Lewes Athletics Club news by Peter Masters

Robbie James at Bexhill
Robbie James at Bexhill
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It was a very busy and successful weekend for Lewes AC as athletes from the club competed in four prestigious events.

On the Saturday and just avoiding the forecast heavy rain and snow the Sussex Masters (Veterans) Cross Country Championships were held on a very muddy course at Bexhill Down. The condition of the course however held no fears for Robbie James who quite literally ran away from the field to win the gold medal and became the Sussex over 40 cross country champion by a wide margin.

The Lewes AC over 40 men’s team won the bronze medal just losing out for the silver by just 5 points to the Brighton Phoenix A team. The Lewes AC bronze medal team were Alan Jackson (21st) Simon Bomford (23ed) and Chris Hunt (25th) The Lewes AC B team finishing in eighth position included Matt Haycocks (26th), Mike Green (37th), Dominic Osman-Allu (42nd) and Max Sondain (45th).

In the over 50 men’s race the Lewes AC team of Simon Thomas (10th) Tony Deacon (11th) and Ian Hilder (20th) finished in 4th position, Finishing in the same fourth position was the men’s over 60 team of Peter Kennedy (4th) Bob Hughes (16th) and Mike Lane (17th).

Held on the same Saturday and at the same venue was the Sussex Schools Cross Country Championships. In this event the athletes compete for their schools but there were some really good performances by Lewes AC coached athletes. Probably the best results were in the Junior Boys race where Aiden Briffett was awarded the Silver medal. Close behind were Sam Rogers in 6th position and Jasper Baker in 10th.

There were also good results in the Senior Girls race with Maddy Smith finishing in 5th position, Faith Daughtery in 9th and Emma Johnson in 15th. The results in the Junior Girls race included Nia Hall 12th, Ella Munday 19th, Amy Fines 25th and Sylvie Withycombe, competing in her first race, in 26th.

In the Intermediate Girls race Evie Rothwell was 17th and Chloe Rome also in her first race 22nd.

There was a strong turnout of Lewes AC runners in the Intermediate Boys race, with Patrick McManus 10th, Harry Strong 18th, Connor Sullivan 19th, James Martin 25th, Sam Jackson  31st and Tom Lambert 33rd. In the Senior Boys race Tim Calliafas came seventh which means that potentially he and Sam Rogers will be selected to run at the English Schools Cross Country Championships at Catton Hall, in Derbyshire on March 16. Both Maddy Smith and Aiden Briffett have already won selection by virtue of their high finishing positions in their races.

Moving on to Sunday there were Lewes athletes competing in the Wokingham Half Marathon and eight runners in the Valentines Run a West Sussex Fun Run League event at Southwater.

At Wokingham five of the six Lewes AC athletes competing broke their personal best times so perhaps they should compete in dreadful weather more often.

In a race with 2,200 finishers David Bradford’s 20th position and a personal best time of 72mins 10sec was a great performance. On the way to finishing David also beat his 5K and 10K personal best times. Behind David was Joss Burgess (52nd 76.14pb), Alan Velecky (79th 78.59pb), Simon Thomas (296th 88.59), Lizzie Keep (835th 1.42.19pb) and Leila Oliver (1,250th 1.54.28pb).

In the 3.5-mile Valentine’s Run on Sunday Sophie Southerden, despite the first mile of deep mud, had another great run to finish second women overall in 38th position in a time of 27.39 and claiming great points for the team.

There were 290 runners in the race and Emmanuel Mamaezakis was first Lewes runner home in 27th position in a time of 26.40. Other finishers were Andrew Chitty (30th 27.16), Matt Homewood (35th 27.34), Gustovo Iriarte (66th 29.35), Mick Acott (81st 30.14), Carole Walters (107th 31.27) and Clare Anstee (153rd 34.06).