Race Reports

Brighton Marathon 2014

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Pre-Race: Weather forecasts predicted heavy rain and high winds, so few people expected fast times. It seemed the end of Brighton's charmed run of consistently great weather for every marathon.

Race-Day: Mild, cloudy weather with moderate wind and sunshine for the finish. Several international athletes graced the start-line and an impressive course record of 2:09:25 was set by William Chebor (despite having to stop mid-race to re-tie a shoe-lace!).

New PB's for Emma, Helen and Jim. Not sure if Anthony, Ben, Robin, Dean and Jean got PB's but the finish times were excellent anyhow.

Thanks to everyone giving support. Such a boost to hear "Go Mid-Sussex".

Helen Graham                                    3:36:04

Emma Goodhead                                3:43:01

Jean Fish                                           5:50:08

Jim Graham                                       2:52:09

Anthony Vince                                    3:20:53

Ben Stepney                                      3:41:26

Robin Monaghan                                3:47:29

Dean Allen                                         4:48:33

Post-Race: Terrific party atmosphere with huge crowds on the beach in sunshine. Music, beer and fast-food. A great advert for the city. Lots of MSTC signed up for Brighton Marathon 2015 already.

 

Jim Graham

 

 

Please send in your Race reports

 

Spring Time Classic

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I did  this ride last year but opted for the Challenge route 54 miles, so this year I was going for the Classic route of 71 miles!!

At registration I met up with Jeff Woodall, Andy Miles and Graeme Fitzjohn. Jeff and I were doing the long ride and Andy and Graeme were doing the 54 mile route. The ride started at 8.30 am from Burgess Hill, although it is not a race, everyone is timed over their respective course.

 

The weather was kind as well, mild, a bit cloudy with a slight wind.  We all started together but Jeff was after a personal best time and went off like a rocket, not to be seen again til we met up in the food hall at the finish!!!

I stuck with Andy until my chain came off after I went through the ford at Pillow Mounds Hill. I don't know how Graeme and Andy got on during the ride as I never saw either of them again.

The Classic route takes in Ashdown Forest and travels into parts of Kent and Surrey. There are five notable hilly sections on the route with Pillow Mounds Hill being the first, where you have to cross a ford before starting the climb. Once I got my chain back on I got stuck into the climb and completed that without any problems. The miles went by and then it was Kidds Hill, known locally as "the Wall". I have been up here several times but it is still a sit in the saddle and grind away type of hill and kicks again very steeply just before the summit.

By now I was well warmed up and looking forward to the Col du Groombridge [ Groombridge Hill ], this one has no run up and must be shown respect. These hills certainly cut down your average speed!!!Del Kidds Hill.jpg

I arrived at Hever [ which was the timing stop ] in 2hrs 43 mins. had a quick pit stop, picked up a bit of food and was on my way again. As I was leaving the feed station I checked my bike computer but alas it was no longer attached to my bike!!! Obviously I had been travelling so fast that it must have flown off!!! 

Having  made my way back via Hartfield , Forest Row and onto West Hoathly the next thrill to look forward too was looming up, the infamous Cobb Lane!!! It is short but has a 20% gradient and can be a cleat breaker as it's known as "the walk of shame" as many riders are forced to walk it!!! To make matters worse the official photographer is always there to record the " shame or the agony"!!! Well it was not the "walk of shame" for me but it was agony!!! 

Then it was on through Ardingly to what I thought was the final set of hills by the reservoir, short but steep. But there was yet another hill to climb up Deakes Lane into Ansty and then crack on to Burgess Hill to the finish.

               
I met up with Jeff in the food hall and found out that he had problems with his bike at one of the feed stations which delayed him somewhat and that had put paid to him achieving a "Gold Standard".

                                      
Challenge 54 miles

Andy Miles            3hrs 46 mins Silver

Peter Court            3 hrs 51 mins 40secs     Silver

Graeme Fitzjohn    4hrs 7 mins 15 secs       Bronze

Jon Webster            4hrs 27mins 5 secs       Bronze

                                        
Classic 71 miles

Jeff Woodall             5hrs 15 mins 46 secs    Silver

Del Hastings             5hrs 20mins 46 secs     Silver

I've got to say that was one of the toughest rides I have done!!! I have also sent an email to the organisers to ask why the Gold Standard for over 60's was 4hrs 55mins and yet the Gold Standard for the Winter Classic [ which was 77 miles but only an undulating course] for over 60's was 5hrs 30 mins which I completed in 5hrs 15mins. 

 

Del Boy

 

 

Balcombe Bull Run

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Bright sunshine and a crisp wind greeted the 73 entrants in Balcombe's first Bull Run - a circular, 7.3km cross-country run over the fields, lanes, styles and footpaths of our beautiful village.  We even had a bit of hail thrown in to give it that tougher feel!

Dave Jones (an ex-pupil of the school and successful triathete) and I had laid out the course the night before with reflective signs. The day started early with the PTA cooking up bacon sandwiches and refreshments for the gathering runners and supporters. Then we briefed the 18 marshals, who had offered to keep a watchful eye over the runners, and gave the runners a race briefing. Harriet Record got everyone in the mood with a warm-up before I called the runners to the start line.


