Entries are now open for Seaford Striders’ annual festive 10-mile charity race, the Mince Pie 10, which this year will take place on Sunday 10 December.
The challenging, chip-timed race route takes in the beautiful countryside around Telscombe and Saltdean in East Sussex, starting and finishing at Peacehaven Leisure Centre.
The mixed-terrain challenge continues to go from strength-to-strength and places get snapped up well before race day. Early registration is highly recommended!
Every year the Mince Pie 10 raises funds for a local charity, with Headway East Sussex the 2017 beneficiary. The Newick-based organisation offers rehabilitation and support to people following brain injuries, and supports families and carers.
As usual, runners are welcome to take part in fancy dress, and Sussex Sport Photography will be on hand to capture all participants. A thank you goes to race sponsor and local estate agent David Jordan – do keep an eye out for David on the start line!
Enthusiastic marshals are guaranteed, and there will be plenty of water stations out on the course. A medal, goody bag and – naturally – a mince pie will await all finishers, alongside spot prizes and a raffle.
The next event is the Peacehaven Parkrun on Saturday 1 July. Come and race, and get some points! Just don’t forget that vital barcode and to register in advance if you haven’t already.
Peacehaven Parkrun results 10 June:
Joshua Nisbett 19:57
James Smith 20:30
Edward Tuckley 20:46
Ben Shorer 22:23
Joe Plant 23:27
Simon Nixon 24:24
Matt Franks 24:43
Kristiane Sherry 25:07
Hilary Humphreys 25:11
Richard Honeyman 27:02
Emma Goodwin 28:52
Tom Roper 30:29
Simon Homer 30:38
Victoria Maleski 35:48
Sandra Standen 35:54
Robert PLANT 37:06
The 2017 Summer Solstice 5K run will start at 7pm and then finish at Seaford & Newhaven Sailing Club, Seaford. This is a great opportunity for our Couch to 5K group to join in with the whole club – it doesn’t matter how fast you are, just that you take part!
There will be a shorter course of approx. 2.5K so younger juniors and parents can join in too.
The Sailing Club will be open at the finish for the purchase of drinks and snacks – with Tom on hand to sign you in. They also offer a hot meal but would like to have bookings so they know how much food to prepare. If anyone’s interested, please contact the galley: 07534 128200 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
On a lovely sunny Saturday morning, I took the journey from Newhaven to run the Eastbourne Parkrun 5k. I’ve done the 5k in the past, but that was way back in 2013 so I didn’t know if the route would be the same, but luckily it was!
The last time I ran the Parkrun 5k in Eastbourne there were about 60-70 people attending, and today there were 299, so it was a great turn out! Apparently, the first Saturday of every month they have race-pacers, which was great, as I had no idea what my run time was going to be. I tried to follow the sub 21 and see what happened and so I pushed myself to the front with the mega-fast group just for a laugh and off we went. I went out at a 6-minute mile pace, which I’ve never run at before, so I knew I had to slow down so I didn’t burn out too early!
About halfway round Emily went past me and off into the distance. I still had a bit of juice left in the tank for the last half a mile or so, so I upped my pace and attempted a sprint finish. Running with Seaford Striders has clearly improved my fitness, as I broke my Parkrun PB by about two minutes!
Edward came in a highly impressive 5th of 299 runners. 84 of these scored a PB, inspired by the volunteer pacers on duty.
Ed Tuckley, 19:00 course PB
Emily Eaton 21:14 PB
Ben Shorer 21:45 PB
Hilary Humphreys 25:38 PB
Tom Roper 27:02 PB
While looking through the 2017 fixture list I noticed the Sussex Road Relay Championships, having competed in road relays in such places as Milton Keynes, Livingston and Cumbernauld I thought it was time to see what Sussex had to offer. Following a chat with Gareth we decided to see if there was enough interest to enter a team after a wee bit of cajoling 10 Striders had committed to give it a go, which meant there was a Senior Men’s team (6 runners) and a Male Vet 40 team (4).
Come the big day (1 April) there was a flurry of social media activity as sickness and injuries had beset the Senior Men’s team. I was relieved when Joel and Luke confirmed that they would both be able to run despite not being 100%, and Gareth volunteered to run a leg for both teams. Not sure that having this sort of event on 1 April is a good idea especially for the Team Manager (Richard H please note my additional job title).
What an impressive venue Christ’s Hospital school is and the playing fields were immaculate, with all the club tents neatly lined up and flags flying. Strolling across to the start area I spotted Rob, Debbie and Libby (Plant) erecting the Striders tent and flag with Scott and Joe studiously reading the instructions, obviously not wanting to tire themselves before the run. These events are always a great opportunity to get club members and families together and it was pleasing that before long our support team had grown to nine, with Magda (Chris’s wife) Terry Ward , Pat Weeks, and Clare, Charlotte, Rowan (Kevin’s family) joining our tent experts.
