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The Hills Are Alive…..With The Sound Of Running Shoes

If they’d told us in advance that there were free jelly babies at the end, I might have run faster. The first male and female Hastings Runners home at the inaugural Great Northiam Run 10k, though, needed no such motivation… Many congratulations to HR stars Kieran Price (third overall in a time of 41 minutes 36 seconds) and Susan Rae (second female, first in age category and 15th overall in 49 minutes and 25 seconds).

The event was a logistically simpler replacement for the Northiam to Bodiam Castle point-to-point. Think of it as a Northiam hill-to-hill via Ewhurst Green (171m ascent). The Race Director was Eric Hardwick MBE – Mr Hastings Half Marathon, so no stranger to making people run up hills – who was overheard admitting to Kieran in advance of the start that the course was “er, a bit harder” than its predecessor.

Nick Brown – who took pictures at the 2k/8k point – put it more matter-of-factly: “A tough course with some severe climbs.” But hey, we’re from Hastings so we know all about that, right?

Kieran and Susan were followed to the finish line by the alphabetically arranged Determined Dozen of Krista Barzee, Patrick Bermingham, Louise Cavill, Richard Cross, Bill Edmondson, new recruit Robert Gagyi, James Graham, Ian Lee, Catherine Southgate, Simon Weatherly, David Witcombe, Jan Young… and yours truly.

With 14 tops to be seen, Hastings Runners was easily the best represented club in the field of 87 – a fact which helped us pick up both the male and female team awards.

10K is never enough for our 100 Marathon Club representative Sarah Marzaioli who completed the Hampton Court Palace Half Marathon in 2:10:47.  Sarah described it as a “great race” which started and finished in the Palace grounds.

The Great Northiam Run was the 11th of 19 races in the 2021 Hasting Runners Club Championship race calendar. The 12th is next Sunday: the 11-and-a-bit-mile Rye to Hastings.

Neil Jeffries

Northiam 10K Race Results

Something for everyone in Rye this Weekend

As the summer draws to a close and the nights draw in, the Green & Black army were out in force at the weekend. From the 5K Rye Summer Series on Friday, to the Brighton Marathon on Sunday. The challenges may have been hugely different, but the one constant was the Hastings Runners vest, worn with pride and style.

Rye Harbour was the destination on Friday evening for the final event of the Summer Series. A 5k dash out towards the Nature Reserve and back to the finish in front of the Sailing Club. Battling an on-going calf injury, Will Withecombe put up a brave fight to finish in 4th place in a time of 18:27.

Hastings Runners at Rye 5K Summer Series.

Kieran Price continued his fine summer with yet another PB, crossing the line in an excellent time of 19:08 and 7th place overall. Claire Thomas was the 1st female Hastings Runner to finish, clocking another impressive 5K time of 21:09. There were personal bests for the racing machine Nicola Steed (21:56), the PB queen herself, Susan Rae (22:06), karaoke king Michael Norris (21:06) and newly promoted top group track star, Simon Weatherly (23:27).

A different breed of runner headed to Rye just over 36 hours later to tackle the Rye Ancient Trails. I was fortunate enough to participate in this event myself and it was a superb route, linking the Norman churches of Rye, Iden, Beckley, Northiam and Peasmarsh. We ran through vineyards, woodland, footpaths, trails and quiet country lanes. Some of our very own club members were on hand to help out the flawless organisation by Nice Work and Running Forever, offering encouragement and refreshments to those of us taking part.

Simon Linklater at Rye Ancient Trails 30K.

In the 15K race Simon Newstead came home in 7th place in an impressive time of 1:12:29. Despite a less than ideal preparation the previous night, Kevin Blowers smashed it with a time of 1:20:33 to claim 1st place in his Age Category. In the 30K event I was delighted to cross the line in 2:50:23 and a finishing position of 32nd. Hot on my heels and 2nd in her age category was Sally Grainger, comfortably under the 3 hour mark, by a whole 2 seconds, nicely timed Sally.

50 miles along the coast a select group of Hastings Runners completed an additional 10k to finish the Brighton Marathon. It was great to see Jamie Kennedy back in his Green & Black vest, sneaking under the 4 hour mark. Matt Smith, Rob Thomas, James Graham, Lewis Wadham and Lily Share also took on the course, which due to a misplaced cone at a turnaround point, was 600 meters too long. Oops.

Lily Share at Brighton Marathon. Photo by Sharon Wadham.

In slightly cooler temperatures Marie Appleton and Danny Firth both completed the Great North Run. Results from those two events are hard to filter by club, so if I have missed anyone out, please let me know.

