Category Archives: Race Reports

Alan Corke Race Report

Another fantastic advert for the club with circa 110 members taking part in this Hastings Runners event, whether as runners or marshals, in the stunning setting of Hastings Country Park at Fairlight.
For the majority of the field the 10.30 kms course over 2.66 laps proved a real stamina sapping test in sweltering conditions with over 220 metres of elevation, but new club member Matt Draper made light work of the conditions to go second on the club’s all time list with a superb time of 41.06.



Runner up for the third successive year, despite running 76 seconds faster than last year,  was Ashley Vora in 42.21, with Stuart Johnstone 3rd in 46.26. Another recent club recruit Fleur Record-Smith claimed the women’s trophy, overhauling the long time leader Claire Thomas in the final kilometre and finishing 22 seconds clear in 51.21, with Amanda Link 3rd lady home in 54.29. An excellent 4th place in a time of 46.43 saw Darren Barzee take the men’s vets award, with Sally Grainger taking the women’s equivalent in a time of 58.56.

No fewer than 11 runners who had contested the race in 2022 managed to improve their race times, with Simon Linklater deservedly taking the Improvers Award with a huge improvement of 5 mins 43 seconds.

The club welcomed 10 new runners taking part in their first HR race, namely Matt Draper, Fleur Record-Smith, Chris Brandt, Mark Rodrigues, Dave Morrow, Scott Thirkettle, Dave Turner, Oli Kellett, George Marshall and Peter Harding. After the race, Christopher White and Tracy Ratnarajah were presented with their Improver Awards for the club’s Spring 5kms and Hastings 5 mile races, whilst Lewis Betts received the 5 mile junior male trophy for the second successive year.

67 runners completed the course, with 40 marshals – expertly co-ordinated by Alan Croucher – giving up their time. Just two runners failed to complete the race including Shana Burchett who, pushing hard for a course pb, became airborne going through the final downhill woodland section and sustained a nasty cut on her left knee.

After hobbling back to the start line, this was expertly patched up by run director and former GP Susan Rae which has left the club’s first aid kit bereft of giant plasters now! Many thanks to Susan and fellow RD Piers Brunning for overseeing proceedings, and to Wisdens for handing out race medals.

Race times were:Matt Draper 41:06; Ashley Vora 42:21; Stuart Johnstone 46:26; Darren Barzee 46:43; Martin Noakes 47:10; Patrick Bermingham  47:43; Simon Linklater 47:44; Sam Evans 48:03 16; Chris Brandt 48:13; Dave Turner 48:19; Martin Snape 50:28; Graeme Grass  50:55; Fleur Record-Smith 51.21; George Marshall:51:24; Lewis Betts 51:31; Claire Thomas 51:43; Steven Stanley 52:01; Neil Jeffries 52:16; Matthew Miller 52:44; Kevin Blowers 53:32; Amanda Link  54:29; Oli Kellett 54:43; Kevin Davis 54:59; Ben Sallows 55:02; Mark Storey 55:10; Dan Hall 55:19; Simon Trevena  55:49; Malcolm Smith 57:37; Jo Lambourne 57:46; Sally Grainger 58:56; Lawrence Bell 59:32; Sarah Bendle 59:49; Dean Betts 59.51; Simon Weatherley 60.15; Sean Dwyer 60.32; Rob Thomas 60.42; Jessica Cull 61.16;  Adrian Barratt 61:54; Bill Edmondson 62:13; David Witcombe 62:38; Dave Morrow 62:54; Scott Thirkettle 63:34; Annette Fry  64:17; Ruth Spiller 65:01; Keith Goodsell 65:04; Kate Lewis 65:59; Nigel Thornely 66:02; Susan Wilkinson 68:27; Deanne Smith 70:00; Danny Ratnarajah 70.00; Mark Rodrigues 70:44; Sarah Marzaioli 71:43; Sarah Loring 71:50; Tony Skinner 72:49; Tracy Ratnarajah 73:00; Chris White 73:41; Jackie Scott 74:34; Louise Cavill 74:34; Lauren Coleman 75:33; Sue Palmer 75:41; Samantha Welfare 78:32; Krista Barzee  78:32; Peter Harding 82:12; Susan Mann 85:30; Davinia Hill 89:01; Erica Wilson 92:10; Corrina Skinner (sweep) 92.11.


