Baker smashes big race course record

13/11/11- Bexhill Poppy Half-Marathon. Race winner James Baker (1:13:01) Photo by Steve Hunnisett
13/11/11- Bexhill Poppy Half-Marathon. Race winner James Baker (1:13:01) Photo by Steve Hunnisett

A field of almost 600 runners completed the fourth Poppy Half Marathon in Bexhill on Remembrance Sunday.

The pace was also record-breaking with Chichester AC’s James Baker, pictured, running strongly throughout to break the course record by over half-a-minute with a winning time of 1:13:01.

Baker claimed an emphatic victory by finishing almost two minutes clear of second-placed Daniel Anderson, of Hastings AC, in 1:14:58. Victoria Park Harrier, Dominic Elsby, came third in 1:15:47.

Women’s champion Tina Oldershaw, of Paddock Wood AC, dominated the field to finish ninth overall and more than seven minutes clear of the second female, Chelle Palmer-Harris (Worthing Harriers), who finished in a time of 1:24:18. Jennifer Fitzgerald took third in 1:34:48.

In the team competition, the two Hastings clubs were victorious. Hastings Athletic Club clinched the men’s honours through and Hastings Runners picked up the ladies’ prize.

The race is supported by local club BRT – Bexhill Runners and Triathletes - and prior to the adult event, over 50 children ranging from age 2 to 14 took part in the 500m, 1K and 2K races.

See Friday’s Bexhill Observer for full coverage of the Poppy Half Marathon.