:25.

Continuing his fantastic season, Dave Jarrett was the first man home for Haslemere Borders, in another personal best time of 54:57, followed by Rob Manning 1:14:03, Marco de Caprio 1:18:52, John Dickinson 1:20:45, Andy Wise 1:26:45, Steven Taylor 1:28:06, Peter Varnes 1:31:21, Dave Bateman 1:38:44 and Robert Monteath 1:58:48.

For the ladies Tania Corrigan finished in a time of 1:15:58, followed by Issy Peters 1:17:23, Claire Pearson – who took on her first Great South Run and finished in an excellent time of 1:30:42, Philomel Bennett 1:40:25, Helen Spandley 1:40:25, Sarah Kingsbury 1:52:38, Lorraine Herring 2:02:28, Sarah Barnett 2:02:28, Anne Marie Greenway 2:08:23, Sarah Caudrey 2:08:45, Leone Beattie 2:10:16, Caroline Lawler 2:10:16 and Ann Varnes 2:41:57.

It was an excellent turnout of runners, with many achieving personal bests and an overwhelming feeling from all that it was great to be back taking part in race events once again.

Another bunch of determined ladies took up the challenge to put on their running shoes, conquer their doubts and signed up to the Haslemere Border Athletic Club’s Get Up and Run course, led by Annalisa Alexander, who is training to become a fully-qualified England athletic running coach.

The runners were met with snowy showers and bitter temperatures, but this did not deter the ladies from showing up at 9am for Annalisa and Philomel Bennett to put them through their paces – indeed, there were smiles all round and a sense of determination.

The group finally completed their course with a graduation 5k run on December 18 at the Punch Bowl, followed by the traditional celebration afterwards, with the awarding of medals and coffee and cake.

Sebastian Linke and Paul Croad took part in the Maverick Addidas Terrex West Sussex Long race, a 23km trail race set in the grounds of Amberley Museum in Arundel.

Both completed their run in 2.5hrs and Paul, who is recovering from a series of injuries, was particularly pleased with his achievement!

By Ann Varnes and Philomel Bennett