Category Archives: News

Defibrillators in Hastings

IMPORTANT If you believe someone is in need of one immediately ring 999 or 112. Contacting the emergency services/professional paramedics and should be your FIRST response.

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)

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​

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.

Hastings Runners Fly the Flag at Foggy Cross Country Fixture

Some excellent performances from the 17 Hastings Runners who turned out for the 3rd East Sussex Sunday Cross Country League fixture of the winter on a chilly, damp, foggy morning at New Place Farm, near Framfield, with Will Withecombe continuing his fine vein of form with a 5th placed finish out of a field of 308 runners in a time of 30.21.

Il Capitano David Bratby

Despite carrying an ankle injury he finished within 30 secs of the winner, and was followed in by Martin Noakes 34.39, Paul Burchett 37.20, Kevin Blowers 38.01, Claire Thomas 38.49, Jamie Kennedy 39.50, Simon Trevena 41.09, Amanda Link 41.09, Paul Hope 45.56, David Bratby 46.23, Ruth Spiller 47.22, Joanne Nevett 48.49 (tbc), Trish Audis 51.10, Sarah Marzaioli 51.54, Yockie Richardson 54.36, Shana Burchett 55.16, Christine Sanderson 56.04.

Kevin Blowers, running the wrong way it seems 🤷

There were also comprehensive wins in the under 11 & under 13 boys’ events for the Goodman brothers, with Oliver and Finlay extending their leads in the respective u 11 & u 13 categories.

A smiling Shana Burchett 😀

Will now lies 2nd in the senior men’s category after 3 races (best 4 scores to count out of 6 races), whilst Martin leads the M55s; David lies 3rd in the M65s; Trish is 2nd in the F65s; whilst Sarah, Christine and Yockie have a 1-2-3 in the F70s. Hastings Runners currently stand 12th out of the 16 teams in the league.

Will Wows in Winter 5K

I remember my first ever Hastings Runners Club Only Race. It happened to be the Spring 5K. I wasn’t even going to enter, with the gloomy attitude, “it’s just another parkrun”, how wrong I was. Yes the distance is the same, even the route is identical, but the atmosphere and camaraderie make it a special occasion.

If you can find a friendlier, more encouraging, determined and inspiring group of individuals on a cold, wet, November morning, then I’d love to hear about them. Quite simply, you won’t. Why? Because they don’t exist.

For those that ran their hearts out, those who volunteered in the pouring rain, those who showed the courage to beat their nerves and run their first club only race and those who just came along to support, you are all amazing.

Now that we all feel a little better about ourselves, we can discuss the race itself. Will Withecombe, who himself only joined the club in the last 12 months, produced another scintillating performance to clock a 5K PB in 16 minutes and 12 seconds! That’s an average pace of 3:14 per km. Mind boggling.

Jack Madden came home in 2nd place in 16:52, Kieran price (18:38), Martin Snape (18:46 PB) made up the Top 4 finishers. Among the 9 runners taking part in their first Hastings Runners race was Zoe Fairclough who came home in 7th overall and 1st female in a superb time of 20:22. She was followed in 2nd by Nicki Steed (21:20 PB) and another new addition to the club, Tamsin West (21:35 PB).

Cheryl Withecombe, Millie-Mae Mitchell, Catherine Southgate, Lucie Smitalova, Mark Dunn, Sue and Andy Alabaster were the other 7 new members completing their 1st club race. Welcome to the family.

Thank you to Alan Croucher for his hard work in organising the Volunteers. Without their help these races would never be possible. As we head towards a full 2022 race calendar, now is an opportunity to get ahead of the game and start your winter training. Track sessions on a Monday or Efforts on a Thursday/Friday are a perfect way to improve your 5K times. Check the website for more details.

Will Withecombe 16.12 pb; Jack Madden 16.52; Kieran Price 18.38; Martin Snape 18.46; Darren Barzee 19.33; Martin Noakes 19.58; Zoe Fairclough 20.22; Patrick Bermingham 20.40; Neil Jeffries 20.46; Andy Knight 20.53; Nicki Steed 21.20 pb; Ben Sallows 21.27; Tamsin West 21.35 pb; Martin Turner 21.37; Jamie Kennedy 21.39; Charles Bowley 22.14; Amanda Link 22.32; David Harding 22.37 pb; Jon Smalldon 23.22; Andy Alabaster 23.22; Sarah Bendle 23.44; Lucie Smitalova 23.51 pb; Ruth Spiller 24.28 pb; Robert Gagyi 24.44; Bill Edmondson 24.48; Keith Goodsell 24.51; Jo Nevett 24.53; Marie Appleton 25.17; Jan Young 25.24; David Bratby 25.33; Rachael Inns 25.43; Sue Alabaster 26.11 pb; David Kilby 26.29; Mike Ellis 26.31; Millie-Mae Mitchell 26.39 pb; Sue Wilkinson 27.01; Allison Tanner 28.21; Sue Palmer 28.58; Christine Sanderson 29.08; Nigel Thornely 29.09; Mark Dunn 32.19; Terry Kitson 33.39; Cheryl Withecombe 34.17; Catherine Southgate 34.53; Irene Kitson 34.54

This Friday is International Men’s Day and Hastings Library have a free event to raise awareness of Men’s Mental Health. See the leaflet below. We have our own team of Mental Health Champions if you have any questions.

Thank you for reading. Thank you to Louise Cavill and Nick Brown for the photos.

