Easter races at Lewes proves as popular as ever, despite freezing temperatures

Lewes 10k Pic Danny Simpson
Lewes 10k Pic Danny Simpson
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The Lewes Races, held on Easter Monday, always prove popular as they can be enjoyed by both Adult and Junior alike.

With races varying from an 800m Trot for the Toddlers, one- and two-milers for the juniors and a 10k for those over 15 years of age, the feeling is of a true family event.

The relatively flat but very enjoyable 10k starts at Lewes Athletics Club running track, heading south to Iford and back over a variety of concrete and farm tracks and open fields.

The sun shone specially for the near 500-strong field but the strong, biting north-easterly wind ensured participants didn’t overheat – and put paid to the chances of many achieving personal bests.

The race was won by James Baker of Chichester Runners in a remarkable 34mins 00sec, pipping close Lewes AC rival David Bradford in 36:38.

First across the line for the Seaford Striders was Phil Robinson in 44:10, followed closely by Adrian Campbell (45:05). First lady Strider, meanwhile, was Natasha Swan in 45:12.

Veteran Bob Ward (50:40) is returning to form, heading home Chris Wrathall (50:50), Rob Webber (53:02 )and Jackie Webber (53:52).

Annie Line (53:56), recently moving up from the juniors, continues to impress. Inspirational Striders Chairman Mark Chadd (56:16) wasn’t content with just the challenge of the 10k, cycling from Seaford to and from the event.

Returning from injury, Noel Daniels (58:35), Lucy Thorne (1:01:11), Tom Roper (1:03:57) and Carol Hards (1:04:00) gave it everything in the tough conditions.

Meanwhile, moving on from Lewes Athletics Club’s successes in the winter cross country season, the club has started the summer season with the best team results at the Sussex County Road Relay Championships since the club was founded way back in 1984.

First to mention must be the homegrown talents of the Lewes AC senior men’s team of six who claimed the bronze medal behind Phoenix AC and Brighton and Hove City AC.

Sam Bennett gave the team a tremendous start by leading the whole field of 16 teams to hand over in first place to Josh Burgess in a time for the two and a bit mile course in of 9min 47sec. Josh held on to finish his lap in 10:17, followed by Tim Calliafas with 11:02 and Ben Savill with 11:17.

At this point the team were lying forth, about 90 metres behind Hastings AC in the bronze medal position. It was now up to the Bradford brothers to see what they could do. David in his lap of 10:29 managed to make up the 90m over the Hastings runner and handed over to his brother Matt for the last lap.

It was then neck and neck with the last Hastings runner. Matt, having said he wanted to run the glory lap, had to work hard for said glory. The runners played cat and mouse with each other over the first two miles and it was only over the last 200m that Matt pulled away for his own personal glory and that of the team.

So, congratulation to the senior men’s team for the first medal in that category for Lewes AC since 1984. (Photo of senior men’s team in order from left to right: Tim Calliafas; Josh Burgess; Sam Bennett; Matt Bradford; David Bradford; Ben Savill).

The men’s senior men’s B team finished a very creditable 11th out of the competing 16 teams from across Sussex.