Hastings Runners’ Zoe Fairclough posted a superb victory as first lady finisher in the Rye 10 miler, a gruelling Sussex Grand Prix as well as club championship event held in very warm conditions on Sunday morning. Zoe, who was a close 2nd in this race last year behind clubmate Yolanda King, took the lead after 8 miles and finished 34 seconds clear of the runner up in an excellent time of 69.29.


Adam Weller was the first club member home, finishing 7th in a cracking time of 65.30, with Steve Stanley doing well to pick up the M60 age category award. The scenic course starting from Jempsons Superstore in Peasmarsh took in the undulating lanes between Peasmarsh and Beckley, and attracted a field of 206 runners including a huge contingent of 50 Hastings Runners.

Hastings Runners’ results were: Adam Weller 01:05:30; Stuart Johnstone 01:08:48; Darren Barzee 01:08:56; Zoe Fairclough 01:09:29; Ashley Vora 01:10:53; Paul Burchett 01:12:36; Simon Linklater 01:12:53; Steven Stanley 01:15:36; Neil Jeffries 01:16:07; Joe Cruttenden 01:16:25; Graeme Grass 01:17:36; Andy Knight 01:19:09; John Simcox 01:19:48; Michael Norris 01:20:34; Matthew Miller 01:21:33; Adrian Barratt 01:21:42; Mark Storey 01:22:15; Kevin Davis 01:23:19; Charles Bowley 01:23:51; Tamsin West 01:26:25; Nick Webb 01:28:13; Trevor Briggs 01:28:55; Roland Baines 01:30:00; David Fairclough 01:30:58; Jon Smalldon 01:32:53; Keith Goodsell 01:32:57; Ruth Spiller 01:34:26; Jo French 01:36:50; Jess Hayward 01:37:26; Robert Dennis 01:37:33; Simon Weatherley 01:38:46; Marie Appleton 01:40:37; Craig Weeks 01:42:15; Mark Rodrigues 01:42:26;  Susan Wilkinson 01:42:40; Marie Crawford 01:42:47; Kelly Derosa 01:44:21; Kate Lewis 01:44:51; Sarah Marzaioli 01:45:15; Tracy Ratnarajah 01:46:43; Susan Sparkes 01:49:11; Yockie Richardson 01:50:21; Kayla Quinnell 01:51:34; Krista Barzee 01:57:16;  Adam Holland 02:02:38; Susan Mann 02:03:07; Lorraine Ashby 02:05:03; Louise Cavill 02:09:33; Amanda Robinson 02:15:46; Erica Wilson 02:17:25.

Meanwhile 6 club members tackled the Rye 5 mile event – Debra Van Aalst 48.30 (1st F60); Jackie Scott 49.48; Jo Nevett 51.58; Danny Ratnarajah 52.01; Shana Burchett 55.17; Joanne Fellows 62.42.
Many congrats also to Yolanda King who won the recent Haywards Heath 10 mile race, another Sussex Grand Prix event with a field of over 400 runners, in a very impressive time of 67.11.
Zoe Fairclough (courtesy Nice Work)
Adam Weller (courtesy Nice Work)
Stuart Johnstone
Steven Stanley
Tamsin West
Lorraine Ashby


The term “family” is often used to describe our wonderful club and Saturday was further evidence of the strong bond between the members at Hastings Runners. Such is the camaraderie, the group travelled together by minibus, departing at the crazy time of 5:30am, kindly organised by Sarah Bendle.
The Run to the Sea starts at Horsham and leads runners through a mixture of terrain, including some wonderful trails and beautiful downlands, covering a total of 50 kms and finishing on Brighton seafront. Many congrats to Sally Grainger who won the FV60 age category, supported en route by Kevin Blowers, just a matter of weeks after completing the London Marathon. Despite the damp conditions Darren Kilby improved on his time from 12 months previous. Jan Young was celebrating her birthday in the perishing cold, with the slightly odd combination of a survival blanket around her shoulders and an ice cream in her hand. Richard Cross and Simon Trevena both finished in high spirits, despite their self confessed lack of preparation.
Hastings Runners “A” team (Darren Kilby, Kevin Blowers, Sally Grainger, Rob Thomas & Amanda Link) came 2nd and the “B” team  (Luke Evans, Cassie Colvin, Lucie Smitalova, Richard Cross & Jan Young) 4th in the team competition with combined times of 28 hours 15 mins and 30 hours 34 mins respectively.
Whilst most of the country was glued to their TV sets on Coronation Day, Hastings ultra runner Pete Heasman tackled the Centurion Thames Path 100 mile event over the weekend. Starting at Richmond Town Hall and finishing in the centre of Oxford, the route followed the river path for most of the way. Steady rain throughout the first day meant that some sections became extremely muddy, and nearly 40% of the 300 runner field dropped out. As per usual, Pete eschewed the normal ultra runner preparation and jumped straight in having run no further than 10 miles in training! With the aid of a gin and tonic in the final few miles, Pete finished in a time of 27 hours 30 mins.

