Half marathons are prevalent at this time of year with Seaford Striders in action recently at both Brighton and Eastbourne and the Hastings version to follow soon.
Close on 7000 started on Brighton seafront before taking in the Royal Pavilion, turning at Gloucester Place, back down Grand Parade then zig zagging east to Ovingdean, west past the Piers as far as Hove Lagoon before the home stretch back to Madeira Drive. A large crowd cheered serious athletes, enthusiastic club runners, novices and a sprinkling of celebrities including Fatboy Slim.
The 6 Striders in attendance were eyeing personal bests and given the perfect running conditions obviously decided it was a case of right here right now. Jacob Miles posted a cracking 1hour 27mins 53secs, a personal best by 4 mins. Karen Clinton’s 1.45.15 smashed hers by a whopping 7 mins and there were PB’s for Vicki Blaber 1.50.00, Roger Avey 1.50.36 and Julie Fowler 2.10.21. Janice Danielczyk narrowly missed out with 2.10.22, still a great effort. To all the Striders who took part, we have to praise you.
For the record, Paul Martelletti (Victoria Park Harriers) won in 1.05.52 and first lady was Sarah Hill (Farnham Runners) 1.18.43 both comfortably ahead of their next rival.
Although not on the scale of Brighton, the Eastbourne half always draws a good entry and in a field of 1300 the Striders were out in force with 19 runners.
Following the start/finish at Princes park the route heads west along King Edwards Parade to Meads and the notable climb up Beachy Head Road. It comes as no surprise to those familiar with the gradient that this is where the conversation ends and the serious lung capacity testing starts. Next it’s back to the seafront, this year utilising the upper Promenade and along to Sovereign Harbour and the Marina before the final dash around Princes park.
Winner was Stephen Wrapson (Horsham Amphibians) in 1hour 19mins 13secs with 1st lady Yvette Grice (Bodyworks XTC Tri Store) 1.26.03.
1st Strider and 18th overall was Vanaka Graham with a superb 1.25.32 heading home Paul Heywood (24th) 1.26.35 who wasn’t alone in disliking the strong wind.
Phil Carr (34th) 1.28.16, Jacob Miles (48th) 1.29.51 and Billy Moakes (66th) 1.31.45 are in great form along with real prospect Joshua Rudd (85th) 1.33.18, Kallum Wright 1.37.00 and Phil Robinson 1.39.44.
Adam Mansbridge felt it wasn’t his day with 1.41.26 but Robyn Delivett will be pleased with 1.49.44 and Louisa Scola recorded a 1.50.19 personal best. Next came Richard Honeyman 1.50.54 and the admirable Bob Ward 1.52.00. Two ladies debuting for the Striders both posted impressive times, namely Elizabeth Ruddock 1.52.10 and Hannah Stanley 1.55.42. Completing the strong showing was Becky Breen 1.59.47 followed by Terry Ward 2.00.05, Laurence Howick 2.04.09 and good to see Hilary Humphreys back in competition with 2.08.15.