Southampton Half Marathon 26/04/15

Whilst our past and present run captains Tom and Farid were tackling the London Marathon, 23 SUTRI members were preparing for the brand new event, ABP Southampton Half. This distance is becoming increasingly popular as it is a step up from 5 and 10k races, but comes without the gruelling training plan required for a marathon. This sell-out event and its 10km counterpart built up a wave of excitement in the local running community, as well as a new sense of fear for Burgess Road…

Race day was cool and cloudy – pretty much perfect for running. Hoglands Park was transformed into the race village, where you could (slightly weirdly) collect your finisher t shirt in advance, and wear it for the race if you were feeling optimistic. The parade to the starting pens was more casual than some large races, as you could choose which timing pen to start in. We were held for a fairly long time listening to Matt Le Tissier being interviewed, but finally got underway a few minutes after 10am.

Immediately after crossing the start line, the adrenaline kicked in as the local support was outstanding. After a few moments of trying to spot familiar faces in the crowd, it was time to focus on the first challenge: the Itchen Bridge. The race organisers had decided to include a split for this section, called ‘beat the bridge’. For the competitive minded, there was temptation to pick up speed during mile 3, which we could pay for later on. I was personally worried about the bridge, but the atmosphere was fantastic and the winds weren’t too strong. As we had to run along the bridge and back again, we were distracted by spotting our team mates coming the other way. As I came onto the bridge, I spotted the lead bikes coming the other way, and it wasn’t long before spotting the speedy guys of SUTRI.

After the bridge, it wasn’t long before we came up to St Mary’s stadium, and a well-placed water station. A relatively dull mile followed with less support than earlier on, but the 10km marker came around soon enough, with many of the guys coming in sub-45 (sub 40 for Pete) and girls between 45 and 55. Riverside park was a lovely flat section with lots of support, but we all knew what was coming next. After another water and gel stop, it was time for the hills. Luckily for us, the yellow SUTRI banner was soon within sight and the support of the team (see pictures below) was enough to get anyone round – it gave everyone the boost we needed at a tough point in the course, so thank you guys!

Soton Half 2 Soton Half

Picture Credits: The Tab Southampton

After running through Highfield campus and seeing some more familiar faces, we soon reached the common for a lap of parkrun (albeit the wrong way round) and the long downhill was a relief on the legs. After a few unexpected corners in the town centre, we finished in Guildhall square to large crowds and an interesting recovery drink.

For several members, including Frankie, Grace and Becky, this was their first half marathon and they did incredibly well! It was also, maybe slightly unexpectedly, a big PB smashing event (see times below!) – Probably due to the amazing support around the course from the saucepan-smashing SUTRI guys and our friends and families. Hopefully there will be an even bigger SUTRI representation next year, as the event is set to increase in size. We’ll enter once we get our London ballot rejections…

Flo Greatrix

SUTRI Members and Times
Pete Fuller: 1:23:05
Mark Fuller: 1:26:32
Stephen Collins: 1:29:28
Oscar Miles : 1:29:42
Shiriam Sunder: 1:31:07
Christine McCullough: 1:38:13
Ollie Cooper: 1:41:08
Joe Lawson: 1:41:14
Flo Greatrix: 1:42:15
Verena Tobert: 1:42:47
Alex Jackson: 1:44:27
Shuaib Meghji: 1:45:07
Becky Petley: 1:48:09
Maeve Corry : 1:53:33
Frankie Finch: 1:53:36
Jo House: 1:53:39
Tamsyn Smith: 1:55:14
Barney Symons: 1:58:21
Grace Phillips: 2:01:39
Hannah West: 2:01:54
Pip Shanklin: 2:05:51
Adam Grundy: 2:16:38
Hugh Stirling: 2:28:09

London Marathon 26/04/15

This year marked the 35 year anniversary of the London Marathon. Around 37,000 runners pounded the streets of London, cheered on by tremendous support from the spectators every step of the way. Paula Radcliff, the greatest womans’ marathon runner in history bid a final farewell to what has been a glittering career. So it was only fit that two SUTRI Run Captains embraced the streets of London on a overcast April morning to take part in what is widely regarded as ‘the greatest race in the world’.

