ATHLETES from as far afield as Belgium came together to compete in the Eastbourne Half Marathon on Sunday.
More than 1,250 runners completed the 13.1-mile course around the gale-swept town on Sunday morning (March 6). Spectators lined the streets to cheer on runners as they funnelled out of Princes Park and set off on the challenging run.
Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd said, “This year’s Eastbourne half marathon was a huge success. I spent all morning there with Barnaby Bee - who was fantastic with all the kids - and was very impressed with the organisation. All volunteers and all doing their bit for our town – brilliant.”
Joggers of all shapes and sizes pounded through Meads and up a steep hill which saw most racers reduced to a slow plod. Participants made up for last time as they flowed down the other side of the hill, only to hit a wall of wind on the lower promenade. The route took the pack of runners back past the Sovereign Centre, giving labouring athletes a cruel glimpse of the finishing line - so near, yet so far. Into the final third of the race competitors meandered through Sovereign Harbour, twisting and turning for four miles and sapping any of the participants’ remaining energy.
But organisers had one last trick to play on the weary runners, making them do one final lap of honour around Princes Park as crowds clapped them in. Eastbourne ironman Yvette Grice romped to victory in 1:25.27 in the women’s section in what must have been a breeze for the Team Bodyworks XTC triathlete – she came 33rd overall. Victoria Mallinson of Wimbledon Windmillers came in second in 1:28.41. James Baker of Chichester Runners and Athletics Club came in first for the men in an impressive 1:14.18 – second-placed Daniel Anderson of Hastings Athletics Club trailing by almost three minutes. Full results are below and continue over the page.
St Wilfrid’s Hospice and Chestnut Tree House were the event’s chosen charities.