The return to Sussex Grand Prix status ensured that runners came from all over Sussex to participate, while there were also clubs represented from Kent, Surrey and London. Hastings Runners fielded the largest contingent of runners (98), and also provided the vast majority of the 40 plus volunteers. The feedback for the mainly seafront course, which included a 550 m loop of the town's historic pier, was very positive and bodes well for next year.
Ashford AC's Oliver Prior was the winner in an excellent time of 25.57, finishing 10 seconds ahead of HY Runners' Ross Skelton (twice a previous winner) in 26.07, with fellow HY Runner David Ervine 3rd in 26.54. GB international Grace Baker was a comfortable winner of the ladies’ race, finishing 9th in 28.29; previous winner from HY, Rachael Mulvey, was 2nd in 29.41 with Hastings Runners' Yolanda King 3rd in 32.19. HY Runners took the men's team award with Ross Skelton, David Ervine and William Carey (12 pts); Hastings AC took 3rd (49 pts) through Michael Maxwell, Ethan Hodges and Adam Osman. HY Runners took the ladies’ team award with Rachael Mulvey, Shannon Hopkins-Parry and Sophie McGoldrick (16 pts), with Hastings Runners 2nd thanks to Yolanda King, Zoe Fairclough and Claire Thomas (27 pts).
Hastings Runners claimed age category wins with Lewis Betts (male junior), Kieran Price (MV50), Neil Jeffries (MV60 and Christine Sanderson (FV75). Hy Runners took age category wins with Shannon Hopkins-Parry (female junior) and Sophie McGoldrick (FV40), Race organiser and Hastings Runners chairman Nick Brown said: "Many thanks to chief marshal Alan Croucher for co-ordinating the volunteers, drawn from Hastings Runners, Hastings Lions, Hastings Bonfire Society, TS Hastings Sea Cadets and 13th St. Leonards' Girl Guides. Hopefully the event will add a few more thousand pounds to the £56,000 raised so far in its history for St. Michael's Hospice. I would also like to thank our major sponsors."
See more pictures from the race and of the prize winners on this page and the ones linked - and see Frank Copper's action gallery here. Read the full report on the back page of the Hastings Observer, out on Friday morning,