Chichester runners’ efforts brighten the day in Brighton

A number of the Chichester Runners’ seniors have been testing themselves over muddy cross-country terrain and half-marathons on the roads.

A number of the Chichester Runners’ seniors have been testing themselves over muddy cross-country terrain and half-marathons on the roads.

One of the biggest half-marathons in the South took place at Brighton on Sunday with more than 5,000 finishers in its 21st running.

A previous winner of the event, Chichester’s James Baker finished in a creditable sixth place in a time of 1hr 11min 38sec in spite of being hampered in recent weeks by injury.

Next home was Helen Pattinson in 1.35.10 for 521st position followed by John Betts, 1,041st in 1.42.00.

Philip Allen was 1,162nd in 1.42.26; Catherine Betts 1,707th in 1.48 27, Fiona Lewis 1,968th in 1.49.30 and Sally Humphrey 3,815th in 2.07.37.

Elsewhere, Kevin McGreal posted a sub 1hr 30min time in the Wokingham half-marathon in wind and rain which slowed times for all the field.

And a total of 17 Chichester athletes braved similarly-poor conditions for the Valentines four-mile event, part of the West Sussex Fun Run League programme.

Battling through the mud, Baker showed the rest of the field a clean pair of heels with a victory by nearly two minutes in 20min 32sec. Chichester had their first one-two for a few races with Chris Bird runner-up and with John Leonard in seventh, the trio gained maximum bonus points.

Next to finish was club chairman Tom Blaylock in 46th closely followed by Katie Bird in 50th overall and eighth in the women’s category, for another maximum ten bonus points.

The rest of the suqad gave the club a total of 74 points out of a maximum of 85 to keep Chichester well in touch with the top teams at the head of the league.

Remaining finishers were Colin Harley in 57th, Dave Reading 59th, Terry Healy 78th, Tony Cooley 98th, Sue Barty 132nd (22nd female), Sue Baker 136th (24th female), Jane Leonard 138th (26th female), Dave Barty 178th, Sarah Richardson 196th (55th female), Dave Grunwell 208th, Jill Renson 225th (69th female) and Lynn Harley 235th (75th female).

* Chichester’s uniors have been in indoor Sportshall action - for a full report plus a picture, see the Observer next week (March 3).