Big field tucks in to Pudding Dash

17/12/11- Christmas Pudding Dash at Ashburnham Place.
17/12/11- Christmas Pudding Dash at Ashburnham Place.

A cracking field lined-up for the Christmas Pudding Dash at Ashburnham Place on Saturday.

The popular five-mile run yielded 248 finishers and there was not a single piece of Ashburnham’s lovely grounds left available for car parking.

Race director Martin Burke, of professional event management company Nice Work, said: “The wonderful-to-wake-up-to blue sky and sunshine encouraged many to join us.

“So it was a bit manic, with the last minute rush to sign on threatening to overwhelm us, but I think we got everybody out to the start line who wanted to run.”

Adam Clarke led the pack home in a time of 23 minutes and 30 seconds. The Hastings Athletic Club talent crossed the line 39 seconds ahead of runner-up Mark Dooley (Herne Hill Harriers).

Ross Skelton (Hastings AC) was a further 25 seconds adrift in third, while Susie Casebourne (Bexhill Runners) was the leading lady in 30:22. Hastings AC picked up the men’s and ladies’ team prizes.

Some of the competitors were taking part in the first ever race and a number of the runners donned festive fancy

dress to add to the Christmas atmosphere.

The full article, including a list of the top 50 finishers, and more photos will appear in Friday’s Observers.