The race began earnestly at Greenwich park, at 10:10am meridian time, weaving its way across some of the most popular sites in London, including the Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, along the Embankment to the Houses of Parliament and down the Mall in front Buckingham Palace, where in 1908 Queen Alexander is said to have requested the distance to be extended to 26.2 miles so that the royal children could watch the race from their nursery. There was a wide range of runners from Sonic to SpongeBob to Captain America to Spiderman to a man dressed in hardly anything, all the way through to a man dressed as Jesus on the cross, all hoping to raise money for charitable causes. Running the Marathon really gives you a much broader sense of the city, even for someone who grew up just down the road.

The crowds were simply spectacular along the way, shouting words of encouragement and applauding the runners, the highlight being giving high-fives to little spectators lining the course. Tom, our outgoing Run Captain ran a superb race, finishing with a PB of 3 hours and 15 minutes! I was admittedly very nervous as this was my first marathon, however I was very pleased to have finished in 3 hours and 2 minutes. Next year I have set myself the target of breaking 2 hours 50 minutes where I hope we can have more of our members achieving even greater success at what is truly the greatest race in the world.

Farid Alimi (Run Captain)

Farid London Marathon

Finishing sprint down the mall – 3 hours 5 minutes

Photo Credits:

Tom London Marathon

Tom looking great at about mile 10 – 3 hours 15 minutes


Lordshill 10 Mile Road Race 2/11/14

Rain tapping against your bedroom window – the sound no runner likes to hear the morning of a race. For once, the weather reporter was right. The rain came… and there was a lot of it. Breakfast was a miserable affair. Sitting eating my porridge glumly watching the puddles form. I contemplated the possibility of the race being cancelled, the possibility of returning to bed – alas, runners are made of sturdier stuff – come rain or shine! After sourcing some waterproof trousers and making sure my bag was packed, we set off towards Nursling and the race HQ. The downpour ceased, the weather was on the mend – a miracle! Nothing worse than being wet to the bone before a race has even began.

The race start and HQ was situated in the modern Oasis Academy. Plenty of space for bag storage and a large number of toilets – no waiting around for the pre-race, nervous toilet trip! Many of the runners present were of club standard and this was demonstrated by the overall finishing times. Multi-coloured running vests everywhere, spanning form the Isle of Wight all the way to Basingstoke.

The 10mile course follows a course predominantly in the country roads that lead towards Romsey. Surprisingly flat with a delightful downhill stretch at the backend of the first 5km. I speak for all the SUTRI competitors when I say the first 5km were fast.. Unsustainably so! Hats off to Peter Fuller for smashing a 5km PB in a 10mile race! The support around the course was brilliant with interspersed cheering and shouts of encouragement. After a brief stint through a random industrial estate, you find yourself very close to the start and the end. With some pats on the back and words of congratulations, we were all handed a foil cape and a much needed cereal bar for our troubles.

Overall, a brilliant race that is well organized and marshaled. The course is great for a PB and the technical T-shirt is a keeper. With a price-tag of £16, it’s a bargain. Hopefully, it will become a bigger event for the SUTRI calendar in coming years!

Tom Gillespie (Run Captain)


Peter Fuller gassing his way to the finish – 1.04.05

Photo Credits – Hammy8241

Slogging to the end – 1.06.22

 Photo Credits – Hammy8241

Mark Fuller finishing with a PB and smile on his face – 1.07.09!

Photo Credits – Hammy8241

With a 1.15.00 prediction, George Payne hammered home – 1.08.19

Photo Credits – Hammy8241

Shriram Sunder cruising in – 1.13.56

Photo Credits – Hammy8241



Intramural Swim Gala

Sport and Wellbeing managed to gather 7 teams to battle it out to become intramural swim champions for the first time in 4 years. Swim Club split their team into the 5 faculty squads of Medicine, Engineering, Social Sciences, Biosciences and Humanities. Sportwell also entered with an impressive lineup, which meant the standard would be extremely high and the competition fierce, but SUTRI remained confident that we could cause an upset and entered without a second thought.

Swim Captain Rob assembled a crack team of Triathletes who were brave enough to dive, swim different strokes and tumble turn their way to victory. There was minimal stroke specific training involved so we relied on instinct and talent, but we did spend the evening before the big event practicing our dives and turns. Triathletes tend to swim open water so these 2 aspects of racing were very daunting and SUTRI needed a confidence boost.

The day came and everyone, including our loyal supporters led by Aidan Hindle, and chief timekeeper Mark Fuller assembled on jubilee poolside to start proceedings, after a short warm up we began battle.

