All posts by HastingsRunners

Hastings Runners Raising the Bar

Hastings Runners took achievements to a new level this week. A level of epic proportions.

11 hours is a long time. 10 hours 53 minutes and 21 seconds to be precise. That is how long Ben Brett was running across the beautiful South Downs Way on Saturday to complete the SDW50.

It was his first 50 miler and just reward for his hard work and diligent training over the past few years. Ben my friend, you are a legend!

Brighton was the destination for over 8,000 marathon runners on Sunday, 4 from our wonderful club. Paul Burchett was unfortunate to pick up a hamstring injury after 19 miles but battled bravely to the finish in a time of 3:49:18.

New member Tamsin West broke the sub 4 hour mark in a time of 3:54:04. Emma Stubbs spent the 26.2 miles singing and dancing with the pacers, enjoying her experience to the full, to finish in 4:42:19 (I wish I was that happy). James Graham left the crowd gasping as he wore his customary footwear along the Brighton promenade to come home in 6:03:28.

Rachel Inns took part in the Brighton 10K race, crossing the line in 52:31.

49.4 miles west in Ashford (that’s less than the distance Ben ran remember) Jacqueline Mannering (4:45:42), Annette Fry (4:45:42) and Alison Tanner (5:07:11) all completed the Pod Plus Kent Spring Marathon. Jacqueline was 3rd in her age category and Alison 2nd.

Kevin Blowers went one better by scooping the MV60 top prize and 14th overall in the half marathon (same race) in a jaw dropping time of 1:36:42.

Todd Fitz-Hugh (1:46:29) and Richard Cross (1:56:16, 2nd in his age category) also completed the race.

Whilst most of us have spend the past 10 days donning our beanies and mittens, a group of Hastings Runners headed off to sunny Rhodes to compete in the Roads to Rhodes Race (that’s a lot of roads).

Corrina Skinner (2:35:09), Sylvia Huggett (2:35:09), Ron Huggett (2:50:44) and Davinia Hill (2:50:50) all tackled the half marathon course. Whilst Debra Van Aalst (1:00:51), Irene Kiston (1:11:00) Debbie Clark (1:12:56) and Terry Kitson (1:20:51) completed the 10K.

Lucia Smitalova finished 12th female in a half marathon in Czech Republic in a 1 hour and 54 minutes. We get around us Hastings Runners.

Sarah Miles completed the Guernsey Marathon on a very scenic route. It’s the start of a 2 year fund-raiser for RNLI, celebrating their bi-centenary in 2024.

If you ran this weekend and I’ve missed you out, drop me an email or DM and I will add you to the report.

HR Off Road 2022 – Dates & Locations

12th April – Pickham Farm, Watermill Lane, Pett, TN35 4HX

19th April – Footlands Wood, Whatlington TN33 0NT

26th April – Sedlescombe Public Car Park, TN33 0NT

3rd May – Fairlight Country Park (1st car park) TN35 4AB

10th May – Mount Street Car Park (far end) TN33 0DR

17th May – Pett Level (just east of the last house) TN35 4EN

24th May – Sunset’, Cottage Lane, Westfield, TN35 4RB (by Fernlea Close)

31st May – Icklesham (Recreation Ground) TN36 4BJ

6th June – Catsfield (Village Hall) TN33 9DS

The Hastings Runners Off Road Tuesday runs re-start at 18.30 on Tuesday 12th April at Tim Jury’s farm in Pett. All the locations with post codes and What3Words reference are in the list below. Each week there will usually be three groups, 5.5 mile, 6.5 mile and up to 8 miles, plus a walking group, each group taking approximately one and a half hours. We are still looking for more leaders, and will be pleased if more members will volunteer and add their names to the on-line spreadsheet at HR Off road 2022.xlsx   If anyone would like to discuss leading a group, route planning, or navigation for runners, please email Paul Cooper or speak to any of the leaders on a Tuesday evening. This is a great way to start off road/ trail running, avoiding traffic fumes and watching the countryside transition from Spring to Summer and eventually to Autumn. The runs are very social, and we NEVER leave anyone behind!

Running Takes over the Town

How incredible was that? The grin still hasn’t left my face.

Take a bow. Every single one of you that stepped foot on the start line,  that conquered the hills and did our club proud.

Thank you to those that ventured out to offer vocal support and encouragement. It’s hard to quantify what an impact having someone cheer your name does, it’s huge and I feel that’s evident in some of the amazing performances on Sunday morning.

