Over 80 athletes took up the challenge by Eastbourne Rovers Athletic club to come and race 1 mile. Athletes from local Sussex clubs and as far afield as Bournemouth were seeded into 6 races starting with the 9–10-minute runners building up to the fastest sub-6-minute runners
The first Male on the day was Alex Riley from Brighton who ran an impressive 4min52.14, closely followed by Andrew Ridley. One of the highlights of the afternoon was the sprint for 3rd place in the fastest race when Rovers Stuart Pelling’s 400m training came in useful, as he pipped the Arena 80 and Seaford athletes on the line in 5m05.34.
The quickest female was Freda Pearce who at only U15 ran a fantastic 5m50.79 for a personal best. 2nd Rover was Sian Heather who was also the second female home in 6m08.86 and Raya Petrova(U15) was 3rd with 6m18.58.
Other high performances in their age groups came from Ilya Korchev (U15) who clocked 5m11.21 and training partner Fin Lumber-Fry (U13) who ran a PB of 5m22.51.
The races attracted a lot of master’s athletes with Eastbourne’s Keith Maxell (M40) coming first in his race in 5.09.73 and Richard Davies (M35) recorded a PB of 5m12.72. Steve Hutchison (M45) – 6m05.43. Representing Rovers ladies, Jemma Crawford (W35) ran a very respectable 6.31.43 and Anna Chaplin (W45) took the lead in her race with 6.41.08 with Cara Maker(W45) coming 3rd in her race and Chairman Mike Thompson (M60) romped home in 6.53.13.
In race 1 Stephen Davey came first followed by Eastbourne’s youngest athletes - Charlie Davey, Tommy Homer, Jack Shires, Alex Homer, Isaac Davenport, Dexter Thomas who all ran under 8 mins. Amy Phillips was just behind the boys with 8.23.32and the youngest runner Emmie Waller 9.46.4.
In Race 2 Vinnie Hardly (u13) finished in fine form for 2nd place and Sophie Homer was first girl – 7.42.93. Other positions were 3rd- Jacob Edeston, 5th Byron Roberts, 7th Ruby Watson and 9th Jemma Crawford.
In race 3 first place went to Jonah Messer in 6.06.53, 2nd Teddy Jones (6.07.96) and first girl was Josie Usher 6.04.47. Isabella Watkins came 8th and Byron Roberts 9th.
In race 4 first was Dermot O’Rourke (U17) in a personal best of 6.04.47. second Steve Hutchison and first girl was Katie Brown (U15) in 6.25.58. Seniors Ben Skinner achieved a personal best of 6.15.64 for 3rd place with Stephen Marsden 5th in 6.22.09 and Tom Pethrick (U15) was 8th.
Race 5 saw a lot of Eastbourne Rovers athletes all gaining personal bests. First was Keith Axell, second Fin Lumber-Fry, 4th Finton Pearce (U17) with 5.37.62 and 6th Freda Pearce.
In Race 6 it was a sprint from the start and so some good performances. 3rd- Stuart Pelling, 6th- James Stephen – (5.10.18, 7th Ilya Korchev, 8th- Richard Davis, 10th Bryn Smith 5.23.57 and 11th Ben Brown- 5.24.43.
The chosen field event for the day was the shot putt, this was won by Kevin Baker (M55) from Brighton with a putt of 10m24.
Eastbourne’s Katherine Brown threw 5m98 – so close to her aim of getting over the 6m mark.
Donations made with event entries and on the day supported ‘The children with Cancer Fund ‘based in Polegate. The charity enables children having treatment for cancer to have a ‘wish’. This could be in the form of a present, experience a visit, go on a holiday and the charity supports families in the area.
Other monies raised will go towards Eastbourne Rovers purchasing a much-needed new clubroom, so they have a base to meet on club nights and when they hold matches. Due to refurbishment at the Eastbourne Sports Park the Rovers have lost their facilities.
Eastbourne Rovers used this event as a pilot to test out online entry systems and electronic timing. The plan is to put on another bigger event in the summer with more races and field events for all ages.