Eastbourne youngsters shine in London – Sarah’s on run for RNLI – Hastings athletes star in youth league

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It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Eastbourne Rovers, Hastings Runners and HY AC – read all the latest news from all three in the round-up below.


Four Eastbourne Rovers runners took on the London Mini Marathon Championships.

Fin Lumber-Fry, Freda Pearce, Daisy Connor and Byron Roberts competed at the London Mini Marathon Championships for the South East team in their respective age groups.

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Eastbourne Rovers' Freda Pearce and Daisy  Connor in London | Picture suppliedEastbourne Rovers' Freda Pearce and Daisy  Connor in London | Picture supplied
Eastbourne Rovers' Freda Pearce and Daisy Connor in London | Picture supplied

The race gives the UK's most promising young athletes the chance to compete against the best new talent in British road running.

Selection is based on performance over the cross country season, with only the six fastest runners per age group selected per region.

There were nine regional teams, Wales, Northern Ireland and 33 teams from London boroughs.

The regional and national teams stayed at the same hotel in London the night before the race and got to meet GB runner Megan Keith.

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The Sussex relay team | Contributed pictureThe Sussex relay team | Contributed picture
The Sussex relay team | Contributed picture

Fin (U15 boy) and Byron (U13 boy) were both allocated a place in the seeded pen and started at the front of their races as the fastest runners.

Each 2.6km race had approximately 221 runners.

Byron Roberts (U13) showed strength, speed and determination and finished an impressive fifth place in a time of 8m 32s. The U13 boys SE team achieved second place overall. Fin Lumber-Fry (U15) finished a fantastic 39th overall (sixth for his age).

Freda Pearce (U15) managed the hectic start line well and ran a strong race to finish 28th overall, third in the SE U15 team.

The start of the Hastings Runners Spring 5k | Contributed pictureThe start of the Hastings Runners Spring 5k | Contributed picture
The start of the Hastings Runners Spring 5k | Contributed picture

Daisy Connor (U15 Girl) notched with a respectable 53rd place after time off training for recovery.

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Eastbourne Rovers joined with Lewes, East Grinstead and Worthing to form Team Sussex in a Youth Development League meeting in Lewes.

They put their stamp on the start of the season by winning with 601 points – well ahead of Guildford and Godalming in second with 452.

Adam Churchyard started the day with a fantastic PB in the discus, gradually improving during the rounds to finish with 36.99.. He followed this with third in the shot putt with 9.34.

HY juniors at the YDL fixture at the Withdean | Picture: submittedHY juniors at the YDL fixture at the Withdean | Picture: submitted
HY juniors at the YDL fixture at the Withdean | Picture: submitted

Also strong was Josie Usher who leapt to 1.50 just shy of her best to take first place and won her 100m in 13.9sec and was third in the 200m in 28.8 sec.

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Katy Brown competed for the first time in this league hurling the javelin 20.91m for a PB and second place in the ‘B’ string.

On the track Ilya Korchev dominated the 1500m, leading from the front to clock 4.14.40. Close behind was Ben Brown to win the ‘B’ string in 4.31.3.

Freda Pearce, in the U17 1500m, had a clear win in 4.59.2.

In the 800m Eleanor Strevens set a high standard with her win in the U20 girls with 2.10.8. In the U17s Raya Petrova won the B string in 2.23.1. Fintan Pearce was pleased with second place in 2.07.7.

In the short sprints, Honest Chigengudu got a slow start and had to settle fo fourth in 12.5 secs. Ethan Howcroft fought for second in the ‘B’ string. Both came second in their 200m races.

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Oscar Mizen surged round the first bend of the 400m and recorded a new PB of 54. sec. Sophie Hutchison clocked 66.7 for second place in the U20 ‘B’ string 400m.

Caitlyn Spencer had close finishes in her U20 sprints with times of 100 (13.3) and 200(27.2) for second spots. Zoe Wright came second in the ‘B’ string.

Aife Cherrill was third in the U17, Jemima Scott was second in the non- scoring U17 race. She then hurled the shot over 6m.

The girls’ 4x100m team of Raya, Aoife, Jemima and Josie clinched fourth in 57.1. For the boys Adam led off to Oscar down the back straight with Sussex second just before Ethan gave a quick change to Honest who led them to first in 47.1.



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Sarah Marzaioli has completed a running challenge in honour of the RNLI.

The Hastings Runners member’s RNLI 200 challenge has been aimed at raising funds for – and marking the 200th anniversary year of – the RNLI.

Sarah has run (and sometimes walked) 200 miles a month for the saving-lives-at-sea charity.

The distance she has covered almost certainly exceeds 2,400 miles in that time.

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Marathon runner Sarah, 75, completed her final mile accompanied by Hastings RNLI crew members Chloe, John and Paul.

They ran in the early evening sunshine from the pier to the boathouse, where an RNLI party – and the station’s nippy D-class boat – was assembled to greet and thank her.

Sarah, who just a couple of weeks ago completed the London Marathon, has seen her appeal generously supported by Hastings Runners in honour of those volunteers who maintain the rescue service along our coasts.