Written by Simon Linklater

Another Epic Green & Black Weekend

Often I write these reports and have the difficult decision of who to mention first, or what race tops the bill. Such are the epic achievements by our members on a weekly basis, I fear that someone will be left slightly puzzled as to why they didn’t headline the post.  This week is no different and I’ll start with those that ran the furthest and work my way backwards.

10 miles is a long way right? Throw in some woods and darkness and suddenly it’s a real slog. Oh, and rather than do it once, run it 5 times. That’s what Pete Heasman, Jacqueline Mannering and Darren Kilby did at the weekend in the Wendover Woods 50 miler. Over 2 of the 5 laps were completed in the dark, as if the challenge was not hard enough.

Finishing this race marked a superb achievement for these Ultra Running Warriors as they completed the Centurion 50 Mile Grand Slam for 2021.  How can that picture not make you smile?

2 of our members headed down to Devon for the weekend to run the Exeter Marathon. The weather was set fair as the small field tackled 2 laps around the beautiful Exeter Canal with the support of the locals out for their Sunday morning stroll and the hinderance of the pesky pigeons scrapping for their next meal.

1 of those members came back with his medal, finishers T-shirt and lifetime memories, as Kevin Blowers completed his first ever marathon in a superb time of 3 hours 43 minutes, to finish in 61st place. The other? Who’s to say.

Closer to home was the latest race in the Club Championship calendar, the Beckley 10K. 26 of our finest athletes slipped on their Green & Black vests to tackle the undulating route around the village.

Kudos to you all, having done this race before (yes I finished), I know how gruelling those hills can be and the times posted were very impressive.

Colin White continued his excellent form by coming home in 2nd place in a fantastic time of 37:03. Kieran Price broke the 40 minute barrier again, crossing the line in 8th place in 39:31. Close behind was Darren Barzee in 39:57.

Manami Cheves was our first female finisher in 48:20, quick enough to scoop up her Age Category win. A feat also achieved by Neil Jeffries in 44:10 and Sue Wilkinson (58:18).

PB’s? I’ve not asked. Let me know if you did. That said, if you are getting a personal best around that course, please also tell me what you ate for breakfast.

Beckley 10K Results:

Colin White 37:03
Kieran Price 39:31
Darren Barzee 39:57
Simon Newstead 42:47
Patrick Bermingham 44:05
Neil Jeffries 44:10
Andy Knight 47:23
Manami Cheves 48:20
Andy Alabaster 49:37
Sarah Bendle 51:21
Nigel Thornley 52:52
Ruth Spiller 52:41
Bill Edmondson 53:01
Nick Webb 53:17
Keith Goodsell 55:05
Marie Appleton 55:50
Janice Young 56:00
Sue Alabaster 57:12
Sue Wilkinson 58:18
Alison Anderson 58:17
Krista Barzee 59:21
Michell Krombholz 1:03:03
Sue Palmer 1:06:32
Terry Kiston 1:09:22
Catherine Southgate 1:12:57
Louise Cavill 1:12:56
Susan Peters 1:13:56

Chairman’s Report 2021

Compared to the previous 12 months, I think that we can look ahead with far more optimism, both as a club and in general, hopefully with the worst of the pandemic behind us.

A full race calendar in 2022 featuring some new races, which depending on voting may well include a new club only multi terrain event at the Hub in Bodiam. Martin and I have already recced the course, which would be 9 kms, and have made contact with the Hub’s owners who are very keen to oblige. Great views of Bodiam Castle in the distance on the downhill stretches!

The East Sussex Sunday Cross Country League winter series got off to an excellent start at Ashdown Forest at the weekend, despite the atrocious weather – more of that later.

We have celebrated recent race wins by Matt and Will, and some great team performances at some of the new venues on this year’s race calendar including wins at Northiam and Woodchurch; plus some superb achievements by other club members over the marathon and ultra marathon distances – again more to follow later.
There has been a real sense of camaraderie at our 3 club only races so far, which kicked off with the Alan Corke race in August.

And very encouraging news on the membership front, with a steady flow of new members in the past 3 months including some of the younger brigade, as well as some former members rejoining.

I would like to thank vice chairs Nick Webb and Susan Mann, club secretary Andy Lee and treasurer Rob Thomas who have done a sterling job during what has been an unprecedented period trying to keep abreast of the constantly changing Covid-19 situation.

Very sadly we have lost several distinguished club members during the past few months, notably John Nash and Irene Ellis. Our sympathies are very much with their families at this time.

MENTIONS. There are a whole army of people, many of them unsung, whose tireless commitment and effort help keep the club ticking over. I would like to personally thank the following:

Chief Marshal Alan Croucher who, in a normal year, is responsible for ensuring that we have enough volunteers available for each of the 8 club only championship races. This is no easy task in the longer Pier to Pier and Rye to Hastings races which require circa 30 plus volunteers, spread over a wide area.
Alan took over from Terry Kitson, who similarly did an excellent job for a number of years.
Marie Crawford, the club’s answer to Professor Chris Whitty!, has done a fantastic job as our track & trace guru during the pandemic. As a committee, we have very much relied on Marie’s wise counsel during the vagaries of Covid. I know how much she has enjoyed inputting the large number of names submitted by coaches each week, in the event that if anyone tested positive for Covid we could then notify those who recently ran with them. It has now been decided to stop this practice, and put the onus on individuals to take whatever action they consider necessary should they experience Covid symptoms or test positive after a recent club session.

