Legions of runners prepare to battle the Hastings Half

Hastings Half Marathon 2015.
Photo by Steve Hunnisett SUS-150322-163446001
Hastings Half Marathon 2015. Photo by Steve Hunnisett SUS-150322-163446001

An army of Saxon and Norman soldiers will be taking to the streets on Sunday (March 20) for the 32nd annual Hastings Half Marathon.

2016 is a special year as it marks the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

And what better way to commemorate this historic occasion then asking runners to pick a side and dress up as Norman or Saxon soldiers for the 13.1 mile race?

The 1066 theme will also be reflected in this year’s finishers’ horse brass, which boasts a special design to mark the 950th anniversary.

The event is organised by the Lions Club of Hastings.

The race will start in Sea Road, St Leonards, at 10.30am and there will also be a seafront mini-run for children aged 11-16 while the main event is taking place.

Once again, spectators will turn out in force around the 13.1-mile course, which circumnavigates the town, to cheer the runners on and various bands will be playing as well.

Most of those running will be raising funds for good causes, and it expected that a large number will be running in support of St Michael’s Hospice, which was badly affected by the devastating fire of last summer.

Meanwhile there is an extra incentive for the serious runners to cross the finish line first.

A £1,000 bonus has been put up by Rob Magri, of Premier Travel Chauffeurs, for the first male and female runners to beat the current male and female course records.

This is no mean feat, with the female course record of 1.11.13 unbroken since 1993.

The male course record is 1.01.37.

Other runners to look out for will be Sussex snooker ace Mark Davis (race number 1507) and Andy Chadwick (3028), who will be running the course backwards.

Once again the Hastings Half Marathon will be an international event, with countries from across Europe and beyond represented, including nearly 50 visitors from Hastings’ twin towns in Holland and Belgium.

Other runners taking part in the race hail from countries including France, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Russia,Switzerland,Italy, the United States, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Germany.

To find out more about Sunday’s race, please see our sports pages or visit www.hastings-half.co.uk