Some 525 competitors finished the 13th staging of the Hastings Runners Five-Mile Road Race on Sunday morning.
Excellent race conditions of cloudy skies, fairly cool temperatures and light breezes led to many good performances.
Hastings Athletic Club celebrated a victory double, with Gary Foster finishing first man in a time of 25 minutes and 43 seconds, and Lizzie Clarke first woman in 28:51.
Clarke’s time was the fastest five-mile in the country this year by a female under-17 or under-20 athlete. It was the furthest the 17-year-old had ever run and she made light of her pre-race concerns about the distance with a superb performance.
Oliver Prior (Ashford AC) was second across the line in 26:28 and fellow junior man, 16-year-old Hastings AC prospect George Pool, was third in 26:48. Another Hastings AC member, James Mountford, was fourth.
Pool and Mountford were running their first ever five-mile races. Mountford is used to doing far longer distances, including the marathon, but is concentrating on a bit of speed work at the moment.
Rachael Grass finished second lady, while fellow Hastings AC talent Stacey Clusker, who finished second lady in the Hastings Half Marathon back in March, pulled out early on through illness.
The fast, flat course, which started and finished at Hastings Town Hall and followed the seafront promenade in between, produced some very good performances from veteran runners.
Selected times: Ben Duncan (Haywards Heath, MV40) 29:11, Dan Vaughan (Arena 80, MV45) 29:21, Michael Pain (MV50) 30:18, Paul Whelpton (Brighton Phoenix, MV60) 30:52, Martin Noakes (Hastings Runners, MV55) 31:07, Phil Hampshire (Brighton Phoenix, MV60) 31:33, Sue Fry (Hailsham Harriers, FV45) 31:53, Caroline Wood (Arena 80, FV55) 32:46, Lisa Goldsmith (Hailsham Harriers, FV40) 34:48, Andrew Haig (Brighton Phoenix, MV70) 35:31, Debbie Humbles (Hastings Runners, FV50) 36:53, Catherine Wright (Kettering Town Harriers, FV60) 38:59, Frances Delves (Hailsham Harriers, FV65) 39:51, Yockie Richardson (Hastings Runners, FV70) 48:31, Michael Dee (Henfield Joggers, MV80) 51:25, Irene Ellis (Hastings Runners, FV75) 67:08.
There were many other commendable achievements and successes in the Sussex Grand Prix event, which attracted runners from many Sussex and Kent clubs, as well as a strong number of unaffiliated competitors.
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