The Sussex Masters XC Championships at Lancing, Saturday 20th January – Arena Gold Fest

The Sussex Masters XC Championships at Lancing, Saturday 20th January

It was very fitting that on Monday it was known nationally as Blue Monday and so it was on Saturday when Lancing became Blue Saturday.

It was typical winter weather with it being cold, wet and er very muddy, but that did not deter our intrepid ladies team and four of our men from venturing out to take on the elements and being so fearless out there in Lancing.

We are of course looking at the very best that Sussex has to offer for this masters event and it would be tremendous if any of our athletes took home a gold medal or two.

The conditions lived up to the winter XC season and if you saw any grass then you had probably gone to the wrong place for this my friends was Mud City at its best. Now I know a few people like those beauty spa days where you can get a mud pack on your face which brings the skin up beautifully but I didn’t expect anyone to try for a freebie here, but it would be rude to waste it I guess, so there were a couple of our athletes that thought they would take the plunge and take full advantage of it in the form of Craig Isaac and Paul Hebden, although I have to say, I’m not sure it really did the right job for them, anyway I digress.

What of our ladies I hear you ask, it’s lovely to report that the Arena Blue Saturday turned to Arena Gold Saturday.

From the very start Caroline Hoyte took command (see top photo) and there was surely only going to be one winner of this race . When Caroline puts that race face on you just know there ain’t no messin’ with this gal with no one else getting a look in. Let’s not take anything away from the two Hailsham girls behind Caroline as they did put up a good race but that only pushed Caroline harder and made her more determined which in the end brought her home as first lady overall in 27.30, this was almost a minute ahead of the 2nd place Hailsham lady, cracking run and still leading by example.

Arena also had no less than four athletes in the top 10 with Dani Tarleton home in 6th overall (29.04) who also took bronze in the W45.

Katherine O’Hara was 7th overall (29.17) and 4th place in the W35 with Rebecca Knights in 8th overall (29.18) and 5th in the W35. Some fine team work here from these three ladies as they stuck with each other and helped to push themselves along together to get the best out of themselves.

Now let’s drill the results down further for our ladies. Arena posted 4 in the top 10 better than any other club. Arena posted 7 in the top 20 better than any other club. Arena posted 9 in the top 30 better than any other club. Arena posted 11 in the top 40 better than any other club and Arena posted 13 in the top 50 better than any other club, now that’s a sold ladies team by anyone’s standards and you couldn’t ask for more or better from the team or could we?

With so much talent within the ladies team we hoped to come away with at least a medal or two so check this out:
Caroline Hoyte – 1st Individual / 1st F45
Dani Tarleton – 3rd F45
Clare Aquilina – 2nd F55

Katherine O’Hara – 1st F35 Team 
Rebecca Knights – 1st F35 Team
Juliette Roberts – 1st F35 Team

Caroline Hoyte – 1st F45 Team
Dani Tarleton – 1st F45 Team
Caroline Wood – 1st F45 Team

Clare Aquilina – 1st F55 Team
Nicky Yeates – 1st F55 Team
Anne Miners – 1st F55 Team

Tamar Coleman – 2nd F55 Team
Fiona Jamie – 2nd F55 Team
Brigitte Groves – 2nd F55 Team

Now with that much treasure to take home even Blackbeard is on his way to come and collect it. It really was a remarkable day considering the conditions out there and all of our ladies should be congratulated on a job very well done. I will also mention the other ladies that also took to Lancing as they deserve recognition as well, as they all bring something to the team morale and camaraderie: Tara Shanahan, Katie Wright, Jo Peckham, Isobel Muir, Cat Scott and Michele Saunders, such a strong team spirit amongst our ladies.

There were 18 ladies that braved it out there in Lancing and braved all the weather that could be thrown at them so ladies you have done yourselves and your club very proud, what a way to bring in 2018, we applaud you all.

Arena did take 4 men over so obviously we don’t have many VET’s at our club to be able to participate in this event 😉 We should commend Shawn Buck, Jim Watson, Paul Hebden and Craig Isaac for making the journey. From all accounts it was more like a Torvill and Dean dance due to the conditions so again big kudos to these guys for representing and getting out there.

There was plenty of cake on offer after the race and again thank you to all those that took the time out to make and bake and for making this such a top day out for those attending.

Congratulations to all of you that took home medals.

The next two big important races coming up for the club is the Harvey Curtis Race Chichester 10k on Sunday 4th February. We are the current team Champions of this trophy and looking for a third straight year of retaining this so if you are able to run then please book up:

After that is the very last XC league race at Stamner park on Saturday 10th February. The ladies team is in a very strong position to take 1st place but it will need your help if we are to hold on to this position.

The men are in 5th place and so it’s set to be one of our best places for many years so we need to consolidate this place and again Men we need your help to keep it there. Please let Dani Tarleton know if you are able to run for the women and Dan Vaughan know if you can run for the men.

Post written by admin and views expressed are those of admin only.