Communications Officer Simon Linklater, who has put together a superb club website which I can’t speak highly enough about as well as his in depth weekly race reports which are eagerly anticipated! In his spare time Simon has become the most improved runner in the club, deservedly hoovering up a whole host of trophies pre – pandemic. He has also devised some interesting warm up and form drills at the track, including agility ladders, which have been very well received.

Newsletter editor Matt Edmonds whose offerings every two months have rapidly become collectors’ items – we are very fortunate as a club to have someone who takes as much trouble in compiling these editions. Matt has also found the time to develop as an ultra runner, with some hugely impressive results in the past couple of years. His ultras seem to be getting more mountainous and even longer. In addition he took the definition of a pre – race “warm up” to new heights this summer by walking over 80kms overnight, including some wild camping, to arrive bright and bleary eyed at Canterbury parkrun – and then proceeded to add this parkrun to his list of parkrun successes!

Results compiler David Kilby who has a very time consuming task processing the race results during the year which form our First Past the Post Championship. David is stepping down at the end of this year; so we would very much like to hear from anyone interested in taking this on.

ESSCCL club captain David Bratby and assistant Jo Edwards – see full details below.

Sussex Grand Prix club representative Andy Knight – see full details below. Andy has also done a great job as our Trophy Secretary, chasing up previous winners to ensure that they part with their trophies in time for the next club only race!

Susan Wilkinson, who is responsible for taking members orders for the club kit.

The club’s Standards Committee comprising Mike Hall, Terry Kitson and Erica Wilson.

Facebook administrators Jane Hughes and Jo Edwards.

Google Groups administrator Annette Fry.

MEMBERSHIP. Club membership now stands at 365 paid up members with another 5 pending. This is a very substantial and encouraging membership, especially given the difficulties posed by the pandemic. Membership secretary Andy Lee reports a heartening increase in both new members and former members rejoining in recent months. The Executive Committee, as most of you will know, decided to roll over club memberships paid during this period until 31st March 2022.

COACHES/RUN LEADERS. We are very fortunate to have a wide array of coaches within the club, whose commitment and dedication means that club members can enjoy taking part in both official and “unofficial” runs on every day of the week. Although the Tuesday and Wednesday club nights from Horntye are the main focus, there are also track and efforts sessions, off-road runs, Jane Hughes’ 10kms run on Wednesday mornings, and groups going out from Dordrecht Way on Fridays led by Steve Uzzell, and from various venues on Saturday by Terry Kitson.

So a heartfelt thanks to the following – Darren Barzee, Andy Bashford, David Bratby, Nick Brown, Kim Callow, Marie Crawford, Luke Evans, Anthony Gardner, Mike Hall, Sylvia Huggett, Jane Hughes, Neil Jeffries, Tim Jury, Terry Kitson, Andy Lee, Simon Linklater, Susan Mann, Sue Palmer, Susan Rae, Corrina Skinner, Rob Thomas, Nigel Thornely, Steve Uzzell, Emma Wareham and Nick Webb.

NEW ROLES. We have been working hard behind the scenes to fill a number of key new roles within the club, which we feel will be of enormous importance going forward. These include:

Club Welfare Officers – Krista Barzee and Lena King, whose joint experience in the area of safeguarding should prove invaluable particularly with regard to the younger runners and vulnerable adults.

First Aid Officers – Susan Rae and James Graham. As many of you will know, Sue is a recently retired GP, whilst barefoot runner James is a first aider at work.

Coaches Group Admin Secretary – Marie Crawford is responsible for ensuring that all coaches have a current qualification, and that their DBS is up to date.

Mental Health Champions – this is an exciting initiative by EA with the charity MIND under the heading Run to Talk. Their aim is to have a mental health champion in every affiliated running club. They are appointed to promote the benefits of running on mental wellbeing; provide crisis information ie on website; be a link with the community and mental health organisations; support members to improve mental wellbeing through running; put on events to promote mental wellbeing within the club. We now have 14 club members signed up under Sue Mann’s stewardship, and hopefully now that life is returning to normal there will be a number of events coming up.

MORE BEHIND THE SCENES. We have also taken the opportunity to update the club’s policies and procedures, so that we are now fully compliant with all EA guidelines.

The proposal to lower the club entry age to 12, which was provisionally agreed by email vote in December 2020, was discussed at the most recent members meeting where very moving testimonials were read out from junior members and their parents. I was delighted to see that the proposal easily achieved the two thirds majority vote required for the approval of a special resolution.
I believe that our club creates a very safe and supportive environment for these youngsters at the track sessions, many of whom wear their HR vests with some considerable pride. The emphasis from coaches is very much on encouragement, rather than the more pressurised environment some of them have previously experienced at other local clubs. Today’s youngsters represent the club’s future, and by encouraging them at an early age we would hope to ensure a steady feed of loyal younger runners. We hope that this will also encourage family membership and participation within the club.

Just to recap; 12 – 17 year olds are not eligible to attend other main club training sessions such as the Tuesday/Wednesday club nights from Horntye. This is partly to avoid putting unfair pressure on run leaders who may not be used to dealing with younger members, and partly because the runs are often well in excess of 10kms.

CLUB ANNUAL SOCIAL/AWARDS NIGHT. This will take place in January next year, again at the Azur. Our social secretaries Nick Webb and Michael Norris will be in touch very soon with full details.

CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS. We have been able to stage a shortened race calendar this year with 19 races on offer. We have eased the qualifying requirements to enable as many members as possible to participate in the First Past The Post Championship, with only five races (including one club only race) needing to be completed.

