The Mince Pie 10 mile race, organised annually by the Seaford Striders to raise funds for both local charities and the club itself proved once again to be a great success.
Blustery conditions greeted the runners but for the most part the predicted rain held off. In places the course was unsurprisingly slippery underfoot and most opted for offroad shoes.
Voted one of the UK’s top ten races in Runner’s World Magazine this multi-terrain, 500 strong sell-out event is contested over a challenging course and sees many entrants returning year after year for a bracing pre-Christmas work-out. This well established race for all abilities aged 17 and over, is a mixture of 4 on and 6 off road miles featuring beautiful countryside scenery on a varied undulating course attracting runners from all over the south east.
Sponsored once again by long standing supporter David Jordan Estate Agents the start/finish is at Peacehaven Leisure Centre then heads off road taking in the area around Telscombe & Saltdean. Top quality race photographers Sussex Sport Photography captured runners aiming not only for a fast time but also those wanting a fun run with the emphasis on end of season enjoyment and some fancy dress ingeniously tailored for running was in evidence. Enthusiastic marshals dispensing good cheer were on hand to ensure things ran smoothly. A medal, goody bag and of course a quickly demolished mince pie greeted the finishers and a pre and post race massage was available along with an opportunity to buy sports clothing, footwear and equipment from local specialists InterSport.
Mark Burchett (Worthing Harriers) triumphed with a superb 58.22 after a titanic battle with Stewart Gregory (Holme Pierrepoint RC) 58.38. Wes Mechen (Hailsham Harriers) finished in 3rd in 1.01.10 holding off Striders own Simon Fletcher 1.01.15.
Emily Hutchinson (Arena 80 AC) was the first female finisher, 19th overall in a time of 1.08.00 heading home Michaela Floyd 1.08.49 and Sam Alvarez (Hailsham Harriers) 1.09.19.
Whilst most members of the club were busy marshalling their host event, a few other Striders were allowed out for good behaviour during the year and received some “special words of encouragement” along the way. Paul Heywood finished 9th overall in 1.05.04, 1 place and 2 mins faster than last year. Lucy Thorne put her marathon training to good use recording 1.22.32 with Mark Ford 1.24.28 and Hannah Fletcher 1.35.50. Lorraine Quigley 1.42.28 always gives it 100% followed by Gary Wiles 1.49.46 (pacing another runner), David Hammond 1.50.12 and Ken Browning 2.29.36.
Race sponsor David Jordan went for the full race experience and finished in an excellent time of 1.16.50 but biggest cheer of the afternoon went to Nikki Young (Eastbourne Rovers). Relatively new to running she was determined to complete the distance and crossed the line in 2.47.47, memorably roared home by her fellow club members.
The club wishes to thank all those who helped ensure those taking part had an enjoyable run but most importantly for raising a substantial sum on behalf of this years chosen charity.
The Chartwell Cancer Trust supports patients and their families whilst they are receiving treatment for cancer and leukaemia. Lily-Mae, the 3 year old granddaughter of one of the clubs runners sadly lost her fight against this cruel disease in August. For more information, please visit http://www.chartwellcancertrust.co.uk .