Out in the Field with Herald chief reporter Annemarie Field: Hats off to the runners... and the spectators

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DESPITE a very occasional jog around Willingdon, I very much adhere to the Jeremy Clarkson school of thought that you should never run unless you’re being chased by a tiger.

I never run these days, not even for a bus, although I have been known to break into a gentle trot to get to Maxims before last orders. So hats off to those hardy souls who took part in last Sunday’s Eastbourne Half Marathon in the pouring rain and cold wind.

Two of my colleagues, Derren Howard and Richard Morris, were running so some of us from Herald Towers went down to support them and after seeing them off at the start, went up to one of the cafes on the seafront to cheer them on.

Despite the appalling weather there were lots of spectators and having run the half marathon two years ago myself, I know how much it means to runners to get a few cheers, claps and words of encouragement from spectators and marshals as you stagger along.

Two young lady marshals who, according to many runners, deserve a pat on the back are Jenny Ablett and Rebecca Macdonald from Eastbourne College who were marshals at Sovereign Harbour.

Runners say the two sprightly ladies were enthusiastic and encouraging, stood there cheering everyone on for more than two hours in the wind and rain and were like a ray of sunshine.

And I must also give a mention to the local scouts at Eastbourne Pier who were handing out sweets to runners in the pouring rain.

IT’S that time of year already and this week sees the start of the little yellow people that are Jurgen Matthes students arriving back in Eastbourne to learn English.

Jurgen Matthes has been bringing German students to town for the last 30 years and love ‘em or hate ‘em, you have to admit they bring an awful lot of income into the town each summer.

Not only do they take over the cinema, nightclubs, restaurants and other attractions in the town en masse, they have helped keep many of the town’s businesses afloat in these austere times not to mention providing a bit of extra income to hundreds and hundreds of local families who put them up during their stay in Eastbourne.

I personally think Jurgen Matthes deserves a medal for all that he is has done for putting Eastbourne very firmly on the map and boosting the town’s tourist economy.

Seeing as 2012 is JM’s 30th year of bringing students to Eastbourne, wouldn’t it be nice if the student organisation and the Matthes family were honoured for their sterling efforts by the borough council?

I don’t mean paint the pier yellow or anything like that but how about giving Jurgen Matthes the Freedom of the Borough? Just a thought......