Foul weather was a feature of the 10th Poppy Half Marathon, 10k and 5k but that did not deter 850 runners from making the effort to run and remember the fallen at Bexhill On Sea, Sussex on Armistice Day, Saturday 11 November.
This was the third year that rain and wind tested the resolve of competitors at the TL Sports Events
fixture that starts outside the iconic De La Warr Pavilion on the seafront. This amazing Art Deco building was built in 1935 and reopened in 2005 following extensive restoration as a contemporary arts centre with one of the largest galleries on the south coast.
The impressive surroundings and history of the venue were not lost on the competitors who produced some exciting racing on the promenade route in the testing conditions. The half marathon course comprised two 8k loops plus the 5k lap to finish. There was also a 10k or 5k option utilising the shorter circuit.
Victory in the 13.1 mile race was in doubt until the De La Warr Pavilion was reached for the last time. Vegan Runners' Brendan O'Boyle (1:16:54) eventually prevailed by three seconds from Paul Hunt (unattached). Lingfield Running Club's Daniel Quinn (1:21:49) was third.
The women's half marathon podium was topped by Rachel Hillman (1:25:59) from W45 Sue Fry (Hailsham Harriers, 1:26:47) and Lorraine Smith (1:31:21). There were 504 finishers in 3:11:43.
The 10k saw 218 runners completing the course in 1:29:31. Top three finishers were Ed Plager (38:17), John Owens (M45 Abingdon AC, 39:44) and Trevelyan Harper (Run Wednesdays, 40:08). Liz Lumber (42:32) was a top ten finisher to win the women's race from Ann Anscomb (48:47) and Amy Scelcey (49:12).
One circuit sufficed for 122 runners in the Poppy 5k and the winners were Oliver Hall (17:22) and Aislinn Darvell (20:18). All finishers received the superb poppy-themed medal shown above and full results are available through runABC South race listings.
Image courtesy Poppy Half Marathon