The course was 2 miles 93yds approx. (organiser measurements) starting in the school grounds before moving onto a quiet country lane for ¾ of a mile, then back into the school grounds. All that we had to do was get the “chipped batons” round without dropping them. A quick 2 minutes of instructions to the teams followed, which went along the lines of “incoming runner put the baton into the outgoing runner’s hand and let go. Outgoing runner hold the baton for the next 2miles 93yds”. Simple isn’t it – I don’t understand why some of the track runners make such a hash of these baton changes!
Needless to say that despite great runs on the first leg from Joel (Snr Men) and Gareth (O’40 men) we did not trouble the winners too much, but everyone enjoyed the experience of competing at this level.
The “Senior Men’s” team completed their 6 legs in 1:13:53 coming 19th out of 23 teams, and the Vets team completed their 4 legs in 56:32 and were 12th out of 13 teams. Hopefully next year we can increase the number of teams and include a ladies team or two – if so we will require a larger tent.
The first 5k race for our Couch to 5k group will be Saturday 13th May. We will aim to run in groups with a Strider to act as pacer and encourage you around. This race will be the Preston Park Parkrun in Brighton and the race will commence at 9.00am, so please arrive early to give time to meet and warm-up.
Other members of the Seaford Striders will also be taking part, so we are hoping they will be on hand to encourage you all as well.
It is free to enter ParkRuns BUT please register on-line before your first one. You only ever need to register once – you will be given a unique barcode, which you will need to print off and bring with you. To do so please follow the link: www.parkrun.org.uk/prestonpark/
Don’t forget to bring a printed copy of your barcode (request a reminder). Phones don’t scan, so please bring a printed copy. The aim is to have fun. Please come along and join in whatever your pace!
If anyone needs a lift, do let a Strider know on a Monday or Wednesday evening and we’ll do our best to sort one for you.
Note: The Couch to 5k on 13 May is also a Club Grand Prix race, so come along, cheer on the group and get some points in the process.
The first weekend in March has been a staple in our race calendar for the last few years since Emily and I both started running. The Sunday plays host to the Steyning Stinger, a tough off-road challenge that goes up, down, and around the South Downs.
The Stinger never fails to disappoint, and this year we were greeted with rain, gale force winds, and plenty of mud. Every year the race briefing is always delivered with a wry smile with the announcement that runners doing the half-marathon have the option of switching to the full marathon at the 11 mile point where the routes separate. I’ve often wondered if anyone’s ever taken them up on that – it’s certainly never been me.
The Stinger is quite unique in that runners have a window of time in which they can start whenever they want. There’s normally a ‘mass-start’ for those looking for more of a competitive feel, but no-one really waited for that this year, I think most people just wanted to get it over with! With both of us opting for the half marathon, and hoping to beat the times of our last efforts, I opted for the mass start which consisted of 4 or 5 others (including, unbeknown to me at the time, fellow Strider Natasha Swan) who were also putting off leaving the warmth of the race HQ for as long as possible. Emily had started off at her own pace a while earlier.
I enjoyed the feeling of starting behind a lot of the other runners and went for it from the off, finding the best option was to go hell-for-leather through the deep puddles of mud during the early stages.
The half-marathon has two ‘stings’, basically one very muddy hill, and one not so muddy but very long hill, as well as a good mix of undulating fields, track, and downland.
Overtaking Emily around mile 7, much to her annoyance, I was really enjoying the challenge this year and was far ahead of last years’ time. Towards the end of the race, you slip and slide down a sharp descent off the downs from Chantonbury ring, which accounts for a good few days of post-race leg stiffness, only to be faced with a “13.1 mile” marker sign located in the middle of a boggy field – no race end in sight. It turns out the race is about 13.7 miles long – I think they just put that sign there to make you feel like giving up!
I crossed the finish line taking a big 11 minutes off my time from last year (2nd overall), while Emily breezed home knocking 2 minutes off her last attempt (6th female). Although too be honest, she was barely out of breath and clearly had too much fun – could try harder, Emily!
The best part of the Stinger is the post-race fry-up included with the entry fee. As it’s hosted in a school, there’s something quite surreal about child volunteers scurrying about delivering breakfasts to the exhausted grownups who can barely manage a hobble.
We can’t recommend the Stinger enough. If you fancy a challenge, a race with a great atmosphere, with lots of mud followed by a guilt-free fry-up, then it’s probably right up your street. Just don’t go expecting a PB!
Joel Eaton 1:33:48 (2nd overall)
Emily Eaton (pictured) 2:11:57
Natasha Swan 2:23:37
Chris Wrathall 2:37:39
The Moyleman is a Downland marathon which starts and ends in Lewes. The course features over 2,750 feet of climbing including Blackcap, Kingston Ridge, Firle Beacon and Mount Caburn. It’s very well organised and there’s even a relay option for pairs of runners with the handover taking place in Southease at the halfway point.
