Video reaction: Jeff Pyrah

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Jeff Pyrah admitted he exceeded even his own expectations with a magnificent performance in the Hastings Half Marathon.

Wearing his Hastings AC vest, the 41-year-old produced a brilliant run to win the Sussex Championship after finishing fourth overall in 1:10:35.

Jeff Pyrah comes home to finish fourth in the Hastings Half Marathon. Picture by Steve Hunnisett

Jeff Pyrah comes home to finish fourth in the Hastings Half Marathon. Picture by Steve Hunnisett

He said: “I think I did exceed my own expectations. I wanted to do sub 71 (minutes) and I did 70-and-a-half so I’m pretty pleased with that.”

Pyrah isn’t running any of the April marathons this year and instead prioritised the Hastings Lions Club-organised event yesterday (Sunday) morning.

“I felt quite strong today,” he continued. “I’ve focused on this one this year which is probably the reason I ran well today. I got into a nice little group of people I know and we ran together all the way to the top.

“Because I’m from Hastings (AC) that really helped. Everyone was cheering me on and I got away from them about halfway, and then it was trying to keep pushing all the way really.”

A former British orienteering champion and ultra runner, Iden-based Pyrah is a lifelong runner with a marathon personal best of 2:28. He and wife Sam Murphy run natural running store The Emperor’s New Shoes and coach Rye Runners.

“I was brought up on hills and I really like them,” added Pyrah, who came eighth in last month’s Brighton Half Marathon and will be running a marathon in the Alps this summer. “I’ve been training on them in Hastings with some other Hastings guys so I was well prepared.”