Category Archives: News

2023 Race Calendar

Hi everyone, for those of you who like to plan ahead here is the provisional FPTP championship race calendar for 2023.
  • Once again, you have a choice of 23 races plus a marathon of your choice covering a wide range of distances on road, off road and mixed terrain surfaces. 
  • To qualify for the championship, you need to complete a minimum of 8 races including 2 club only races. 
  • You can obtain another 200 points by volunteering in one of the 7 club only races, or our host cross country fixture at Pett, or our flagship event the Hastings 5 miler.
  • The two worst supported races in last year’s calendar were the Rye 5 kms and the Tonbridge 1/2 marathon, and therefore these races are being dropped in favour of the Kings Head Canter 5 kms and the Bedgebury Forest 1/2 marathon.

RACE CALENDAR 2023 … definite dates in bold

  • 19th February ….. HR Brenda Boyle Pier to Pier 16 miles
  • 12th March …….. Club hosting ESSCCL Pett cross country 5 miles
  • 26th March …….. Hastings Half Marathon
  • 26th April ………. HR Spring 5k
  • 7th May ………… Rye 10 miles
  • 4th June ………… Hastings 5 miles
  • 13th June ……….. HR Alan Corke 6.40 miles
  • 18th June ………. Heathfield 10k
  • 23rd June ………. Robertsbridge 10k
  • 2nd July ………… Bewl 15 miles
  • 9th July…………. Woodchurch 5 miles
  • 19th July ………… HR Handicap Race 5k
  • 10th August ……… HR Barry Richards 10k
  • 28th August …….. Kings Head Canter Chiddingly 5k
  • 3rd September ….. Battle 10k
  • 10th September … Rye Ancient Trails 30k
  • 24th September …. HR Rye to Hastings 12 miles
  • 1st October …….. Hastings Seafront 10k
  • 29th October …… Bedgebury Forest Half Marathon
  • 5th Nov ………….. Beckley 10k
  • 12th Nov ………… HR Winter 5k
  • 26th Nov ………… ESSCCL Cross Country 5 miles
  • 16th Dec ………… Xmas Pudding Dash 5 miles
Sadly the Great Northiam 10 kms Run will no longer be held, so we look forward to suggestions for a replacement 10 kms race that we can slot into the race calendar. Please email [email protected] with any suggestions.
The HR ladies race in Alexandra Park is provisionally set for 16th August, but is not a championship race.
Best wishes, Nick Brown (club chairman)

2023 Awards Night – List of Recipients

Club Championship – Ladies
1. Zoe Fairclough
2. Sarah Bendle

3. Tamsin West

Club Championship – Men
1. Will Withecombe
2. Adam Weller

3. Paul Lambert

Age Category Winners – Ladies
Senior: Zoe Fairclough
FV 35: Tamsin West
FV 40: Marie Appleton
FV 45: Sarah Bendle
FV 50: Sue Wilkinson
FV 55: Jo French
FV 60: Jan Young
FV 65: Irene Kitson
FV 70: Sarah Marzaioli

FV 75: Yockie Richardson

Age Category Winners – Men
Senior: Andrew Shipilov
MV 35: Will Withecombe
MV 40: Simon Linklater
MV 45: Ben Sallows
MV 50: Kieran Price
MV 55: Kevin Blowers
MV 60: Neil Jeffries
MV 65: No runner completed 8 Championship Races
MV 70: Bob Dennis

MV 75: No runner completed 8 Championship Races

Merit Awards
Andy Knight
Jo French
Paul Lambert
Jo Edwards
Bob Dennis
Neil Jeffries
Marie Appleton
Jess Hayward
Jackie Scott
Adam Weller
Andrew Shipilov

Achievers Awards
Ladies- Sarah Bendle

Men – Adam Holland

Cross Country Trophy – Jane Coles

Chief Marshall’s Trophy – Chris and Mike Foord

Coach Of The Year
1. Nick Brown
2. Simon Linklater

3. Anthony Gardener

Wilf Gaye Memorial Trophy – Lorraine Ashby
Endeavour Trophy – Matt Edmonds
Founders Trophy – Rob Thomas


A tremendous run by Hastings Runners’ Yolanda King, finishing 3rd lady on her cross country debut at Newplace Farm, Framfield in the third East Sussex Sunday Cross Country League race of the winter series. On a bitterly cold morning, 23 HRs braved the elements and the permafrost conditions underfoot on the tough two lap 5 mile course with Will Withecombe first club finisher in an excellent 9th place out of a field of 354 runners.

