Defending champs Lewes are off to a flying start

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Lewes AC began their defence of their Cross Country League title.

A massive turnout of Lewes runners at Whitbread Hollow in Eastbourne started the club’s defence of its Sunday Cross Country League title.

Last season and up against strong opposition from the 13 other Sussex clubs Lewes AC came through to claim the title.

Determined to make a winning start for the 2014/15 season 41 club members turned out to race at the first league race of six. This Cross Country League is a team competition that requires both men and women to score for the team across a wide age spectrum. With a strong turn out from the club all team places were filled resulting in a great team win for Lewes AC.

Not only did the club win the team award at this first race but there were also some fine individual performance in the race of 250 runners.

On a very windy day next to the cliffs at Eastbourne and the rain holding off until after the race there were some good battles throughout the field.

Leading the pack were the brothers Mat and David Bradford with Mat just inching ahead of his brother over the last of three laps to finish in third position with David finishing fifth.

Close behind in 7th position and second veteran runner aged over 40 was Lewis Sida. In 12th position overall and finishing as the first man aged over 50 was Jonathon Burrell. Also having great runs for the club in 15th and 17th positions were two new club members Mathew Brass and Andrew McLennon. Filling the man over 60 team slot was Andrew Chitty who finished 56th overall.

Also scoring well for the Lewes team were Chris Hunt (22nd) Greg Emans (25th) and Colin Bennett (29th)

Leading the women in the Lewes team was Lara Barazzuol who finished as the second women in the race and 32nd overall. Sarah Goodley had a great run to finish in 73rd position closely followed by Helen Sida two places behind in 75th position but second women aged over 45. Next was Catherine Swinson in 108th position overall followed by Karin Divall who finished in 121st position but was the first woman in the over 55 age category. Also scoring for the Lewes team was Sarah Healey who finished in 128th position.

Hailsham Harriers had an excellent entry at the first day. In a field of nearly 250 runners the Harriers squad of 37 provided a great start to this year’s event following their second overall last year.

The worst of the rain held off but there was a strong wind causing competitors difficulty particularly heading west on some of the climbs however this did not deter Gary Judges from producing a great run to be placed fourth overall and first vet over this testing course. The overall winner was Max Thomas from Hastings AC. Gary was provided with strong back up by Adrian Elliot, Steve Delea,Paul Eccles and Paul Henderson who all finished in the top 50 places. For the ladies, won overall by Hastings AC’s Sarah Roff it was Sam Alvarez in sparkling form with 53rd overall and fifth lady, first vet, from Liz Lumber 55th and Alissa Ellis 58th to spearhead the ladies quest of points.

Harriers positions: fourth Gary Judges 29m16s, ninth Adrian Elliott 31m13s, 30th Steve Delea 33m57s, 37th Paul Eccles 34m26s, 38th Paul Henderson 34m29s, 53rd Sam Alvarez 35m21s, 54th Giles Bowmer 35m23s, 55th Liz Lumber 35m28s, 58th Alissa Ellis 35m39s, 60th David Mercer 35m43s, 68th Steve Durie 36m15s, 84th Roy Mellor 37m22s, 88th Alan Thornton 37m33s,