Her appeal page will close soon, having already brought in more than £1,500 for the lifeboat service. But donations can still be made at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sarah-marzaioli2

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Almost a third of the membership of Hastings Runners ran the club’s annual Spring 5k following the Parkrun course last week.

The St Leonard’s end of the seafront was briefly turned green-and-black by a stampede of 119 runners of all abilities who completed the 3.1 miles in times ranging from 16 to 48 minutes.

The fastest was a remarkable 15:31 by junior Finlay Goodman – whose younger brother Oliver was fourth in 16:57.

Separating them were two Senior Males – second-placed Michael Maxwell (16:08) and Finlay Garlick (fractionally ahead of Oliver with an identical 16:57).

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The first 20 all broke the 20-minute barrier, including Claire Thomas – the first woman home in a personal best time of 19:57. There were trophies for Claire and Finlay, as well as the leading veterans Darren Barzee (18:56, running in the M55 category but 19 seconds ahead of the fastest M50) and F55 Manami Cheeves (22:17).

As well as the biggest ever field for the annual event, the club is also grateful to the army of volunteers at the start/finish line and marshalling the 5k route.

Further afield Heidi Rossetter ran the Colchester Stampede 10k (starting and finishing in Colchester Zoo) in 56:11 and three runners completed the Worthing 10k.

In that, and following his second-place in the clubs Spring 5K Michael Maxwell was third in a superb 33:29, with Col Turner (47:03) and Rachael Inns (a PB 49:54) also representing the club in style.

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Hastings Runners also had three members completing marathons.

In Lincolnshire on his 60th birthday, Chris Brandt did the Boston Marathon in 3:13:01 – coming first in his new age category.

Many congratulations, too, to Amy Rodway finishing Hamburg in 3:39:18; and – going that extra couple of miles in the 28-mile LDWA South Downs Marathon – Steve Power, one hour quicker than he had done the course in 2023.

Hastings Runners welcomes new members of all abilities aged 12 and over for fun, training and competitive running. Visit https://hastingsrunners.co.uk


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Hastings Runners’ flagship event, the Hastings five-mile road race, returns for its 17th anniversary this year on Sunday, June 2.

And the mainly seafront route which starts and finishes in the town centre again includes a loop of the town's historic pier.

Having regained their Sussex Grand Prix status, race organisers expect 450 to 500 runners to take part.

The event has raised nearly £65,000 for St Michael's Hospice in its time.

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Love Hastings Ltd are the major sponsor, along with longstanding sponsors Wisdens Sports, The White Rock Hotel and Only Coco Chocolates; supported by Hastings Borough Council and Hastings Pier. New sponsors include the supermarket chain Morrisons, Sussex Premier Health, Play Sport, Swiss technology company TE Connectivity, McPhersons Accountants, clay brick manufacturers Ibstock Ltd, Douglas Mercers funeral directors, Rhys Boorman Running & Wellbeing and Simon Linklater PB Runner.

All finishers will receive a superb medal designed by Hastings Runners' Matt Edmonds, who has also designed a special race t-shirt which can be purchased when doing your race entry.

Race entries are possible at register.enthuse.com/ps/event/ TheHastingsRunners5MileRoadRace2024 – or see the race website – www.hastingsfivemilerace.uk



HY Athletic Club juniors shone at the Sussex Athletic U13 League at the Withdean. In the boys’ A group for the 600m Joshua Bennet came 5th with 2:14.8, in the boys’ A 1000m Henry Sully won in 3:16.8. Noah Mayhew won the boys’ B group with 3:21.6.

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Ben Sims followed in the boys’ A 75m in 18.2 coming second. Joshua Bennet raced in the 75m boys’ B group winning in 20.5. These joined forces for the 4x100m and achieved an outstanding 3rd place finish in an impressive 1:05.6.

Jessica Wilson was second in the girls’ A high jump with 1.15. Tera Buckland came second in the girls’ B team with 0.95. In the girls’ A long jump Mia Lennard jumped to second place with 3.55, with Ameila Skelton in the girls B team jumping 2.92 for third.

In the girls’ A shot put Alyssa Cornford came third with 4.33. Ida May Pocock won in the girls’ B team with 3.76. Elsie Harmer took part in the girls’ A discus and was second with 9.93.

The HY Athletics Club U11 children practiced in the track events. This will put them into a good position for when they areable to compete in U13 category. In the girls 4x100, spectators were treated to an exhilarating display of speed and co-ordination.

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Jessica, Francesca, Alyssa, and Mia showcased exceptional teamwork and determination, crossing the finish line in an impressive second place in 1:01.7. All the teams demonstrated passion for running and commitment to the sport.

Meanwhile at the UK Trail Festival in Wimborne, Dorset, on Sunday, the spirit of competition was alive and thriving. Stephen Gates led the HY charge, conquering the challenging 10k course with an impressive time of 38:16, securing a well-deserved first place finish.

Susannah Gates took on the half marathon course with determination and grit, crossing the finish line in 117th place with a commendable time of 2:14:24.

Her perseverance and endurance were truly admirable as she tackled the demanding distance. Ellen Gates blazed her own trail in the 5k, showcasing her speed and agility as she dashed through the scenic trails with a time of 25:14.


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