Matt Edmonds produced his finest hour yet in his green and black vest, literally almost an hour, finishing the race in 1:13:54. It was a personal best and good enough for 4th place overall and the first local runner to cross the line.

8 years on from his last half marathon, Will Withecombe ran a superb time of 1:21:01, a 3 minute PB and 24th place overall. He was closely followed by Colin White in 1:22:47, another PB (this course ain’t flat folks). I told you the support made a difference.

Yolanda King was the first female Hastings Runners across the line in 1:32:06, 14th place overall. Closely followed by Zoe Fairclough in 1:32:29, also securing a 20 top position (16th). Nicola Steed made up the Top 3 in 1:41:18.

The half marathon PB’s don’t stop there. Far from it. Paul Lambert produced a 4 minute PB to mark his return to form in 1:30:25. Kevin Blowers who celebrates his 60th birthday in a weeks time, ran 1:35:11.  Yes, I did say 60th!! Perhaps someone should tell him? Or perhaps not?

Richard Roethe (1:38:37), Andy Alabaster (1:51:59) and Jon Smalldon (1:53:28) all clocked PBs in their first outing around the hilly Hastings route. Jacqueline Mannering was probably one of the few who found the 13.1 miles too short, with a 5 minute PB in 1:52:42.

Annette Fry came tantalizing close  to breaking the 2 hour barrier, but still managed a PB in 2:00:38. Next time Annette! Sharon Wadham joined the PB gang in a time of 2:12:38.

Yockie Richardson, 76 years young, completed her first ever Hastings Half Marathon in 2:20:00, 1st in the W75 category. I just don’t have the words to describe how inspiring that is.  Erica Wilson pocketed 2nd place in her age category too. Linda Beddis knocked 8 minutes off her previous best Half Marathon in 2:38:45.

Lucie Smitalova (1:57:15), Glenn Read (1:58:27), Lucy Brett (2:27:31) and Joanne Fellow (2:58:03) all completed their first ever half marathons. So I guess the times count as PBs?

There were several runners representing charities. Amanda Link (MacMillan Cancer), Catherine Southgate (Red Cross), Davinia Hill (Stroke Association), Millie Mitchell (National Autistic Society) and Samantha Welfare (Ukraine UK Red Cross) all raised money for good causes.

Sylvia Huggett and Darren Barzee maintained their amazing streak of having completing every half marathon since it began.

Well done to Nigel Thornley, Jessica Cull and Sarah Bendle who were part of the pacing team for the race.

Let’s also give Terry Kitson a mention. Terry twisted his ankle before the race even started. Sadly he had to take the sensible decision to sit this one out.

Wait a minute.

That’s wrong.

Terry chose to run anyway, completing the course in 3:04:16. Congratulations to Terry and Irene who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the weekend.

In the Mini Run Lewis Betts finished in 4th place, completing the 2km route in 7 minutes and 26 seconds. Sophie and Amy Ashby finished in 9:42.

A big thank you to Eric Hardwicke for all his hard work. Also to the Sea Cadets who do an amazing job helping out on the day. These events are not possible with the hard work of so many individuals, often behind the scenes.

Please if I’ve missed you out, drop me an email or DM and I will update the report tomorrow morning before sending it off to the Observer.


Simon Linklater (PB for me to, but didn’t want to brag)

Hastings FV70 record clean sweep in X-Country

Hastings Runners has always been proud to be a club representing all abilities and age categories. It’s inspiring to see the achievements of fellow runners and that was on display once again this weekend as the we staged the final race of the East Sussex Sunday Cross Country League.

Thank you to Tim Jury for all his hard work in ensuring the event continues to be a roaring success. We are very grateful to Tim and the volunteers that gave up their Sunday morning to trudge through the mud, stand in the cold and cheer on the runners. Thank you also to anyone who contributed to the cake stall, with over £400 raised for the Farm Africa Charity. Amazing!

On the day, Will Withecombe capped a superb debut season in the Green & Black colours with a 4th places finish in 28:14, securing 2nd in the overall standings. Will has been a great addition to the club, producing consistently strong performances whilst encouraging his team mates too.

Mark Goodman was the 2nd Hastings Runners across the line in 31:59, doing his best to maintain the respect from his ever improving off spring, who sadly for Mark, get quicker than him with every passing year.

