New event sees hundreds of runners discover Petworth Park

Action from the Discovery Run / Picture by Louise Adams
Action from the Discovery Run / Picture by Louise Adams

IT’S new – but it could be here to stay.

West Sussex’s newest athletics event, the Affinion Discovery Run, saw Petworth Park transformed into a sea of runners on Saturday. And the popular opinion seemed to be that it was the perfect venue for a challenge that ought to become a regular event.

The run was divided into a series of different races of varying distances, promising something for everyone.

A half-marathon, a 10k, 5k and youth run all attracted plenty of participants while a kids’ fun run had 155 pounding the park.

In all, more than 1,000 people took part – some serious athletes, some fun and charity runners, all of them enjoying the challenge.

Fine weather helped the day go with a swing and there was even a canicross run for those who wanted to take their dogs along on the route.

The half-marathon was won by Ken Caulkett of Aberystwyth AC in 1hr 22min 03sec, beating his nearest rival by more than three minutes.

The 10k honours went to Mark Furth, who crossed the line in 36.53 and the 5k was won by Horsham Joggers’ Neil Boniface in 16.37.

Honours in the 5k youth run also went to a Horsham athlete – Jacob Cann of Horsham Blue Star Harriers took it in 20.49.

Following the grand finish to the races in front of Petworth House, participants and spectators enjoyed a packed sports festival which included stands from Balega, i-Run, Lucozade and Salming.

Warm-up time at Petworth Park

Warm-up time at Petworth Park

Perfect Motion Physio and Rise Sports Therapy were on hand to relieve sore muscles and there was plenty of activity from Guildford International Volleyball Club, Stoolball England and Westgate Leisure, plus catering and much more.

Event director Louise Cornish said: “Congratulations to everyone who took part in the event. It’s been fantastic to see so many people enter, turn up and complete the event, and to see all the spectators here to support them, enjoy the day and sports festival.

“The stunning scenery throughout Petworth Park offered the perfect backdrop to the event and we look forward to returning in the future.”

Gillian Marshall from Cranbrook Joggers, who took part in the 10k, commented on how much she enjoyed the event and was probably speaking for many.

The stunning scenery throughout Petworth Park offered the perfect backdrop to the event and we look forward to returning in the future.

Louise Cornish

She said: “The route was spectacular and the scenery amazing. Everything about the day was well organised and it was lovely to have cheery marshals – everything was covered. Where can I sign up for next year?”

Prizes were awarded to the following:

Discovery Half: Female - 1 Amy Harris, 2 Liz Young, 3 Lucy Hilton; Male - 1 Ken Caullkett; 2 Matthew Taylor; 3 Matthew Jolly.

Discovery 10k: Female - 1 Sorcha Cotter, 2 Penny Abbott, 3 Kerry Scott; Male - 1 Mark Furth, 2 Jamie Corbett, 3 David Castle. Discovery 5k:

Female - 1 Caroline Wood; 2 Donna Read; 3 Rebecca Moreton; Male - 1 Neil Boniface; 2 Mark Burrows; 3 Mark Rakobowchuk. Discovery Youth 5k - Female: Emily Muzio; Male: Jacob Cann.

See the full results and images of the event here and see a picture special in the Midhurst & Petworth Observer - out now

Runners' dogs got in on the act too

Runners' dogs got in on the act too

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