It was a terrific feeling being able to stage the Alan Corke race in August, which was our first club only race for nearly 2 years! There have been some great team performances during the year, notably at some of the new races we have introduced such as the Robertsbridge 10 kms, the Great Northiam Run and the Woodchurch 5 miler. Individually we have seen Will Withecombe, after warming up with several low key 5 kms race wins earlier in the summer, put in some most impressive performances to land the Hastings Seafront 10 kms and the Woodchurch 5 mile event keeping his AC and Hy Runners rivals firmly at bay! Meanwhile Matt Edmonds, taking a break from his long distance parkrun successes and ultra events, added the Beachy Head 10 kms event to his impressive cv. With just 3 races remaining, the battle at the top looks like going to the wire with Will, Darren Barzee and Kieran Price contesting the men’s category, and Claire Thomas, Susan Rae and Nicki Steed locked together in the women’s category.

RACE CALENDAR 2022. This will feature 25 races, 20 of which have been pre – selected based on popularity in recent years, plus a marathon of your choice. You will need to complete 8 races to qualify for the First Past The Post Championship, including at least 3 club only races. These comprise 13 road races, 5 cross country races and 2 multi terrain events, ranging in distance from 5 kms to half marathons or further.

However we invite members to nominate another 5 races which you would like to see included in the calendar. You have until 7th December to cast your vote!

ESSCCL. After two fallow years owing to Covid, the cross country season came back with a bang at Ashdown Forest recently with around 25 HRs taking part despite the atrocious conditions. XC captain Dave Bratby and his assistant Jo Edwards have done a great job of galvanising interest in this winter series, and after our 8th placed finish in 2019/20 are targeting a top 5 finish this time! You may recall that Matt Edmonds won 4 races in the last series, taking the senior men’s title for the first time in the club’s history.

There is a wonderful esprit de corps within the HR group, and the club continues to lead the way with 50/50 gender representation, pushing age boundaries and after race refreshments. Dave Bratby and myself have been pushing for a change in the archaic scoring system, with 40% of the runners taking part ending up as “non scorers” as clubs were limited to just 16 scorers (10 men & 6 women). The new scoring system sees clubs able to field 20 scorers (12 men & 8 women), which is certainly a move in the right direction. Fixtures coming up are at Snape Wood, Wadhurst; New Place Farm, Uckfield; Friston Forest; Whitbread Hollow and finally at Pett.


Once again the off – road series which runs from mid April to mid September proved hugely popular, which is hardly surprising given the fabulous scenery we are lucky enough to enjoy in 1066 Country!

Many thanks indeed to chief organiser Tim Jury, who was ably supported over the season by Terry Kitson, Sally Grainger, Paul Cooper, Anthony Gardner, Simon Trevena, Sylvia Huggett, Corrina Skinner, Mickey Johnson and Martin Noakes. Runs stretched from 5 to 10 miles, depending on group ability, ambition, weather and how much daylight was left; and invariably took in hills, mud, brambles and a host of docile and not so docile livestock, before finishing with a cake fest! There was also a well attended walking group, usually led by Victor Froehlke.

The superb locations included Battle, Brede, Catsfield, Fairlight, Guestling, Icklesham, Pett, Pett Level, Sedlescombe, Whatlington and Winchelsea.

ULTRA RUNNERS. We have a host of ultra runners within the club including Darren Kilby, Jacqui Mannering, Matt Edmonds, Nina Lambrou, Pete Heasman and Sarah Holmes. I am going to start with Sarah Holmes who ran the Race to the Stones in July, a 100 kms route along the Ridgway which is Britain’s oldest road and has been used since prehistoric times by travellers, herdsmen and soldiers and features Iron Age forts and figures of white horses cut into the chalk.

Meanwhile Matt Edmonds did two ultra events over the summer, starting off with the Race to the King – an 84 kms event across the South Downs from Goodwood to Winchester taking in over 5000ft of elevation. His time of 8hrs 29mins saw him finish an excellent 14th out of nearly 1000 runners. He followed this up with a 60 kms ultra in the Balkans set beside Lake Ohrid in North Macedonia,which is one of the deepest and oldest lakes in Europe. This race featured over 9000ft of elevation, and Matt’s time of 8.36 saw his highest placed ultra finish so far with an excellent 6th. Matt’s ultra plans for 2022 include a jungle event and a forest event!

At the beginning of the year Pete Heasman and Jacqui Mannering decided to sign up for the Centurion 50 Mile Grand Slam, which is a series of four 50 mile trail ultramarathons. The first in the series was the South Downs Way 50 in April, and they were joined by their usual ultra buddy, Darren Kilby. Enjoying unseasonably good weather, they ran from Worthing over the Downs into Eastbourne only to find that the course was slightly short. So having received their medals, they then ran 3 laps of the track to make up the full distance!

The second of the Grand Slam series was the North Downs Way 50. Mud, hills, steps, mud, hills etc, you get the picture. Elevation of 5,600ft. The third Grand Slam was the Chiltern Wonderland 50 on a baking hot day in September, where Pete and Jacqui were joined by Nina Lambrou. The final Grand Slam is this weekend, featuring 5 x 10 mile loops of Wendover Woods in Bucks.

However not content with 4 Grand Slams in a year, Darren and Jacqui have also completed the 100 kms Serpent Trail on the South Downs; whilst Pete joined them for the 50 kms Run to the Sea from Horsham to Hove, not long after doing the Thames Path 100 miler from Richmond to Oxford. All 3 teamed up with Annette Fry to also take part in the Gatliff 50 kms.