Martin Noakes, a real stalwart of the team down the years finished another excellent campaign to take 2nd place in the Male 55 category, finishing Sunday’s race in 32:21. Darren Barzee (32:32) and Kevin Blowers (35:11) made up the Top 5 finishers for Hastings Runners.

Trying not to keep Will waiting too long, Claire Thomas was the 1st female up the hill in a fantastic time of 37:16, followed soon after by Tamsin West in 42:16.

It was the females that dominated the overall standings, especially in the F70 category with a clean sweep in the Top 3. Sarah Marzaioli (1st), Yockie Richardson (2nd) and Christine Sanderson (3rd) left rival clubs shaking their heads and asking “what exactly does Yockie put in that Lemon Drizzle Cake?”.

There were prizes for Trish Auldis (FV65) and Jane Coles (FV55) who both finished 2nd in their respective categories. Overall the club were 8th out of the 17 teams that took part.

Until next year, stay dry, stay warm and keep those shoes clean.

Pett X-Country Results

28:14 Will Withecome
31:59 Mark Goodman
32:21 Martin Noakes
32:32 Darren Barzee
35:11 Kevin Blowers
37:16 Claire Thomas
38:06 Paul Burchett
38:16 Simon Trevena
42:15 Tamsin West
42:27 Jane Coles
43:43 Jo Nevett
46:10 Piers Brunning
47:30 Rick Burne
47:42 Trish Audis
51:45 Shana Burchett
53:45 Yockie Richardson
55:24 Christine Sanderson
56:18 Sylvia Huggett
57:34 Jo Edwards
59:58 Irene Kitson
1:14:47 Henry Worthington

Join Hastings Runners

Please fill in the form below to apply for Hastings Runners Membership. By applying for membership you are confirming that you have read and agree to comply with the club codes of conduct and safeguarding policies Club Policies and Codes of Conduct – Hastings Runners.


Club members have various options available at present.

  • Basic club membership costs £20.00 per annum (just £10.00 for over 70s)
  • Under 18s membership is just £10.00 per annum, and includes free entry to the Monday evening track sessions
  • England Athletics’ registration is an additional £16.00 per annum. As a club runner, you can only represent your club in an open race if you have registered with EA and been allocated a unique reference number (URN) … otherwise you will show up in race results as an “unattached” runner
  • So what are the advantages of EA membership? … you pay reduced entry for EA affiliated races; receive discounts from local sports retailers; see for further details
  • As a club we are currently allocated several guaranteed Virgin London Marathon places per year, based on our level of membership. The more EA members we have within the club, the more places we would receive. The marathon draw which is held towards the end of each year is only open to EA members 
  • if you are interested in racing, then the club will be staging a shortened club championship calendar in 2021 of 20 races. This includes 5 “club only” races which are free to club members, featuring the popular Rye to Hastings race which runs through Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and Hastings Country Park
  • In addition, club members participate regularly at Hastings parkrun (the majority of run directors are in fact Hastings Runners) as well as organised trips to other parkruns during the spring/summer. The club has enjoyed considerable success in the East Sussex Sunday Cross Country League (this is held over the autumn/winter period); as well as in the Herstmonceux Castle Relays (held in August). The club has a significant number of high calibre Masters runners, and has won medals at the prestigious British Masters National Road Running and Cross Country relays in recent years
  • All club members (including those who choose not to be EA registered) will be recorded on the England Athletics portal. By joining the club you are assenting to your personal data being held on that system. For more information about how your data will be protected, and for any other queries that you may have please email our club/membership secretary Andy Lee (

Nick Brown

'First Claim' if Hastings Runners is your main club (If you already are registered under another club then 'Second Claim').

Windy Weekend in Eastbourne

How awesome are we?

Sunday morning lie-ins? Don’t be silly. We were up and early to iron our Green & Black vests as race season is well and truly underway. The first Club Championship event of 2022 was the Brenda Boyle Pier to Pier. 16 miles from Eastbourne, along the coastline, pebbles and all, back to Hastings Old Town.

The 30mph tail wind, which saw the postponement 2 weeks early, was cruelly replaced with a 20mph headwind, adding to the challenge. Runners were having none of it though and were in cheerful spirits as the coach departed the Angling club shortly after 8am.

Matt Edmonds set a personal best for the route in 1 hour 40 minutes and 11 seconds. That’s an average km pace of under 4 minutes, into the wind, the 20mph wind. Amazing! He was followed in 2nd place by Colin White in 1:49.

