Run Barns Green 2023 is big success – new 5k race adds to race-day fun

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What a day – and what a set of races. The new expanded Run Barns Green programme promised much this year – and delivered.

More than 1,650 runners registered to take part in the three Run Barns Green adult races on closed roads. The event, which started in 1982, was celebrating its 41st year and introduced a new 5K race this year to add to the half marathon and 10k races as well as the Jennings Junior Jog colour fun run for 4-11 year olds.

See Dan Stockwell’s picture slideshow from Run Barns Green in the video player here – and see more of his shots here.

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And don’t miss this week’s West Sussex County Times for reports and pictures from the day.

The start of the Run Barns Green half marathon | Picture: Dan StockwellThe start of the Run Barns Green half marathon | Picture: Dan Stockwell
The start of the Run Barns Green half marathon | Picture: Dan Stockwell

Over 800 runners took part in the Half Marathon race which started in perfect running conditions. Mags Fisher, acted as the official starter in memory of her late husband and former Run Barns Green Committee member, Ray Fisher, who died earlier this year.

The women’s haf marathon was won by Sharon Walker in 1:26:12, second was Kathy Peters in 1:26:55 and third was Sibel Latchman in 1:29:02.

The men’s half marathon race was won by Run Barns Green regular, Neil Boniface of Horsham Blue Star Harriers in a time of 1.12.17. Second was Daniel Gaffney in 1.14.04 with Toby Meanwell third in a time of 1.14.20

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The event takes a huge amount of planning from a committee who work throughout the year on the event. Then on race week end a small army of volunteers from in and around the village assemble to help out with car parking, marshalling, manning water stations, putting up signage and building staging, sorting the runner’s registrations and check in, manning bag storage areas and running merchandise and catering stalls and undertaking many other tasks. It is a huge operation and almost 200 volunteers are involved.

The Jennings Junior Jog gets under way | Picture: Dan StockwellThe Jennings Junior Jog gets under way | Picture: Dan Stockwell
The Jennings Junior Jog gets under way | Picture: Dan Stockwell

The Official Race Charity, St Catherine’s Hospice had a marquee on the Green and several volunteers shaking collecting buckets in the car parks. This wonderful local charity has helped many people from the local area and impressively over 100 runners who took part in the adult races were running on behalf of St Catherine’s.

The 10k race began at 10.30am and 750 runners lined up at the start with local MP Jeremy Quin sending the runners on their way.

The men’s race was won by Andrew Green in a time of 33.19 followed by James Skinner 34.00s with William Russell third in 34.55. The women’s 10k was

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won by Elspeth Turner in 38:16 ahead of Sophie Gunning in 38:30 and Kirsty Armstrong in 41:42.

Jeremy Quin also got the runners under way for the inaugural 5K race and the women’s winner was Katie Foss of Crawley AC in a time of 22.14 with the men’s 5K race being won by Michael Daly in a time of 17.44.

Then in the final races of the day, over 250 children took part in the Jennings Junior Jog colour fun run in memory of former Chairman of Run Barns Green, Vernon Jennings. The races started on the Village Green at 12.30pm after the three adult races were finished.

The races were started by Vernon’s widow, Annie Jennings and the races gave primary school youngsters aged from 4-11 the chance to take part in a 750 metre colour run. Once on the course they were bombarded by colour “bombs” thrown by spectators, mums, dads and grandparents. Every youngster received a wristband and a medal.

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All the youngsters and parents seemed to have great fun and the race has now become a permanent feature of Run Barns Green. All four races had a pre race warm up led by Vicky Fisher from Bluecoat Sports and all finishing runners received either gold silver or bronze medals.

Race Director Nigel Currie said, ”What a great day we had. The running conditions were good and race numbers are certainly getting back up to close to pre Covid levels. Our new 5k race was extremely popular and is something we will look to develop and grow as it offers even more people the chance to take part in our event.

"The enthusiasm of the youngsters who took part in the Jennings Junior Jog for 4-11 year olds was amazing and the parents seemed to be having as much fun as the kids. I can’t thank all our outstanding volunteers enough. We have so many people who give up their time to help support the event which enables us to be able to make financial donations to the numerous groups, societies and sports clubs that help out on the day and make the event the success that it is.”

Christ’s Hospital School had a stand on the Green and had several pupils taking part as well as a strong contingent of Old Blues who had the chance to meet up and reminisce as they ran through the magnificent school grounds of Christ’s Hospital.

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There was plenty of other activity on the Green itself. There were a number of different drinks and catering stalls as well as a funfair and plenty of music and entertainment for all the family.

Registrations for heavily discounted Early Bird Entry for the 2024 Runs Barns Green adult races are already open. Next year’s event will take place on Sunday, September 29, and for further details just visit the Run Barns Green website

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