Clanfield Challenge – Spectacular race proves a wonderful community event

The Clanfield Challenge proved a fantastic success again with five different routes offering some spectacular racing for juniors and seniors.

Wednesday, 29th May 2019, 2:05 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th May 2019, 3:05 pm
First in the 20k Dan Bailey, centre, with Martin Harris, on the right, second and Gary Armstrong, left, in third. The Clanfield Challenge 2019. Picture: Alan Dunk

This friendly, family oriented event, hosted at South Lane Meadow, brings in visitors from across the South who enjoy the chance to run through the stunning countryside along fun but challenging routes of 1k, 2k, 5k, 12k and 20k designed by the Clanfield Joggers, reports Jessica Hughes.

The event is organised by a dedicated group of volunteers from Clanfield Joggers, Serenity Digital, AdvanceSRM and Walker Accounting Services.

Sporting hero Lieutenant Commander Emma McCormick – a gold medal winner from the 2018 Invictus Games – was there cheering on the runners, handing out medals and presenting winners with their prizes which had been donated by local businesses.

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First lady Marjorie Huet-Martin, centre, with second-placed Naouele McHugh, right, and third-placed Lisa-Marie Peckover. Clanfield Challenge. Picture: Alan Dunk

Havant’s Alfie Moth, 14, won the 5k on his debut in the event (19min 06sec) and Noemie Plumridge was first female (22.18) with 14-year-old Harriet Burr second (22.20).

For the second year in a row, the men’s 12k was won by talented runner Neil Williams, who represents Denmead Striders. Sarah Bischoff was the first female in the 12k race with Mandy Marsden second.

Talented Powerman duathlete Dan Bailey took the win (1.21.42) as he relished the testing terrain and the undulations – including the mother of all local climbs Butser Hill. 

He said: ‘Butser was tough, that was the hardest bit. It was my first time at the challenge, great course, great marshals, great atmosphere  – I loved it.’

Clanfield Challenge finishers. Picture: Alan Dunk

Majorie Huet-Martin, in superb form this year, was first in the women’s 20k (1.35.51).

She said: ‘It was great. I really like this race – once you get Butser Hill out of the way, then its plain sailing.

‘The event is really well organised, and it’s nice to have the little races for the kids.’

Naouele McHugh, of Portsmouth Joggers, finished second lady with a very good run – exactly a minute behind the winner. 

As a not-for-profit event, the Clanfield Challenge also raises much needed funds for local good causes. This year saw more than £2,000 donated to local organisations. Clanfield Village Nursery were awarded £250. 

Other beneficiaries included St James Church, Clanfield Junior School, Bluebell Wood, Clanfield Community Preschool, Catherington Infant School, Hambledon Primary School and Clanfield Youth FC.

For more information on the Clanfield Challenge and to see race finish times for the 2019 run, visit the website