Walk, don’t run - Cuckfield Easter Monday Walking Race

Cuckfield Walking Race 2014 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140422-120909001
Cuckfield Walking Race 2014 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140422-120909001

Sunshine and beautifully balmy Spring weather welcomed the thirty seven walkers as they participated in The Independent State of Cuckfield’s Easter Monday Walking Race.

This traditional event which has taken place since 1920s requires participants to circumnavigate the perimeter of the village of Cuckfield.

From the Recreation Ground to Ansty down Deakes Lane, then along the Staplefield Road and down the High Street to the finish line back at the ground.

Not exactly beating the boundaries, but enclosing a significant part of Cuckfield by walking not running.

A demanding walk for both young and older.

While this was taking place children searched for hidden foil covered tickets which would entitle them to an Easter Egg.

Some of the walkers had accepted the invitation to wear fancy dress, so bunny ears, pyjamas and special bed time teddies joined the super women and blonde wigs adding to the fun and celebratory nature of the event.

There was also a competitive strand which wove its way through the race.

Medals, trophies and cups were presented to the winners by Mike Schlup, The Independent State of Cuckfield’s current mayor.

The Men’s Challenge Cup was won by Gary Atkinson who also made the fastest time and so had to choose which trophy he preferred for his mantelpiece.

The Ladies Challenge Cup was won by Leanne Knapman, but the fastest walker was Sarah Fry in this unique handicapped race.

Charles Dunnett won the Frank Wood Trophy for veterans with a highly respectable time of 58.48, a time with which to be proud.

The Wheatsheaf Public House in Broad Street retained the cup for the male walking team while The White Harte Ladies team regained the prize after losing last year, just beating the Hayward’s Heath Rugby Football Club.

A great village event which will, hopefully, continue to withstand the test of time, and sustain the sense of belonging in an inevitably rapidly changing community.

By Kate Fleming

For more pictures from the event, see this Thursday’s Mid Sussex Times