Ruby race: Hastings Half Marathon celebrates its 40th running

More than 2,000 runners have already signed up to take part in the 40th Hastings half-marathon.
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The renowned race is celebrating its ruby year in March - with the 2024 T-shirt a rich red and the finishers’ brass marking the 40th milestone.

The event, organised by the Hastings Lions and race management company Nice Work, has an amazing 40-year history.

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The very first run, voted the Best New Road Race in the UK when it started in 1985, was won by Hastings runner Derek Stevens.

Last year's joint Hastings Half Marathon winners | Picture: Max Tetlow\My Sports PhotosLast year's joint Hastings Half Marathon winners | Picture: Max Tetlow\My Sports Photos
Last year's joint Hastings Half Marathon winners | Picture: Max Tetlow\My Sports Photos

The following year Stevens made national headlines when, unbelievably, he finished in a time of 1:06:6, wearing race number 1066.

Other claims to fame are that it was the first half-marathon to introduce top prize money for international and UK Athletes and it has produced very fast times. In 1989 Paul Davies-Hale ran a time of 01:02.09, the fastest time in the world that year and in 1999 Samuel Otieno (Kenya) ran a time of 01:01:37 to win a bonus of £10,000.

Last year the race went viral again when the front two runners, Charlie Brisley and Adam Clarke, crossed the finishing line hand in hand to become the race’s first ever joint winners.

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This year’s half-marathon, with Hastings Direct and Sussex Premier Health as the main sponsors, returns at 10.30am on Sunday March 24 with more than 3,000 runners expected to take part.

The course goes through the town, up to Queensway for a challenging incline before turning on to the Ridge, through Ore before turning back towards the picturesque lanes of the Old Town then along the seafront to a spectacular finish by the sea.

If you are 17 or over can enter here:

Those aged seven to 16 can enter the approximately 2km Buckswood Mini Run where all will runners receive a medal.

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Managing Director of Nice Work and returning Race Director, Rachael Wood, said “The countdown is on and with just two months to go, it's looking to be a big year for the Hastings Half Marathon.

"We are looking forward to celebrating the 40th Anniversary year with the Hastings Lions with a special 40th edition of the finishers brass. With over 2000 runners signed up already, we are excited to return to the streets (& those infamous hills) of Hastings.

"This race has a very special place on the Nice Work race calendar, not only does it raise huge amounts of money for local good causes, the support from the community and full closed roads makes it an incredible race experience.

"Whether this is your first time tackling 13.1 miles or you are a seasoned pro, we can promise you huge cheers as you run the single looped course round the scenic coastal town of Hastings. Even if you are not a runner, please come out and cheer those taking part!”