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The Mince Pie 10 is now full,  and unfortunately no further entries can be accepted.  We’re very sorry if you haven’t managed to register in time,   hope you will try again next year.

Couch to 5K – Series 2 !

Our autumn Couch to 5k group is two-thirds of the way through the nine-week programme, as I write, and will tackle the last work-out on Wednesday 8th November, 30 minutes of non-stop running.

On the Saturday afterwards, we’ll all go to Peacehaven parkrun (http://www.parkrun.org.uk/peacehaven/) for  9 am. Parkruns are free, weekly 5k timed runs at which everyone, fast or  slow, is welcome. Register beforehand at https://www.parkrun.org.uk/register/form/, print off your barcode, and remember to bring it with you on the day.

We’ve been so impressed by the progress that everyone in the Couch to 5k group has made. Thanks for coming and for sticking with it. Thanks too to everyone in the club who has helped lead the groups, especially Simon who’s led the fast group, and to Joe from Gingerfit.

If you have any ideas for ways to improve the way we organise Couch to 5k, please let me know (tom.roper@gmail.com or catch me on a Wednesday). This is the second time we’ve run Couch to 5k, I hope we’ll do it again, and I’m sure there’s lessons we can learn.

 

Tom Roper

Couch to 5k group builds momentum

By Tom Roper

Striders line up for a 5k race along the seafront

At the time of writing, the Couch to 5k group has met six times, and we’ve never had fewer than twenty participants! We’ve attracted a wide range of people, from those returning to running after time off, to people who have never run or seriously exercised before. It has been inspiring to watch their progress, as each week they have tackled a different challenge.

This influx of new members has also been very healthy for the whole club. At the end of the programme, we will join other Striders at Preston Park Parkrun on 13th May – click here. We can also expect many members to participate in our annual 5K Solstice run along Seaford seafront on Wednesday 21 June.

We hope that many of you will graduate to join more challenging groups of runners on a Monday and/or Wednesday evenings, but we also plan to continue to offer an easy-paced, short-ish (3-4 mile) Wednesday night run, for a steady progression to 10K.

Thanks are due to Hilary Humphreys, Terry Ward, Emma Goodman and Simon Nixon who have helped lead the groups.

We will probably repeat the exercise later in the year: it is clear there is a demand. So tell your family and friends who are interested in starting running to get in touch. Also if any other Striders would like to help lead, please contact Tom (tom[dot]roper[at]gmail[dot]com – this does not need to be on a permanent basis, and it could work when recovering from injury?

 

Marshalling the Moyleman

Moyleman Lewes Marathon 2016. Photo by James McCauley

By Tom Roper

It was a great pleasure to marshal this year’s Moyleman. I’ve been Chief Marshal for all three runnings of this idiosyncratic race, an off-road marathon on the South Downs around Lewes.

It’s run in memory of a great Sussex runner, Chris Moyle, who ran with Brighton and Hove AC and died too young in 2009 aged 42. He loved the hills, so this route, with ascents just a shade less than those of the Beachy Head marathon, would have been just his sort of run.

Ash Head, a formidable Lewes-based runner, and close running friend of Chris, is Race Director, and seems to think I know something about marshalling. And so I find myself, each March, organising, in the loosest sense of the word, a volunteer team who gladly give up a Sunday, at a time when the weather can be uncertain, to stand in exposed places on the tops of the Downs and help the field of 200 who go the full distance, and 50 two-runner relay teams, who run half each.

There’s no other race like it. Harveys brewery generously give us the use of their yard for the finish line, and provide free beer for the finishing runners and marshals. Circa provided pizza. And Ash stands by the finish line, shaking every runner by the hand as they finish. This year one finisher, a hard man, was overcome with emotion, and fell into Ash’s arms, sobbing like a child.

This year Strider Ed Tuckley ran it, finishing in a very creditable 13th place in a time of 3:44:20. Entries open in the autumn, if you’d like to run it. Or you could join me and Chris Wrathall, and others, as a marshal. Chris ran it in 2015, and can tell you what’s its like. Maybe I will one day.

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.