Race Results from the Rye 5K and 15/30K Rye Ancient Trails

Too Hot For Running – BBB10K Report

As the summer reaches a climax, the evenings are drawing in and the temperature is dropping. Another long winter of doom and gloom. But luckily this Sunday we were blessed with clear blue skies and beautiful sunshine. What a delight for all. Except us runners it seemed.

As I sat there on the concrete wall, head in hands, frustrated at my poor race tactics, I listened to the moans and groans of fellow participants of the Paddock Wood Half Marathon. Many, like me, appeared to struggle on the quiet Kent Country Lanes. It was like a game of Chinese Whispers. The more gripes I heard, the warmer the day had been.

I’m pretty sure one runner even claimed the temperature had hit 35 degrees and they’d nearly passed out at the 10 mile marker. Oh how we love to moan.

Regardless of the heat, the Black and Green crew were out in force this weekend. Over 40 Hastings Runners limbered up outside Battle Abbey in preparation for the tough challenge that ahead in the BBB10K.

There were some excellent results. We had no fewer than 6 runners inside the Top 20. Colin White continued his excellent form to finish in 6th place in a time of 37:46. This landed him 1st place in the Male Vet 40 category.

There was a real battle developing between 3 of our track regulars. Darren Barzee who has been struggling with a few niggles of late, rediscovered his form, to finish in 10th place, in a time of 40:07. Darren claimed 1st place in the Male Vet 50 category.

Hot on his heels were Kieran Price & Vinny Reed who had been switching places heading down North Trade Road and it took a sprint finish from Kieran down the high street to come in 5 seconds ahead. Their respective times were 40:15 and 40:20.

Claire Thomas ran a superb race to finish 3rd Lady in a time of 45:49. In form Susan Rae was the 2nd Hastings Runners female to cross the line in 46:43. A brilliant effort by everyone involved given the tough nature of the course and apparently it was quite hot.

20 Miles up the road a small contingent of Hastings Runners were taking part in the Paddock Wood Half Marathon, which had been rescheduled from Spring 2020. We had 8 runners toe the start line, all of whom survived the tropical conditions, rumoured to be even hotter than Battle. Although I can’t prove that claim.

1st home for the club was Simon Linklater (me) in a new PB of 1:37:49, some 20 minutes quicker than my previous best from February 2020 #justsaying.

We had 3 female competitors and randomly they were all called Sarah. The first home you ask? Sarah of course. You want the surname? Bendle, Sarah Bendle, crossing the finish line in a time of 2:01:46. I bumped into her afterwards. She moaned it was too hot. Well done Sarah(s).

Helen Munday and Eleanor Wood wanted more miles and more sunshine, so opted for the Bates Green Gallop in Arlington. A 3.5 mile loop course and 6 hours to run round as many times as you choose fit. With the tans topped up, they called it a day after 4 loops and 14 miles in the bag. Awesome work.

Congratulations to everyone who took part over the weekend. Fear not, it will soon be freezing cold, gail force winds and driving rain on race weekends. Lots to look forward to.


Hastings Runners Weekend Round Up – 14/15th August

Some excellent performances from club members currently training for various marathons coming up, as well as some quick times from those who prefer the 5 kms parkrun distance.

7 took part in the Lydd 20 miler on Sunday which attracted a field of 354 runners, led home by Charles Bowley in a time of 3.11.57, followed by Luke Evans 3.16.16; Jo Lambourne 3.23.58; Richard Roethe 3.27.16; Sarah Marzaioli 3.47.37 (1st FV70); Jessica Cull 3.58.59; Allison Tanner 5.30.54. The Lydd 1/2 marathon saw excellent runs from Kieran Price with a PB time of 1.29.41, Ben Park 1.38.26 and Richard Cross 1.58.02.

Meanwhile on Saturday no fewer than 59 club members went parkrunning; 31 of them at Hastings where star junior Finlay Goodman had a superb run to finish 4th in an impressive time of 17.30.

Well done also to Martin Snape (19.19), Simon Linklater (20.04) and Jon Smalldon (22.23) who all recorded PBs. Helen Brown was the first lady finisher at Watermeadows parkrun in Towcester, clocking 26.26 on the off-road course, whilst club chairman Nick Brown’s time of 21.18 gave him the highest age graded score (78.01%) in the field.

Sue Rae also produced the highest age graded score at Bedgebury parkrun (80.95%) with a time of 23.58 on the undulating course in Bedgebury Pinetum.