Times were: Will Withecombe 30.54; Yolanda King 35.05; Martin Noakes 35.38; Darren Barzee 35.46; Neil Jeffries 37.27; Kevin Blowers 37.47; Claire Thomas 38.44; Martin Turner 41.14; Andy Knight 42.24; Piers Brunning 44.21; Jane Coles 44.32; Jo Nevett 45.30; Tamsin West 45.41; Guy Ramage 46.17; Ruth Spiller 46.43; Paul Hope 46.51; Phil Morris 50.33; David Bratby 50.56; Trish Audis 51.25; Sarah Marzaioli 54.15; Nick Thompson 56.18; Yockie Richardson 57.22; Natasha Slow 60.07.

Will currently lies 3rd in the M35 standings; Martin leads the M55s; Neil 3rd in M60s; Claire 3rd in F35s; Trish 2nd in F65s; Sarah 1st and Yockie 3rd in F70s. The combined HR/Hastings AC team finished 5th out of 17 teams on Sunday, and lie a very close 5th overall now with 4 clubs vying for the runners-up spot behind leaders Crowborough AC. The next fixture is at Heathfield Park in January.


Hastings Runners have just completed their first ever Walk 2 Run

Hastings Runners have just completed their first ever Walk 2 Run programme, with 15 beginner runners – many of whom had never run before – attending twice weekly training sessions at Sedlescombe Rangers FC’s playing fields over a 14 week period.

The initiative, supported by Sedlescombe Parish Council, has seen 5 of the group already run the Hastings parkrun 5 kms non-stop with Chris Fowler leading the way with an impressive time of 24 mins, followed by Andy Sansom (28 mins); Lisa Hawkins and Anne Porritt (31 mins), Janet Jones (33 mins). Other members are hoping to tackle the parkrun over the Christmas period.

The free sessions, organised by Hastings Runners club chairman Nick Brown, included a brisk warm up walk, warm up drills, run/walk intervals and a cool down/stretching routine to finish. Participants’ ages ranged from early 20s up to early 70s.

Nick says:”The group have done really well over the course of the programme, steadily building up their endurance each week, and have turned out in some horrendous weather! I would especially like to thank our band of regular helpers – Andy Knight, Claire Thomas, Helen Brown, Marie Crawford, Susan Rae and Will Withecombe – who have been a great motivation throughout!”

Maria Wells says: “At 65 I was one of the older participants in the recent Walk to Run sessions in Sedlescombe, and I can wholeheartedly recommend the process. Not being very “sporty”, my only experience of running was doing the NHS 0-5K app two years ago on my own. This was very different in many ways. Running outside with a bunch of cheerful people, receiving the unending, patient support of expert runners in an inclusive and non-judgemental manner being the biggest difference. With supportive encouragement and suggestions you can go at your own pace and end up surprising yourself by what you can achieve.”

Chris Fowler says: “As an older runner who had not run for a number of years, this was a perfect group to join. The group was friendly and encouraging, predominantly non runners full of enthusiasm trying to get fit. The team trying to get us all fit were amazing, and aving successfully reached 5K I’m now looking to try and increase my miles.”

A.S. says:”For anyone unsure as to how to get into running, returning from a long absence, or finding themselves drifting towards the dark side of the bathroom scales or bakery counter, Nicks Walk 2 Run course was a welcoming, gently structured and eminently achievable proposition. It’s not that hard,  and in its very gradual progression lies its secret. No boot-camp histrionics, you walk a bit, then run a bit, and then walk a bit less and run a bit more. Repeatedly, and that really is it. Courtesy of Nick’s gentle persuasions and encouragements, behold yourself, after 14 weeks, the runner you knew you could be.”

Some of the group now plan to join the Hastings Runners, who’ve recently started new training sessions for beginner runners and those returning from injury led by coaches Sue Mann and Jo Edwards, meeting on Saturdays (9.30 am in Alexandra Park) and Wednesdays (18.30 pm at Horntye Park). The next Walk 2 Run programme will start in April 2023, again based at Sedlescombe on Monday and Friday mornings. Please email [email protected] if you are interested in taking part.


