There were impressive victories across the age groups as the Haywards Heath Harriers hosted their annual open Cross Country at the All England Jumping Course, Hickstead.
The Harriers have hosted the fixture for 47 years and with 550 runners greeted by stunning Autumn conditions, this year’s race did not disappoint.
The West Sussex Fun Run League fixture saw clubs across the County well represented and the Harriers, as hosts, were at a canter, taking victories in four races.
Teddy March clinched a well fought win in the U11 boys 1km race (3:47).
The Junior one-mile race was littered with Harriers in the top ten, with Adam Dray (5:43) first boy and Katie Hastings (5:49) first girl. Darja Knotkova-Hanley (5:51), Jasmine Mamoany (6:13), Ryan Armstrong (6:34), Isobel Russell (6:42), Dean Bryant (6:45), Tom Spensley (6:46) and Harvey Brackenbury (7:00) all ran well.
Russ Mullen won the Senior race in a huge field of 355 runners, leading from the start. He took the victory by over 20 seconds with his brilliant time of 28:35 for this 8km, tricky Cross-Country course.
Russ was understandably delighted with his performance: “I felt pretty good in the race. I have struggled with my Achilles for some time; it’s slowly improving and my weekly mileage is still really low. I’ve had a few good sessions recently though so things are coming together and it was nice to get a good run out before Cross-Country season starts.”
The first fixture in the Sussex Cross-Country League starts at Goodwood next weekend and the Harriers were looking to test themselves at Hickstead. On this form they have nothing to worry about. Paul Tomlinson, who has also been dogged with injury, was next Harrier home in fourth, running well to clock 29:37. Barry Tullett had a storming run to finish tenth in 31:21 with Jason Russell (32:47) and Kat Buckeridge (40:11) also scoring good points for the Club.
U9 Girls (700m): 3.28, Maia Bliss-Tomlinson, 4.12 Grace Holdstock, 5.28 Jessica Diack
U9 Boys (700m): 5.22 Jack Diack, 6.27 Ben Ledger-Cotton
U11 Girls (1km): 4.32 Harriet Dray, 4.46 Mags Bower-Sidwell, 4.51 Elsie Brooks, 5.10 Isla Brackenbury, 6.04 Poppy Stapley, 6.32 Rosie Carter
U11 Boys (1km): 3.55 Thomas Fox, 4.01 Freddie Johnson, 4.22 Alfie Ledger, 4.24 Louis Henry, 4.37 Oliver Mamoany, 6.13 Bernard Amattey:
Junior (one-mile): 7:04 Lily Bliss-Tomlinson, 7:11 Emily Brannigan, 7:14 Maddie Peers, 7:14 Anna Kenward, 7:20 Hattie Collins, 7:38 Jessica Hurst, 7:46 Isabella Doyle
Senior (8km): 34.59 Tim Hicks, 35.38 Richard Cole, 37.18 Rod Catton, 38.11 Tj Watson, 39.29 Mark Armitage, 39.33 Mark Sykes, 40.50 Sue Ledger-Catton, 40.53 Verity Coombes, 40.53 Steve Horn, 46.13 Michelle Holdstock.
Elsewhere, several Harriers took on Half-Marathons across the South. Kim Lo and Mark Davies ran the popular Royal Parks Half in London. Kim ran well in 1:29.50 and Mark, with little training under his belt, clocked 1:23.41, running a negative split for the 13.1 mile distance. Jack Chivers ran the Chichester Half to finish 16th in 1:29.24 despite taking a wrong turn on the course.
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