SUSSEX GRAND PRIX. Many thanks to club rep Andy Knight for keeping us abreast of news for the SGP, although this hasn’t been too onerous a task during the past 2 years! The SGP, which consists of 21 clubs in East & West Sussex, will definitely be returning in 2022 although there may be a few changes in format. HR finished a highly respectable 5th in the Team Top 5 Points Championship and 4th in the Team Points Open Championship for the 2019 year, winning no fewer than 7 individual awards.

HASTINGS 1/2 MARATHON After a gap of two years, the most popular half marathon in the South East returns next March for its 38th edition. The organisers, Hastings Lions Club, have raised tens of thousands of pounds for community causes during this period. They have commissioned a special brass for next year’s event celebrating the life of Alan Turing, who broke the German Enigma code at Bletchley Park during WW2. He spent part of his childhood in Hastings, living in Upper Maze Hill.

HASTINGS 5 MILE RACE will similarly be returning next May, celebrating its 15th anniversary. I would like to pay special tribute to the former race directors Mary Chantler, Vic Froehlke, Tony Demarco and more recently Mike Hall who have done a tremendous job since setting up the race in 2006. A regular feature in the SGP, the race normally attracts 500 – 600 runners and has raised nearly 60k during this period for St. Michael’s Hospice. I am very honoured to be taking over the baton as race organiser from my illustrious predecessors, and will do my very best to promote our club’s flagship event.

PARKRUN Hastings parkrun was just a few weeks shy of its 5th anniversary when the pandemic struck and events were suspended worldwide. Thankfully parkrun resumed in July this year, and our parkrun has been maintaining a healthy average of 270 – 300 runners each week. Some 350 HRs have now clocked up over 10,000 parkruns at Hastings, and the event has proved to be a great source of new club members.

Event director Arrianne Callow has done a sterling job organising the volunteers each and every week, aided and abetted by fellow run directors Jane Hughes, Julia French, Julia James, Ken Hughes, Neil Jeffries, Nick Webb, Rick Burne, Sue Palmer, Susan Mann and Susan Rae. Potential RDs are given plenty of opportunity to undertake a wide variety of roles, and the new parkrun volunteer App has certainly made timekeeping and barcode scanning much simpler. Some final stats – since Hastings parkrun started way back in April 2015, over 10,000 runners have sampled our seafront course from 750 different clubs!

TRACK. After a stop – start 2020, track sessions finally resumed at the end of March this year and have been very well attended. A typical session will see 25 – 30 taking part, from 12/13 year olds up to masters runners in their 60s, and covering a wide range of abilities. There is a real sense of camaraderie at the track; which was very much in evidence at the recent handicap races despite the dire weather conditions! I would particularly like to thank my fellow coaches Darren Barzee, Neil Jeffries and Simon Linklater for their commitment in all weathers, and also to Marie Crawford who has deputised for me in the lower group during the past couple of months.

CHARITY FUNDRAISERS. Club members have raised many thousands of pounds this year for very worthy charities, and I am going to start with Jessica Cull who raised over £5000 for St. Michael’s Hospice by completing the VLM in memory of her husband Richard who died at the tragically young age of 43 and spent the last few months of his life at the hospice.

In good company at the VLM, Jessica Tanner, running alongside her mum Alison, raised £1200 for the eating disorders charity BEAT; Alison Anderson raised £3700 for the Place2Be charity, helping Children with Mental Health issues in Schools; Sarah Bendle knocked 14 minutes off her previous best Marathon time with 4.14 raising over £2000 for the charity Shelter; Eleanor Wood raised nearly £1000 for St. Michael’s Hospice after Steve’s Mum, Jenny passed away there in 2020, and her own dad passed away there back in 1991. Emily Allchurch completed the 26.2 miles in just over 4 hours raising nearly £2000 for the charity Grief Encounter, which helps support children and young people following the death of a loved one.

Hayley Ranson was supporting the British Heart Foundation for whom she raised over £700, and with the pandemic disrupting the race calendar found herself in the unique position of having secured places in the Great North Run, the Great South Run and the London Marathon, all within the space of 5 weeks! Hayley had trained hard throughout the summer with husband Ben biking alongside, (weighed down with provisions!),and savoured the brilliant crowd support at the VLM and sharing the run in with a man dressed as a pint of London Pride bitter!

Hayley has kindly shared her fundraising story. “In 2014 my husband Ben had a mystery illness that caused multiple blood clots in both legs and lungs. Following two life-saving procedures it was the timely intervention of a brilliant cardiologist and his team that literally saved Ben’s life when a stray clot went to his heart. Since then all my fundraising has been for the BHF – not only through running, but by selling unwanted items on eBay, hosting dinner parties where guests paid for their meal (yes, really!), baking cakes and selling them at work-related coffee mornings.”

Our former club chairman Tim Jury completed his 60th Marathon, raising over £3000 for Farm Africa, a charity close to his heart and one he has supported for many years. Alongside Mickey Johnson and Cassandra Colvin, they tackled two off road loops, starting from Tim’s farm in Pett and embracing the magnificent countryside around Fairlight, Icklesham, Winchelsea and Rye. Tim has recently announced his retirement from running, and the club would like to thank him for all his hard work and dedication to the club over many years.

WOMEN RUNNERS’ SAFETY WORKSHOP. Over 30 female runners from 7 different local running clubs joined forces recently to attend a workshop at Horntye Park arranged by Hastings Runners. Women’s safety on the streets was highlighted recently by the tragic case of Sarah Everard; whilst even elite athletes such as Eilish McColgan and Charlotte Purdue have publicly stated that they feel vulnerable running alone and often resort to having friends cycling alongside them.

