Honours even as Hastings' big race challenge proves popular

In a dark time for sport and the people who take part in it, this was a ray of light.

Wednesday, 20th May 2020, 9:00 am
Jeff Pyrah, who ran the fastest race

A virtual match between Hastings' two oldest running clubs was designed to maintain the motivation of the clubs' runners who have had to maintain their training alone.

It also served to demonstrate the friendship and camaraderie between the two clubs.

Runners had to complete a three-mile run alone, maintaining social distance, over the weekend, and record their runs and times on GPS devices and upload the results to a central website managed by Hastings AC’s Katie Arnold.

Grace Baker, the fastest woman

To make the competition fairer the times were graded according a formula taking into account people's ages.

As the results came in nobody was sure who's win. What was clear was that Hastings AC's Jeff Pyrah and Grace Baker were the quickest man and woman, but that was before the statisticians got to work.

Once the final age calculations were made Pyrah and Baker were replaced by under-15 Finlay Goodman and V60 Susan Rae.

The sharing of the spoils continued in the team results with Hastings Runners taking the men's title thanks to Goodman, Darren Barzee, Jack Madden, Andy Lee and Dan Snellgove and Hastings AC winning the women with Sam Murphy, Baker, Nicole Edmunds, Rae LeFay and Sophie Markwick making up the team.

One of the younger competitors

Such was the success of the event that another virtual match is being arranged with Eastbourne Rovers AC for the weekend of June 13 and 14 where athletes will test themselves over a one-mile distance.

For more information on the two Hastings clubs, please visit www.hastingsathleticclub.co.uk and www.hastingsrunners.co.uk

Victoria Sims after her run