Sea breezes and England 1-0 up at the start of their Word Cup semi-final spurred Seaford Striders onto a strong performance in the Phoenix 10k.
The overall race field was diminished due to the clash with the country’s first World Cup semi-final in 28 years, but the Striders still managed to field a team of 15 runners in the Sussex Grand Prix race – more runners than in the previous two years.
The football also meant a slight alteration of the route, taking runners away from busy pubs and bars. The Phoenix 10k is a fast out and back race, starting on the promenade at Hove Lawns, going to the lagoon and returning after Shoreham docks. The runners were helped by a cooler, evening start, as well as hearing the opening England 1-Croatia 0 scoreline at the start, thanks to some hastily arranged big screens.
Sadly, England were 1-1 down by the end of the race – and the rest is history – but the Striders put on a strong performance on the fast course. First back was Joshua Rudd in 36:34, followed by Dave Dunstall in 38:49. Damian Partridge finished the course in 42:08. Next came Andrew Farley (43:20), first lady Emily Eaton in 45:48, Anna Norman 46:08 and Anneka Redley in 48:15 with Kristiane Sherry just a step behind in 48:16.
Jazz Shiret came next, running her race in 51:35, followed by Hilary Humphreys (54:24), Simon Homer (55:50), Michelle Varndell (57:27), Julie Taylor (1:01:51), Becky Souissi (1:05:09) and finally Rob Plant concluding the race for the Striders in 1:12:02.