Looking over to it I could see a wonderful mix of runners - from the young (12) to the older (60+), from the experienced to the fun runner. There was fancy running kit on show and one competitor who I'm sure was wearing surf shorts! It is so rewarding to see people raring to go and getting stuck in. Jackie Stone blew the air horn to start and the race was off. It's amazing that even before they reached the top of Westup Lane the runners were strung out - from the gazelles to the steam engines....

They continued along Rowhill Lane, passed Spicers Farm (where David Vickerstaff had set up a water table) before going onto Postman's Walk and across the fields to Westup Farm and back home. This was a muddy, hilly and tough course - not to mention the added hail. I was astounded at the pace of Rob Watts (mens winner in 28m 14sec), Rachel Baker (ladies winner 36.14), Eleanor Stoner (girls winner 37.15) and James Greetham (boys winner 44.28). Well done to you all.

A big crowd had assembled at the finish and the noise was awesome. Everyone was given a cow bell medal, bananas and water. And the winners got some lovely hats. The cakes and bacon "sardines" (as my Facebook entry said - damn autocorrect!) were laid on by the PTA - perfect recovery food after a race.

My thanks to everyone who ran, helped and supported on the day. We made over £500 for the school and also secured a regular event in Balcombe's diary. Bring on Balcombe Bull Run 2015!

Mat Record

Hastings Half Marathon 23/3/14

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As I had not done this race since 2005 I was a little apprehensive to say the least. My time then was 1hr 37 mins but now that I am in my late 60's I knew that I wasn't going to beat that!!! Although it was a respectable start time, 10.30 am, I was up early as usual and had my porridge like a good "boy". I left home about 8.00 and arrived at the designated car park with no problems at 9.00 giving me plenty of time to chill out before the start and of course my warm up, a walk to the loo and back!!
           

On arrival at the start, which was approximately 10 mins walk from the car park I met up with Kevin [James]. The weather was reasonably warm and dry with a slight wind, so was probably ideal running conditions. Just before we lined up Steve [Birchall] and Pippa [ Crouch] turned up.
             

Then it was gun time and there was no turning back! We all know Hastings is a hilly course but exactly how hilly I had forgotten as it was 9yrs ago the last time I did this race! Obviously another C.R.A.F.T. moment!!! The first 5 miles is basically up hill, so there is got to be a "down" somewhere!! The crowds were very encouraging along the way, which always helps, plenty of jelly babies being given out! Once I got to mile 7 I thought well there is only 6 miles to go!!
               

Dropping down out of Hastings Old town you then find yourself at mile 11 on the seafront and that always seems like a lot further than 2 miles to the finish! With just under a mile to go you can see the finish but it feels like someone keeps moving it further away!! I ran the whole way round and even had some left in the tank for those last two miles. With about half  a mile to go Jules Stuart- Colwill] came up alongside me and we were nip and tuck til just before this finish line when Jules had that extra bit in her tank and crossed over just before me, well done Jules!!
                 My race time was 2hrs 2 mins 36 secs
                 My personal time was 2hrs.1 min 48secs


Will I do it next year, maybe if I have another C.R.A.F.T. moment!!!

Burgess Hill Winter Classic

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Woke up Sunday morning to the wind blowing like mad and thought do I really need to be doing this ride!!

On arrival at Cyprus Hall Burgess Hill to sign on I found out that the ride would be 77.2 miles not the 75 miles I thought!!! Oh well what's a couple of extra miles!!

Unfortunately there was nobody else from MSTC doing the long ride so I was on my own!! There were a number of other like minded people doing the ride but all looked a lot younger than me! Anyway having signed on I started at 08.36 and headed out West through Ashurst, West Washington, West Chiltington, Billingshurst, Wisborough Green, Loxwood and onto Ellens Green, which was basically the turn round point.

I stopped very briefly to get my timing chip swiped and to refuel. The journey to here had been uneventful, although there was a lot of surface water in places at least it wasn't raining!! But the wind was just terrible which reduced the average speed somewhat!

After a few minutes at this stop I headed out on the return journey saying to myself "it's only another 35 miles" and if you looked at the map the right way up it was all down hill !!!!!! Who was I kidding!!!

The ride back went through Broadbridge Heath, Barn's Green, Southwater, West Grinstead, Ashurst, Partridge Green, Alborne, Hassocks, HurstpierPoint, Keymer and back to Burgess Hill to the Cyprus Hall.

Well it wasn't down hill coming back and the wind was bloody worse!!! But at least it didn't rain!!!

I arrived in one piece after a very tough ride. My timing chip time was 5hrs 14 mins 43 secs [the Gold Standard for my age group OAP was 5hrs 30 mins] so I was well pleased with that, especially as my actual riding time was 5hrs 7 mins on my computer.


Will I be back next year??? Of course I will!!!!
 
Del