There has been a minor (ahem) hiatus in the race reports as the fixtures secretary was coming to terms with being in the workforce again, so strap yourself in as this is a long one (especially considering the time of year…our club has clearly forgotten what “off season” means).

Let’s cast our eyes back to the end of November. While some of us were comatose post-Turkey indulgence round one, others were lacing up for some fairly long runs. Senor Xavier Faux ran a 15km trail race in Mexico, signing up just after the start of the race and running up and down a volcano a bunch of times a few thousand metres above sea level shortly after an international flight. No big deal. I hope there was some tequila for you at the end.

On the first weekend of December, a large crew of FoTers ventured down to the Jurassic Coast for a nice coastal run. Of course, the weather gods weren’t really playing game, and thought it would be really funny to throw rain and cold weather at the runners. On the 10k, well done to Euan Lees, Paula Rutherfoord, Tamsin Ede, Mark Sempers, Walt Rothon, Eimear Toomey, Jane Osborne, Suzie Rylatt, Lucinda Springett and Sally Hotchkin. Shout out to Paula for coming in first lady, and to Euan for coming in second man (a lovely birthday present nonetheless!). At the half distance, well done to Rob Gray, Vince Rowe, Jules Rowe-May (who also saved a man suffering from a knee injury!), and Sybille Schorm. At the full distance, well done to Rich Curling (I’m pretty sure this isn’t the normal post-Kona advice?). At the Ultra distance, Congrats to Tim Lewis. And finally, because an ultra marathon just is a bit too easy, well done to Guido Hakkenburg and Jonathan Furuya for completing the Ultra Plus.

The second weekend of December brought with it not only the most important event of the year (the Christmas Party, obviously), nor even the second most important event (the mob match), but also some late season 70.3 races.

Before we get onto the best dance floor routine, first up last weekend was Steph Wise, who had ventured down to New Zealand for a good holiday and a cheeky half ironman. Huge well done to Steph, who managed to secure her 70.3 World Champs slot for Nice in 2019!

Slightly closer to home, Sarah Lewis, Ursula Hankinson and Kerstin Mogull all took on the 70.3 in Bahrain. Congrats to Sarah Lewis who came 2nd pro, despite a puncture that slowed down her last 5k on the bike. Also congrats to Ursula who, a year after getting back to running, managed to win her age group decisively and take home a 70.3 World Champs slot for Nice in 2019. Finally, congrats to Kerstin who took 2nd in her AG and also snagged a slot for Nice. What a weekend for Ful-on Tri!

Also racing on Saturday was Paula Rutherfoord, who represented Surrey in the County Cross Country Championships and was part of the winning team.

Now, about that Mob Match….Well done firstly to Rob for organising us, and to everyone for turning up despite the silly season: James Ellis, John Borton, Alexie Calvert, Euan Lees, Rich Curling, Nathan Sweeney, Haukur Heimisson, Tom Raven, Mark Benton, Ruth Purbrook, Robert Carder, Chris Clarke, James Ogilvy, Rob Argles, Jon Barks, Rich Bridger, Colin Frew, CJ Archer, Jose Lopez, Fernando Ramos, Emma Swinnerton, Trin Head, Sally Benton, Jules May, Cristian Marcos Ayuso, Chris Browne, Eimear Toomey, Colin McCaffrey, Sarah Lahausse, Merilee Bridger, Walt Rothon, Jane Dwyer, Sian Joseph, Jonny Williams, Lizzie Matthews, Tim Dearden, Sarah Watts, Gina Siebler, and Biatriz Fernandez Gordillo. Apparently, due to the weighting of the the race, we were victorious in the match, and this time didn’t even need to register our dogs. Well done!

Then, on Sunday, well done to Al Chappelle who managed to get up and run a 10k post-Christmas party and post a sub-40 time. Very impressive stuff. Well done also to Adam O’Rourke for completing the Roseberry Marathon, with what looks like stupid amounts of elevation.

Finally, well done to Euan Lees for racing the 5ks of Christmas in Battersea Park this weekend, and sussing out the beer mile for next year. Training begins now…

Phew, that was tough. Time to go back to the mince pies I think.