Arena 80 AC are the Harvey Curtis Cup 2017 team winners.

The Harvey Curtis Cup Road Race Standings after Race 5

The results have now been finalised with race 5 (the bright10) proving very fruitful for Arena 80 as a club and individuals.

In the Men’s standings Arena have 8 men showing in the top 22 which is a fine achievement for Arena. The rules state that it’s the athlete top 3 races that count out of the six so here we are after the top 3 races completed.

Leading the charge for the Arena men is James Dicks who had an outstanding race at the Bright 10 which also put him into 3rd spot in the Arena men’s 10 miler club records. Dixie is in 9th place with 45pts. Just behind Dixie is Richard Clayton in 10th spot with 48pts. In 11th place is Jim Risdale who has had a very strong year with some top races and times with 66pts and completing the quartet in equal 11th place is Anthony Snelling also with 66pts. A few places back and we find Jon Bowditch in 16th place with 77pts, Michael Barker in 17th place with 81pts, Dan Vaughan in 19th place on 91pts and in 22nd place is Henry Miller 110pts. I’ve said it before about Henry but he has come on leaps and bounds this year and pushed himself hard in races and with that have come some cracking times so we should still remember that Henry is still classed as a junior and if he keeps this rate up will be a fine addition to the men’s senior team.

Of those that have completed 2 races we have Alan Silvester in 33rd place with 34pts although Alan has been out with injury and are realistically unlikely to gain another race and Del Wallace in 38th place with 49pts. It remains to be seen if Del will be competing in the Brighton 10k race but if he does then he could well see himself ending a very fine year with a top 30 placing.

In the Women’s standings Arena have 9 women showing in the top 16 and 5 showing in the top 10 which, by any club’s standards, is exceptional and the women have been pivotal to the success of Arena 80 retaining the Harvey Curtis Cup for 2017.

Again the rules state that it’s the athlete top 3 races that count out of the six so here we are after the top 3 races completed.

Of our leading ladies, then the light shines on our cross country captain and our road race captain who really are leading by example. 2nd place in the table is Dani Tarleton on 11pts and Tara Shanahan in equal 3rd place just one point behind with 12 pts. One of our ladies that have really shown some top form this year in races is Soulla Wright and is rewarded with a top 6 placing with 31pts. Another one of our fairly new-ish members who is now completing her first full year with Arena is Rebecca Knights. Rebecca has proved what joining a club can do for your running and so it is with some fine results in races this year sits in 8th spot with 39pts. Nicky Yeates has proved that age is but a number and after her O60’s first place at the Bright10 Nicky finds herself in 10th place with 61pts. Places 13 to 16 are all filled with Arena athletes with Jenny Hughes in 13th on 74pts, Jackie Rymell in 14th place with 81pts, Jo Phillimore in 15th place with 83pts and Angelina Smy in16th with 89pts.

Of those that have completed 2 races then we see another four of our ladies making their mark inside the top 40. Katherine O’Hara leads this group in 19th place with 13pts; Juliette Roberts is in 22nd place with 21 pts, Emma Hubba, who had probably the race of her life at the Bright10, in 26th place with 39pts with Isobel Muir in 32nd place with 63pts.

Such an Impressive set of results from our ladies and especially by our O35’s and upwards who show no signs of easing up.

Now the all-important team results where it’s the best 5 of the 6 races that count. What an honour it is to write that Arena took top placings in all five races. Although Lewes and Arena equalled in race 4 we still took the 1 point which gave us the clean sweep and hit the maximum of 5pts from the 5 races. Lewes AC is an excellent team with some top quality athletes in their club and they should be applauded for pushing Arena all the way to the end. It would be very boring if team’s just (excuse the pun) ran away with the title so it was great to see two of top team’s battling away in each and every race. Although Arena have secured first place, the places for 2nd and 3rd haven’t quite been decided yet and it all goes down to the final race of the season at the Brighton 10k on November 19th.

As the table stands (after 5/6) – Teams
1st – Arena 80 AC – 5pts – Winners
2nd – Lewes AC – 13pts
3rd – Haywards Heath Harriers – 21pts

Four races completed
4th – Brighton & Hove City AC – 18pts
5th – Horsham Joggers – 23pts
6th – Hailsham Harriers – 30pts
7th – Uckfield runners – 48 pts

It was a great honour for the club to have won the HCC in 2016 especially for our coach Bob Page which has put Arena 80 on the map as one of the stronger clubs to contend with. The hardest thing about being at the top of course, is that everyone else out there is trying to take you down from that number one position so to retain the title in 2017 is an incredible achievement for Arena 80 and such an accomplishment to those that have turned out for the club at all the key races to help us score points as well as those that have raced and helped to push other athletes from other clubs down the final results. We know who our key athletes are and we should applaud each and every one of them for maximizing our results during the year but as a club, we all play our part in some way in helping Arena 80 to achieve such a prestigious award like this.

With the last race of the series on Sunday 19th November, we must wish all of our athletes who are still racing for individual honours the best of luck and to even achieve a top 40 placing as one of the best in Sussex is an accomplishment in itself.

Thank you to all for making Arena 80 the great club that it is and we look forward to more great club success and individual honours for 2018.