Record field tackles big race

Runners set off in the Poppy Half Marathon on Sunday. Picture by Steve Hunnisett (eh46016a)
Runners set off in the Poppy Half Marathon on Sunday. Picture by Steve Hunnisett (eh46016a)

Clear skies greeted the record breaking field which took part in Bexhill’s sixth annual Poppy Half Marathon on Sunday.

Saturday’s torrential rain was replaced by crisp and cool conditions, perfect for the bumper crowd which turned out to watch.

Chichester Runners talent James Baker retained his title with a time of 1:11:55, more than six minutes ahead of runner-up Richard Murphy. Paul Doyle, of Ranelagh Harriers, was third in 1:19:11.

Sarah Kingston, of Worthing Harriers, took the ladies’ crown after coming home 12th overall in 1:25:29, five minutes clear of her nearest rival. In all, 775 of the 1,100 runners who registered crossed the finish line.

A spokesperson for the TL Sports Events-organised race said: “It was great to have a large crowd, while many of those who took part were quick to commend the race marshals, and those who helped at the drink and food stations.

“It had a real family feel to it with the 5oom and 1k races for the kids. Next year will hopefully feature a half and a quarter marathon, as well as a 5k. We want it to continue getting bigger and better, while encouraging people to take up the sport.”

The race, which was preceded by a two-minute silence at 11am to mark Remembrance Sunday, has been held every year since 2008 to raise money for the Royal British Legion.

In the six years since its inception, more than £5,000 has been raised, with another substantial amount expected to be donated following this year’s turnout.

See tomorrow’s Bexhill Observer for the full article, including a list of the leading finishers, and more pictures.