The glorious winter sunshine this weekend inspired some leading Harrier performances in a busy fixture list across the counties.
South of England Cross Country Championships
Stanmer Park in Brighton hosted the 2015 South of England Cross Country Championships on Saturday – a major fixture in the running calendar, attracting some of the best runners in the region. The short, sharp hills were a significant test of strength and stamina, particularly over the longer distances for this Championship.
In the Ladies’ race over 8km, Kat Barrett was on form as the best placed Harrier in 147th out of the 352 finishers with her time of 38:35. Michelle Pearce ran well in 42:38.
In the Men’s race over 15km and a field of 857 runners, Phil Hardaway was the first Harrier home with his excellent time of 58:18 (148th). Tom Mullen, who got off to a fast start but felt the hills in the last lap, finished a very credible 229th in 60:26 in this strong field.
Paul Cousins (61.45); Barry Tullett (70.02); Jack Chivers (70.41); Julian Boyer (75.24); Tim Hicks (77.18).
Worthing Lido 4 mile Fun Run
The Worthing Lido 4 mile West Sussex Fun Run League event hosted by Worthing and District Harriers took place on Sunday. A bumper turnout of 725, including 19 Harriers took on the flat out-and-back 4 mile circuit along Worthing promenade.
Kim Lo flew round the course, winning the ladies’ race in her brilliant time of 24:58. “We had perfectly still conditions along the seafront; the half a mile on soft grass slowed me down a bit, but I was really pleased to get a race PB by over 30 seconds”.
Jack Chivers was first male Harrier home in 24:46 despite running the cross-country the day before and suffering from a recent bout of illness. Barry Tullett (27:38) and Paul Cousins (28:11) also ran the cross-country the day before and, as if that wasn’t enough, ran from Brighton to Worthing for the start of the race as part of their marathon training.
In the 1 mile junior race there were strong Harrier performances from Ryan Armstrong (6:36) who finished 9th and Millie Ledger (7:43) who finished 12th.
Richard Cole (26:04); Stuart Austin (26:36); Carl Bicknell (28:31); Michelle Pearce (28:45); Verity Coombes (30:00); Sue Ledger-Catton (31:06); Steve Horn (31:30); Linda Tullett (33:13); Rupert Purchase (33:31); Marion Hemsworth (33:58); Natalie Chivers (35:10); Richard Bates (36:29); Irene Parsley (39:22); Jenny Denyer (45:19); Trevor Crowhurst (48:45).
In the Clair parkrun on Saturday, Harrier Rob Watts cruised to victory in 19:27 and well ahead of the second placed runner. It was a good turnout of over 100 despite a number of regular Harriers absent due to the clash with the Cross-country Championship. Next Harrier home in fifth and with a new PB for this hilly circuit was Ben Adams in 20:22. There were also good runs from John Gill (26:22), Mark Sykes (26:54) and Rupert Purchase (28:07). Marion Hemsworth was the tail runner, joining many other volunteers who make this free event happen week in week out.