The presentation given by Police Community Support Officer Maria Barraclough, based at Hastings Police Station, offered many excellent safety tips for those women who normally run by themselves. A wide range of risk aversion tips; plus what to do if you think that you’re being followed; and what to do if you are cornered.
It was clearly evident that many of the areas of Hastings where women felt particularly vulnerable, and in some cases had experienced harassment including stalking, all suffered from poor or non-existent lighting and lack of CCTV. These included Alexandra Park (especially the upper part), Rock-A-Nore, Bottle Alley and parts of the lower promenade.

Representatives from Hastings Runners, Run 1066, Heart & Sole, and Bexhill Runners have now formed a steering committee to publicise their various areas of concern for women’s safety, and to hopefully improve the situation locally. One suggestion received that each running club should have a single point of contact (SPOC), so that women who often run at unsocial hours or in more remote settings could have a greater pool of potential running buddies to access, should be acted upon very soon.

SARAH MARZAIOLI. I feel that no chairman’s report would be complete without mentioning the remarkable and very modest Sarah Marzaioli, who has completed over 100 marathons despite not taking up running until her early 50s. After warming up with numerous age category wins in events such as the Hampton Court and Tonbridge ½ marathons, and the Lydd 20 miler, Sarah was invited to participate in the London Marathon as part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors series. Just two weeks later she posted a time of 4 hrs 37mins in the Yorkshire marathon, winning her age group in what was the British Masters marathon championship event for this year. This puts her 10th in her age group for the UKA rankings in 2021.

And finally, I would like to thank all members, from newcomers to those boasting several decades of service, for making the club what it is. I am going to finish by borrowing a FB quote from track regular Catherine Southgate after the weekend’s cross country race at Ashdown Forest. “I’m incredibly proud to belong to Hastings Runners, who have absolutely welcomed me, encouraged me, and still take group photos with my partner James in, even in his BRT vest & Vegan Runners jacket! I love how inclusive running is, and am starting to wonder why I didn’t do it sooner ! Since I started training and running with you all, you have given me such a love for running, and confidence to believe that no matter how long my 5 or 10 kms takes, I’m doing it and I’m enjoying it.”

Beachy Head Marathon! Who does that?

Have you seen the start of the Beachy Head Marathon? Who in their right mind looks at that mountain and thinks running 26.2 miles on that terrain is a good idea? Legends. That’s who! 

A huge congratulations to all those that completed the course on Saturday. The route had to be altered due to flooding and runners took on the half marathon course twice to complete the distance. Total elevation? 2750 feet! Wowzers!

Charles Bowley

The first Hastings Runner to cross the line was Mark Lutman in a superb time of 4 hours and 26 minutes. Ben Brett improved his previous time by a meagre 2 hours and 33 minutes. His time on the weekend of 4:53 continued his strong recent performances.

Also claiming legendary status were Charles Bowley (5:27), Simon Deeprose (5:34), Sarah Holmes (5:39), Corrina Skinner (5:52), Sylvia Hugget (5:52), Elly Swaine (5:54), Ruth Spiller (5:55), Sue Wilkinson (6:03), Helen Munday (6:49) and Lisa Peterson (6:49).

Claire Thomas. Susan Rae, Will Withecombe

On Sunday the Beachy Head 10K took place and our very own Matt Edmonds claimed first place in a field of 453 runners in a time of 37:54. Not only did Matt land the top prize, but he was 90 seconds ahead of his nearest rival. Catherine Cowan was marking her return to racing after a spell out injured and completed the challenging course in 1:16:36.

Sadly the results page doesn’t list runners by team. Thank you to those that replied on facebook. If you are missing, please let me know and I will add you.

The more sensible among us opted for WoodChurch 5 and 10 miler on Sunday. 95% chose for the one lap version of this race.So I’ll start by praising new member Malcolm Smith who was photographed from a distance, not running in the wrong direction as first appeared, but starting his 2nd lap. Malcolm was the first (and only) Hastings Runner across the line in the 10 miler in 1:23:57.

Rob Gagyi

Fresh off his park run win (16:19 PB) on Saturday morning, Will Withecombe bounded his way to more glory in a fantastic time of 28:51. Claire Thomas made it a Hastings Runners double by landing the Ladies 1st Place (8th overall) in 35:37. There were Top 10 finishes for Darren Barzee (4th – 32:17), John Simcox (6th – 34:46), Michael Norris (9th – 36:01) and Andy Knight (10th – 36:50). 

Susan Rae was 12th and 2nd lady in 37:19. Also running in their Green & Black attire were Simon Weatherly (37:44 PB), Rob Gagyi (42:14), Marie Crawford (43:44 PB), Keith Goodsell (43:57), Paul Wadham (46:20) Jacqueline Scott (47:11 PB), Krista Barzee (47:20), Sharon Wadham (47:30), Deborah Morgan (47:54), Sue Palmer (52:37) and Catherine Southgate (59:37). 

Simon Weatherly

A special mention for Debra Van Aalst who was spotted at park run on Saturday morning. Debra has been out with injury since July, it’s great to see her back in action and I for one look forward to seeing her at future club runs and races.

As always, if you took part in a race this weekend and have not been mentioned, please let me know. Your input makes these reports easier to write. Thank you.

Woodchurch photo’s courtesy of Louise Cavill Weatherly.