Paul Burchett finished in 3rd place in 1:56, just ahead of Martin Snape who once again did his best to sabotage his own race with an early fall. He dusted himself off and bravely completed the course in 1:58.

Manami Cheves was rewarded for her recent efforts in training as the first female across the line in 2:19. Has anyone seen her yet as the trophy still awaits? The Vets prizes were won by Kevin Blowers (2:06) and Sally Grainger (2:25) who appear to be getting quicker with each passing year.

A special mention to Mandy Robinson who is our first blind runner to complete the Pier to Pier course. A remarkable achievement and aided by Zak Horsley. Well done Mandy!

We should thank all the volunteers for making the race possible and sacrificing their warm beds to be in position nice and early to greet the runners and guide them safely along the route. Thanks. You too are amazing!

8 Hastings Runners made their own way to Eastbourne, but chose to run around the town and drive home again. Far more sensible if you ask me. It was of course the Eastbourne Half Marathon.  According to the results some chap called Simon Linlater (similar name to me) completed the course in 1:42:28. Patrick Bermingham 1:45:02 and Simon Weatherley made up our top 3 in 1:56:04.  James Graham light footed his way round in 2:16:43.

Shana Burchett was the first female HR to cross the line in 2:19:30, followed by Marie Appleton, Krista Barzee and Louise Weatherley, all completing the 13.1 miles in exactly the same time of 2:28:01.

16 miles wasn’t enough for everyone in the club. Jon Smalldon headed east to tackle the Lydd 20 and finished in a really good time of 3:13:45.

Charles Bowley called Jon’s 20 miles and raised him another 6 as he climbed over 3000 feet across the South Downs to tackle the Steyner Stringer Trail Marathon.

Will Withecombe headed out of East Sussex to tackle the Beckenham 5K, so I’m not really sure if that’s worth a mention? Given he crossed the line in 1st place, in true WW fashion, it would be rude not to include him. I’ve even added a photo too.

David Fairclough 1:51:44, Richard Cross 1:52:42 and Andrew Clubb 2:36:02 completed the Lydd Half on Sunday.

There were also park run milestones for Jacqueline Scott and Simon LinKlater who reached the 100 mark on Saturday.

Please if I have missed you out, let me know via email or messenger and I will update the report.

Pier to Pier Results


ESSCCL, Whitbread Hollow, Eastbourne, Sunday 5th February

A superb win in the most challenging course and weather conditions by Will Withecombe, who led the 308 strong field for most of the circa 5 mile race around Whitbread Hollow in the latest East Sussex Sunday Cross Country League fixture hosted by Run Wednesdays.

Runners had to endure a very strong headwind on the highest point of the course, as well as a treacherously muddy descent in the latter stages of the race which claimed many victims!

Veteran Martin Noakes staked a top 40 finish with a strong second half run in 37.10; followed in by Kevin Blowers 40.28; Claire Thomas 41.40; Neil Jeffries 42.22; Jane Coles 46.24; Jo Nevett 49.00; Paul Hope 49.03; Ruth Spiller 49.05; Piers Brunning 49.52; David Bratby 50.00; Sarah Marzaioli 54.18; Trish Audis 54.30; Yockie Richardson 60.32; Christine Sanderson 62.15; Sylvia Huggett 63.46; Jo Edwards 65.12; Irene Kitson 68.59.

Fielding 18 runners, Hastings Runners finished a very creditable 9th out of the 17 teams participating. With 5 races completed out of the 6 race series (best 4 scores to count), the club look certain to claim their fair share of age category awards with Will currently lying 2nd in the men’s senior rankings; Martin 2nd in the M55s; David 4th in M65s; Jane 3rd in the F55s; Trish 3rd in F65s; Sarah, Yockie and Christine lying 1-2-3 in the F70s.

Meanwhile the Goodman brothers, Oliver and Finlay, who finished 2nd and 1st in the u11 and u15 races also look well placed for a high podium finish.

Defibrillators in Hastings


If you believe a person has stopped breathing, immediately clear their airway, tilt their head back, and begin CPR (chest compressions). If you are alone, call for help and ask the next responder to ring 999 or 112.

CPR should be your FIRST course of action, contacting the emergency services/professional paramedics your SECOND.

Note, prices vary but each unit costs in the region of £1,200. In addition, the cabinet they are stored in need to be mains connected to keep them above 5 degrees C –costing perhaps £30 a year. Due to the threat of theft and vandalism, some are in locked boxes or require an access code.

