Monthly Archives: March 2017

Couch to 5k: Well done on week 1, and on to week 2

By Tom Roper

Thanks to everyone who turned up to the first run with the Seaford Striders Couch to 5k group. We hope you weren’t too stiff the next day!

The first session saw more than twenty new and returning runners tackle a five minute brisk walk, followed by twenty minutes alternating 60 second running and 90 second walking. I led the group around some of Seaford’s many beauty spots, including the tip, the fire station and the cemetery.

We were delighted so many people came to the first run, and we’ll arrange to have some more experienced runners to accompany the group, so everyone has company.

The group meets again at 7pm at the Downs Leisure Centre on Wednesday 29 March  – next time the evening will be light!

If you missed the first run, you’re still very welcome to come along and join in week 2. This time we’ll do a five minute walking warm-up, then run for 90 seconds and walk for 2 minutes, for twenty minutes, followed by a cool-down and some stretching.

We meet in the Olympic Lounge – just come along and ask for Tom. All welcome, especially new runners!


Striders speed round the Worthing Half

By Jim Stephenson

Jim Stephenson nabs a PB in the Worthing Half

Cold, wet and windy – the three elements all runners dread when trying to run PBs. Inevitably, the weather gods didn’t disappoint on 12 February and it was indeed cold, wet and windy… I was aiming for a sub 1:30 given the nature of the course – quote: “the fastest course in the South East”. Setting off around 6:50 m/m pace would get me there with time to spare.

The first 6-7 miles are full of twists and turns through the housing estates adjacent to the seafront, this then spits you back out onto the promenade where the crowd (very loyal and very cold) give you a gentle clap of encouragement before you start the 6 mile out and back heading west along the seafront. I found myself about 400m metres behind the 1:30 pacer at mile 9, however I knew he had gone out too hard and sure enough at around mile 10 lots of runners started tailing off heading into the last 5k – which is when the headwind kicked in!!

Feeling really good I picked it up and began passing those who had gone out a bit hard running the last 5k in sub-20 minutes. I brought the hammer down the last 400m and crossed the line. I couldn’t help thinking “ I could have gone out a little harder”, but I can’t grumble as I had achieved what I set out to do. Finishing time 01:28:43, something to beat next time…

I advise anyone who wants to run a PB to run the Worthing Half as it is the flattest course I have ever run

Striders results:
106th Jim Stephenson – 1:28:43
340th Natasha Swan – 1:40:22

15 Striders brave a windy Hastings Half

Joel Eaon leads the Striders home at the Hastings Half

By Hilary Humphreys

On a very cold and blustery March morning, fifteen Striders bravely undertook the journey from Seaford to contest the 33rd Hastings Half Marathon.  Heavily outnumbered by 3,000 other runners of all abilities and nationalities, the Striders with their superior tactics and team spirit rose to the challenge and succeeded in posting some fantastic times, with some notable personal bests (PBs).

This is a challenging course but made more so by a tempestuous wind with recorded gusts of 45 miles per hour, which ensured that this day made the record book as being the windiest in the history of the race.  Starting at the western end of the seafront the determined runners followed an undulating route that includes a tough 2 mile climb up Queensway, a 3 mile steady run eastwards along the Ridge, a fast 2 mile descent back to the eastern end of the seafront, and a surprisingly long 2 mile promenade section back to the finish.  With a full-on headwind, the runners had the sensation of running through treacle and the finish line has rarely been such a welcome sight.  As always, the fantastic crowd support was out in force and provided the necessary boost at just the right times.

The first Strider home is relatively new to the club and by finishing 11th overall with a superb PB time of 1:21:17, Joel Eaton is quickly making a name for himself.  Joel was closely followed by Josh Rudd in 1:21:37 and Gareth Hutchinson in 1:25:12. Another PB was to follow in the shape of Luke Borland with an impressive time of 1:29:15 and, not to be outdone, Dave Dunstall was second in his age group in 1:29:33.  This made a total of five Striders to cross the line in under 1:30, which was especially noteworthy given the adverse weather conditions.

