Category Archives: Races

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.


Make Mine a Pint – Kings Head 5K Canter

We all run for different reasons. Some enjoy the social side, some runners are looking to shift a few pounds, some find it helpful to clear a cluttered mind, some simply love running, others just need an excuse for a cheeky pint.

The race began in Chiddingly and took place in the local country lanes. A gentle hill greeted runners for almost 5k, before descending to the finish in East Hoathly. 

In form Will Withecombe left home with aspirations of running a 5KB PB. However he soon realised this was crazy talk when driving the route pre race. Still a fantastic time of 17:31 was good enough for a 7th place finish overall. I mean a personal best on this course? No chance.

Ye of little faith. The Black & Green Army are made of sterner stuff. Of course there were PBs. Susan Rae continue her fine form. Spurred on by a new rival, sporting an Arena 80 AC vest, Susan crossed the line in a fantastic time of 22:16.

Fresh off her Barry Richards 10K on Thursday, Marie Crawford ran another great race,  producing her quickest ever 5K time in 25:39. Well done to all those that took part. I hope your pint was worth it.

The Kings Head 5K Canter Results:

Will Withecombe 17:31, Martin Noakes 19:57, Kevin Blowers 20:52, Neil Jeffries 20:58, Susan Rae 22:16, James Graham 24:16, Marie Crawford 25:39, Ruth Spiller 26:18, David Bratby 29:21, Jacqueline Scott 29:23, Sarah Marzaioli 29:26, Irene Kitson 34:15, Catherine Southgate 36:49, Terry Kitson 42:03

PBs aplenty in Barry Richards 10K

As tea time approached the first eager runners arrived at the foot of Galley Hill for our 2nd club only race in what seemed an eternity. Alan Croucher was on hand to deliver instructions for the kind natured marshalls, who had given up their evening to guide us safely to Cooden Beach Hotel and back, whilst offering us morale support on our journey.

As the minutes ticked by, more green & black vests began to emerge from their cars. Warm ups commenced, ranging from 300 meters to the toilet and back, right up to 2 miles. As the front runners laced up their Nike Vaporflys, the rest chatted with old friends to ease pre race nerves.

We made our way to the start line, unsure exactly where it lay. Our Vice Chair Susan Mann was on hand for some last minute instructions and to count us down. 3-2-CAR!!! The good natured spirit of Hastings Runners took over and the crowd parted to allow the patient driver through. This time Susan changed her approach, 1-2-3 and we were off. Steady pacing appeared to take a back seat as a few sprinted off the start line. Logic soon took over and the runners found their natural pace. The cool temperatures on this late summer evening offered perfect running conditions, only hampered slightly by the moderate northerly wind. Combined with minimal elevation, this was a recipe for fast times and PBs. The Black & Green brigade certainly didn’t waste this opportunity. 

A real spectacle of a race was developing at the front of the field. Defending champion Jack Madden was back in an attempt to retain his title, fresh off a 5K PB at Hastings parkrun on Saturday morning, his confidence was high. 

But it wasn’t going to be easy. Newcomer Will Withecombe who has been mopping up race titles all summer was keen to add to his trophy collection. Alongside Colin White, who himself had smashed nearly 30 seconds off his 5K PB just five days earlier, the trio arrived at the turnaround point together, the race was on and what a race it was.

It was only with 300 meters to the finish line that Jack was able to pull away, completing the course in an amazing time of 36:05. Will had pushed him hard, coming up just 5 seconds behind. Colin added to his 5K PB with another personal best, finishing in 36:49 and with it, landing the Vet’s prize. Superb running, a great advert for our fantastic club.

The female race was won by Claire Thomas who ensured she took the Barry Richards Shield home with her for another 12 months. Claire finished in a cracking time of 44:54, running much of the course with her good friend Susan Rae.

Susan added to her recent list of accolades by claiming 2nd Lady and 1st Old Lady (her words not mine). Let me rephrase that, 1st Female Vet (that’s better). Her time of 45:53 was another personal best. 

They weren’t the only runners to land a 10K PB. Martin Snape ran a sub 40 for the first time. Simon Linklater (me, the author) sneaked a Top 10 finish in 41:53. Kevin Blowers used me as a human shield to protect himself from the zephyr for the first 3 km and let out a roar as he crossed the finish line, setting his 10K record in 42:24.

Simon Weatherly produced the most exciting finish of the evening. Head to head with Matt Smith approaching the final 100 meters, they sprinted towards the line like two Olympians battling it out for a place on the podium. The result, a new PB of 50:21 for Simon.

Marie Crawford overcame her own showdown, not with a fellow runner, but an angry seagull who chose to bosh Marie on the head as she gathered up speed towards the line. Not even this surprise assault could stop her from a new 10K PB in 53:01.

