Hastings AC sets hot pace at wintry Ashdown Forest

The Hastings Athletic Club contingent at the East Sussex Sunday Cross-Country League meeting at Ashdown Forest. Picture courtesy Terry Skelton
The Hastings Athletic Club contingent at the East Sussex Sunday Cross-Country League meeting at Ashdown Forest. Picture courtesy Terry Skelton

Hastings Athletic Club achieved some splendid results in atrocious conditions at the latest East Sussex Sunday Cross-Country League meeting.

The local club came second overall in the team standings and achieved a number of lofty individual placings at a very wintry Ashdown Forest last weekend.

With rain falling on top of the snow and ice which was still lingering around from a few days previously, in addition to some deep puddles, runners certainly had plenty to contend with. If that wasn’t enough, visibility was poor due to the thick fog.

Gary Foster led the Hastings AC contingent in second place overall, despite falling on four occasions and slipping a further six or seven times, costing him crucial ground.

Foster was also a runner-up in the previous round of the season at New Place Farm in December and this time beat the winner of that event, Peter Woodward (Crowborough).

Kieron Booker ran really well to finish fourth - just a day after coming from the back of the field to end up fifth in the Hell Down South HellRunner event at Longmoor Camp in Hampshire.

Ziggy Henry, winner of the children's race at Ashdown Forest. Picture courtesy Terry Skelton

Ziggy Henry, winner of the children's race at Ashdown Forest. Picture courtesy Terry Skelton

Blake Mitchell came 10th despite suffering from a heavy cold and Stuart Piper was next across the line in 11th. Paul McCleery made the top 20 in 19th and Ben McCallion was 33rd.

Hastings AC’s women were also on fine form. Stacey Clusker was the leading lady, with Claire Burnham third, and Riz Maslen and Caitlin Millar also made the top 10.

Young prospect Ziggy Henry followed up his victory in the under-11 boys’ race at the previous weekend’s Sussex Cross-Country Championships by winning the children’s event.

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