Everyone’s Favourite Race – The Alan Corke 2021

The first club only championship race for 21 months was a fantastic advertisement for HR, with 56 runners taking part and 35 marshals – expertly co-ordinated by Alan Croucher – giving up their time to ensure that everything went smoothly.

The well above average recent rainfall meant that some sections of the 10.30 kms course were extremely muddy, and the 2.66 laps in the stunning setting of Hastings Country Park at Fairlight proved a real stamina sapping test with over 220 m of elevation.

Many congrats to Will Withecombe and Nicki Steed who won the men’s and women’s trophy in 45.26 and 53.35 respectively; both were participating in an HR club race for the first time as were Charles Bowley, Chris Weeks, Debbie Clark, Jess Hayward, Patience Cooper, Robin Beck, Samantha Welfare and Tracy Brown.

Will, runner up Ashley Vora and 3rd placed Darren Barzee were very closely matched for much of the race, with Will gradually pulling clear on the final lap to finish 19 secs ahead of Ashley with Darren just 25 secs further adrift.

The women’s race was also a tight affair with Nicki and Sue Rae locked together after the first lap; however Nicki steadily forged ahead to claim a comfortable victory by nearly 3 mins. Sue at least had the consolation of winning the FV 50 plus trophy, from runner up Manami Cheves who ran a fine race to come in just 2 mins behind. Darren won the MV 50 plus trophy, with runner up Martin Noakes just over 2 mins behind.

Times were: Will Withecombe 45.26; Ashley Vora 45.45; Darren Barzee 46.10; Martin Noakes 48.29; Paul Burchett 49.26; Patrick Bermingham 49.48; Simon Linklater 49.58; Charles Bowley 53.03; Simon Trevena 53.07; Neil Jeffries 53.11; Graeme Grass 53.24; Nicki Steed 53.35; Susan Rae 56.29; Rob Thomas 57.07; Manami Cheves 58.22; Luke Evans 59.11; Chris Weeks 59.50; Robin Beck 60.56; James Graham 62.04; Jacqui Mannering 62.44; Simon Weatherley 62.45; Jessica Cull 63.06; Jo Lambourne 63.07; Piers Brunning 63.23; Leanne Spring 63.35; Janice Young 64.18; Nigel Thornely 65.42; Sarah Bendle 65.42; Paul Baxter 66.09; Joanne Smith 66.41; Mike Addison 67.03; Keith Goodsell 67.31; Bill Edmondson 67.56; Marie Crawford 67.57; Sarah Marzaioli 70.01; Elly Swaine 70.24; Krista Barzee 70.55; Emma Stubbs 70.55; Victoria Sims 71.17; Sylvia Huggett 71.57; Mike Ellis 72.21; Shana Burchett 72.28; Kim Callow 73.56; Patience Cooper 75.24; Irene Kitson 78.15; Sue Palmer 79.11; Jessica Hayward 79.29; Samantha Welfare 80.20; Michelle Krombholz 80.21; Tracy Ratnarajah 80.32; Danny Ratnarajah 80.32;Tracy Brown 83.00; Louise Cavill 83.00; Debbie Clark 83.01; Chris White 91.19; Alan Croucher (sweep) 91.35.

Latest Race Roundup from Hastings Runners

A modest turnout for our 5th club championship race of the calendar in Wednesday evening’s Bedgebury Pinetum 10kms, but some excellent performances from many of those taking part despite the humidity and undulating terrain.

The 9 strong contingent were led home by Paul Burchett (7th) in 42.20, followed in by Kevin Blowers 44.17; Nicki Steed 46.06; Jon Smalldon 49.56; Manami Cheves 50.49; Marie Crawford 56.23; Terry Kitson 63.07; Shana Burchett 63.15; Irene Kitson 65.25. Well done to Kevin and Manami who both won their age categories, whilst Nicki was 3rd lady finisher. 78 runners participated.

Many congrats also to Will Withecombe, who was a comfortable winner of the one lap 5 kms race in 18.14. Our other representative in the 48 strong field was new club member Jacqueline Scott who finished in 36.40. Most Garmins had the 10 kms course as being 250 – 350 m short, and the 5 kms course around 200 m short.

Over 50 HRs took part in parkruns across the South East, with no fewer than 29 amongst the 282 parkrunners at Hastings parkrun with Nathan Jondorf first club member home in a time of 21.05. Despite the blustery conditions both Jon Smalldon (22.33) and Susan Rae (22.34) managed to post PBs, with Sue easily recording the highest age grading at Hastings with a huge 85.97%. Well done also to Jane Hughes who posted the highest AG at Eastbourne parkrun (79.37%); whilst Will Withecombe had an excellent run to finish 3rd on an undulating course at Beckenham parkrun in 18.37.

