Course records and fierce climbs at the Friston Forest 5

Josh at the Worthing 10k

By Josh Nisbet

While most people spend their bank holiday weekends relaxing and enjoying that extra day off work, a number of Striders saw it as an opportunity for more miles and races. What with Peacehaven Parkrun, Rye 10, Folkstone 10k and Weald Challenge Trail Half marathon to mention just a few, my Strava feed was full of Striders competing across the south coast.

The Friston Forest 5 & Adder 10 mile races took place on the last bank holiday Monday in May. The events were capped at 44 and 66 spaces respectively, with a much smaller field turning out on the day. However, this led to a great camaraderie between all the runners, and a friendly feel to the race briefing and start. While the Adder 10 was a mass (if you can call it that) start at 9:30am, the Friston Forest 5 was a time trial staggered start scenario, where anyone could head off after 9:40am, one at a time roughly 10 seconds apart.

For those brave enough to do 10 miles in the heat and humidity, it was a two-lap course
around Friston Forest. As it was a Club Grand Prix event, there was no surprise that all four of the Striders on the day had entered the shorter one-lap 5-mile race.

The first two miles of the course took you on the outskirts of the forest that over looked the hills out to Littlington and Wilmington, all of which was uphill! After a sharp right hander and another steep climb the course eventually began to come down on itself, much to everyone’s delight. The remaining 3 miles were an opportunity to gain back some time
on the sluggish uphill start, with the rest of the course being on gravel tracks, with only one other short steep hill to contend with.

The humidity didn’t seem to slow down Joel Eaton who not only won the race, but set a course record for the 5 miles in 31:43. Next home out of the Striders was myself in fourth place in a time of 36:51, followed by Ben Shorer in seventh place and a time of 40.01 (39.59 on his watch). Our final Strider home was Emily Eaton in 24th, who like Joel was running her third race in as many days, and as if that wasn’t enough, did it pushing the buggy and little one round in a time of 54:10.

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