Record parkrun turnout as clubs go head-to-head

The top three men's finishers in the Hastings parkrun mob match. From left: Joe Body (3rd), Ross Skelton (1st) and Gary Foster (2nd).
The top three men's finishers in the Hastings parkrun mob match. From left: Joe Body (3rd), Ross Skelton (1st) and Gary Foster (2nd).

The historic ‘mob match’ between Hastings Runners and Hastings Athletic Club at Hastings parkrun surpassed all expectations.

Some 190 participants from the two clubs contributed towards a huge course record attendance of 401 on a gloriously sunny Saturday morning.

The top three female finishers in the Hastings parkrun mob match. From left: Karen Murdoch (1st), Maya Ramnarine (2nd) and Rachel Phelps (3rd).

The top three female finishers in the Hastings parkrun mob match. From left: Karen Murdoch (1st), Maya Ramnarine (2nd) and Rachel Phelps (3rd).

For the record, Hastings AC scored 9,811 points (86 runners) to Hastings Runners’ 8,241 points (104 runners).

In a high quality field, the first 50 runners all broke 20 minutes for the 5k course, including the first seven women home.

Ross Skelton (Phoenix) and Karen Murdoch (Hastings AC) recorded their sixth and 12th course successes respectively; and there were age category records for Hastings AC’s Ziggy Henry (JM10) and Maya Ramnarine (JW11-14), and Hastings Runners’ David Marshall (MV50-54).

Taking full advantage of the perfect course conditions, more than 100 runners managed personal best times for the seafront course, including men’s runner-up Gary Foster (Hastings AC).

Hastings AC fielded many of their talented juniors, most of whom were making their parkrun debuts, and this proved decisive.

A huge total of 54 runners made their parkrun debuts, whilst tourists came from all over the South East, including Andrew Howard, who was taking part in his 265th parkrun.

Andrew is on a mission to cycle to every parkrun within a 100km radius of East London, which is where he set off from at 1.30am on Saturday, arriving on Hastings seafront at 7.50am! He then recorded a very decent time of 21.31.

Hastings AC received the inaugural mob match trophy after the event, and commemorative medals were kindly donated to all Hastings AC and Hastings Runners by Dean Constable, of Oakhill Construction.

A number of other notable landmarks included Christine Sanderson’s 50th parkrun, Paul Burchett’s birthday and junior parkrunner Phoebe Cote receiving her award for 2016/17 having volunteered more times since the parkrun started in 2015 than any other junior.

Hastings parkrun event director Nick Brown said: “This was a great advert for both running clubs and for the town of Hastings, and we are planning a rematch later in the year.

“I would like to thank all the volunteers, especially timekeepers Peter Cocker and Helen Brown, and the scanning team of Jill Green, Harry Ash and Andy Lee, all of whom had a manically busy shift!”

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