Sussex best for Phoenix at West London

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Brighton Phoenix set a Sussex best at the South of England cross-country relay championships at Wormwood Scrubs on Saturday with a fine fifth place.

Sussex participation in this event has never been very strong and for many years no Sussex club has travelled to the event.

Phoenix, who missed the County event the previous weekend, made an excellent showing at the West London course.

Max Pickard brought the team into 6th place on leg one in 14:42; Declan Neary’s 2nd leg of 14:23 took them up to third; after Ollie Johnson’s run of 15:17 on leg 3 they slipped back to 6th. Despite Archie Davis running the 9th fastest leg of the day in 13:48 the gap was too big to catch the top three, however they finished a credible 5th only 50 seconds behind the winners Highgate Harriers.

            Steyning

One year after cancelling their Annual 10km road walk from Steyning because of extreme weather conditions almost perfect and warm conditions welcomed the competitors this year.

A good number, by current standards, of 13 walkers completed the race but it is a rather sobering thought that it was won by a talented 70 year old and the youngest competitor was in the M55 age group.

Ian Richards (Steyning), starting very fast was soon out of sight of the rest of the field, and was a minute up on his 2017 winning pace at the halfway turn point. Walking strongly Richards continued to increase his lead on the way back, to finish nearly three minutes faster than last year in 53:01s. Behind him there was quite a battle taking place with just over a minute covering the next five walkers at the turn.

On the way back David Kemp (Arena 80) who has just qualified for the WMA M60 2019 Duathlon and is fairly new to walking, pulled away to finish second in a good time of 65:48s ahead of Surrey Walking Club’s Gaston. Three minutes covered the next six  walkers.

          Hove Prom 10k

Ian Leitch (Brighton Phoenix) chalked up an impressive win in Sundays Hove Prom 10k road race in excellent conditions.

Leitch, who is now in the M40 age group put nearly one minute between himself and Brighton & Hove’s Thomas Niner clocking 31:38s to 32:34s with Colchester’s Adrian Mussett taking third spot in 33:16s.

In the Women’s event the home club’s Emily Proto clocked a nifty 38:09s comfortably clear of Bethan Male (Brighton Triathletes) who clocked 39:34s with Emma Navesey (Haywards Heath) close behind in 39:41s.