Meanwhile in the Rye Summer 10 kms on Friday evening, there were some excellent runs despite the extremely gusty conditions in the nature reserve with 3 runners in the top 7 out of a field of 98 runners and PBs for Nicki and Krista.

An excellent 4th place for Kieran Price in 39.31, followed in by Martin Snape 5th (40.30); Paul Burchett 7th (41.00); Nicki Steed 1st senior female and 3rd lady finisher (45.43); Michael Norris (46.47); Rachael Inns (52.56); Krista Barzee (58.04) and Henry Worthington (1.24.33).

Landmark Age Category Win for Susan!

Many congrats to Susan Rae, who took 4 mins off her 1/2 marathon pb and won the FV60 – 64 age category in the prestigious London Landmarks Half Marathon on Sunday which attracted nearly 11,000 runners to the closed road event through the City of London and City of Westminster. Sue’s chip time was 1.47.21. Fellow club members Ben Brett, John Simcox and Keith Goodsell recorded chip times of 1:53:00, 2.01.04 and 2.07.27 respectively.

Meanwhile Matt Edmonds recorded his 20th different course victory at parkrun, winning the Squerryes Winery parkrun in Westerham, Kent in a time of 19.53. What was more remarkable was that he had set off from Johns Cross the previous evening, and trekked 66 kms throughout the night in order to reach the parkrun before the 9 am start on Saturday!

Closer to home, 41 Hastings Runners tackled the Hastings parkrun which attracted a field of nearly 300 runners – 80 more than on the previous week’s restart. They were led in by Will Withecombe who continued his fine vein of recent form with an excellent 5th place in a pb time of 17.40; other pbs were recorded by Fraser Hughes (20.03); Simon Linklater (20.11); Katy Matthews (22.41) and Manami Cheves (23.29).

Harry Hood notched up his 50th parkrun, whilst Jane Hughes (FV60) and Martin Noakes (MV55) posted the 3rd & 4th best age grading scores with 80.56% (24.26) & 80.10% (19.41) respectively. Club chairman Nick Brown took the highest age graded score (79.95%) at Seaford Beach parkrun with a time of 20.47.

Runners heat up at New Romney 10K

A busy weekend for Hastings Runners, coinciding with the long awaited return of parkrun. No fewer than 28 club members took part in the Hastings parkrun, with Matt Edmonds notching up his 26th course success in a time of 17.07.

There were pbs for Charles Bowley (22.31), Ben Kirimli (23.23) and Emma Stubbs (25.32); whilst veterans Martin Noakes and Nick Brown recorded the 2nd and 3rd highest age graded scores with 79.76% and 77.89% respectively in times of 19.46 and 21.20.

We are very grateful to event director Arrianne Callow, who did a huge amount of work behind the scenes in the weeks leading up to the restart, as well as run directors Sue Rae and Jane Hughes, and all the other parkrun volunteers – many of them club members. Meanwhile over at Eastbourne parkrun, Nicki Steed was 4th lady finisher in a pb time of 21.53.

Earlier in the week club chairman Nick Brown had posted a time of 21.17 and was first MV60 in the Great City Race 5 kms, which attracted a field of nearly 3000 runners for the London Marathon organised event on closed roads in the City of London.

The club were very well represented in Sunday’s Romney Marsh 10 kms, with 20 tackling this latest club championship race in very humid conditions along the quiet country lanes starting from New Romney out of a field of nearly 200 runners.

Many congrats to Kieran, Vinnie, Simon, Kevin and Manami who all posted pbs.

Times were: Kieran Price 39.07; Paul Burchett 41.41; Vincent Reed 42.39; Simon Linklater 43.04; Kevin Blowers 43.11; Nick Brown 43.52; Neil Jeffries 44.17; Claire Thomas 46.34; Ben Sallows 46.54; Manami Cheves 49.26; Richard Cross 50.46; Simon Weatherley 51.56; Elly Swaine 58.59; Alison Anderson 59.24; Marie Crawford 59.51; Michelle Krombholz 60.38; Krista Barzee 60.57; Terry Kitson 63.41; Irene Kitson 67.15; Louise Cavill 67.30 (tbc).
Many thanks to Will Withecombe for the photos and support near the finish.

