By Hilary Humphreys
The day had finally arrived. The newly formed Seaford Striders’ Couch to 5K group gathered at Preston Park in Brighton on 13 May with a mix of excitement, anticipation and a touch of nervousness. This is what we had been building up to for over 9 weeks – to complete a Parkrun and achieve what some of us felt was impossible (I know I did!) – run a 5k!
Seaford Striders were out in force on the Saturday morning, which was perfect weather for running. Ten ‘Couch to 5K’s, with many more experienced Striders, were there to help us get around. The sea of Striders’ shirts certainly grabbed people’s attention and a mention from the race director before the start ensured everyone knew why we were there. We received a big cheer and many well wishes as we nervously walked to the start.
First to cross the line were the experienced Striders with Edward Tuckley finishing 10th in a new PB time of 18:48; followed by Scott Hitchcock in 13th place in a time of 19:09 – just two seconds off another PB. Dave Freeman once again showed Ben Shorer the way home, with the pair finishing in times of 21:08 and 21:32 respectively. Ben achieved a PB with his time and hard on their heels was Joe Plant, still recovering from injury and putting in a worthy time of 22:32.
Peter Weeks was next to cross the line in 23:05, just in front of Emily Eaton, first female Strider home in an excellent time of 23:45, especially so given that she was pushing one year old son Caleb in a buggy! Next across the line was Kristiane Sherry in another great time of 23:56 and she was followed by Richard Honeyman in a PB time of 25:36.
Then it was the turn of the ‘couch to 5k’ group with Matt Franks taking the honour of first Strider from the newly formed group to cross the line in a remarkable time of 28:19. He was followed by Simon Homer in 31:14. Crossing the line together were Stacey Jones and Joanna Simmons in equal 31:43 and they were followed by Debbie Plant in 34:59 and Rob Plant in 37:24. Finishing with him almost in a group were Victoria Maleski in 37:25, Jo Enright, 37:28, Sandra Standen, 37:29 and Tina Butterworth in 40:12.
Mention must also be given to Striders who stayed with this new group throughout the weeks of the course and during this race, namely Emma Goodwin, Simon Nixon, Terry Ward, Tom Roper and Hilary Humphreys. Also, the rest of the Seaford Striders who, once their own race was finished, looped back to run with and encourage their newer team members – a demonstration of excellent sporting camaraderie from a running club noted for its welcoming nature.
Thanks also go from Seaford Striders to the organisers, marshals and runners at Preston Park Parkrun for making us all so very welcome – very much appreciated!
You can read more about Debbie’s Couch to 5k journey by clicking here.