Next came Phil Robinson 1:38:53, and he was followed by three relatively new Striders: Josh Nisbett 1:43:48, Ben Shorer 1:45:01 and Neil Harrison 1:47:49.  The honour of first female Strider again went to Claire Keith in 1:51:25, and in training for her London marathon race was Vicki Blaber in 1:53:49. Completing the sub two-hour group was Richard Honeyman in 1:55:56.

Ensuring that the Striders all returned home victorious was Hilary Humphreys who finished second in her age group in a PB time of 2:01:30, Chris le Beau who was 3rd in his age group in 2:05:22 and Emma Goodwin who did stop off to visit one of the local sights and was justifiably pleased with her time of 2:19:28.

Club Grand Prix 2017 – Standings after 2 races

Following last weekend’s Hastings Half Marathon, the Seaford Striders Club Grand Prix 2017 is starting to take shape.

Claire Keith is the current women’s leader, with Dave Dunstall leading the men’s league.

The first race was Petts Wood Cross Country, followed by the Hastings Half. There are plenty more races to come throughout the year over a variety of terrains and distances. It’s not too late to join!

For more information about the Seaford Striders Club Grand Prix, click here.


Couch to 5k schedule

Our club Couch to 5k sessions start on Wednesday 22nd March, at 7pm at the Downs Leisure Centre. Come along and ask for Tom, who’ll be coaching the sessions.

From week 2 onwards, the clocks will have gone forwards, so lighter evenings will make for more enjoyable training.

All runners are welcome: beginners, returning runners and those just wanting to give it a go!

We will follow the nine-week programme:

Week 1, 22 March:  5-minute warm-up walk, then 60 seconds of running, with 90 seconds of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.
Week 2, 29 March: 5-minute warm-up, then 90 seconds of running, with 2 minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.
Week 3, 5 April: 5-minute warm-up, then 2 x 90 seconds of running, 90 seconds of walking, then 3 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking.
Week 4, 12 April: 5-minute warm-up, then  3 minutes of running, 90 seconds walking, 5 minutes running, 2 ½ minutes walking, 3 minutes running, 90 seconds walking, 5 minutes running.
Week 5, 19 April: 5-minute warm-up, then then 5 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, 5 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, 5 minutes running
Week 6, 26 April: 5-minute warm-up, then then 5 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, 5 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, 5 minutes running.
Week 7, 3 May: 5-minute warm-up, then 25 minutes of running
Week 8, 10 May: 5-minute warm-up, then  28 minutes of running.
Week 9, 17 May: 5-minute warm-up, then 30 minutes of running.

At the end of this, we should be fit enough to tackle a 5k parkrun, so on Saturday 27th May we’ll all go to one of the local ones.

You can find more Couch to 5k resources, including videos and podcasts, on the NHS Choices site.

The first week is free of charge – after that all are welcome to join Seaford Striders, which costs £16 per year.

Hope to see you there on 22 March!

My Eastbourne Half: Support spurred me on

Strider Josh Rudd leads the field at the start of the race

Seaford Strider Stacy Bennett shares her experience of running the Eastbourne Half as part of a team.

The weather conditions were not looking great when I arrived in the car park at 9am, but as promised by 10am the rain had stopped. I got into position with the sub 2:15 pacers beside Hilary and Emma. We set off along Eastbourne seafront, and I managed to keep with the pacers until we hit the hill.

I had been told about “the hill” but I didn’t realise just how steep it was. But by mile four I was flying back down the hill! Once we hit the seafront again the sun was out and there seemed to be a bit of a sun trap. In the distance, I could see the sub 2:15 pacers and my aim was to catch up with them.

