Tom leads home the hardy Harriers but there are plenty of ‘winners’

start of the children's race in victoria park
start of the children's race in victoria park

Key race for most Haywards Heath Harriers was the home town 10-miler on Sunday.

The Sussex Grand Prix event was won in a superb time of 53.46 by Thames Valley Harrier Chris Smith.

In the second year of the Sussex Living Marathon, the Haywards Heath leg was modified a little, starting on South Road and then heading into Victoria Park for a two-lap route taking in Ashenground Woods and Bolnore Village.

Tom Mullen, who finished second overall in the marathon in 2.44.00, was seventh on Sunday in 1: 01.21. He was followed home by clubmates Phil Hardaway 10th in 1:02.26, Rob Watts 11th 1:03.32, Steve Dallman 16th 1:05.03 and Mark Davies 21st 1:05.46.

Other Harriers’ times in a 400-strong field were Jason Russell 1:07.19 , Richard Sutor 1:07.19, Barry Tullett 1:09.46, Andy Biggs 1:11.23, Ben Adams, 1:13.00, Ann Sinnett, 1:14.17, Dave Kirby 1:16.10, Jack Chivers 1:16.50 , Stuart Austin 1:17.19, Tim Swainson 1:18.21, Carl Bicknell 1:18.51, Abbey Fisell 1:19.56, Jemir Sedaj 1:21.29, Michael Essex 1:22. 27 Mark Sykes 1.24, Colin Light 1.24, Steve Horn 1:28.44, Peter Cobbett 1:29.12, Hos Davies 1:40.49, Natalie Chivers 1:41.25, Michelle Pearce 1:44.29 and Alison Shore 1:53.05.

There had been nearly 300 competing at East Grinstead the previous day, when Mullen finished a magnificent second in 1:03.41 and was followed by Phil Payne 6th 1:06.53, Davies 10th 1:09.19 and Jason Russell 13th 1:10.17.

In the final race, four Harriers ducked under three hours for the overall event and there were plenty of age group wins, including by Ann Sinnett and Marion Hemsworth. In a field of nearly 400, Mullen again pulled out all the stops to finish second in 38.57 and was followed by Davies 5th 40.52, Payne 10th 41.38 and Russell 12th 42.18.

First lady Harrier was Mags Lazell in 46.04, followed by Sinnett 48.22.

Other times, to name but a few, were Dave Kirby 48.31, Hemsworth 55.51, Carl Bicknell 51.07, Michael Essex 51.25, Lynne Roberjot 59.05, Peter Cobbett 59.59, Hos Davies 1:00.37, Joanne McDonald 1:02 and Terry Bryan 1: 02.35.

Haywards Heath mayor John Sabin took an age prize on Monday.

Special mention should go to Harriers’ Lucie Venables who as project manager for Mid Sussex Council worked closely with outher councils to ensure the weekend went smoothly.

It was great to have two Olympians as race starters (hockey legend Richard Lemen in EG and running legend Tim Hutchings in HH).

England U18 rugby captain James Chisholm did the honours at Burgess Hill.

In the children’s races, Christian Wilkinson (9) and Jessica Courtney (10) excelled and others prominent were Adam Dray, Francesca Pitcher, Owen Mills, Meadow Davies and little three-year-old Jemimah Davies, who competed on all three days.