Goodness Gracious Great South Balls of Fire

With health and safety out of the window, eleven Hastings Runners donned their flammable Green & Black Vest on a mild October evening to complete the annual ritual of commencing the Bonfire Parade.

The brave souls that put their lives on the line to promote the club were Simon Weatherly, Louise Weatherly Cavill, Jon Smalldon, Neil Jeffries, Matt Edmonds, Nick Webb, Jacqueline Scott, Alison Tanner, Keith Goodsell, Julia James and Charles Bowley.

Their torches were lit from the beacon, high up on the East Hill. The runners  carefully light-footed their way down the steps and lit up the Old Town, cheered en route by spectators keen to get a front row seat for the upcoming procession.

The run was timed to perfection, reaching their destination at exactly 7:15 to hand over the torches, rest their weary arms and join the crowds to enjoy the main show. Fun was had by all, a great experience and one I can recommend myself if you ever get the chance to take part.

There were several races taking part at the weekend too. Sarah Marzaioli  was in Marathon mode (when is she not?) and travelled up North to tackle 26.2 miles in Yorkshire. Her time of 4:37:24 saw her finish first place in her age category and win a Gold Medal from the British Masters Athletics Federation.

Sarah pictured with Roger from Havant Runners.

10 Hastings Runners headed along the coast to compete in the Great South Run. Darren Barzee produced a superb performance to finish the 10 miles around the streets of Portsmouth in 1:05:15, a new PB (finish times not chip times). That was good enough for 264th place out of a field of over 8,000 runners.

It’s fantastic to see Graeme Grass back running and in fine form, crossing the line in 1:14:38 (finish time). There were PBs for Michael Norris (1:15:13), Susan Rae (1:15:20),  Krista Barzee (1:38:17) and Michelle Krombholz (1:43:21). Susan finished 2nd in her age category, but suspicions have been raised after some private detective work, that the winner may not actually exist.

Kirsta Barzee, Darren Barzee, Susan Rae, Michael Norris

Also in action on Sunday morning in the Great South Run were Dave King (1:16:37), Paul Wadham (1:32:59), Krista Barzee (1:38:17), Sharon Wadham (1:38:18), Sarah Holmes (1:41:56) and Hayley Ranson (1:49:09).

Paul Wadham, Sharon Wadham, Graeme Grass

Neil Jeffries and Chris Weeks chose to race the Rhinos, Baboons, Lions, Tapirs, Bisons, Gorillas and all creatures great and small in the Port Lympne Run Wild 10k. The course was very hilly with some twists and turns, adding over 5 minutes on normal 10k race times. Neil swung round the course in 51:37 to claim 1st place in the Mv60 category. Chris finished in 1:04:56 and he continues to work his way back from injury.

Monday saw the first ever Track Races. To ensure a fair chance for all, a handicap system was adopted and there were 3 different events. Simon Weatherly claimed the men’s race over 3,000km, maintaining his lead throughout. New member Andy Lancaster took the 2nd Race over 2,000 meters. Finally, after waiting patiently in the pouring rain, the ladies took their turn to compete in an exhilarating 3km race which was won by Gilda D Silva, pulling away from Marie Appleton with just 200 meters to go.

Gilda D Silva, Simon Weatherly, Andy Lancaster

This weekend is the Woodchurch 5 mile and 10 mile on Sunday. A Club Championship race which I know nothing about apart from it’s somewhere near Ashford and has a hill or two.


Blowers Blasts His Way to Tonbridge PB

Hastings Runners were out in force again at the weekend. Up and down the country the Green & Black vests were worn with pride and boy did you guys deliver. Starting up the A21 in Tonbridge with the return of the Half Marathon, part of our Club Championship, with crucial points up for grabs.

Kevin Blowers snatched the whole 200 on offer with a simply sensational performance. Tonbridge is not a flat course. 195 meters of elevation to be precise. But still, Kevin absolutely smashed his PB to cross the line in a fantastic time of 1:36:21, 7 minutes quicker than his previous best over 13.1 Miles. Kev my friend, you are a legend!

Kevin Blowers in a totally different race, but I like the photo so much I used this instead.

The eternally joyous Manami Cheves was also in PB mood. She ran 1:44:10, and much to her amazement, landed 1st place in the FV55 category. Simon Weatherley continued his excellent recent form with a personal best of his own crossing the line in 1:48:51.

Manami Cheves, smiling of course

Also in attendance were John Simcox (2nd HR home 1:41:39), new member Robert Gagyi (1:54:39), the man who never misses a race, Charles Bowley (1:57:21), the slightly disgruntled Marie Crawford (2:05:28), the machine Sarah Marzaioli (ran London Marathon last weekend 2:11:38), Joe Cruttenden who is back from an injury layoff, Louise Cavill (2:36:57), who kindly provided me with the race details for this report and Henry Worthington.

30 minutes up the road, Matt Edmonds, Will Withecombe and myself (Simon Linklater) were snapping selfies with Gorillas and Ladybirds. We also found time to participate in the superbly organised and well attended (over 750 runners) Petts Wood 10K. A mixture of road and trails provided a challenging route, with excellent support throughout. 

No words needed, Will, Simon, Matt (left to right).

Matt produced a scintillating performance to cross the line in 3rd place in a time of 35 minutes dead. He was shortly followed by the winning machine Will Withecombe, whose 6th place finish meant a rare weekend without stocking his trophy cabinet, perhaps it’s full already? The faint hope of a team prize was dashed on the start line when Blackheath & Bromley Harriers turned up with their A-Team, 5 runners in the top 11, thus at least making me feel better for my 79th place finish in 45:28.

