Burgess Hill Runners descend on Beachy Head
A bright and breezy Saturday morning saw a huge group of 22 Burgess Hill Runners descend on Eastbourne for the start of the Beachy Head Marathon.
This unique race, one of the toughest long distance trail events in the UK, starts at the Western end of the seafront with a long, steep climb up Beachy Head before winding mostly offroad through the Sussex countryside via Alfriston, Littlington and Exceat before brutally taking the runners Eastwards over all of the Seven Sisters including Beachy Head for the final 6 miles or so to the finish.
Although the threatened showers never materialised, a warm and humid day, coupled with increasingly strong winds, especially on the exposed hilltops, made for tricky running conditions, but this ddn’t prevent some excellent performances. As expected Paul Sargent was first home in 3hrs 37 min 21 seconds, closely followed by Mark Nicholls in a fabulous 3.41.27 in his first attempt at this race.
There was quite a gap to the next clubmember, Jon Boxall (4.33.03) and then first female Sharona Harrington in an excellent 4.35.35. All those clubmembers who started made it to the finish, including Stuart Anderson (4.50.57), Debbie Saint (5.03.11), Andrew Baillie (5.13.10), Darren Chilcott (5.24.34), Nick Dawson (6.36.33), Steve Roberts (6.36.35), Kevin Walker (6.36.36), Jayne White (7.01.48), Kim Gow (7.01.49), Karen Harvey (7.10.35), Diane Delderfield (7.10.37), Linda Russell (7.11.30), Jon Lavis (7.11.32), Helen Pratt (7.17.44), Paula Ridley (7.17.46), Niki Roberts (7.17.44), Nina Ecroyd (7.23.28) and Leanne Cleaveley (7.23.35). Meanwhile, James Sorbie was delighted to put in an excellent run at the Hove Park 5k parkrun on Saturday morning managing to just dip under the elusive 20 minute barrier, finishing in 19.59. On Sunday, four Burgess Hill Runners braved the further increasing winds on the coast to take part in the 10 mile Great South Run. Tim Coxhill was first over the line in 1hr 21mins 18 seconds, just ahead of dad Benny (1.22.09), with Sue Lyle (1.27.44) and Stephanie Harding (1.40.22) also putting in great performances.