Barry Richards 10K Times:
Jack Madden 36.04
Will Withecombe 36.10
Colin White MV40 36.47
Keiran Price 39.36
Martin Snape 39.44
Paul Burchett 40.18
Jamie Wilkinson 41.33
Martin Noakes 41.3
Simon Linklater 41.54
Kevin Blowers 42.3
Graeme Grass 43.53
Neil Jeffries 44.06
Claire Thomas 44.00
Susan Rae 45.52
Ben Sallows 46.15
John Simcox 46.26
Lewis Wadham 47.14
Paul Gallop 47.30
Andy Knight 47.57
David Harding 49.34
Dean Fox 49.47
Ashley Sapsford-Brooks 49.51
Matt Smith 50.04
Simon Weatherley 50.04
James Graham 50.14
Matt Beaver 50.43
Darren Owen 51.57
Bill Edmondson 52.28
Paul Baxter 52.53
Lauren Coleman 52.57
Marie Crawford 53.02
Rachael Inns 53.05
Nick Webb 53.24
Mike Addison 53.32
Steve Slater 54.03
Jan Young 54.38
Mike Ellis 55.57
Sue Quincey 56.02
Sharon Wadham 56.58
Paul Wadham 56.59
Ellie Swaine 57.10
Krista Barzee 58.08
Lilly Share 59.21
Jacquiline Scott 59.45
Shana Burchett 59.56
Samantha Welfare 1.00.49
Michelle Krombholz 1.00.50
Kim Callow 1.01.13
Alan Croucher 1.10.18
Louise Cavill 1.02.30
Marie Appleton 1.02.43
Henry Worthington 1.30.33
Linda Beddis (Sweep) 1.30.33

The whole evening was a huge success. Well done to all those involved. If you ran a PB and I haven’t included you, then get in touch, especially if you had any mid race altercations with an irate animal. Thank you to Alan and his team of volunteers, without their help, these races would never be possible.

See you all at the next one.

Simon Linklater. Communications Officer.


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.

RYE 10 miles, Sunday 23rd May

17 Hastings Runners took part in the first club championship race of the calendar over a very hilly course along the leafy lanes of Beckley and Peasmarsh.

They were led home in fine style by star veteran runner Darren Barzee, who clocked a very impressive 65.16 to finish 7th out of a field of 164 runners. Starting out from Jempsons in Peasmarsh, the runners were sent off in wave intervals every few minutes in line with current Covid precautions and the race was excellently organised by Nice Work.

There were age category wins for Darren (MV50), Neil Jeffries (MV60) and the evergreen Yockie Richardson (FV75).

Meanwhile in the 5 mile event which attracted a field of 65 runners, many congrats to new club member Will Withecombe who scored a comfortable race win by 45 secs in a time of 33.46. Well done also to Claire Thomas, 2nd lady finisher in 37.53, and to Sharon Wadham who won the FV50 category.

10 mile results: Darren Barzee 65.16; Kieran Price 69.11; Kevin Blowers 72.43; Ben Park 73.08; Neil Jeffries 75.22; Simon Linklater 75.31; Simon Weatherley 87.10; Jon Smalldon 1.30.05; Stephen Slater 1.30.09; Marie Appleton 1.40.02; Sarah Marzaioli 1.45.18; Louise Cavill 1.46.06; Michelle Krombholz 1.46.07; Krista Barzee 1.46.08; Tracey Ratnarajah 1.48.27; Terry Kitson 1.48.34; Yockie Richardson 1.50.33

5 mile results: Will Withecombe 33.46; Claire Thomas 37.52; Paul Wadham 46.45; Sharon Wadham 47.58



A tremendous club turnout for Friday’s evening 5kms in the picturesque setting of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, with 33 HRs taking part out of the field of 172.

Only the recently formed Hy Running Club, with 29 representatives, came anywhere near matching this.

First club member home was Dan Snellgrove, putting his Zoom Vaporflys through their paces in an impressive time of 18.09 (an 8secs pb); whilst there were age category wins for Darren Barzee (MV50), Neil Jeffries (MV60) and Irene Kitson (FV65).

Despite a slight headwind all the way out to the turnaround point at Winchelsea Beach, there were also pbs for all three Simons (Newstead, Linklater & Weatherley!), Ruth Spiller, Krista Barzee and a very promising 5kms debut for Elora Wadham.

Also notable runs, showing a welcome return to form, for Neil Jeffries, Marie Appleton, Sue Palmer and Marie Crawford.

The event was excellently organised by Nice Work, with race numbers sent out in advance; temperature checked on arrival in the nature reserve; social distancing observed at all times; runners sent off in 19 waves of 9 – 10 runners every 5 minutes.
Great to see some familiar club faces helping out with the organisation, including Lee & Steph Miller, Andy Bashford, Corrina Skinner and Gary Lancaster.

