Vitality Big Half: Hastings talents shine at top event

Gary Foster at the Vitality Big Half in London
Gary Foster at the Vitality Big Half in London

Several Hastings Athletic Club distance runners recorded personal best times in the Vitality Big Half on Sunday.

That was despite gale force winds around part of the 13.1-mile London course, which led to the cancellation of the event’s mini-run and the hospitality event in Greenwich Park afterwards.

Rhys Boorman (blue vest) on his way to a personal best at the Vitality Big Half

Rhys Boorman (blue vest) on his way to a personal best at the Vitality Big Half

Gary Foster came 30th out of 13,353 finishers in a time of one hour, nine minutes and 28 seconds, beating his PB by two seconds.

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The event also hosted the British Half Marathon Championships and Foster was 27th in that competition.

Rhys Boorman finished 62nd overall in 1:11.07, beating his PB by some 100 seconds, while Rachael Mulvey continued her superb form by finishing 22nd lady in a PB of 1:21.07 and Amy Moore smashed her PB by nine-and-a-half minutes in 1:32.27.

James Mountford clocked 1:16.40, Andy Edmonds 1:35.48 and Ross Garnett 1:36.20.

St Leonards-based Ross Skelton, running for Brighton Phoenix, finished 18th overall and 12th in the British Championships in a good PB of 1:07.37.

Elsewhere on a busy weekend, two of Hastings AC’s six competitors in the National Inter-Counties Cross-Country Championships in Loughborough on Saturday achieved top 50 finishes.

Carlos Nieto-Parr finished 45th in the under-15 boys’ race in 14 minutes and 12 seconds, while Joe Body came 41st in the under-20 men’s race in 31:45. Ethan Hodges was 142nd in the latter race in 35:05.

Shannon Hopkins-Parry came 150th in the under-17 girls’ race in 16:38, while in the under-17 boys’ race, James Crombie finished 186th in 21:44 and Lewis Courtnage was 198th in 21:56.

Hastings AC was also well represented at the final round of the East Sussex Sunday Cross-Country League in Pett.

Claire Burnham won the senior ladies’ prize for the league as a whole, Lorna Watts was second in the veteran ladies 35 category and Amanda Link came third in the veteran ladies 45 group.

On the day itself, Chris Brandt led the Hastings AC contingent in 29th place overall in 35:36. He was followed by Dave Turner (34th, 35:47), Chris Hawkes (37th, 36:01), Watts (52nd, 38:11), Harry Trend (60th, 39:05), Jamie Kennedy (71st, 39:43), Paul Baxter (94th, 41:26), Link (99th, 41:42), Scott Parsons (111th, 42:36), Emma Walsh (122nd, 43:12), Katie Barlow (137th, 44:01), Joanna Body (154th, 45:37) and Paul Rackstraw (165th, 47:08).

Some of the club’s leading young distance runners, including county champions Lizzie Clarke and Isaac Elam, will take part in the English Schools’ Cross-Country Championships this coming weekend.