Ask Eastbourne athletes to raise cash for charity... and they run a mile

There's a mass of news and results from Eastbourne Rovers, Run Wednesdays and Hailsham Harriers in our latest local athletics round-up

Friday, 19th November 2021, 12:26 pm
One of the Eastbourne Rovers' one-mile races

More than 80 athletes took up the challenge by Eastbourne Rovers AC to come and race one mile.

Athletes from Sussex clubs and as far afield as Bournemouth were seeded into six races starting with the nine/ten-minute runners, building up to the fastest sub-six-minute runners.

The first male on the day was Alex Riley from Brighton who ran an impressive 4.52.14, closely followed by Andrew Ridley.

Eastbourne Rovers juniors who did well in the schools' cross country

One of the highlights of the afternoon was the sprint for third 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 5.05.34.

The quickest female was Freda Pearce who as an U15 ran a fantastic 5.50.79 for a personal best. Second Rover was Sian Heather who was also the second female home in 6.08.86 and Raya Petrova(U15) was third with 6m18.58.

Other fine performances in their age groups came from Ilya Korchev (U15) who clocked 5.11.21 and training partner Fin Lumber-Fry (U13) who ran a PB of 5.22.51.

The races attracted a lot of masters athletes with Eastbourne’s Keith Maxell (M40) coming first in his race in 5.09.73 and Richard Davies (M35) recorded a PB of 5.12.72 and Steve Hutchison (M45) did 6.05.43.

Hailsham Harriers at Ashdown Forest

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 third in her race and Chairman Mike Thompson (M60) romped home in 6.53.13.

In race one 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 eight minutes.

Amy Phillips was just behind the boys with 8.23.32and the youngest runner Emmie Waller 9.46.4.

In race two Vinnie Hardly (U13) finished in fine form for second place and Sophie Homer was first girl – 7.42.93.

Run Wednesdays at the East Sussex cross-country fixture

Other positions were: 3rd- Jacob Edeston, 5th Byron Roberts, 7th Ruby Watson and 9th Jemma Crawford.

In race three first place went to Jonah Messer in 6.06.53, second was Teddy Jones (6.07.96) and first girl was Josie Usher 6.04.47. Isabella Watkins came eigthth and Byron Roberts ninth.

In race four 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. Senior Ben Skinner achieved a personal best of 6.15.64 for third place with Stephen Marsden fifth in 6.22.09 and Tom Pethrick (U15) was eighth.

Race five saw many Eastbourne Rovers athletes gaining personal bests. First was Keith Axell, second Fin Lumber-Fry, fourth Finton Pearce (U17) with 5.37.62 and sixth Freda Pearce.

In race six it was a sprint from the start: 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, won by Kevin Baker (M55) from Brighton with a putt of 10.24m. Eastbourne’s Katherine Brown threw 5.98 – 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, a visit or a holiday and the charity supports families across the area.

Other money 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.

Because of refurbishment at the Eastbourne Sports Park, Rovers have lost their facilities.

Eastbourne Rovers used the mile races 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.

If you are interested in track and field athletics or road running and cross country visit www. – they cater for nine-year-olds to masters.


The Eastbourne Rovers Juniors showed their strength whilst representing their schools at the recent Eastbourne Primary Schools Cross Country at Hampden Park.

Lead coach Jenny Brown said: “Most of the children are new to our traning group so these results are a really good starting point from which to move forward.”

Many of their performances have gained qualification into the next round.

If any children over the age of nine are interested in Eastbourne Rovers, training nights are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5.30-6.30pm at the athletics track at the Sports Park, Cross Levels Way.

Contact the club via the website to enquire -


After a two year break, the East Sussex Cross Country League is back.

The league (ESCCL) consists of 14 teams and in a season there are six cross country events organised, each of about five miles.

The season runs from October to March and each course varies from open downland to muddy woodland. The latest event took part in the beautiful Ashdown Forest.

There was driving rain and blustery conditions but this did not stop an excited group of 402 runners taking part on the undulating, muddy course. Seventeen Hailsham Harriers braved the tough elements with Graham Woolley first Harrier home in 38:07 (63rd overall), followed by Carl Barton 38:44 (70th), Sarah Underwood 40:09 (86th), Mark Pope 40:26 (93rd), Andy Ruffell 40:47 (100th), Helen O’Sullivan 43:03 (143rd), Graham Purdye 43:10 (146th), Chris Little 44:07 (167th), Jenny Katsoni 44:27 (176th), Gary Smith 45:18 (194th), Hannah Deubert-Chapman 47:28 (220th), Tina Macenhill 48:55 (243rd), Sam Neame 51:37 (276th), Victoria Little 51:59 (282nd), Julie Chicken 52:18 (287th), Marcos Jarvis 53:14 (303rd) and Lisa Philips 53:51 (317th).

Hailsham Harriers thanked Crowborough Runners for hosting the first race of the season, along with Graham and Lorraine West from the ESCCL who compiled results.


Run Wednesdays started the 2021-2022 cross-country season with a large team participating in the Ashdown Forest five mile course.

The race is the first in the East Sussex Sunday Cross Country League, with 14 teams from across 18 clubs competing in six events over the winter.

This is the first year Run Wednesdays have competed in the series since becoming an affiliated British Athletics club. They are scored in their own right as a club after three years combining with Polegate Plodders and Seaford Striders.

Top runners for the club at Ashdown Forest included Chris Lamour and Magdalena Schorner in the seniors, Steve Offord and Hannah Webb in 40-plus class, James Griffiths, Hannah Eddleston and Nicola Henze in the 45 plus, Phil Wood, Juliet Bradley and Fenella Maloney in the 50 plus, Jonni Andrews, Danny Garbett, Evelyn Griffiths and Helen Chatterton in the 55 plus and Mary Olsen in the 65 plus.

Cross country captain for Run Wednesdays Colin Burbage said: “In 2017 there were only about eight runners from our club competing in the league. However, once race reports started coming in and filtering around the club (including stories of fun filled muddy races followed by cake and pub visits) our numbers started to swell. Run Wednesdays are now competing as a standalone team fielding up to 60 runners in each race.”

Thanks go to Steve Offord and Lynns Travel of Eastbourne who provide transport for the team for the league events. Follow the club’s progress in the Herald and at the Run Wednesdays Facebook page.