Finlay Finds Winning Formula

Some excellent performances from club members in the recent 10 kms races at Bedgebury, Ashburnham and Rye; with star junior Finlay Goodman winning the Out of the Blue 5 kms and Will Withecombe coming a close second, whilst Finlay’s dad Mark came second in the 10 kms race at Ashburnham. Chapeau to Nicola Steed, who ran in all 3 races on consecutive evenings!

5 club members took part in the Bedgebury Pinetum Summer 10 kms series on Wednesday night, with Nicola Steed finishing 2nd lady in 47.20, followed in by Lewis Wadham 48.32; Sophie West 51.20; Paul Wadham 58.03; Sharon 59.59 (first FV50).

Thursday evening saw a bigger turnout for the Out of the Blue races in the grounds of Ashburnham Place, which raised money for four mental health charities. Finlay Goodman eclipsed a 198 strong field in the 5 kms race, winning in a time of 18.49 with club mate Will Withecombe a fine second in 19.13.

Next home, after a long injury absence, was Andy Knight in 29.54, followed by Shana Burchett 31.28; Frank Frost 33.36; Catherine Southgate 37.39; Vicky Sims 65.07; Christine Rackstraw 65.22. The 10 kms attracted a field of 120 runners, with Mark Goodman finishing an excellent second in 41.33, with Paul Burchett 6th in 46.04; Nicola Steed 51.06; Susan Rae 52.44 (first FV60); James Graham 57.32. Both courses were around 200m short, but the stiff climbs on each circuit more than compensated for this.

The rolling start from Rye Harbour Sailing Club on Friday evening meant that most runners in the Rye Summer Classic Series 10 kms were virtually doing a solo time trial for much of the out and back course on tarmac paths through the nature reserve, with the turnaround point just before reaching Winchelsea Beach.

Times were: Kieran Price (7th out of 71 runners) 39.37 pb; Darren Barzee 42.20; Nicola Steed 47.18; Michael Norris 47.44; Simon Weatherley 53.24; Stephen Slater 55.57; Sarah Marzaioli 61.01; Andrew Clubb 70.55. Kieran (MV45), Darren (MV50) and Sarah (FV70) all won age category awards.

Bewl 15 & Weekend Results Roundup

Another busy weekend as racing is slowly returning to normal, with no fewer than 29 Hastings Runners taking part in the gruelling Bewl 15 miler on Sunday which was the 3rd club championship race of the year.

The persistent rain made the challenging multi-terrain course even tougher than usual, with the muddy conditions on much of the route more akin to winter cross country.

Star veteran Darren Barzee was first HR to finish in an impressive time of 2hrs 2mins, just 90secs ahead of Ben Park in 2hrs 3mins, followed in by Kevin Blowers 2hrs 8mins; Mark Lutman 2hrs 11mins; Malcolm Smith 2hrs 16mins; Charles Bowley 2hrs 22mins; Ben Sallows 2hrs 22mins; Matt Smith 2hrs 30mins; Martin Hurry 2hrs 31mins; Nina Lambrou 2hrs 34mins; Sarah Bendle 2hrs 37mins; Chris Weeks 2hrs 38mins; Steward Woolford 2hrs 41mins; Anthony Gardner 2hrs 43mins; Adrian Barratt 2hrs 45mins; Simon Weatherley 2hrs 46mins; Elly Swaine 2hrs 50mins; Marie Appleton 3hrs 2 mins; Lily Share 3hrs 6mins; Shana Burchett 3hrs 15mins; Susan Wilkinson 3hrs 17mins; Sarah Sellens 3hrs 26mins; Helen Munday 3hrs 26mins; Terry Kitson 3hrs 26mins; Samantha Welfare 3hrs 34mins; Michelle Krombholz 3hrs 34mins; Louise Cavill 3hrs 34mins; Krista Barzee 3hrs 34 mins; Allison Tanner 4hrs 41mins.

Meanwhile 3 of the club’s leading ultra marathoners were stretching their legs over the demanding Salomon Serpent Trail 100 kms, which featured nearly 1800m of ascent in the South Downs National Park including the highest point at Blackdown. The trio of Pete Heasman, Darren Kilby and Jackie Mannering completed the event in 16hrs 40mins.

New club member Will Withecombe had got the weekend off to a flying start with a comfortable victory in the Oliver Curd Charity 10 kms run on Friday night, finishing a comfortable 8 mins clear of the runner up in a very decent time of 40.07 over the mainly off-road point to point course which ran from Crowhurst Park in Telham to the Combe Haven Holiday Park in Hastings. Also among the field of 51 runners were Ben Spicer in 65.37, Debra Van Aalst 65.58 (first FV60), Emma Wareham 81.25 and Sharon Goodsell 81.25.