Category Archives: News

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

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.

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