The combined Hastings Runners/Hastings AC cross country team has jumped to joint 2nd in the East Sussex Sunday Cross Country League, after finishing 3rd out of 17 teams in the latest fixture at a muddy, rain sodden Snape Wood in Wadhurst on Sunday (27th November).

The two clubs fielded 32 runners in the 379 strong field. The six race series finishes at Pett in March next year.

An eventful morning started with HR’s Martin Noakes nearly colliding with a deer whilst warming up, and finished with Rick Burne emerging like a latter day Terry Butcher with a bloodied head after a close encounter with the stony track leading up through the wood! Persistent rain made the undulating two lap course even more challenging, as most of the five mile route was across very greasy, woodland sections.

HR times were: Will Withecome 34.00; Paul Lambert 36.26; Andrew Shipilov 37.17; Martin Noakes 37.25; Kevin Blowers 39.00; Neil Jeffries 40.21; Martin Snape 40.27; Claire Thomas 42.01; Simon Trevena 43.49; Andy Knight 45.34; Piers Brunning 45.40; Tamsin West 48.02; Jo Nevett 49.59; Guy Ramage 51.47; Paul Hope 51.49; David Bratby 52.31; Trish Audis 54.54; Rick Burne 54.59; Phil Morris 55.56; Sarah Marzaioli 57.27; Jo French 58.04; Nick Thompson 58.30; Sylvia Huggett 59.12; Yockie Richardson 60.51.
Current HR individual standings after two races are: Will 3rd M35; Claire 3rd F35; Martin 1st M55; Neil 3rd M60; Trish 2nd F65; Sarah 1st F75; Sylvia 2nd F75.


An excellent turnout on Remembrance Sunday for the final club only race of the year, with 64 HRs taking part and enjoying perfect conditions on the seafront course starting and finishing at Grosvenor Gardens.



The race was won in impressive style by Ashley Vora in 17.50, followed in by Kieran Price and the fast improving Andrew Shipilov. Kieran also picked up the men’s vets award, whilst Annette Fry claimed the ladies equivalent. Many thanks as usual to all the volunteers who gave up their time, and missed out on watching most of England’s superb T20 win!

A superb run and 21.15 pb enabled Sarah Bendle to win the women’s trophy, followed in by Amanda Link and Laurine Waille.  Laurine was taking part in her first club only race, as was Steven Hoath. Andy Knight and Jo Edwards were presented with their Improvers Awards for the Battle 10 kms and club Rye to Hastings races respectively.

Full results: Ashley Vora 17.50; Kieran Price 18.24; Andrew Shipilov 18.35 pb; Martin Snape 18.43; Paul Lambert 18.55 pb; Stuart Johnstone 19.44; Martin Noakes 19.45; Kevin Blowers 19.48; Simon Linklater 19.51; Simon Newstead 20.02; Andy Knight 20.15; Joe Moore 20.23; Lewis Betts 20.35; Patrick Bermingham 20.48; Neil Jeffries 21.06; Sarah Bendle 21.15 pb; Mark Storey 21.30; Charles Bowley 21.33; Stephen Ingram 21.41; Graeme Grass 22.02; Joe Cruttenden 22.13; Luke Evans 22.15; Amanda Link 22.30; Ben Sallows 22.37; Jon Smalldon 22.54; Laurine Waille 22.58; Piers Brunning 23.15; Peter Noakes 23.21; Steven Hoath 23.33 pb; Tamsin West 23.34; Lucie Smitalova 23.38; David Fairclough 24.19; Sean Dwyer 24.29; Keith Goodsell 24.34; Craig Weeks 25.00; Jo Nevett 25.06; Marie Appleton 25.13; Annette Fry 25.16; Berenice Consavela 25.37; Sue Quincey 25.41; Jessica Cull 25.43; Jo French 25.58 pb; Klare Beecroft 26.38; Adam Holland 26.43; Kelly Derosa 26.47 pb; Danny Ratnarajah 26.49; Jackie Scott 26.50; Nigel Thornely 26.52; Nina Lambrou 27.07; Sue Wilkinson 27.14; Robert Weeks 27.40; Yockie Richardson 28.07; Cathy Jones 28.38; Krista Barzee 28.43; Darren Barzee 28.45; Jo Edwards 28.46 pb; Sue Palmer 28.54; Christopher White 29.46 pb; Tracy Ratnarajah 30.29; Irene Kitson 31.29; Lorraine Ashby 34.35; Jo Fellows 34.47; Terry Kitson 36.26; Erica Wilson 47.30.