Many thanks to Darren Barzee, Andy Lee, Martin Turner and Nick Webb for their contributions.


The Jenny Lind, High Street – outside on wall to right (pic)

Hastings Railway Station – inside to left of ticket barrier, approaching from town side (2 pics)

Remember… ALL Railway Stations in area should have one, too!

Fire Station, The Ridge – outside, to the right of the big red garage doors (2 pics)

Azur, lower prom next to Lifeguards (2 pics)

Telephone kiosk at the seaward end of Boscobel Road/West Hill Road junction (2 pics)

On Pelham Place-facing side of one of the two blue wooden bicycle hire huts on beach next to path beside crazy golf, close to Lifeguards (2 pics)

Horntye Sports Centre – a yellow/green box on the outside wall facing cricket pitch, shaded by balcony of the Cornwallis Suite/Club Room octagon that overlooks the artificial football pitches… That is: to the right of the double-doors where runners congregate before runs on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. (Addition to original list)

Christ Church, Ore – on the A259/Old London Road (main road) mounted on the gable end of the church facing the Co-op store, the junction with Saxon Road.

Christ Church, Blacklands & St Andrew – defibrillator in yellow and green casing, on the outside of the church facing the Laton Road side of the corner with St Helen’s Park Road.

And though not strictly public access, there is one at:
Bannantynes Health Spa on Battle Road, Hastings TN38 8EZ – inside


Halfway up Telham Hill, next to the pavement, on patch of grass adjacent to No 77 and opposite No 68 Hastings Road (A2100) in

Telham – the Hastings-Battle road outside the Post Office/shop on Main Road (A28), Westfield TN35 4QE​

Battle Sports Center.

The database at (enter postcode) indicates there is one at Crowhurst… Telephone box on Chapel Hill (near The Plough pub) just north of where it becomes Sandrock Hill (near Crowhurst Recreation Ground), Crowhurst TN33 9AW


B&Q, Ravenside Retail Park, Hastings Road (A259) TN40 2JS

Beulah Baptist Church TN40 1QA

Co-operative Store TN40 1DX


The following locations no longer have one:
Public Toilets in Harold Place (closed and hidden behind hoardings) – but perhaps this could be reinstated when this site is redeveloped?

Hastings Police Station, Bohemia Road – if in vicinity, the ambulance station further down Bohemia Road would be more useful

Hastings Pier – just an empty box, now.

ref: defibrillators.aspx

database at (enter postcode)

Although the 1066 Country Community First Responders website suggest there are five Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) sites in Hastings (installed and maintained by themselves) this information is now out of date.

by Neil Jeffries, January 2022

ESSCCL, Warren Hill, Sunday 16th January

Another massive field for Sunday’s East Sussex Sunday Cross Country League fixture at Warren Hill, with 390 runners tackling the challenging 5 mile downland course in bright, sunny but blustery conditions.

A superb run by Hastings Runners Will Withecombe saw him finish just 13 secs behind the leader in an excellent time of 28.02, whilst veterans Darren Barzee and Martin Noakes both claimed top 40 placings in 32.05 and 32.07 respectively.

They were followed in by Kevin Blowers 35.15, Neil Jeffries 35.35, Claire Thomas 36.19, Simon Trevena 38.44, Susan Rae 39.48, Jane Coles 40.40, Manami Cheves 41.22, Paul Hope 43.27, Ruth Spiller 43.40, Jo Nevett 43.40, David Bratby 43.54, Piers Brunning 46.58, Trish Audis 48.12, Shana Burchett 49.26, Krista Barzee 49.29, Sarah Marzaioli 49.43, Yockie Richardson 50.36, Christine Sanderson 51.54, Jo Edwards 58.08.

Fielding 22 runners, Hastings Runners finished a very creditable 8th out of the 17 teams participating. With 4 races completed out of the 6 race series (best 4 scores to count), the club look set to claim their fair share of age category awards with Will currently lying 2nd in the men’s senior rankings; Martin leading the M55s with Kevin 4th; David 4th in M65s; Claire 5th in ladies seniors; Trish 2nd in F65s; Sarah, Christine and Yockie threatening a 1-2-3 in the F70s.

Meanwhile the Goodman brothers, Oliver and Finlay, who won the u11 and u15 races comfortably, put themselves in contention to win their respective categories provided that they produce similar performances in the remaining two fixtures.