The Phoenix AC annual races attracted well over 300 runners to Preston Park in Brighton on Saturday despite an endless stream of drizzle and some chilly winds. There were 12 races in all, with juniors competing on a variety of increasing distances and seniors given a choice between the Friday Ad sponsored one mile race, and a four lap 5 mile course.
This was the first year both men and woman took on a new 5 mile route. There was a noticeable, but not deadly incline each lap, followed by a steady downhill section to prepare them for the next. Jo Pepper (Enfield and Haringey) won in 25:09, from Finn McNally (Brighton Phoenix) in 25:40 and James Baker (Chichester Runners AC) in 25:46.
The women's results saw an Arena 80 1-2-3, led by Caroline Hoyte in a competitive 28.07 from Holly Wheeler in 29:40 and Julie Briggs in 30:36. The battle for first place between Phoenix AC duo John Marinko and Nigel Herron in the one mile race provided much excitement, with John crossing the line just three seconds ahead in 5:30.
There was also a healthy number of local youngsters taking part in the accompanying junior races. Race officials from Sussex CAA also helped the day run smoothly, whilst sponsorship from Geneva Investment Group, Saucony, Friday-Ad and the newly opened Sweatshop enabled helped make sure the event went ahead.