LAST weekend was the first three-day Sussex Living Marathon Weekend and it took place in East Grinstead, Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill respectively.
As part of the special year that is 2012, with the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics being held in London, this unique event encompassed two 10-mile races and a 10k (6.2-miles), all of which added up to a marathon distance of 26.2 miles.
Two runners from Striders raced all three while several more raced the Haywards Heath 10-mile in its own right, as this was also a Sussex Grand Prix Event. Your correspondent completed only the 10k because of other commitments. In fact, the nature of this event was that you could race one, two or three races depending on your preference. Conditions on all three days were appalling and it amounted to wet and mud; ie. cross country terrain rather than road race conditions! Of the three locations, Haywards Heath seemed to be the least flooded.
Results were: East Grinstead 10-mile: Ian Walker 1:46:08; Laurence Howick 1:35:08; Martin Bulger 2:01:35. Haywards Heath 10-mile: Phil Carr 1:04:36; Gareth Hutchinson 1:06:16; Phil Robinson 1:12:49; Colin Hannant 1:16:05; ray Smith 1:18:43; Karen Clinton 1:26:29; Ian Walker 1:41:24; Martin Bulger 1:55:57.
Burgess Hill 10k: Richard Honeyman 52:55; Ian Walker 1:05:27, Martin Bulger 1:08:23.
Overall then Martin Bulger and Ian Walker completed all three races in times of around five hours which they were pleased with.
They had an additional medal presented to them.
In other races The Three Forts marathon took place on Sunday, again in wet conditions. Taking in Devils Dyke, Cissbury and Chanctonbury Rings, and therefore off-road, three Striders completed this in around three hours. Jacob Miles recorded 3:56:04, Adrian Campbell 4:04:05 and Mark Anstead 4:06:08. Natassa Swan ran the Half Marathon version and was second lady overall in 1:47:24.
Finally two Striders travelled to the Lake District for the Keswick Half Marathon last Sunday – this was a lap of Derwent Water and was very undulating – again wet conditions prevailed. Geoff Gray had a time of 1:25:12 and Natalie McCreath in 1:43:42, which, for those conditions, they were pleased with. Next week, in the sixth Sussex Grand Prix series, is the popular Hastings five-mile seafront race.