Future of Hastings athletics in good hands... or feet

The future of HY Runners is in good hands – or feet – if the juniors’ recent efforts at the Tonbridge AC Easter Open is anything to go by.

The event was a chance for some of the younger members of HY to take part in their first track event.

In the 150m race, the girls did amazingly well with Layla Harmer coming in at 24:32 followed closely by Jessica Harmer (25:34) and Sophie Sims (25:65).

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As none of the girls had run this distance in under 27 seconds before, they were deservedly proud of their debut race.

HY Runners juniors at Tonbridge

In the 600m event, Noah Mayhew ran a great time of 2.16.77.

Elsie Harmer sprained her ankle halfway through but managed to keep going and get round in a respectable 2:32:69.

Benjamin Sims had an unsettled start, but finished in 2:21:36 – something he can definitely improve on next time.

Ben Brett of Hastings Runners

This was a superb effort for their first track meet and they now have a very clear focus for their next event.

HY Runners coach Glenn Cooper said: “They all did well, especially as they are middle distance runners doing a sprint distance, with a headwind too.

“It’s positive for when they do a 300m. They should all be on target for a 53sec 300m this season. Let’s hope they enjoy it and keep the training up!”

Meanwhile Charlotte Purdue, honorary HY member and GB runner, did the Boston marathon in 2:25:26 for an incredible ninth place.

There was a fantastic turnout of HY Runners at this weekend’s Parkrun.

Over 60 clubs members joined the weekly 5k distance.

Training paid off for David Ervine who ran a speedy 16:08 PB and Rachael Mulvey who came in at 17:18, putting her among the top 10 females in the country for the fastest parkrun on that day.

Isabella Buchanan, who is just 11, secured a two-minute PB, completing the course in an incredible time of 18.23.

Florence Tewkesbury, aged 10, ran an impressive 21:14 and was fourth female.

She holds the second fastest course time for her age category.

Her dad Mark couldn’t quite keep up with his daughter but came in just under 27 minutes which he was over the moon about.

Further afield, HY Runners were represented at Folkestone 10-miler.

Stewart Ide completed in 1:28:47 and Fallon Lewis made a return to racing, coming in at 1:30:23.

Hy Runners member Barry Buchanan has become the UK Obstacle Sports Federation (UKOSF) Winter Time Trials male champion. Barry’s winning time was 4:30.

See more from HY Runners in next week’s paper.


Hastings Runners took achievements to a new level last week – a level of epic proportions.

Eleven hours is a long time... or 10 hours 53 minutes and 21 seconds to be precise. That is how long Ben Brett was running across the beautiful South Downs Way to complete the SDW50.

It was his first 50 miler and just reward for his hard work and diligent training over the past few years.

Brighton was the destination for more than 8,000 marathon runners, including four from Hastings Runners.

Paul Burchett was unfortunate to pick up a hamstring injury after 19 miles but battled bravely to the finish in a time of 3:49:18.

New member Tamsin West broke the sub four-hour mark in a time of 3:54:04.

Emma Stubbs spent the 26.2 miles singing and dancing with the pacers, enjoying her experience to the full, to finish in 4:42:19. James Graham made up the quartet in a little over six hours.

Rachel Inns took part in the Brighton 10K race, crossing the line in 52:31.

Jacqueline Mannering (4:45:42), Annette Fry (4:45:42) and Alison Tanner (5:07:11) all completed the Pod Plus Kent Spring Marathon in Ashford. Jacqueline was third in her age category and Alison second.

Kevin Blowers went one better by scooping the MV60 top prize and 14th overall in the half marathon in 1:36:42.

Todd Fitz-Hugh (1:46:29) and Richard Cross (1:56:16, second in his age category) also completed the race.

A group of Hastings Runners headed off to Greece to compete in the Roads to Rhodes Race.

Corrina Skinner (2:35:09), Sylvia Huggett (2:35:09), Ron Huggett (2:50:44) and Davinia Hill (2:50:50) all tackled the half marathon course. Whilst Debra Van Aalst (1:00:51), Irene Kiston (1:11:00) Debbie Clark (1:12:56) and Terry Kitson (1:20:51) completed the 10K.

Lucia Smitalova was12th female in a half marathon in Czech Republic in 1.54.

Sarah Miles completed the Guernsey Marathon on a very scenic route. It’s the start of a two-year fund-raiser for RNLI, celebrating their bi-centenary in 2024.