Another successful year which included two record breakers; the number of entries and the women’s course record!
This was the third year for Michele Saunders and I as Race Directors and as with every year we constantly work on improving the experience for runners and volunteers whilst dealing with the challenges of putting on a successful event. We have grown the race year on year to reach an epic 547 (457 in 2018) entries this year with 460 (377 in 2018) of them making it to the start line. And this year we had our first wheelchair entry!
It was also the year that we lost a few key volunteers to York, our Race Volunteer Co-ordinator to the buses and our photographer to his hospital bed. However, we welcomed Holly Freeman as our new Race Volunteer Co-ordinator and with the demise of the Bright 10, we elbowed our way to being race four in the Run Store Sussex Road Race Challenge. We also took the decision to move the start time to 9am hopefully avoiding the Sunday promenaders out for their weekly constitutional mooch and others attracted to the seaside for activities other than running in our race.
After Pebblegate in 2017 which saw the course severely narrowed and joint sweepathons with Hove Prom parkrun we have spent most of the last two weeks on weather and pebble watch! Luckily the worst of the winds on Friday seem to coincide with low tide and with a few super broom hands on duty early Sunday we were able to clear any residue. Despite all the checks, planning and prep the race still gave us a sleepless night or three but if Caroline Hoyte can break the course record after a 13 hour night shift we can deliver a race on a few cat naps!
The morning broke and yay it was dry, if dark, at 6.30 am as we parked up on the prom in our van kindly loaned to us by the Martlets Hospice and avoiding one or two keen runners out and about! We were soon joined by some great early bird volunteers who threw themselves into sweeping and tent erection duties! Tent erection didn’t quite go to plan but like any well organised event we had a plan B which meant slightly downgraded accommodation for our late entry tent volunteers!
By 8am the start area was really buzzing with athletes arriving, Nice Work setting up, Steve Wood practising his welcome speech and our friends from ReRun operating a swap shop.
By 8.30 am the race briefing was over the volunteers prepped, fed and dispatched with their team leaders.
8.45: and Steve Wood starts gathering runners to the start for his welcome speech before handing over to Dan Lawson to sound the starter horn!
9am: They’re off, led out by our three lead cyclists and full of PB hope!
At the 5k point it looked pretty close between the three lead men and it remained that way for the entire race with the top three ladies staying in the same order too.
Top running from everyone, special Arena mentions to Richard Clayton on his 10k PB in 33.12, Tara Shanahan (37.49) on yet another strong and consistent race to place 2nd female and of course, Caroline Hoyte who not only finished first female but took the course record too in a time of 36.15. Looking at the final set of results it is worth mentioning that we had 10 Vet 70 men competing with the first one Malcolm Kemp coming over the line in a time of 46.18.
1st – Matt Bradford (MV40) 32.38 ( co-founder of the Sussex Road Race Challenge)
2nd – James Skinner (MV40) 32.42
3rd – Richard Clayton (M Senior) 33.12
1st Caroline Hoyte (MV40) Course Record 36.15
2nd Tara Shanahan (MV40) 37.49
3rd Elspeth Turner (MV50) 38.16
Linda Schofield – (FV40) 38.24
Geraldine Moffatt – (FV50) 40.40
Michelle Bradshaw – (FV60) 47.42
Tom Woolley – (MV40) 35.54
Stuart Mills – (MV50) 34.59
Alan Buckle – (MV60) 40.15
Thank you to all of the super volunteers from Arena and the wider community who gave up their morning to support the club. For those of you who missed the opportunity to be part of the team next year’s race is 9am 18 October, get it in your diary!
We have had some great feedback so here is a few comments that highlight how much your support was welcomed.
- It was such a great event yesterday, brilliantly organised and can’t wait to run it again next year.
- thank you and to all the marshals, thoroughly enjoyed the race #hoveprom10k
- The marshalls were great! Big thanks to all
- The marshals were amazing every single one of them clapped and cheered and a special mention to the tail runner I got a PB THANKS
- Fantastic morning, fantastic marshals, thanks to all that made it happen
- Thank you loads! It was brilliant to be so welcome as a wheelchair racer and your marshals were truly fabulous!!! Well done all!!
- Great event, ran like clockwork so must have been a lot of work behind the scenes. Good chocolate too!
- Well organised as ever. Thank you. Perhaps turn up the heating next year. Very good that there was no bottled water and all that stuff.
- Thank you, great event and as the others have said, we’ll organised and the marshals were fantastic. Also thank you all for getting up so early to clear and set up the course
- Well organised and very friendly marshals – great event, thanks!
- Great event, absolutely destroyed my PB, and yes a shame bit to have another medal for the collection but with such a reasonable entry fee you can’t argue. Looking forward to next year
- Tuck shop was delicious!
- As everyone has said top marks to the super enthusiastic marshals!
Many thanks and happy running
Co – Race Directors
Brigitte and Michele.