Chip times were: Dan Snellgrove 18.09 (pb); Darren Barzee 18.38; Simon Newstead 19.30 (pb); Andrew Watson 19.40; Danny Firth 19.46; Simon Linklater 19.49 (pb); Neil Jeffries 20.27; Kevin Blowers 21.28; Ben Sallows 21.55; Elora Wadham 23.09 (pb); Piers Brunning 23.11; Nicola Steed 23.35; Nick Brown 23.36; Simon Weatherley 24.11 (pb); Ruth Spiller 24.14 (pb); Marie Appleton 25.17; Paul Wadham 25.21; Sharon Wadham 26.24; Susan Wilkinson 26.56; Sue Palmer 26.58; Marie Crawford 27.10; Debra Van Aalst 27.33; Krista Barzee 27.43 (pb); Louise Cavill 28.28; Leigh Yates 28.57; Alison Campbell 30.31; Susan Mann 30.43; Hayley Ranson 31.04; Terry Kitson 31.11; Jo Edwards 31.32; Irene Kitson 31.47; Jenny Hudson 33.14; Alison Leonard 33.23.

Rye 10 Race Report

12 Hastings Runners took part in the rearranged Rye 10 miler on Sunday. The route is regarded as one of the toughest in the local racing calendar with over 1000 feet of elevation. The race had a slightly different feel with new regulations in place. Something about a virus or other.

Runners headed off in groups of 12, spread across a 2-hour starting window to ensure social distancing was maintained. The organisers Nice Work received glowing reviews from those that took part.

Warm summer temperatures, in excess of 20 degrees, made the challenge even tougher, but there were some excellent performances.

Martin Snape produced the best time among the Hastings Runners entries, finishing in 1:11:50. Simon Linklater improved his time from last year by over 10 minutes, crossing the line in 1:17:45. Paul Gallop continued his recovery from a nasty injury with a fantastic time of 1:20:40.

Susan Rae failed in her attempt to keep up with Simon, but received the consolation of an age category award (again) and beat her previous best 10-mile effort by 8 minutes, finishing in 1:23:14.

Sue Wilkinson landed her first-ever age category win, taking the top spot in the FV45 bracket in a time of 1:46:17.

Spurred on by her running buddy, Elly Swaine produced an 8 minute PB in 1:42:48. Emma Stubbs was just a second behind as they ran the whole route together, a meter apart of course. Both were on hand to pose for the cameras at every opportunity.

Ben Sallows was the 3rd Hastings Runner home in 1:23:20. Stuart Woolford (1:32:46),  Jenny Hudson (1:47:26), Susan Mann (1:48:14) and Terry Kitson (1:51:02) all ran strong races to make up the Hastings Runners contingent.

Thanks to Darren Barzee for riding all the way out to Rye on his bike to support us, after the race had finished 🙈

The next Nice Work race is the 15th Rye Summer Classic Series 5K Race Three. It takes part at Rye Harbour on Friday the 4th of September. Runners can select their desired start time ranging from 5.30pm – 7.00pm.

Sarah Marzaioli joins the 100 Marathon Club

Ask anyone that has completed one and they’ll tell you the same thing. Running a Marathon is tough. 26.2 miles. It will test you both physically and mentally.

So running 100 is just mind-boggling. That’s a feat our very own Sarah Marzaioli achieved at the weekend. Sarah had hoped to complete the century in London next month. Rather than mope around for the weekend she laced up her trainers and completed the Moyleman Marathon on Sunday.

It just so happens to be one of her favourites. A memorial race for a local runner which is staged over the beautiful South Downs around Lewes.

If achieving 100 Marathons wasn’t special enough, it’s even more an achievement for Sarah who didn’t even take up running until her early 50s.

Among the century there have been 15 London Marathons. At the age of 66 she broke 4 hours for the 6th time around the capital. Amazing!

Last year she finished 5th in her age category at London. The same place Mo Farah finish in his bracket #JustSaying.

Her remarkable journey has taken her all around the World. Running Marathons in Vancouver, Rome, Paris, Istanbul and New York.

She’s even done some Ultra Marathons including the 65 miles from London to Brighton. 82 miles in 3 days to complete the Druid Ridgeway Challenge.

Sarah has been raising money for the RNLI, so please, if you have not done so already, consider making a small donation for this incredible woman.

I should give a mention for Kim Callow as well. Just 7 days after completing the Lydd 20, he also ran the Moyleman Marathon this weekend. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t his 100th though. Come on Kim, keep up.

If anyone took part in any races over the weekend that I missed then please drop me an email and I will add you to this report.

Simon Linklater