Category Archives: Race Reports

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

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

Will Soars to Seafront Success

Congratulations to all who ran the Hastings Seafront 10k on Sunday 3 October – a grey and cool day, but dry and with a southerly breeze rather than a typical headwind on the west-bound outward 5k from the Hastings & Saint Leonards Angling Association to the turn just beyond the blue footbridge over the railway line at Bulverhythe.

Many thanks to weather gods, then – and more importantly to the Hastings Runners who helped staff the event and/or turned up to cheer on the runners. Race organisers Running And Riding did the timings manually, so we had to wait for them to formally publish the results, but they made excellent reading when they did appear online.

We already knew, of course, that Will Withecombe had won. No mean feat on any day, but even more impressive for those among us who, having noted him disappearing into the distance at the start, didn’t catch another glimpse of him until after he had turned and was heading for home. When I saw him, he was at the front of a pack of mostly red, or blue-and-red tops, all eager to catch and pass him. They never did.

Afterwards, the second-placed South London Harrier admitted that no matter what he thought he might have had “in his tank”, he could tell the man in green and black had more. Superb running, then, from a hirsute man who may look like he’d be more at home at a Black Sabbath Convention, but in reality runs as if he were escaping one.

For the three HR stalwarts a little further behind Will, the glories were just as notable. Congratulations to the next three over the line – Darren Barzee, Kevin Blowers and our fastest woman on the day, Claire Thomas. In this race, commendably, the team prize is awarded to the fastest three men and one woman. That went to Hastings AC, but our first four were just pipped by good placings for AC’s second and third men.

Yet what makes Hastings Runners a truly great club is its wide range of abilities and aspirations. It’s never just about positions and times. It’s about the support every one of us gives to others. While her partner James Graham was lining up the post-race Jaffa Cakes and drinks, Catherine Southgate was heading towards him empowered by the cheery waves and supportive shouts of fellow Hastings Runners who had passed her after their turn.

Well done, too, to Henry Worthington who – having just passed the Parkrun start on his way west – I saw take a few seconds to stop and watch the fitness class in action by The Bathing Hut Cafe. At the finish line his thoughts turned instantly to his next race as he asked about the Tonbridge Half in seven days time. Dedication everywhere you look…

Hastings Seafront 10k Results_HR only

Rye to Hastings? No worries!

Hastings Runners is wonderful isn’t it? The time and effort offered for free, by Chief Marshall Alan Croucher and his team of volunteers making these club races possible. Thank you to all those that slipped on your luminous jackets, patrolled their area and gave us the support we needed to tackle the 11+ miles from Rye, back to our home town.  The Country Park dog walkers were left wondering who the loony women was at the top of the hill, hollering encouragement, but boy did we appreciate it.

The morning began as we boarded the coach, the Green and Black coach of course (good choice Rob). As we mumbled through our face masks, nodding to our friends, pretending to hear what they said, our starting point got ever closer and the nerves began to set in.

Colin White

We reached our destination with plenty of time to spare. Some of the more serious runners set off for their warm ups, whilst the group discussed the challenge ahead. Terry Kitson was on hand to set the runners off precisely on time as we headed out towards the Nature Reserve with a slight cooling breeze in our faces.

The first 5k provided a flat terrain as we found our rhythm and watched in awe as the quicker runners effortlessly disappeared into the distance. Then came the Sea Wall. A narrow uneven path that runs alongside Pett Level, the English Channel on the left and beautiful countryside to the right.

Darren Barzee

We should have been enjoying the view, but deep down we knew what was coming, what we had been dreading the most, the climb up to Fairlight and through the Country Park. It’s safe to say it got the better of many of us, but we dug deep and with the support of the Marshalls encouraging us all the way, we continued to push on, edging closer to the summit.

Our hard work was rewarded as we picked up our pace and soared down Barley Lane with the finish line now our only focus. The quickest down the hill was Colin White, who carefully plotted his way along the route, avoiding any wrong turns and completing the course in 1:22:52, thus winning the Rye to Hastings race for the first time.

Sally Grainger

Darren Barzee was 2nd home and claimed the Male Vet prize in an excellent time of 1:24:30, three minutes ahead of 3rd place Martin Noakes 1:27:53. 2 more runners broke the 90 minute mark and landed top 5 finishes, myself (Simon Linklater) and Martin Snape who battled on bravely after twisting his ankle earlier in the race.

There were impressive runs from new members Shane Treger (7th: 1:33:07), David King (11th: 1:39:36) and Malcom Smith (1:40:42). Welcome to the HR family.

Sally Grainger was the first female home in a fantastic time of 1:41:18, followed in 2nd and 3rd place by Claire Maplesden (1:51:36) and Hannah Hayler (1:51:37). Sue Wilkinson took home the Female Vet’s prize with a strong performance, coming home in 2:01:39.

Emma Stubbs (left) Sue Wilkinson (right)

We can all be proud of our efforts, taking on such a tough course and coming out on top. Thank you once again to those that helped the event run smoothly. Without you these club races wouldn’t be possible. Until next time.

Results: –

HASTINGS RUNNERS Rye to Hastings