Rain doesn’t dampen spirits at Firesite Dash

Firesite Dash. Photos by ROZ BASSFORD-SOUTH.
Firesite Dash. Photos by ROZ BASSFORD-SOUTH.

Torrential rain and howling winds were not enough to dampen the spirits of the competitors who lined up for the fifth annual Firesite Dash race and fun-run on Sunday.

The event is hosted by South Street Bonfire Society and is a 4.3 mile circuit around Lewes, visiting the firesites of each of the town’s seven societies.

After assembling for the start on the Railway Land Nature Reserve, competitors got on their way to the first site – the currently very muddy home of Cliffe Bonfire Society.

From there, runners headed clockwise round the outskirts of the town, taking in Southover BS, Nevill Juvenile BS and up to the highest point on the edge of the Downs, the Borough BS checkpoint.

After that, the course was all downhill and grateful competitors cantered past Commercial Square BS and Waterloo BS checkpoints.

The home straight of South Street finally beckoned, with tired legs carrying the runners along the River Ouse to the finish at SSBS headquarters, the Snowdrop Inn.

First to come into view for the spectators at the finish was Mauro Lazzati. The 31-year-old - owner of the popular Famiglia Italian restaurant in the town - charged through the downpour to record an impressive time of 30 minutes and 25 seconds.

Second home was Mike Green in 30:56, soon followed by Simon Thomas (31:27), in third. The first woman to cross the line was 48-year-old Helen Sida in a time of 32:51.

The times of the first three individuals to finish from each society combine to crown an overall winner, with Commercial Square retaining the title.

Race organiser Esther Watts said: “Despite the horrible conditions, this year’s Firesite Dash was another big success. Well done and thanks very much to all those who took part, as well as to all the volunteer marshals and the sponsors. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year, although if the weather is like it was on Sunday, we may move the event to Spain.”

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