Champion of Sussex? Tom waits for verdict

Peacehaven's Tom Naylor had a brilliant run in the Sussex 10,000 metres road race championship at Chichester, which was held in conjunction with the English 10km and Priory Open race.

Naylor was not the first Sussex runner to cross the finishing line '“ that was Louis Jones from Hove '“ but Jones was listed as unattached and these are not eligible for county or national titles.

That Jones is eligible to contest the event is not in dispute as he belongs to the Newham and Essex Beagles Club, but he may also have neglected to tick the box to enter the county event. An official decision is expected this weekend. Naylor had another good road run to finish 26th overall in 31min 23sec, 12 seconds down on Jones, who crossed the line in 23rd place.

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Whatever the ruling, Naylor's run is a considerable improve-ment on his placing in the county half-marathon champ-ionship in October, when he filled fourth place.

Crowborough's John Lowden was also in cracking form, winning the Sussex veterans's title in 34.08 and finishing 52nd overall.

If Naylor is crowned it will be a double for the family as mum Chris was the first Sussex veteran to complete the course and the first over-50 in the national championships.

Chris Naylor, although running a little slower than in this event last year, finished 22nd overall in 38.17, which saw her place sixth overall in the Sussex Championships, just one place and a second behind Hailsham triathlete Charlotte Saunders.

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Placing eighth in the county event was fellow Hailsham runner Samantha Alvarez, who clocked 38.49, while completing the Sussex top ten was Seaford's Vicki Boyle, who was timed at 38.54.

Nigel Gates, from East Hoathly, missed the Chichester event to contest the South of England Veterans's Cross-Country Championships at Ruislip and returned home with the over-50 gold medal.

Now recovered from the muscle twinge that forced him to drop out of the recent Sussex League event in Stanmer Park, Gates finished nearly a minute clear of his nearest rival, clocking 32.53 for the 8km course.

Gates's winning time was just two seconds slower than that recorded by the winner of the over-40 title.

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Hailsham's Ben Warren and Seaford's Rob Mullett made the long trek north to Scotland for the British Universities Cross-Country Championships at Stirling, and both had excellent runs.

Warren, running for the University of Sussex, contested the 8km race in which several of the top British cross-country runners were in action, and he did well to finish 20th in 33.48.

Mullett, running for the winning St Marys team, elected to race in the 6km event and had a brilliant run to finish sixth in 24.03.

Although Warren still has a few cross-country runs on his calendar Mullett will be looking for some indoor racing although, like Warren, he will be racing for Sussex in the Inter-County Cross-Country Championships at Nottingham next month.