Geoff Newton in the Marnhull 12k

It was rare road race appearance from Geoff Newton at the Marnhull 12k where he was joined by Adam Corbin and 150 others for the undulating, rural encounter

A couple of recent attempts 10k PB attempts hadn’t quite gone according to plan for Adam Corbin so he decided to up the ante ever so slightly and sign up for the Marnhull 12k. Although it was an undulating course, Adam was at least guaranteed a 12k PB on this occasion, since he hadn’t ever raced over that exact distance before.

Although he was disappointed with his Eastleigh 10k time of 34:16, the truth was that Adam was still in very good form. It didn’t quite rival his 33:49 best from 2021 but it was in the right ballpark. A second PB attempt was thwarted by a 24mph wind at Round the Lakes but Adam still ran well to record a time of 35:02 which put him in 6th place.

The Marnhull 12k wasn’t a league race this year so it wasn’t quite as hotly contested as it has been in the last couple of years. There were still some good quality runners taking to the stage who could give Adam a run for his money.

Joining Adam at the Marnhull was vastly experienced, serial racer Geoff Newton. Usually favouring trail events, Geoff does occasionally turn his hand to a road race. This was filled a gap in his calendar so he went for it.

Turning 79 at the end of the month, Geoff is now really starting to feel his age. His feet tend to hurt when he’s out training and he generally feels spent. But he still enjoys the thrill of the chase when racing and that’s what stops him jacking it in.

Adam Corbin in the Marnhull 12k

Adam was battling it out at the sharp end of the field

The weather conditions were quite good on the day of the race, as it was sunny but not too hot. Signalling his intentions with a fast first mile at 5:25, Adam was well on his way. The next mile contained a small incline but Adam still got through it in 5:38 before registering a 5:35 for his third mile which contained a fair bit of downhill. The fourth mile was uphill, then downhill and Adam got through that in 5:41, showing how strong he came be, even on an undulating route.

The fifth mile consisted of quite a long, very slight downhill stretch which Adam managed in 5:36. There was quite a tough hill on the next mile which put Adam down to 6:08 and the seventh mile wasn’t flat either, with a couple of slight inclines to conquer. Getting through that mile in 6 minutes exactly, that left Adam with only a short distance remaining.

It was a climb though up to the finish which wasn’t an easy section to end on. Adam powered up it as quickly as he could though and made it to the finish line in 43:02, which put him in 4th place. He’d covered a distance of 7.47 miles which put his average pace at 5:45. That was quite impressive, given the elevation he’d had to face.

Completing the course in a time of 1 hour 4 minutes and 23 seconds, Geoff was the 2nd over 70 to get to the line after Neil Luckett of Westbourne. Neil registered a time of 1.01:53 which put him in 66th position.

Geoff Newton in action at the Marnhull 12k

Geoff was the top over 75 in the race, getting round in 1:04:23

Geoff arrived seven places later to take 73rd position. That was out of 153 runners in total, putting him in the top half of the field. Having not run the Marnhull 12k before, Geoff quite enjoyed the race and found the undulating, rural course was to his liking.

After winning the Bournemouth Bay Run 5k and the Bournemouth Bay Run 10k on the same day and finishing 2nd at Round the Lakes, Jamie Grose had been exhibiting some fine form. That continued at the Marnhull 12k and he came on on top, recording a time of 40:58. That was a fairly emphatic win for him as his year just keeps getting better and better.

16 year old Rueben Crawley was his closest challenge and he made it to the line in 41:42. Rob Arkell of Poole Runners finished 3rd in 42:03 and he was the only other person who could beat Adam.

Jamie Grose collects his trophy for winning the Marnhull 12k

Jamie Grose picks up his shield for winning the 2024 Marnhull 12k

Philip Bridge was 5th in 43:27 and Tom Andrews, having transferred from Lytchett Manor Striders to Poole Runners, claimed 6th spot in 43:35. His wife Dawn took 1st female spot in 50:31, which put her 20th overall. She’s now running for Poole AC.

Vicky Rutter of Westbourne was 2nd lady, crossing the line in 53:14 which put her 26th overall. 18 year old Ella Johnston was 3rd female in 54:36 which put her 32nd overall.

Louis Verdi of Wimborne AC was 1st vet and 7th overall in 44:12. Kevin Rumming was the first over 50, completing the course in 47:55. Mike Jurd of Wimborne AC was first over 60, getting round in 54:12 which put him 29th overall.

Hayley Higgins of Poole Runners was the first over 40 female and 4th female overall in 55:23. That put her in 40th place. Arrabella De Steigar Khandwala was 5th female and first over 45 in a time of 57:45 and that put her in 47th place. Sarah Wheeler of Dorset Doddlers was first over 50 female and clocked a time of 1:00:42.

Often competing in the over 75 bracket for the England Masters team or entering qualifying races for it gives Geoff a goal to focus on. He even travels abroad to run represent Team GB on the odd occasion. In fact, this coming weekend he’ll be competing for the European Masters Half Marathon which will be held at Porto Santo in Portugal.

Next up for Adam it would be the Alton 10 race which was the next fixture in the Hampshire Road League. In that one, Adam stepped in to replace Stu Nicholas who had injured his Achilles during the New Forest Half Marathon. Adam would be joined in the Alton 10 by Rich Brawn, Ricky Brennan, James Hulbert and Patrick Kingston. It’s likely that Bournemouth AC will need to win all of their four remaining races to secure promotion to the First Division so that will be the aim going forward and if they can get a solid team out for each race, they certainly have the power in their ranks to do it.