Fish races to dominant Hastings Half Marathon victory

Ben Fish on his way to victory in the 2017 Hastings Half Marathon. Picture by Simon Newstead
Ben Fish on his way to victory in the 2017 Hastings Half Marathon. Picture by Simon Newstead

Ben Fish defied strong winds to celebrate his second Hastings Half Marathon victory in dominant fashion this morning (Sunday).

The Blackburn Harriers talent led from start to finish to win the Hastings Lions Club-organised event by nearly five minutes in a time of one hour, nine minutes and 52 seconds.

Ben Fish had already opened up a gap to the rest of the field in the first half-a-mile. Picture by Simon Newstead

Ben Fish had already opened up a gap to the rest of the field in the first half-a-mile. Picture by Simon Newstead

Fish, who also won last weekend’s Bath Half Marathon, previously triumphed in Hastings seven years ago and was runner-up in 2014. The 34-year-old also came third in 2012.

Rhys Boorman, of Hastings Athletic Club, went one better than his splendid third place finish of last year by coming second in 1:14.48. Alex Money (Orpington Road Runners) rounded out the top three in 1:15.43.

Hastings AC competitors filled fifth, sixth and seventh places via Gary Foster (1:17.56), Kieron Booker (1:18.35) and Daniel Anderson (1:19.19).

It was also a good day for Hastings Runners, who had two members in the top 10. Matt Edmonds was eighth in 1:19.37 and Ashley Jury ninth in 1:20.02.

A bare-footed competitor in the 2017 Hastings Half Marathon. Picture by Justin Lycett

A bare-footed competitor in the 2017 Hastings Half Marathon. Picture by Justin Lycett

Sarah Gruber (Invicta East Kent AC) was the leading lady in 1:26.36. Sue Fry (Hailsham Harriers) was second and Julia Wedmore (Herne Hill Harriers) third.

In all nearly 2,600 runners completed the 33rd staging of the popular annual event on a day when fast times rather went out the window.

Conditions were grey and blustery when the race started and the wind strengthened as it progressed, with runners facing a punishing final two-and-a-half miles or so into the elements along the seafront.

They were helped along their way, though, by the customary excellent crowd support around the 13.1-mile course which circumnavigates the town.

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