The Mince Pie 10-mile race, organised annually by the Seaford Striders to raise funds for both local charities and the club itself, proved once again to be a great success.
A surprisingly mild day for this time of the year greeted the runners on Sunday, with the sun breaking through accompanied by a light breeze.
The course was mostly dry underfoot and most opted for road shoes.
Voted one of the UK’s top ten races in Runner’s World magazine, this multi-terrain, 500-strong sell-out event is contested over a challenging course and sees many entrants returning year-on-year for a bracing pre-Christmas work-out.
This well-established race for all abilities aged 17 and over is a mixture of four on- and six off-road miles featuring beautiful countryside scenery on a varied undulating course attracting runners from all over the south east.
With the event sponsored once again by long-standing supporter David Jordan Estate Agents, the start/finish is at Peacehaven Leisure Centre then heads off-road taking in the area around Telscombe and Saltdean. Top quality race photographers Sussex Sport Photography were on hand to capture runners aiming not only for a fast time but also those wanting a fun run with the emphasis on end of season enjoyment. Some runners ingeniously tailored in fancy dress were also in evidence.
Meanwhile, enthusiastic marshals dispensing good cheer were on hand to ensure things ran smoothly, with plenty of water stations provided.
A medal, goody bag and, of course, a quickly demolished mince pie, greeted the finishers and a pre- and post-race massage was available along with an opportunity to buy sports clothing, footwear and equipment from local specialists InterSport.
Darryl Hards triumphed in perfect running conditions with a superb 57.04, only 30 seconds outside the course record, with Andrew Mynott of Saffron Striders RC second in 59.28 and Kevin Tourle third in 61:07. First Lady was Emma Richards of Hailsham Harriers in 1.12.05; second was Michaela Floyd in 1.13.30 and third Mandy Regenass of Lingfield RC in 1.15.19.
Whilst most members of the club were busy marshalling their host event, a few Striders were allowed out to run for good behaviour during the year, and received some “special words of encouragement” along the way.
Paul Heywood starred again, finishing 10th overall in 1.07.11. Adam Mansbridge finished a successful season with 1.14.43, and Kallum Wright impressed with 1.18.09. Ladies captain Jackie Webber, still feeling the effects of the recent Beachy Head marathon, posted a creditable 1.33.59.
The club wishes to thank all those who helped ensure those taking part had an enjoyable run and that a substantial sum was raised for the 2013 charity, Look Sussex.
Since 1992 Look Sussex has supported visually impaired children who are mostly in mainstream schools and their families by providing opportunities for the whole family to get together at social fun events. These help the children make friends with other visually impaired children and the parents and other siblings gain support whilst having fun. Look Sussex works closely with the Blatchington Court Trust and rely on fundraising to organise events such as farm visits, camping trips, swimming and Christmas celebrations and currently support 165 families.
For more information please visit their website at www.looksussex.org.uk
Picture of Paul Heywood (above) by Sussex Sport Photography.