A RECORD number of runners took part in Arunners Running Club’s five-mile Beach Run last Wednesday.
The event, which is part of the West Sussex Fun Run League, had 462 athletes complete the course in perfect conditions.
After a loop around Littlehampton West Green, the runners headed down to run along Littlehampton seafront and Lewes Athletic Club’s Lewis Sida was first home in 27min 45sec.
Sida, who was competing in the Beach Run for the first time, was delighted to get the victory on what is a tricky course and said: “It was my first time in this event and I was not quite sure what to expect coming into the race.
“But it is a lovely course and I’m absolutely delighted to have won it.
“It’s a little challenging at times, as you have to hop over the groynes and running on sand is never easy but it’s great you are out on the beach running for large parts.
“The aim for me now is to continue my work towards making the Lewes team for the South Downs relay. Our team won it last year and we are hoping to clinch the veterans’ title this time around.
“This win will give me a great confidence boost ahead of that and there is no better preparation than winning a race.”
Steyning’s Ewan Dunlop was second in 28-03, while Andy Massingale sprinted home to edge third place in 28-24.
Kim Lo recorded her second West Sussex Fun Run League success of the season as she was the first lady to finish in 31-42.
She was also the winner of Worthing Harriers’ four-mile Lido fun run in January and the Haywards Heath runner said: “I really enjoyed the race and it was my first time running along the sand of the Arunners course.
“I found it a little tricky with the shingle on the way back and climbing the groynes towards the end but to get the win was great.”
Worthing Harriers’ Michelle Palmer-Harris was the second woman across the line in 33-32, with Lewes’s Megan Taylor third in 33-33.
Lewes won the race with a maximum 85 points to take over at the top of the West Sussex Fun Run League from Arunners, who drop from first place for the first time since January, 2014. Worthing Harriers were second on the night and Saints & Sinners, from Crawley, were third.
Arunners’ Alex Halfacree won the junior race in 3min 49sec. Worthing Harriers’ Lukas Harber was second in 4-21 and Vale School’s William Shanahan was third in 4-25.
In the junior table, Arunners increased their lead at the top to 116 points over Steyning.
Arunners chairman Phil McErlain said: “I was delighted with the way the event went. We had a record number of runners, 462 seniors and 134 juniors, which is about 16 per cent more than last year.
“All the West Sussex Fun Run League races have attracted increased numbers during the last year or so. I think this is partly due to the Olympics and partly due to concerns about a healthy lifestyle.”
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