Hastings athletes shine at Sussex cross country championships – Goodmans so good – 250 parkruns up for Frances
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Cross country in Sussex dates back to the 1880s and HY were honoured to host. It was cold, dry and crisp, but true to form the course was treacherously muddy.
In the one-mile U11 boys’ race. Henry Sully with 6th in 8:11, Noah Mayhew 7th in 8:17, Benji Pocock 8th in 8:21, Michael Mansell 16th in 8:42, Benjamin Sims 17th in 8:43 and Theo Morton 32nd in 9:33.
For the U11 girls, Tera Buckland was thrilled to win her first Sussex medal, 3rd in 8:38, well deserved.
She was closely followed by Francesca Tarrant, 4th in 8:55, Ivy Buchanan 7th in 9:18, Jessica Wilson 13th in 9:50, Evelyn Cornford 23rd in 10:27 and Miley Wigmore 27th in 11:10.
Isabella Buchanan continued her reign in the 3k U13 girls’ race, winning in 12:40 – 47 seconds clear of her closest rival.
She was followed by Florence Tewkesbury, 3rd in 13:39, Antalia Cole 8th in 14:11, Amelia Skelton 13th in 14:53, Olivia Collins 21st in 16:06, Ellen Gates 22nd in 16:22, Mia Lennard 23rd in 16:24, Sophie Smith 24th in 16:26, Alyssa Cornford 30th in 17:35. Isabella, Florence, Antalia and Amelia won Sussex gold medals as winning girls’ U13 team.
For the U13 boys Aiden Larkin was 20th in 13:54 and in the U15 boys, Zion Okojie was 13th in 16:04.
In the 2.5-mile U15 girls’ race Megan Hopkins-Parry was 18th in 18:40, Daisy Welch 34th in 20:50, Beth Wilson 35th in 22:35, Sophie Sims 38th in 24:41, Layla Harmer 39th in 24:40, Fallyn Shields 40th in 25:19 and Lily Peachment 41st in 25:22.
In the senior men’s 10k race, Ben McCallion, 1st HY man home, was 29th in 40:12, Jon Hatch 46th in 44:07, Jamie Webb 48th in 44:50, Andy Edmonds 55th in 46:23, Sam Brown 5th in 46:30, Nicky Stiles 62nd in 48:34, Tom Brampton 63rd in 48:51, Jason Wright 73rd in 51:47, Matthew Harmer 74th in 52:14, Leon Morton 76th in 52:52, Joe Moore 82nd in 54:59 and Mark Wilson 84th in 56:04.
In the five-mile senior women's race, Rachael Mulvey was 6th in 35:18. Rachel Wigmore 31st in 43:05 and Emma Welch 36th in 43:50.
by JENNA FRENCH
GOODMANS SO GOOD
Brothers Finlay and Oliver Goodman competed at the Sussex XC Champs at Bexhill on Saturday – and both shone.
Oliver won the U13 race and Finlay was second in the U17 event.
The duo from Bodiam were both running for their first claim club Brighton & Hove AC, who picked up first team in both races.
They also belong to Hastings Runners as a second claim club, with Finlay having previously won the U13 championships in their colours.
Both will be automatically selected to represent Sussex at the UK Inter-counties championships in Nottingham in March based on their results at Bexhill.
Next up is the schools cross country qualifying races, with both aiming to get to the English Schools Championships in Pontefract in March.
Finlay will then concentrate on another year i n the British Triathlon Super Series.
He was 11th overall in 2023 in his first year.
He is also trying to get to the Xterra Youth World Championships later this year, and is hoping to be able to obtain some form of support to help with the cost of competing and training over the year.
Both have been very grateful for the support they have previously received from the Chris Smith Memorial fund.
Oliver will be competing in the South East Junior Triathlon series.
He will be old enough to be able to compete in the Super Series next year.
Running club legend and Hailsham resident Frances Delves celebrated her 250th parkrun milestone at the Eastbourne event in Shinewater Park last Saturday.
Frances has been a devoted member of Hailsham Harriers for almost 40 years, previously running for Lansdowne Striders before they joined forces with Hailsham AC to become Hailsham Harriers in 1984.
Sharing in her parkrun milestone achievement were team-mates and friends who turned Eastbourne parkrun blue in honour of Frances’s beloved Brighton & Hove Albion, of whom she has been a life-long supporter.
Frances, also known as 'Lady Delves' by the Harriers, currently holds the age grading record at Eastbourne, Seaford, Hastings and Peacehaven parkruns for the female V70-74 age category. She is now training hard for her 18th London Marathon.
Parkrun is a free, community event where you can walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate. It is on a 5k course and takes place every Saturday morning.
Junior parkrun is 2k, dedicated to four to 14-year-olds and their families, every Sunday morning. Parkrun is positive, welcoming and inclusive, there is no time limit and no-one finishes last.
Hailsham Harriers have said a big thank-you to the team of organisers and volunteers at Eastbourne parkrun, who at the end of January will be celebrating their 12-year anniversary.
See hailsham-harriers.org.uk to find out more about joining this friendly running club.
by HELEN O’SULLIVAN
Running makes you feel good. Running with other people makes you feel even better.
Countless studies have confirmed regular running at a moderate or vigorous pace can improve your mental health, as well as memory and the ability to learn.
Running can lessen feelings of loneliness and isolation, reducing the effects of stress, and help with depression and anxiety. Such exercise is now commonly encouraged by medical professionals.
English Athletics have contacted running groups all over the country about this important issue – and Hastings Runners were happy to assist, establishing its Mental Health Group in 2019 and since enlisting four ‘mental health and wellbeing champions’. The champions have recently been awarded a grant from the Magdalen & Lasher Charity and are grateful for the support.
The group organises ‘walk, run, talk’ sessions – walking is usually the best way to start – most months on a Sunday morning around Alexandra Park followed by a tea or coffee and a get-together in the café. The next is on Sunday, February 25. Meet by the bandstand at 10am, all welcome.
As well as promoting their role at the town’s parkrun, the HR Mental Health Group regularly post on the club’s Facebook page to encourage participation and offer help to any members who may need it.
The group are inclusive and supportive and recognise that many who contact them will prefer to remain anonymous.
From those who have been helped by running have emerged a number of heart-warming and life-affirming stories.
One joined Hastings Runners after feeling isolated when first moving to the town. Since joining, they report: “Running has given me purpose and changed my life for the better.”
Another says: “I suffered with anxiety in my early 50s that I couldn’t shake off despite all the help from my wife and family. Then, encouraged by a good friend who was looking fitter and fitter after taking up running to reverse their diabetes, I agreed to give it a go.
"Having never managed to run more than 20 paces before I joined one of the Wednesday night road-running groups at Horntye. Since then, the HR family has turned me into a different and far better person.”
A third recalls: “It took me many years to join Hastings Runners as I lacked confidence and thought I wouldn’t be good enough. Now, I wish I had joined sooner as it’s a very supportive club. The mental health champions encourage everyone – whether they are returning from injury, have lost their running mojo, or are experiencing low mental health.”
Another has hardly looked back since taking an overdose a few years ago on Christmas Day following a period of deep depression.
If you need support – reach out now. Remember: running makes you feel good. Hastings Runners welcome new members of all abilities aged 12 and over. Visit hastingsrunners.co.uk
by NEIL JEFFRIES