More than 300 runners take on sixth even in Sussex Grand Prix

Diane Fletcher - Please Credit Danny Simpson
Diane Fletcher - Please Credit Danny Simpson

More than 300 runners gathered for the 6th event in the Sussex Grand Prix, the Hastings Runners 5 Mile Keith Chandler memorial race where proceeds are donated to St. Michael’s Hospice.

The rain in the air and strong wind gave the race that authentic seaside experience but failed to dampen the enthusiasm of those present.

On the face of it, a straightforward out and back route along the seafront incorporating Hastings and St Leonards would appear run of the mill, but this race is always held in a pleasant atmosphere.

Being a shorter distance than most of the Grand Prix races, there is a temptation to adopt the head down, pin the ears back approach but most end up regretting this in the final stages. The tactics usually employed are to go out quickly without making the classic mistake of too much too soon and attempt to maintain that pace. The fast and flat course saw Max Thomas (Hastings AC) win in a time of 26mins 21secs.

Headline grabbers for the Striders were Simon Fletcher, under 6 minutes per mile clocking 29.38 and a personal best for Paul Heywood 30.23.

Next came Pete Weeks who’s in a rich vein of form 36.34 and Claire Keith 38.24. You could’ve thrown a blanket over Robyn Delivett 38.54 PB, Diane Fletcher 38.56, Vicki Blaber 39.05 and Terry Ward 39.14, with Diane not allowing the small matter of a nail through her trainers to slow her down. Finally, a solid performance from Chris Le Beau 42.38 saw him improve on last years’ time.