Wellers the Fella at Xmas Pudding Dash

Would we race? Was it safe?

Shall we go in Hastings Runners race gear or shall we go in fancy dress ?

So many questions to be answered on a slippery frosty morning, but ho ho ho, what a turn out and what fun .

Adam Weller was the first of 30 Hastings Runners home in a fantastic 2nd place despite borrowing trail shoes. Paul Lambert was close behind in 5th place.

There were age category wins for Stuart Johnstone, Michael Norris and Neil Jefferies on the men’s side and Tamsin West and Christine Sanderson for the ladies.

Race Report kindly written by Christmas Cracker Kevin Blowers.

View Results


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.


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

From Hastings to Loch Ness

The weekend seems an eternity ago, but not too distant a memory to recollect the wonderful achievements of the awesome Hastings Runners that took part in races.

Closest to home was the latest race in our Club Championship, the seafront 10K. A route that all of us are familiar with. But it’s amazing how much quicker one can run with a tag around your ankle.

That proved the case on Sunday with some superb performances from those representing the Green & Black army. Will Withecombe successfully defended his title from last year, crossing the line in an excellent time of 36 minutes and 36 seconds.

We had 3 runners in the Top 4 with Andrew Shipalov clocking a PB of 39:50, holding off a late charge from Martin Snape who was just 3 seconds behind.

Kevin Blowers wrapped up another MV60 category award. His time of 42:30 would have been substantially quicker, had he not hit the brakes just before the finish line to ensure he came home in 10th place, thus winning a free breakfast.

Andy Knight continued his excellent recent form to land the MV50 1st prize in a time of 43:41. There were PBs for Berenice Consavela (54:34). Craig Weeks (55:56), Adam Holland (57:04) and Jacqueline Scott (57:25).

Also running 10K this weekend were Debra Van Aalst, Choccy Sue and Sue Palmer. Not in Hastings mind you. They were in Bodrum. I think that’s in Turkey, is it? They didn’t travel home empty handed with age category wins for both Debra and Choccy.

There was a small event happening in London on Sunday too. You may have caught a glimpse of the action on your television. We had 9 runners in the capital. Tamsin West was the 1st home in 3 hours and 54 minutes. John Simcox completed the course in 4:21. Sarah Marzaioli broke the 5 hour barrier, again, finishing in 4:50, good enough for 13th place in her age category.

I’ll give a mention to Matleena Elonheimo who has only just rejoined the club. I’m assuming it was purely to get a mention in one of my race reports. So there you go Matleena.

Steven Wood and Ady Hall who are rarely seen running apart were forced to start in different pens. Despite 40,000 participants they somehow found one another en route and normality was restored.

James Graham, Kerry Freeman and Darren Owen were the other three Hastings Runners who created lifetime memories by crossing the finish line at the Mall.

Also happening this Sunday was the Loch Ness Marathon. We had 4 runners north of the border and 3 of them flew home with PBs. Sarah Bendle 3:48, Luke Evans 3:51 and Sarah Holmes 5:06 lit up their EasyJet flights home with huge smiles on their faces. Nina Lambrou was pretty chuffed too as despite almost no training she managed an excellent time of 4:14. A quick mention for Rob Thomas who was due to take part and had put in all the training, only to catch Covid in the lead up. Get well soon Rob.

Yolanda King finished 4th lady in he Lewis 10 Mile Downland Trail Race in a time of 1:18:18.

If I’ve missed you off, or you have more details to add, please get in touch. Charities, first time races, memories, anything you would like me to add to the report, just ping me an email or DM on facebook.

Simon Linklater

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.