With Marathon season in full swing, it was the turn of Manchester to stage the big event of the weekend. 6 Hastings Runners made the trip North and with plenty of success. Jakuk Kucharski completed the 26.2 miles in 3:46:10. The ever improving Ben Brett was rewarded for his dedication in training with a new Marathon PB of 4:15:22. Lucy Brett notched up Marathon number two and a new PB in 6:11:12. Jess Tanner raised over £1200 for the charity BEAT and ran alongside her mum Alison. They finished in 7:08:58 and 7:09 respectively. To add a donation please click on the link below. James Graham took on the challenge bare footed and came home in 5:15:12. Catherine Southgate completed her first ever half marathon in 2:44:38.

Jess and Alison Tanner

Jess Tanner – Fundraising for the charity BEAT

Back down on the South Coast, we had 4 runners in action at Brighton Half Marathon. It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned a PB, so here’s a particularly impressive one for you. Nicola Steed smashed her previous best over 13.1 miles to come home in a superb 1:43:19 (I told you it was good). Matt Beaver (1:51:03), Keith Goodsell (1:57:53) and Sarah Holmes (2:13:47) were also in action in sunny Brighton.

The Royal Parks Half Marathon populated the open spaces of London. Sadly the results table doesn’t filter by club, but I do know Marie Appleton took part, albeit running with someone else’s legs, so I’m told. Clearly I need to up my game when it comes to excuses, but Marie ran a very respectable 2:17:20. Chris Weeks was also in the capital, with his own legs along for the ride and finished the race in 2:14:42.

Sunday also saw the latest staging of the Race 4 Life in our very own Alexandra Park, Hastings. Chris White took part in the 10K and was very happy with his time of 1:10 minutes.  Jacqueline Scott took on the 5K route and came home in 28:40. 

If you ran this weekend and I’ve missed you out, let me know and if I like you, I’ll add you to the report, some of the race results are a bit disjointed in places, making it difficult to compile them.

Hastings Runners Raise Over £10,000 for Charity

How can you not be inspired? Nearly two dozen Hastings Runners took part in the London Marathon this weekend. 7 made the trip to the Capital to join in the masses, soak up the atmosphere and run past some of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Over £14,000 was raised for some incredible charities, including £5,000 for St.Michael’s Hospice. Well done to Jessica Cull and Eleanor Wood for their fundraising activities for such a great cause.

Alison Anderson may have been slightly underwhelmed by her performance, but that pales into insignificance with the £3700 she raised for the Place2Be charity, helping Children with Mental Health issues in Schools.

Sarah Marzaioli completed “another” (her words, not mine) London Marathon and was part of the Abbott World Marathon Masters group. They were sent off early, treated much like the Elite Runners and rightly so. Sarah clocked the 4th quickest time among Hastings Runners at the weekend.

I can only assume Luke Evans is related to the BBC Producer, or he paid him off. Luke was spotted several times on the gogglebox, often with his arm raised high in the air, almost as if he knew the precise moment the cameras were going to be on him. Coincidence? I’ll let you decide.

Hayley Ranson is raising money for the British Heart Foundation and taking part in a trilogy of races. She has now completed the Great North Run, the London Marathon and will be running the Great South Run in a few weeks time. So far she has raised nearly £650 towards her £1000 target.

Sarah Bendle knocked 14 minutes off her previous best Marathon time to complete the course in the capital in 4:14. In the process she raised over £2000 for the charity Shelter.

Sarah Holmes continued her excellent year of endurance running, adding the official London Marathon to her Race to the Stones 100k earlier this summer.

Tim Jury completed his 60th Marathon, raising over £3000 for Farm Africa, a charity close to his heart and one he has supported for many years through his running adventures. Alongside good friends Mickey Johnson and Cassandra Colvin, they tackled two off road loops, starting from Tim’s farm in Pett and embracing the wonderful countryside around Fairlight, Icklesham, Winchelsea and Rye.

Tim announced his retirement from running after the weekend and the club would like to thank him for all the hard work and time he has dedicated to Hastings Runners in recent years. We hope to still see you around Tim.

Patience Cooper also choose an entirely off road route and was 181st overall in her age category from both the main & virtual event.

Closer to home Sally Grainger, Stuart Woolford, Sue Wilkinson and Rob Thomas ran from Hellingly to Hastings to complete the Virtual Race. Nina Lambrou, Jacqueline Mannering, Annette Fry and Nigel Thornley did a loop around Hastings, Crowhurst and Bexhill to cover the 26.2 miles.

Emily Allchurch completed the 26.2 miles in just over 4 hours and has raised close to £2000 for the charity Grief Encounter. They help children and young people support following the death of a loved one. See the link to the fundraising pages at the bottom of this article.

Deanne Smith, Victoria Sims, Emma Stubbs and Eleanor Swaine all took in the local delights to complete the challenge, with big smiles on their faces and no doubt inspiring those en route to take up this fabulous hobby of ours.

This isn’t an event to get caught up in times, instead click one of the links below and add to the amazing tally that our members have already contributed, to such worthwhile causes.

Links to the Fundraising Pages

Tim Jury – Farm Africa 

Jessica Cull – St.Michaels Hospice

Eleanor Wood – St.Michaels Hospice

Alison Anderson – Place2Be 

Hayley Ranson – British Heart Foundation

Emily Allchurch – Grief Encounter