Wonderful Wet & Windy Weekend

52 Hastings Runners, almost a third of the field, braved the heavy rain at Beckley today. Anxiously primed for the start, the Marshall counted down 3…2…1, he squeezed the wet klaxon, deadly silence.

Off we went anyway, no need for a recall. The first Hastings Runner home was Will Withecombe in 7th place. There were age category wins for Andy Knight (MV55), Neil Jeffries (mv60) and Ruth Spiller, who timed her F55 race superbly, winning her category by just 10 seconds.

Although not being awarded at the race, Yockie Richardson was clearly the winner of her age category, obviously a mistake, (I will phone them in the morning in exchange for a lemon drizzle.)

Weekend before

A Tough wet hilly and muddy Bedgebury half marathon was won by Matt Edmonds in a superb time of 1.19.38, almost 10 minutes quicker than the previous year.

There was also an age category win for Kevin Blowers (MV60).

At the Sussex Grand Prix Hove 10k Paul Lambert got aPB 40.01 and Andy Knight ran 42.51.

Nina Lambrou, Rob Thomas and Sarah Bendle all completed the Maverick South Downs 50K.

Race Report by Kevin Blowers

Snooze you lose!

Whilst the less dedicated members of our town rolled over and hit their Sunday snooze buttons, 45 eager Hastings Runners were already on their way to Rye, sharing tales of recent running successes, whilst trying to keep warm on the coach journey over, kindly supplemented by the club.

I’m sure many of the locals were still beneath their duvets when Ashley Vora stormed across the finish line in an amazing time of 1 hour and 16 minutes. Such was the impressive nature of his victory, the finishing team were caught unaware by his early arrival.

It was a new record for the recently shortened Rye to Hastings course. A route which heads through the familiar Rye Nature reserve whilst testing the balance of the runners along the narrow sea wall at Pett Level.

Then the challenge really begins, and seemingly never ends, as the task of climbing up the cliff edge, battling through the steep village of Fairlight, and finally using every last ounce of energy to reach the Coastguard Cottages. 

Luckily we are part of a wonderful club, with members willing to give up their time to ensure a safe passage home, whilst offering encouragement along the way. An abundance of photos, some showing expressions of pain, others of runners celebrating their achievements. Even the odd dash of orange on the horizon.

From all of the runners to the marshals who cheered us on, thank you!

Back to the action and coming home in 2nd place, claiming the Male Vets prize in the process was Martin Noakes in a superb time of 1:25:32. Only 2 seconds behind was Zoe Fairclough, producing an incredible run to land first place in the Female Race, smashing the previous course record.

Andrew Shipalov and Stuart Johnstone completed the course for the very first time finishing 4th and 6th respectively, separated only by Martin Snape who must be running on fumes right now given his lack of sleep.

Sally Grainger claimed the Female Vets prize, finishing in 1:49:53 whilst the improvers award was won by Jo Edwards who knocked an impressive 34 minutes and 50 seconds off her time from last year.

From a personal experience it was a wonderful morning. Runs like this make me realise just how much I love being part of this amazing club. Thank you and well done to all who took part. 

There was success elsewhere as Kevin Blowers made the long trip West worthwhile by landing 1st place in the MV60 category in the Taunton 10K. He matched his PB of 42 minutes and is planning a trip to WHSmith soon to spend his vouchers.

Will Withecombe and Claire Thomas are also planning a spending spree, both netting a free pair of trainers by winning the Men’s 5k and Women’s 10K of the Forest Runner Series at Bedgebury on Sunday.

Andy Knight (44:24) and Rachel Inn (54:21) both took part in the Tempo 10K on Eastbourne on Sunday! Whilst John Simcox ran the Stafford 10K in 44:38.


On the face of it, a relatively straightforward 10k – a seafront out-and-back. So flat – in theory. And yet… there is that 39m of elevation. Kicking in just when we leave the cooling effect of the sea.

