Festive entries surge for Hastings Half Marathon

With the new year now upon us, many distance runners will be looking ahead to the 2017 Hastings Half Marathon.

The 33rd Hastings Half Marathon will take place on Sunday March 19.
The 33rd Hastings Half Marathon will take place on Sunday March 19.

The 33rd staging of the popular annual Hastings Lions Club-organised event will take place on Sunday March 19 and now is a prime time for entering.

Race director Eric Hardwick reported that more than 100 entries came in over the Christmas period and numbers are moving along well with just over 10 weeks until race day.

The 13.1-mile run - held over an undulating course which circumnavigates the town - is widely regarded as one of the finest distance events in the country and runners travel from far and wide to take part.

Kenyan athletes have won the race for 17 of the last 19 years, including all of the last 16. Robert Mbithi won by more than six minutes last year and the women's title also went to the African nation via Lenah Jerotich.

Six men have won the event twice, while Birhan Dagne has been the leading lady on three occasions, the most recent 10 years ago. The course record has stood since 1999 when Samuel Otieno produced a superb time of 1:01.37.

But the beauty of the race is that runners of all ages and abilities enjoy the opportunity to compete alongside one another.

Charity is the real winner with tens of thousands of pounds raised for needy causes every year by the numerous fun runners in a field of several thousand.

A Mini-Run for children aged 11-16 will take place along the seafront during the main event and entry for both races can be made by visiting www.hastings-half.co.uk

See our comprehensive sports coverage in the Observer every Friday.

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