HAVING won the East Sussex Sunday Cross Country League it was down to a few key runners to fly the Lewes flag at the last Brooks Sussex Cross Country event over a dry but tough hilly course at Lancing Manor on Saturday. Pride of place must go to Aiden Briffett who was placed fourth in the U13 boy’s race, and Robbie James (right) who was fourth in the Senior Men’s race.
Aiden’s fourth place together with Sam Rogers’ seventh and Jasper Rogers’ 23rd helped the U13 boys’ team to third position in the event. Over the four races that make up the League the U13 boys’ team managed a creditable sixth place out of 18 competing teams.
In the U15 boys’ race at Lancing Patrick McManus was 14th and Connor Sullivan 17th to give the team eighth position in the race and ninth overall in the League out of 16 teams.
In the senior men’s race, Robbie’s fourth position plus David Bradford’s 12th and Ben Pepler’s 52nd enabled the team to gain third position on the day and also finish third overall in Division Two.
The women also had some good results, with Angel Collins placed third U20 woman and 22nd overall in the women’s event. Catherine Swinson was 34th overall, Karin Divall 39th and Carole Waters 41st.
This left the women’s team fourth in Division Two of the League and the women’s veteran team fifth overall.
This final race saw the League individual awards, with Faith Daughtery taking silver for U20 women. Just missing out on medal positions, Catherine Swinson was fourth in the women’s over 45 category, and Aiden Briffett fourth and Sam Rogers fifth in the U13 boys.
The following day dawned frosty but sunny for the Brighton Half Marathon, and 13 Lewes AC runners were among the 7,300 who took part.
The course was flat and easy, with only a mild headwind as runners came back into town after the first loop out towards Ovingdean. However, at around this point those watching their times at each mile marker were thrown into consternation as they seemed to have slowed down dramatically, and at the finish line, runners with GPS watches were unanimous that they had run about 13.5 miles rather than the regular 13.1 mile marathon, adding around three minutes to their times.
Finally on Monday afternoon the race organisers published an acknowledgement and apology on their website: the turnaround between miles four and five had been placed too far to the East, adding a third of a mile to the course.
In view of this, the organisers added ‘adjusted times’ to the results, based on how long each runner would have taken to run an exact Half Marathon distance, so that masses of runners who had failed to achieve personal bests suddenly found that they had done so after all.
This unfortunate error apart, Lewes AC runners had a great day, with a slew of personal bests (at least as judged by their adjusted times).
Tom Morris finished first for the club and in 13th place overall with a very impressive adjusted time of 1:15:15.
He was followed by Nick Parrish (189th overall, 1:27:10), Mat Homewood (1:28:47), Colin Bennett (1:31:46), Neil Baker (1:33:06), Andrew Chitty (1:34:56), Ian Donald (1:35:58) and Matthew Button (1:36:16).
In the women’s race, the first Lewes AC finisher was Carolyn Bennett, running her first half marathon with a great time of 1:42:33 that placed her 36th in the women’s over-40 age group.
She was followed by Suzanne Holliman (1:49:52), Stephanie Crespin (1:55:42), Sue Juncal (2:08:10) and Rebecca Martin (2:20:09).