We started solidly coming second and third in 4 of the first 6 events courtesy of a rapid Steve Barrett in 50m backstroke, Chris Davey in 100m Individual Medley and the mens and womens 4x100m Medley Relays. Anna Morris also put in decent performance in her 50m backstroke race. Jo House then bagged our first win with a smashing performance in the 50m breaststroke, beating second place by over 2 seconds. This was followed by an impressive third place for Mike Layland in the same event.

This marked the half way stage in the gala and points, which were awarded for positions in events, were accumulated. SUTRI were announced in third place, only 3 points behind Sportwell, the leaders. All was to play for!

When the gala resumed, SUTRI were in no mood to let our good start be the highlight of the day. The girls came through their 4x50m freestyle relay in a fantastic second place and then the boys decided to turn the heat up, leaving the rest of the field behind as they cruised to a win in the same event. Hayley Preston then embarked on her 50m butterfly race and gained more points for SUTRI. Rob Ayres then took to the blocks in the same event, grabbing a third place. Kat Sharp and Mike Layland finished off the individual events by both gaining third places in 50m freestyle and fast times in the process.

It was then time for the cannon race, an 8x25m freestyle sprint involving the whole squad. SUTRI put in an incredible performance, outclassing the rest of the field and winning by over 4 seconds, a huge margin and proving the strength of the squad.

Time for the mystery event, a 200m freestyle race which was only revealed when Chris Davey, who honorably volunteered for us, discovered when standing on the blocks. He still put in a credible performance and gained more points for SUTRI. The gala finished with 2 fun races, the first involving 4 SUTRI members swimming 100m with a large float and the second involving a 4 person woggle chain race for 50m. SUTRI received a second and first place respectively for their efforts.

The moment of truth arrived and the results were announced. SUTRI fought their way to second place, only 2 points behind Sportwell who managed to maintain their slender lead from the half time interval. The points will carry over to the next gala in March where the SUTRI squad plan to swim harder and faster in order to gain the top spot going into the final gala in May.

Although SUTRI did not win the first gala, the event proved to be a great success. There was drama, laughter and a great atmosphere but most importantly SUTRI proved that we can compete with the best swimmers at the Uni, without the need for a bike or running shoes!

Rob Ayres (Swim Captain)

BUCS Duathlon 2013

The 24th of November saw 30 SUTRI athletes travel to the Castle Combe race circuit in Wiltshire for BUCS duathlon 2013. The race consisted of a 2 mile run, followed by a 9.25 mile 5-lap bike route and then a repeat of the 2 mile run.

There were over 500 competitors signed up this year and they were divided into just two waves with girls put in the second wave and guys split between the first and second depending on predicted finish time. With so many competitors starting at once they was a lot of jostling for the best start position, especially at the front of the first wave which set off at a blistering pace as soon as the horn went. The first run was over quickly with the fastest competitors finishing in under 10 minutes! The painful challenge of the first run was followed by the challenge of finding your bike amongst over 500 others and then trying to transition as quickly as possible. The bike course was fast, however there was no shelter from the wind which picked up for the second wave. It was important to keep track of how many laps you had completed, as Kristian Lynam found out part way through his sixth lap! With this exception the bike went smoothly for most people with no mechanicals reported – always a relief! After the bike it was time to start the second run, this time trying to deal with jelly-legs as a result of quickly changing between muscle sets after the bike.


Lap number ???? for Kris Lynam.

The fastest of the guys from Southampton was Fernando Zorrilla Medrano who completed the course in a very impressive 45:54.0 coming 24th overall! He was followed by Michael Layland and Christophe Dormenval who finished close together after a close battle in the final kilometre of the run, finishing in 48:37.7 and 48:40.2 respectively.


Fernando powers round the bike course in 23:27.6 averaging 24 mph on his way to coming 24th overall.

The fastest of the girls was Hayley Preston who finished in 56:06.3 coming in 35th out of the women, putting in a very impressive bike split in the process. Coming in close behind Hayley, with some impressive running, was Anna Morris in 56:25.1 in her first race for SUTRI. The third of the girls was Lucy Rickett who completed the course in 1:01:00.3 rounding off a great performance from the girls.


Hayley’s pink calf guards helped her to complete the bike route in 26:38.6 and come 35th overall out of the girls.

All in all the trip was a great success. SUTRI took a record number of Athletes to a BUCS event, everyone finished without any mechanical issues and some very fast times were recorded in the process. Everything looks set for a great performance at BUCS triathlon on the 4th of May. A big thank you to the drivers, our loyal supporters, photographers for some great photos, and to George who organised the whole trip.

Full results are available online at:

Michael Layland