Did I say cooling? We ran gratefully into the all-too-few patches of shade to the De La Warr. After which… virtually none. The weather experts forecast a worrying 27 that “feels like” 30. But that was for those standing still. In the shade. For runners, mostly in the glare of the setting sun… Who knows? If this is what an Amber Heat Warning feels like, do not run in Red.

It gets hotter still near the western end of Hartfield Road, where the black tarmac of the road and pavement combine with the reflective white paint on the house to our left to create a blast-furnace effect. As we reach the Cooden Beach Hotel and finally turn, adopting the shaded side of Cooden Drive, the gradient cranks up a little. And the anticipated cooling effect of a 10mph breeze only adds to the struggle.

Here, a special mention for birthday boy Michael Norris – and Turn Marshal Kevin Blowers who raised a smile by revealing his beer-flavoured best wishes sign under his hi-viz. (Credit, though, to ALL 20 Marshalls who were made even warmer by those hi-viz tops… guiding us on our way, counting us at the end.) Michael, meanwhile, ran beside me step for step for 7.5k. A metronome driving me along through the heat.

Then, at the water stop, he disappeared. Had he ever been there? Had I hallucinated the whole thing? Thoughts of Foreign Legionnaires trudging across endless sand, towards oases that prove to be mirages… I spy one, two, three… five giant psychedelic ducks! Am I losing my mind? No matter, the finish is in sight now.

The finish is where all of us staggered, sunk to the ground, looked at our watches – and winced at how slow we’d been. One by one we returned. The eastern end of Bexhill prom looking ever more like a scene from some green-and-black zombie apocalypse.

Protocol dictates that I salute the ultimate warriors Will Withecombe, Zowie Fairclough, and the fastest “oldies” Kieran Price and Annette Fry… But in their wake – punched through the baking air, behind the sharp end of their magnificent times – each and every finisher was a hero. Take a bow first-timers Heidi Rossetter, Finlay Garlick and Catherine Jones. Welcome aboard and trust us – you picked a hell of night to start! Take a bow Catherine, Louise, Irene and Henry. Take a bow EVERYONE…

We had started as 58 individuals with personal goals, but finished as one great club – a little dehydrated and disappointed that (for the most part) those goals had been vanquished by the heat, but united by desire and dogged determination to reach the finish line. We are Hastings Runners. And we did this.



Another great advertisement for Hastings Runners with 77 runners taking part in the club’s 5 kms handicap race on a blustery Wednesday evening, and another 24 volunteers donning their hi-viz vests.

Many congrats to junior Sophie Ashby who burned off the opposition on the out and back seafront course from Grosvenor Gardens to land a stunning victory, coming home 57 secs clear of the field having started with 19 runners ahead of her.

She hit the front with about 1500 m to go, having passed her mum Lorraine Ashby who had led since the 1 km mark. Her time of 25.31 was her fastest for over 4 years.

Runner up Andy Knight posted an excellent time of 20.43, making up an amazing 57 places.  In a triumph for handicapper Simon Linklater 90% of the field finished within 3 mins of each other, with Ashley Vora passing no fewer than 66 runners, Zoe Fairclough and star junior Finlay Goodman 56 runners each.

Finlay, setting off stone last of the 77 runners, ran a superb time of 16.20 given the windy conditions and the fact that he didn’t pass another runner until 3.50 kms into the race. 2nd quickest was Ashley in 17.41, with Adam Weller 3rd in 18.12.

Zoe recorded the fastest ladies time with an impressive 20.04, followed by Claire Thomas in 21.08 and Manami Cheves in 23.37.
9 members were taking part in their first HR race – Helen Rothermel, Julie Sapsford-Brooks, Adam Holland, Ashley Sapsford-Brooks, Andrew Shipilov, Kelly Derosa, Eric Hardwick, John Beacham and junior Robert Weeks.

And finally Jessica Hayward was presented with the Alan Corke Improvers Award,  having taken an astonishing 12 mins 16 secs off her 2021 time for this race which equates to an improvement of 70 seconds per kilometre!

Many thanks to our handicapper Simon Linklater, race director Susan Mann, and Terry Kitson who co-ordinated our team of volunteers.