Beckley 10K: Jeff Pyrah powers to dominant victory

Runners set off at the start of the 2018 Beckley 10K, including race winner Jeff Pyrah (red vest). Pictures by Simon Newstead
Runners set off at the start of the 2018 Beckley 10K, including race winner Jeff Pyrah (red vest). Pictures by Simon Newstead

Some 195 runners completed the 14th staging of the M&S Electrical Beckley 10K this morning (Sunday).

They enjoyed ideal conditions for the popular but challenging rural run along the scenic lanes around the pretty village, with sunny skies, mild temperatures and a light breeze.

Conditions were ideal for the 2018 Beckley 10K this morning

Conditions were ideal for the 2018 Beckley 10K this morning

Jeff Pyrah, of Rye Runners, was a runaway winner in 35 minutes and 34 seconds - three seconds slower than Kieron Booker’s winning time last year.

See also: * Beckley 10K: Around 200 runners expected for event’s 14th year
* Poppy Half Marathon: Entries set to close this weekend
* Hastings United beat Three Bridges thanks to Bamba brace
* Tate scores from centre spot as Little Common draw 3-3

Hastings Runners took second and third places via Dale Saxby and Darren Barzee in 39:21 and 39:28 respectively. In fact, Hastings Runners provided four of the first nine finishers and seven of the top 20.

Incidentally, just three runners broke the 40-minute barrier compared with 12 in 2017.

In stark contrast to the men’s event, the women’s race couldn’t have been closer.

Some more of the near 200-strong field set off on their way round the challenging rural course

Some more of the near 200-strong field set off on their way round the challenging rural course

Francesca Gardner (Weald Tri Club) narrowly took the honours from Sophie Smith after finishing 23rd and 25th overall respectively in the same time - 46:08. Debbie Humbles (Hastings Runners) was third lady in 47:09.

A two-mile fun run/walk took place alongside the main race, and a short children’s race was held shortly beforehand.

A true community race, the Beckley 10K is organised jointly by local race management company Nice Work and raises money for the Beckley Village Centre, where it starts and finishes. The event was Nice Work’s very first race 14 years ago.

Beckley 10K leading finishers (gun times): 1 Jeff Pyrah (Rye Runners) 35:34, 2 Dale Saxby (Hastings Runners) 39:21, 3 Darren Barzee (Hastings Runners) 39:38, 4 Daniel Rathbone (Brighton & Hove City AC) 40:15, 5 Andrew Watson (Hastings Runners) 40:57, 6 Dave Hunneman (Hastings AC) 41:03, 7 Keith Haynes (Ashford & District RRC) 41:17, 8 Alexander Wilson 41:27, 9 Paul Burchett (Hastings Runners) 41:35, 10 Steven Butcher 41:41, 11 Chris Hawkes (Hastings AC) 42:16, 12 Dave Turner (Hastings AC) 42:17, 13 Andy Lee (Hastings Runners) 42:32, 14 Gavin Wood 42:47, 15 Andrew Button 44:35, 16 Peter Cross (Belgrave Harriers) 44:51, 17 A. Maynard (Hastings AC) 44:53, 18 Graeme Grass (Hastings Runners) 44:56, 19 Andy Knight (Hastings Runners) 44:57, 20 Andrew Nicklin 45:00, 21 Nick Bridger (Hastings & Rother Tri) 45:48, 22 Paul Webbe 45:53, 23 Francesca Gardner (Weald Tri Club) 46:08, 24 Dale Scowen (Hastings Runners) 46:08, 25 Sophie Smith 46:08.

Runners set off at the start of the 2018 Beckley 10K

Runners set off at the start of the 2018 Beckley 10K