A total of 29 members of Chichester Runners took advantage of the break in weather on Sunday for the final race in the series of the 17 which have made up this year’s West Sussex Fun Run League.
After starting on the first day of the year at the aptly named Hangover 5 at Hill Barn, Worthing, the league has taken its competitors from 18 clubs across the county over a variety of challenging terrains and distances.
Chichester’s own course in May was a change this year and wound its way over the picturesque paths in Goodwood Country Park.
Nearly 100 of the club’s members have taken part raging from mutli-winner James Baker right through to members of the beginners and foundation groups which the club have successfully nurtured over recent years.
Over Sunday’s undulating Denne Park course in Horsham it was long time member Mike Moorcroft who had the honour of leading the club home for the first time in his career.
He was 80th and was followed by Fred Austin in 90th, Tim Brown 95th and Chichester’s first lady home, Aleksandra Vargin, who was 97th overall and 13th woman to bring in the club’s only maximum ten bonus points of the day.
It was a day for the ladies as the next three highest bonus-points scorers were all women, gaining nine points each, with Elizabeth Robinson 153rd overall (F25), Vicky Balandis 156th (F26) and Jo Prosser 173rd (F34).
The rest of the squad among the 460 finishers in the race were ex-chairman Tom Blaylock 146th, Marcus Hammerton 155th, Peter Dunne 168th, Jan Hill 175th, Persephone Hagan 200th (F41), Tracy Lockyer 209th (F45), Wim Amir 225th, Kevin Lockyer 228th, Sue Baker 235th (F56), Peter Shaw, still going strong as an over-70, 249th, John Betts 267th, another ex-chairman Tony Cooley 269th, Nadia Anderson 270th (F69), Peter Anderson, who has excelled as the only club member to have completed all 17 races, 286th, Jill Renson 296th (F87), Julie Cleeves 305th (F92), Wendy Whelan 308th (F95), Simon Thompson 318th, Rachel Dekker 323rd (F104), Gillian Brown 379th (F143), Michelle Daniels 389th (F151), Helen Wilkinson 409th (F166).
The squad have a well-deserved rest from league action for just over eight weeks, although many of them will be in action in the Sussex Cross Country League and other road and multi-terrain races in the meantime.
Final League table
1 Lewes AC 1992pts
2 Hove Hornets 1979
3 Portslade Hedgehoppers 1963
4 Burgess Hill Runners 1866
5 Worthing Harriers 1851
6 Lancing Eagles 1710
7 Saints & Sinners Crawley 1676
8 Arunners 1606
9 Chichester Runners 1602
10 Horsham Joggers 1437
11 Fittleworth Flyers 1407
12 Worthing Striders 1200
13 Henfield Joggers 1145
14 Haywards Heath Harriers 1044
15 Arena 80 1023
16 Steyning AC 1009
17 Crawley Run Crew 959
18 Goring Road Runners 538
A Chichester team of 16 travelled Horsham for the opening fixture in the Sussex Sportshall League and battled hard against some fierce opposition.
While individual Chichester victories were hard to come by there were promising performances from many of the cross-country squad who used the event to hone speed over the shorter format.
Sam Cato was on very good form in the under-13 six-lap race, finishing second to a dominant Haywards Heath athlete. Noah Collins had a good run in the four-lap, and he and Cato combined for a speedy eight-lap paarlauf.
In the same age group Seb Fenmor Collins ran a good six-lap and the trio scored good points for the club in long jump, vertical jump and speedbounce.
For the under-11 boys there was a new quartet of Harry Clarke, Jake Courtney, Ellis Fisher and Ethan O’Donnell.
For the under-15 girls, Amelie McGurk and Cerys Dickinson ran good four-lap races and used their stamina well in the eight-lap paarlauf.
With Issy Isitt opting for the two-lap sprint, the three also gained good marks in shot, long jump and vertical jump as did Grace Bishop for the under-13s.
Millie Isitt and Ellie Courtney showed good speed over the two-lap sprint for the under-13s and teamed up for the club’s third paarlauf of the day.
In the under-11s, the club had another three newcomers with Iona Sherwood, Louisa Fenmor Collins and Maisie Watson all gaining valuable experience.