At mile seven Emma was with me but my legs just didn’t have it in them. To my disappointment, I was really struggling as we passed mile eight and I was grateful for a bottle of water but missed when I lurched for the jelly babies!

The sub 2:15 pacers were now out of sight. As we headed around Sovereign Harbour we were now and again getting blown by a blustery wind and rained on. Then I found a chap running at the same pace so we were side by side until mile 11 when I had to pull back.

I could see Emma up in front and she was running really well. A shout out from Martin towards the end spurred me on; I was nearly there and was really pleased when Hilary joined me for the last 400 metres. I could have cried but the pain was nearly over.

Having the support at the end from the Seaford Striders who had already crossed the line and who had waited around meant a lot. Thank you, what a great team to run for and well done to all those who got such amazing times. More training needed for me.

Congratulations to all the Striders who ran the Eastbourne Half! Official times are below:

Josh Rudd 1:22:18 8th overall, Course PB
Gareth Hutchinson 1:26:34 Third in age group
Scott Hitchcock 1:27:04 Course PB
Dave Dunstall 1:29:27 Second in age group
Luke Borland 1:30:28 Course PB
Phil Robinson 1:41:16
Claire Keith 1:43:58
Ben Shorer 1:48:13
Richard Honeyman 1:59:03
Hilary Humphreys 2:03:38 Second in age group
Emma Goodwin 2:17:22
Stacy Bennett 2:28:58
Trevor Jones 2:21:33

Striders out in force at hilly Heathfield XC

Joel and Josh leading home the Striders

By Peter Weeks

Heathfield Park, where the grounds were long ago laid out by Humphry Repton, the 18th century landscape gardener, was the venue for round five of the East Sussex Cross Country League. A new venue to the series, there was no chance for anyone to have the advantage of inside knowledge. The course was a mixture of tracks, footpaths, meadows and HILLS – what else would one expect of “Heathfield”, and I suspect the route planner was the same person who organises their summer 10k.

Damp and misty weather ensured the mud was at its best and provided ideal conditions for traditional cross country runners – none of the grass track running you see on the telly for us!

Eight Striders competed in the senior five-mile race, which started with a long downhill section on tarmac and track before heading onto footpaths, climbing through the woods and grassland before eventually arriving at what we had been informed was the “Gibraltar Tower”. No time to stop and investigate its history but I later discovered that it was built to commemorate Lord Heathfield’s successful defence of Gibraltar from 1779 to 1782. See what fascinating facts you can learn from competing in cross country!

Back to the race, which continued along tracks to the start line and then onto lap two, taking us back down the hill and this time straight up the other side (no woods), climbing across meadows before doubling back down the hill into a wooded section. Here we were greeted by a friendly marshal advising that it was slippery and to get ready to jump across the stream, which I was later found out one runner – no names supplied – put a foot in (unlike in show jumping there were no penalties for this). Then it was up the steepest hill on the course before heading off to the finish and cake stall (by the way, the banana cake was delicious!).

As mentioned earlier it was very reminiscent of the summer 10k but with added mud. Joel Eaton, making his first appearance in Strider’s vest, had an excellent run and was fourth overall, leading the team home in 32:52. He was followed by Josh Rudd who put in his usual strong performance 33:48 (10th). Ed Tuckley, another recent recruit to our growing band of speedy competitors, finished in 36:04 (35th); Scott Hitchcock was next home (apparently delayed while doing some “Deer Stalking“) in 36.04 (40th). Emily Eaton, also making her debut in a Striders vest, was our first woman home in 42:32 (111th), ahead of Peter Weeks 44:13 (121th), Claire Keith 45:15 (129th) and Tom Roper 60:09 (201st). In all, there were 212 finishers.

I would like to thank our enthusiastic band of supporters who braved the conditions and provided encouraging comments – thanks to Martin Bulger, Bob Hitchcock, Patricia Weeks and a big thank you to juniors Harrison Keith (2 years) and Kaleb Eaton (11 months) – the latter who I’m reliably informed sang and slept through the whole event.

