Once again the Poppy half marathon races SOLD OUT over 1,000 runners took part on Saturday in what turned out to be a fabulous day of distance running along Bexhill Promenade.

This year’s event – which was the 12th running of the annual Poppy Half Marathon – marked the 75th anniversary of D day .. once again to commemorate we had 10 runners carrying an Army Bergen weighing 50lb (22kg).. Big thank you to these guys for stepping up and taking up such a challenge, hats of to Dean Baker, Lee Holdaway (Race Director), Paul Holdaway (TL Sports Events) , Jo Holdaway, Joe Mendes, David Gill two serving Paras Joe Allan and Lee Fantham showing how fit our elite forse’s are finishing in a time of 2hrs 4 mins and 2hr 28mins, respectively

There were 394 finishers in the Poppy Half Marathon, 348 in the Poppy 10K, 209 in the Poppy 5K and 78 in the Poppy Youth Mile and lots of little ones in the 500 mtrs kids race

The races always start and finish from the lawns outside the De La Warr Pavilion and follow a promenade course along the seafront..

The heavy rain and storms of the previous week finally cleared just in time for set up of the race and continued thoughout the 5k,10k, Poppy Half and kids races ..

The Poppy 5K kicked off at 10am, Ross Brocklehurst (Halisham Harriers) went from the gun with a winning time of 17:21, Jack Madden (Hastings AC) came second in 17:49 and Simon Powell was third in 18:51.

Gabrielle Holland was first lady in 20:10, Lucy Hall second in 20:40 and Kate Bennett (part of the 100K Team Challenge) third in 20:50.

The Poppy 10K followed at 11am, William Carey (Hastings AC) led home a large field in 36:59. Daniel Longhurst (Medway and Maidstone AC) was second in 37:19 and Daniel O’Connell third in 38:03.

Kate Bennett (100k Team Member) was first lady in 44:19, Annabelle Lancaster was second in 45:08 and Joanne Johnson third in 45:23.

Soon after came the Poppy Youth Mile, won by Austin Tavener Stephenson in a very respectful time of 5:54. Daisy Connor was the first girl – and second overall – in 6:34.

We then all paid our respects with the playing of the National Anthem, followed with The Last Post and a two-minute silence. At 12:30 our local Bexhill Mayor, Cllr Kathy Harmer, fired the horn to start the 2019 Poppy Half Marathon.

Oliver Hall was the clear winner in a great time of 1 hour, 18 minutes and 7 seconds, Matthew Braybrooke (Army Triathlon Association) came in second 1:22:21 and Matt Southam (Eastbourne Rovers) completed the top three in 1:22:46.

Lucy Biddlestone (Lavender Tri) produced a great run to finish first lady – and 8th overall – in 1:26.24, Georgina Anderson (Hove Hornets) was second lady in 1:40:28 and Caroline Robins was third in 1:41:27.

For the second time the Poppy had a 100k Team challenge, in which 10 teams of three runners each ran the 5K, 10K and Half Marathon consecutively, each athlete running 36k in total.. we had some fine performances with the winning team – Team A – 2 Ladies and 1 Proud Foot coming home in an accumulative time of just over 9 hours we also had Hollie Cradock and Andrew Farley completing the event as individuals.

The Race Director Lee Holdaway, The Charity and organisers of the Poppy Half Marathon would all like to say a huge thank you to all the supporters and helpers who turned out, Sussex Search and Rescue, Kevin Daly who took control of the commentary of the day and did a grand job, 1st Sidley Scout Group who worked tirelesly handing out the medals, Danny Sallows (GMP Accountants) and team who spent all day at the Aid station, Lorna Donaldson, Theresa Bennett at the helm of the finishers food station and merchandise stand, and the guys that worked to set up and dismantle in the rain. JP, James Bennett, Adam, Tom and many many others..

To the suppliers David Issacs of Meridan Marquees, Running Imp, JM Waste management, Jay of Carrolls Fruit and Veg, Alan of Ricochet Signs, Bookers Hastings, Photographer Mark Dimmock, Andy and all the great staff at De La Warr for opening the doors and providing so much help and support on the day, Ben of White space, Lee Security Team.

Also huge Thanks to to the sponsors of the event Jay Wootten of Hastings Direct, Danny Sallows senior partner in Gibbons Mannington & Phipps LLP, Pip Parry Yazoo Drinks, UK Elite Sports Timing and TL Sports Events.

SEE YOU ALL NEXT YEAR Saturday 7th Nov 2020.