Athletics round-up

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Mid Sussex athletes spread themselves widely over the weekend, with Haywards Heath Harriers having representatives in Bournemouth and Chester as well as closer to home.

Some were in Bournemouth for the full and half marathon, while three others were up at the Chester Marathon. But the biggest team were just up the road grabbing medals at the Lewes Downland 10 miler, part of the Sussex Grand Prix series hosted by Lewes AC.

Phil Hardaway retained his title in fine style, taking first overall and first senior to come home with two medals.

Ann Sinnett was first female 50-54 in 1.17:34 and Marion Hemsworth first female 60-64 in 1.34:17.

Tim Hicks also ran well to complete in the top 50 in 1.15:59, and Graham Jenner clocked a pleasing 1.16:28 in a 225-strong field.

Good runs in the autumn sunshine also came from Neal Barton 1:39.46, Peter Cobbett 1.40:04 and Michelle Pearce 1.44:56. Maureen Rea and David Peel crossed the finish together in 1.54:51.

Carrying injuries, Jason Russell and Mark Davies limped around for valuable GP points in 1.19:19 and 1.20:22 respectively.

Sadly, Tom Mullen, too was hampered by injury and forced to pull out at halfway with a badly sprained ankle.

Away from Sussex, Richard Sutor did incredibly well over the undulating Chester Marathon course, taking 185th in 3.09:01, while Carl Bicknell was pleased with 3.39:03 and Kat Barrett clocked a thrilling PB of 3.53:23.

Two PBs were achieved in a tough Bournemouth Marathon. There was a superb sub 4:30 for Natalie Chivers and sub 3:30 for hubby Jack Chivers in 3.26. Natalie heads to the Athens Marathon next as part of her massive fundraising effort (www.justgiving/runnattyrun).

Phil Payne was in action too at the far from flat Bournemouth half marathon and was delighted with 12th in a PB of 1.23:50 out of a field 2,000.

Nearly 70 competed in the Clair Park run, where Paul Cousins was second in 18.48 PB and Barry Tullett third in 20.48. Young Paul Cousins was sixth in 21.08.

On Sunday a small group of Burgess Hill Runners made their way to St Martha’s Hill near Guildford for the inaugural Downslink Ultramarathon.

This new event, well organised by Sussex Trail Events, followed the entire 38-mile length of the Downslink trail, the disused railway that connects the North Downs to the South Downs.

The largely flat route and lack of scenery, plus the warm and humid conditions, made for a surprisingly hard race, but this did not seem to affect Paul Sargent.

The BHR man maintained his remarkable run of form in his first attempt at a race above marathon distance, reaching the finish line at Shoreham Harbour in second place in an incredible 4hrs 37 mins .

The winner was Centurion team runner Paul Navesey, who clocked 4.28.

Scott Percy also completed his first ultra in an excellent 6 hrs 12mins, Darren Chilcott clocked 7hrs 14mins and Jon Lavis was delighted with his perfectly paced race, finishing inside the cut-off time in 9hrs 55mins.

Meanwhile, Jonathan and Jean Leak were in Bournemouth for the half marathon, and both were delighted to achieve personal bests for the distance, Jonathon finished in 1hr 50min 36secs and Jean in 1hr 56min 12secs.