Striders soar at Chichester 10k and Goodwood

By Richard Honeyman

One of the first road races of the year is the ever-popular Chichester 10K, which for years, has been based in the city centre. This year the race took place on 5 February and saw a new start/finish outside the famous Goodwood Motor Circuit.

The race consisted of approximately 6k on the roads outside the track with the final 4K being one complete lap of the circuit, finishing alongside the Pits – see photo.

Five Seaford Striders competed among a large field of over 1,700 finishers with three finishing in under 40 minutes: Simon Fletcher in 36:32, Gareth Hutchinson 37:46 and Luke Borland 38:39. Richard Honeyman completed in 50:59 and Chris Le Beau came home under the hour in 54:18.

Overall, it was a good race and well organised. There were however, a few issues with access to the site, which delayed the start by over 30mins – apart from that I look forward to the 2018 edition.

My Brighton Half: Strong and in control

Strider Carlie Watts shares her experience of the 2017 Brighton Half Marathon

9am on a cold and drizzling day and I’m waiting to get over that start line and run my 6th Brighton half marathon.

In all honesty, I have never enjoyed this race, but today was so different. From mile to mile I felt strong and in control. The wind hit me at mile 5/6, but I continued to work hard and get through it, hiding behind groups and taller people!

I am now trying to remember how I felt but I was so focused I couldn’t tell you! I just remember checking my watch and thinking to myself ‘I could do this, I could break the two hours’.

At mile 10, I looked in front of me and focused on the i360, picking up the pace and ploughing through the last 3 miles… the crowds got bigger and louder as I ran to the finishing line, checking my watch again for the last time and smiling from the inside out. I crossed the line in 1:56:07.

Huge congratulations to Carlie and all the other Brighton Half finishers! Official Striders times are below:

Josh Rudd 1:17:33 PB 41st overall
Simon Fletcher 1:18:19 53rd and 1st in age group
Scott Hitchcock 1:23:32 PB
Luke Borland 1:26:31 PB
Ed Tuckley 1:27:44
Josh Nisbett 1:39:03 PB
Anneka Redley 1:48:30 PB
Karen Clinton 1:52:10
Carlie Watts 1:56:07 PB
Emma Goodwin 2:13:35 PB
Tom Roper 2:22:01

Click here for the full Brighton Half Marathon report.

Club Grand Prix 2017

Fancy a new challenge for 2017? Seaford Striders is relaunching the Club Grand Prix. So lace up those runners and see if you can challenge for a top spot!

There are 15 Club GP races, over a variety of distances and terrains (see below). Points will be allocated for each race with a separate competition for women and men. Ladies 1st Strider home = 20 points, 2nd = 19 points etc. Men 1st Strider home = 20 points, 2nd = 19 points etc. Positions will be based on chip time, if available.

The Grand Prix will be decided based on an individual’s total points for the year from a minimum of 6 races, maximum of 10. A simple spreadsheet detailing the results will be published promptly after each race with progress tracked.

The below races are a separate challenge to the Sussex Grand Prix (SGP) races listed here. Do we aware that some races are also included in both contests – so plan accordingly!

12 Mar XC Pett, Hastings XC
19 Mar Hastings Half Marathon SGP
1 Apr Eastbourne Park Run 5K
30 Apr Haywards Heath 10 Mile SGP
7 May Hastings 5 Mile SGP
13 May Preston Park Park Run 5K
29 May Friston Forest Trail Run 5 Mile
10 Jun Peacehaven Park Run 5K
1 July Peacehaven Park Run 5K
16 July Eastbourne Seafront 5K
10 Sept  Hellingly 10K SGP
1 Oct  Lewes 10 Mile SGP
29 Oct Hove Prom 10K SGP
Oct-Nov XC Eastbourne or Firle XC To be confirmed
26 Nov Crowborough 10K  SGP Date TBC