Rainsford strikes gold in Farnborough



Ignoring the ‘danger to life’ warnings of Storm Isha, the lesser-spotted Chris Rainsford made a rare race appearance in Hampshire on Sunday.

After securing a late entry in the week of the race, the 34-year-old London based Heanor runner, threw caution to the (very strong) wind to lace up his Rocket X2 over the half marathon distance.

Chris knocked 11 seconds off his six-year-old PB to cross the line in 67:43.

The action, which took place in the shadow of Farnborough airport, quickly became a two-horse race.

Chris was up against apparent local hero and moustachioed AFD athlete Alex Pointon, who seemed to have every man and his dog cheering for him along the course.

Fighting the strong headwinds together, the two were inseparable for ten miles.

“That race was so tough” said Chris, “but also very enjoyable. I haven’t been involved in a race like that in a very long time – actually, I haven’t been involved in a race fullstop!”

Pointon, who finished 3rd in the event last year and boasts a 29:40 10k and 67:04 half marathon best, burnt all his matches eight miles in, when the course passed by the aldershot training base.

A panic gel consumed at 30 minutes kicked in and, between 50 and 60 minutes, Chris began to make his move. The Hoka athlete manager snatched a few seconds with every stride as he pulled clear in the final three kilometres to take the win and finish in a personal best time, 34 seconds ahead of Pointon.

“Whilst my legs weren’t firing, there’s so much I can take away from this. It was good to go to the well a little bit,” said Chris.

Chris’s next outing will be in the Seville sunshine on 18 February where he will aim to go below 2:20 for the first time over 26.2miles.