Hundreds take part in great day of running

Runners set off at the start of the 2017 Poppy Half Marathon. Pictures by Simon Newstead
Runners set off at the start of the 2017 Poppy Half Marathon. Pictures by Simon Newstead

Nearly 900 people took part in a fantastic day of distance running on Bexhill seafront.

The 10th Poppy Half Marathon races, organised by the charity Raising Money for Good Causes, took place on Saturday.

Competitors embark on the 13.1-mile challenge of the Poppy Half Marathon.

Competitors embark on the 13.1-mile challenge of the Poppy Half Marathon.

The charity raised more than £26,000 from the runners taking part, £1,300 from on-the-day merchandise sales, a £315 on-the-day donation from Marion Head, and £162 from old £1 coin and cash donations.

The popular annual event again comprised a half marathon, 10k, 5k and children’s races, all of which started and finished outside the De La Warr Pavilion.

In often drizzly but thankfully calm conditions, the Poppy 5K kicked things off at 10am. Oliver Hall (Bracknell Athletics) was a clear winner in 17 minutes and 22 seconds - 21 seconds clear of runner-up Ross Brocklehurst (Eastbourne Rovers AC). David Ayling was third in 17:56.

The top three ladies finished fifth, sixth and seventh overall. Aislinn Darvell (Eastbourne Rovers AC) was first in 20:18, followed by Lucy Hall (Bracknell Athletics) in 21:07 and Rebecca Edwards in 21:09. In all there were 122 finishers.

Some of the more than 500 competitors in the Poppy Half Marathon.

Some of the more than 500 competitors in the Poppy Half Marathon.

The Poppy 10K followed at 11am, immediately after a two-minute silence for Armistice Day. Ed Plager was the runaway winner in 38:18, John Owens (Abingdon AC) came second in 39:44 and Trevelyan Harper (Run Wednesdays) was third in 40:11.

Liz Lumber, who was seventh overall, was comfortably the first lady in 42:33. Anne Anscomb was second in 48:55 and Amy Skelcey third in 49:30. There were 218 finishers in total.

The Poppy Youth Mile was next and the 25 finishers were led home by Oliver Green in 6:08. Daisy Connor (Bexhill Runners & Triathletes) was the first girl in 6:35.

After former X Factor contestant Hannah Bradbeer sang the National Anthem, it was time for the main event, the Poppy Half Marathon. The top two runners, Brendan O’Boyle (Vegan Runners) and Paul Hunt, were neck and neck all the way before O’Boyle prevailed by just three seconds in 1:16.55.

The De La Warr Pavilion provided an attractive backdrop for the start and finish of the various races.

The De La Warr Pavilion provided an attractive backdrop for the start and finish of the various races.

Daniel Quinn (Lingfield Running Club) was third in 1:21.53. Rachel Hillman produced a fine run to finish 10th overall and first lady in 1:26.00. Sue Fry (Hailsham Harriers) was second lady in 1:26.48 and Lorraine Smyth third in 1:31.24.

Pip Parry, of Yazoo milk drinks, was at the finish line handing out a range of yummy products, while GMP Accountants partner Danny Sallows and other staff members once again marshalled and sponsored the main aid station with water, food and medals for the kids.

The 1st Sidley All Saints Scouts group turned out in force to assist on the day, while Sussex Search and Rescue sent a great team to help out with registration and man the refreshments tent throughout the race.

Cooden Security Group did a marvellous job looking after the key points on the run course, and the organisers would like to say a big thank you to the De La Warr Pavilion and its staff.

More than �26,000 was raised from the popular event on Saturday.

More than �26,000 was raised from the popular event on Saturday.

