What’s not to like about a race that ends at a country pub where your number can be exchanged for a pint of craft ale (other beverages are available)? The Kings Head Canter 5K is an August Bank Holiday Monday tradition in East Sussex and for once brilliant sunshine helped to produce near course record times.
After two consecutive washout years the 2016 edition was blessed with perfect conditions as the 242 runners set off from Chiddingly Village Hall for the point to point race to the Kings Head at East Hoathly.
The pace at the front was as hot as the weather, resulting in a win for Howard Bristow (Brighton and Hove City AC, 15:27), just seven seconds outside the course record set by Geoff Hill back in 1998.
The finish was an exciting sprint won by Bristow by two seconds from club-mate and sub-2:19 marathon runner, Kevin Rojas. Third place, in a Brighton club lockout, went to James Turner (15:49) who was part of the large Canter for Sight charity team.
The winning woman was Rebecca Moore (Chichester Runners AC) who finished in the second quickest ever women's time of 17:12, just two seconds slower than the 2002 course record of 17:10 by Caroline Hoyte (Arena 80), who finished second this year in 17:55. Izzy Coomber (Lewes AC, 17:59) was a close third.
You do not have to run 16:48 for 5k to enjoy a pint of the 1648 Brewing Company’s ale at the Kings Head finish, as everyone is suitably rewarded. The logistics of this race are interesting. Competitors can park at the finish and take a warm up across fields to the start or park at the start and warm down to collect their car. Either way, runABC’s advice is to take a driver if intending to savour the micro-brewery’s product on an empty stomach after dashing between the two villages!
Full details and results at Kings Head Canter website.