The recent Hastings Half Marathon Presentation Evening took place at the Azur, St Leonards, recently and attracted the largest attendance yet.
The Hastings Half Marathon is organised each year by The Lions Club of Hastings and has raised thousands of pounds for charity and good causes in its 34 year history.
The course sees a steep climb up Harley Shute and a long haul up Queensway before going along the Ridge and descending to the Old Town for a home-run along the seafront.
Race Director Eric Hardwick MBE said: “Runners of all ability and their family and friends enjoyed this year’s celebration of the event.
“Many new groups witnessed prizes and awards given out by this year’s Female Winner Maria Heslop, assisted by Hastings Mayor Cllr. Judy Rogers for the first half, and then the second placed Male Charlie Joslin-Allen for the second half of the evening.
“It was good at first to see All the youngsters in the Mini Run, received their Awards, followed by the school Team Awards. IsaacElham and Harmony Cooper also collected their Reg Wild Shields.
“Newly engaged couple Gary Foster and Stacey Clusker (he actually proposed to her as she finished the race) were the stars of the Local Awards.
“But the Biggest Star of the Night was Kelly Bird.
“Whilst presenter Andy Knight was giving the citation for The Brenda Boyle Spire Shield of Courage, the whole audience went silent to hear about Kelly’s fight against cancer which started just over a year ago ,and her determination to raise funds for Royal Marsden Hospital.
“Besides running the half marathon for the first time, she also encouraged another 45 supporters to join her, with raising monies at the same time. They Raised over £9,500.
“It was very emotional when Kerry came up for Her award. Many were in tears, including herself.
“There were special Lifetime Awards for supporting the Half Marathon to Graeme Mouncsey, who has been marshalling for over 30 years ,and to Sam Lambourne of the Jog Shop for his support as the event Retailer for 34 years. He has now finally retired after this year’s event.
“Laura Holt picked up the 1066 Cake for finishing in 1066 position.
“It was good to see new groups and organisations collecting prizes and awards, such as Born Ready Fitness, Heart & Sole Group, Cherry Fit, Judges Bakery and HTH Club.
“There was even a special appearance by Donald Trump (alias Andy Lee) who won a prize in the Fancy Dress section.
“The Charity Teams of Pestalozzi, Team Bird and St.Michael’s Hospice, also received cheques from The Hastings Lions Club.
“The Winner of the Dyer Charity Shield for the group raising the most for a Charity was Team Bird, who raised £9500 for The Royal Marsden Hospital.
“Highwoods Golf Club Team were 2nd with raising nearly £3,200 for St.Michael’s Hospice.
But the Biggest Winner on the Night was the overall amount raised for needy causes and charities, which, although still a moving figure, was just on the £100,000 mark.
“The Hastings Lions Club would like to thank all those who attended, and all the sponsors who supplied the prizes and trophies for The evening,and to Maria, Charlie and The Mayor for presenting them.
“And a Big thank you to all our volunteers and sponsors, as we could not put on this event for the town without you.
“As SAGA have completed their 10 year sponsorship of the Mini Run, we are now looking for a new sponsor for this event. Please contact us if you are interested.
“The winners of this year’s Sponsor Form Draw were Bill Solly; Patrick Mammone; Highwoods Golf Club; Nicola Peters and Kelly Bird, who all received voucher prizes.
“Souvenirs of the event are available online at www.hastings-half.co.uk, where you can also enter for next year’s Event on Sunday 24th March 2019. Entries are open now.”
The Half Marathon took place on a bitterly cold Sunday morning this year and was won by Great Britain international Adam Clarke.
Clarke, who was wearing his Hastings Athletic Club vest, completed his first half marathon in one hour, eight minutes and 35 seconds. Hastings AC talent, Rhys Boorman, produced a good run to finish sixth in 1:13.37.