Young Hastings athletes on track for glory

There was chance for the young athletes of HY Runners to shine last week.

Their programme of ‘Kids Train For Free’ is starting to reap rewards as HY’s youngsters have gone from fun runners to serious contenders in a short space of time.

On Friday evening the kids kicked off the weekend as they took on the Eastbourne Sussex Young Athletes League.

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HY juniors at Eastbourne

This was a track and field meeting, a first of its kind for the HY kids, and they all fared extremely well, coming third in the overall medal table with a points tally of 81 points, beating stallwarts such as Lewes and Phoenix, and being beaten by only Brighton and Hove, and Eastbourne Harriers.

This was despite being disqualified from the 4x100m relay for coming out of lane. A range of events from 100m to 1500m, the long jump to hurdles and the throws were tried.

Some of the young HY athletes had never tried some of these events, so head coach Terry Skelton set up a night for all the children to get a feel of what event they would like to participate in, and some surprised themselves with how skilled they were at some. The kids worked as a team and tried their best at every event they took on.

Alfie Gannon

Fine performances on track were shown by Antalya Cole among others and Isabella Buchanan won her event.

Star of the show was Alfie Gannon (pictured on the back page) who courtesy of some fundraising has acquired new running blades as an alternative to his prosthetic legs. Alfie got to enter some events and did an amazingly. He joined for the team relay and tried shot pot.

Sponsors of Alfie’s blades are Triangle and Purdue Performance, an online coaching programme for running set up by HY member Adam Clarke and GB athlete Charlotte Purdue, and Charity for Kids.

The adults were also in action at the weekend as London played host to the famous Vitality 10k on bank holiday Monday. Three HY athletes made the journey to the capital for a run around some of London’s most famous landmarks.

Finlay Goodman receives his prize as winner of the Hastings Runners' 5k

Fiona Norman Brown carved out yet another pb time of 44:11, while Chloe Newman finished in 50:13, Sonnii Pine continued her rapid improvement in 51.37.

Sonnii said: “I was aiming for sub 54 minutes, but hoping for 52 something so I’m super made up with my finish time. I did the Westminster Mile with my daughter Kitty the day previous and she did amazingly to finish in 6.56 and I managed 7.11.”

Head coach Terry Skelton reflected on the club’s busy weekend.

“The Kids Run Free campaign is something we are all particularly proud of now we are producing athletes who are performing at top levels, at a quicker rate than anyone expected – true testiment to the campaign but more so the young athletes dedication to their training.

“Keep an eye out for Isabella Buchanan as she is going a long way in this sport. We are all so pleased to see Alfie competing at this level too.”


There was a magnificent turnout for Hastings Runners’ spring 5k, with 76 taking part in the evening seafront race despite chilly conditions.

The out and back course from Grosvenor Gardens was diverted via Bottle Alley after a last minute switch, owing to a traffic accident which caused the top prom to be blocked.

There was another tremendous run from star junior Finlay Goodman (aged 13) who coasted home in 16.58, nearly a minute clear of runner up Ashley Vora, followed in by Adam Weller in 3rd and Finlay’s dad Mark in 4th.

And there was an excellent run by 8th-placed Zoe Fairclough in 20.11, first lady home.

Fifth-placed Kieran Price took the male vets’ prize, while the evergreen Sally Grainger claimed the ladies’ vet award.

Club chairman Nick Brown said: “It was very encouraging to see 18 runners taking part in their first club race. Many thanks to race director Nick Webb, chief marshal Alan Croucher and the rest of the volunteers.”

Debut runners were juniors Amy & Sophie Ashby, Lewis Betts, Romey Jondorf; and adults Klare Beecroft, Sean Dwyer, David Fairclough, Joanne Fellows, Nathan Godden, Sue Hull, Stephen Ingram, Nathan Jondorf, Ben Kempner, Matthew Miller, Phil Morris, Mark Storey, Adam Weller and Tamsin West.

Full results: Finlay Goodman 16.58; Ashley Vora 17.56; Adam Weller 18.03; Mark Goodman 18.45; Kieran Price 19.02; Paul Lambert 19.08; Martin Noakes 19.36; Zoe Fairclough 20.11; Michael Norris 20.28 pb; Lewis Betts 20.34; Nicki Steed 20.55 pb; Neil Jeffries 20.56; Nathan Jondorf 21.02; Mark Storey 21.11 pb; Andy Knight 21.12; Stephen Ingram 21.31 pb; Joe Cruttenden 21.39; Graeme Grass 22.01; Matthew Miller 22.17; Ben Sallows 22.19; Nathan Godden 22.20; Jamie Kennedy 22.22; Dean Betts 22.23; Ben Kempner 22.57; Andy Alabaster 23.04; Matt Beaver 23.07; Romey Jondorf 23.10; David Fairclough 23.13; Ben Brett 23.28; Darren Owen 23.29; Sally Grainger 23.33; Jamie Hitchman 23.39; Lewis Wadham 23.47; Jo Nevett 24.12; Ruth Spiller 24.15; Sue Hull 24.23 pb; Sean Dwyer 24.41; Amy Ashby 24.47 (fastest time for 6 years!); Berenice Consavela 24.59; Glenn Read 25.24; Rachael Inns 25.28; Danny Ratnarajah 25.32; Bill Edmondson 25.34; Marie Crawford 25.38 pb; Jessica Cull 25.45; Klare Beecroft 25.49 pb; Paul Wadham 26.20; Marie Appleton 26.33; Sue Quincey 26.34; David Bratby 26.49; Robert Gagyi 26.54; Rick Burne 26.57; Catherine Mitchell 27.01; Phil Morris 27.07; Sue Alabaster 27.15; Sharon Wadham 27.19; Jan Young 27.45; Sophie Ashby 28.18; Louise Cavill 28.29; Sue Palmer 28.41; Krista Barzee 28.51; Julia James 29.02; Allison Tanner 29.05; Yockie Richardson 29.16; Simon Woroniecki 29.21; Christine Sanderson 29.52; Tracy Ratnarajah 29.54; Irene Kitson 30.12; Alan Croucher 30.32; Sophie West 31.01; Christopher White 31.33; Sylvia Huggett 32.25; Joanne Fellows 33.41pb; Erica Wilson 35.48; Henry Worthington 40.10; Hayley Ranson (sweep) 40.15.