The Haywards Heath Harriers hosted their annual Open Cross-Country races at the All England Jumping Course, Hickstead in glorious sunshine on Sunday.
This West Sussex Fun Run League event drew runners from clubs and schools across the county for races for all ages and it was a day to remember for the Harriers.
“The club is celebrating its 50th year anniversary this year. With 550 runners taking part and over 40 Harriers volunteering, the event was a very fitting display of the club’s continued strength. We always have a great turnout for the races, but this year it was exceptional,” commented Race Director, Ben Adams.
Harrier Paul Tomlinson starred in the senior race with a dominant display in a strong field. Tomlinson is in great form just in time for the upcoming cross-country season and the unseasonably dry conditions underfoot helped him to finish well ahead of the pack in a lightning-fast time of 26:49 for the 8km. Tomlinson had also romped to victory the day before in the hilly Clair parkrun, clocking a new personal best of 17:05 in the process.
Tom Mullen ran brilliantly to finish fifth in 28:03 as did Paul Cousins who ran from the back, right through the field to finish 13th in 30:09. Amy Mitchell finished in 24th amongst the ladies in 38:28.
Darja Knotkova-Hanley (5:52) was first girl in the junior race over one mile with a terrific performance. Jasmin Mamoany was second in 6:11 and Millie Flower third in 6:28. Thomas Fox was fifth amongst the boys in 6:00. The school year four races over 700m were won by Amalie Lloyd from Team Synergy (2:59) and Ralf Birkby from Twineham (2:36). Dulcie Yelling from Brighton & Hove City AC (3:53) and Matthew Pickering from Reigate Priory (3:45) took victory in the years five and six race.
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