This year I opted for the full marathon. Luckily the weather was fine and runners were upbeat, chatty even. That didn’t last long. I ended up battling my mate from Lewes AC, also called Ed, along with a couple of other runners. We attacked the climbs seeing who would crack first. Whereas I was swallowing cloying energy gels every few miles, Ed would have run the whole thing on nothing, but as a matter of politeness, he had to accept a single jelly baby from a child at the top of Kingston Ridge.
Crossing the Ouse, I reached halfway in 1 hr 42 and in roughly 9th place but I knew it couldn’t last. Sure, enough the long grind up Firle Beacon was damaging and the chasers reeled me on the way down Bo Peep. Why hadn’t I done more training? Anyway, stronger runners glided past me including the leading second leg relay runners. It became all about damage limitation and hanging on.
Another chase group caught me at Glynde. Coming out of the village the course heads skywards straight up Mount Caburn. I could see in the distance tiny figures in agony as they neared the summit. On a hill like that, the hardest thing to do is start jogging again once you’ve started walking.
At last, I was stumbling down Chapel Hill into Lewes (by this time the descents were as painful as the climbs). Inevitably, Ed materialised out of the corner of my vision and the pair of us attempted to sprint up Cliffe High Street. By this time my legs were mutinous and instead of navigating the sharp right turn leading to the finish at Harvey’s Brewery, they (and me, because I was still attached to them) crashed into a bollard.
Ed beat me but I’d beaten the hills of the Moyleman… sort of. The winner was Mike Ellicock in 3:04:19. I managed 13th overall in 3:44:20
A calm and dry morning greeted the five Striders who made the trip along the south coast to Pett for the final race of the East Sussex Cross Country League. This is my favourite race in the series because not only is the five-mile course a mixture of all the types of terrain experienced in cross country running, hills, woods, farmland and mud, there is the added bonus of excellent home baked cakes in the village hall at the finish.
The race starts in a narrow country track which means spectators have to get there early if they wish to see us off as we disappear into the wilds. Bob Hitchcock and Pat (my wife) were there in time to see us start and then made their way back to the village hall to check out the after race refreshments, unfortunately Martin was delayed as Harrison preferred to look at the alpaca’s in the field on the way to the start rather than cheer on Mum (Claire).
Our three speed merchants Scott, Luke and Dave all lined up towards the front of the field whereas Claire and myself decide to start at a more leisurely pace in the middle of the field. We entered the woods after half a mile onto a downhill path which in the past two years has been very muddy and slippery, providing an opportunity to overtake runners who do not enjoy fast descents, however this year the going was soft to firm and everyone coped with the descent.
Then it was into the undulating fields before heading back into the woods and hills and as much as I tried to catch Claire she had other ideas and kept me at bay all the way to the finish.
The first Strider home was Scott in 17th position (32:40) another good run especially as he decided to try out a beauty treatment “Mud Pack” on the way round (see photo). He was very closely followed by Dashing Dave Dunstall 19th (32:47) which confirmed his position as 1st overall Male 55 for the series, which meant we had to stay for the prize giving and consume more cakes. Congratulations Dave you are having an excellent spell, all your London Marathon 5 training is certainly paying off.
Third Strider was Luke Borland 23rd (33:27) who is also enjoying the benefits of marathon training, this time it’s for Brighton. Our only lady runner Claire Keith was 112th (40:59), followed by your roving reporter Peter Weeks 114th (41:08) – I was just being chivalrous and ensuring that Claire got home safely!
That’s it for another year – who knows? Maybe some of you will be inspired by the achievements you have read about over the past six months and want to join us for the 2017/18 cross country races.
The Jog Shop Jog has always been a bit of a cult race and is an ideal marathon training run; however, with race features like ‘Death Valley’, ‘The Snake’ and ‘The Big W’, you could be forgiven for thinking that this race takes place in the Wild West rather than among the gentle green hills of the South Downs national park in Sussex. Yet, as anyone who has completed the race will testify, those gentle hills are not as easy as they look.
The race, which this year took place on 25 March and commences and finishes in Brighton, covers just over twenty miles, most of which is within the quietly beautiful South Downs, with roughly 90% of the course being off-road. This race is not for the faint-hearted and tests the stamina of the participants to the full, in fact there are many easier marathons around!
Three brave Striders took up the challenge and they all excelled. Joel Eaton was the first Strider home in third place overall, in a time 2 hours 24 mins and 59 seconds. He was followed in 8th and 9th places respectively by Dave Dunstall (first in his age group, pictured) in 2:35:35 and Ed Tuckley in 2:36:00.