Leading finishers (gun times) - Poppy Half Marathon: 1 Brendan O’Boyle (Vegan Runners) 1:16.55, 2 Paul Hunt 1:16.58, 3 Daniel Quinn (Lingfield Running Club) 1:21.53, 4 Daniel Lynch 1:23.19, 5 James Wright 1:23.29, 6 Matthew King (Haywards Heath Harriers) 1:24.10, 7 Simon Coppard (Portslade Hedgehoppers) 1:24.29, 8 James Willingham (Orpington Road Runners) 1:25.27, 9 Philip Handrihan (Hastings AC) 1:25.41, 10 Rachel Hillman 1:26.00, 11 David Kofoed 1:26.12, 12 Robert Game (Cousley Wood Trailers) 1:26.16, 13 Marcus Holloway 1:26.21, 14 Sue Fry (Hailsham Harriers) 1:26.48, 15 Daniel Grimwood (Paddock Wood AC) 1:26.59, 16 Richard Vandermark 1:27.07, 17 Jamie Beecham (Greenwich Tritons Tri Club) 1:27:26, 18 Ben Sharman 1:27.38, 19 Steve Heron 1:29.14, 20 Rolando Hutchinson 1:29.50, 21 Jonathan Rudderham 1:30.18, 22 Ed Osborne (Beckenham Running Club) 1:30.27, 23 Gary Gee 1:30.43, 24 Chris O’Dowd-Booth 1:31.07, 25 Jason Russell (Haywards Heath Harriers) 1:31.12, 26 Andrew Holman (Tri Tempo Eastbourne) 1:31.17, 27 Lorraine Smyth 1:31.24, 28 Stuart Adesilu 1:31.51, 29 Pete Buckingham (Paddock Wood AC) 1:32.07, 30 Emma Hollands (Paddock Wood AC) 1:32.07.

Poppy 10K: 1 Ed Plager 38:18, 2 John Owens (Abingdon AC) 39:44, 3 Trevelyan Harper (Run Wednesdays) 40:11, 4 Kieran Price (Hastings Runners) 41:03, 5 Chris Brandt 41:51, 6 Michael Lions (Heart and Sole) 42:21, 7 Liz Lumber 42:33, 8 Leigh Smith 43:17, 9 Mark Jones 43:46, 10 Kevin Key (Tri Tempo Eastbourne) 43:49, 11 Gary Manley 44:06, 12 Elliot Miller (Petts Wood Runners) 44:09, 13 Jaswant Dhanda (Reigate Priory AC) 44:32, 14 Matt Dargan 46:08, 15 John Gage 47:03, 16 Mark Stattersfield (Eastbourne Rovers AC) 47:03, 17 Simon Bourne 47:18, 18 Colin Burbage (Run Wednesdays) 47:38, 19 Stephen Large (Paddock Wood) 47:38, 20 Simon Newstead 47:43.

Poppy 5K: 1 Oliver Hall (Bracknell Athletics) 17:22, 2 Ross Brocklehurst (Eastbourne Rovers AC) 17:43, 3 David Ayling 17:56, 4 Craig Hardwick 18:36, 5 Aislinn Darvell (Eastbourne Rovers AC) 20:18, 6 Lucy Hall (Bracknell Athletics) 21:07, 7 Rebecca Edwards 21:09, 8 Mark Dobbs 21:10, 9 Tony Smith 21:46, 10 Kelvin Lowes (Hastings AC) 22:00, 11 Russell Rukin 22:12, 12 Ollie Goulden 22:42, 13 Joshua Noakes 22:43, 14 Erik Chapman (Born Ready Fitness) 22:49, 15 Tom Avann 22:50.

Poppy Youth Mile: 1 Oliver Green 6:08, 2 Jacob Hamsley (BRT) 6:12, 3 Scott Smith 6:14, 4 Ferdi Ibrahim (Bexhill Runners) 6:23, 5 Max Phipps (BRT) 6:24, 6 Daisy Connor (BRT) 6:35, 7 Fin Lumber-Fry 6:36, 8 William Green 7:14, 9 Naomi Frais (BRT) 7:18, 10 Katie (Hastings AC) 7:22.

Eventual winner Brendan O'Boyle (race number 400) and runner-up Paul Hunt lead the way on the opening lap of the Poppy Half Marathon.

Eventual winner Brendan O'Boyle (race number 400) and runner-up Paul Hunt lead the way on the opening lap of the Poppy Half Marathon.

Daniel Quinn (race number 439), who finished third, and Daniel Lynch (337), who ended up fourth, tussle for third place on the opening lap of the Poppy Half Marathon.

Daniel Quinn (race number 439), who finished third, and Daniel Lynch (337), who ended up fourth, tussle for third place on the opening lap of the Poppy Half Marathon.