THERE was a record turnout for Worthing Harriers’ four-mile Lido fun run on Sunday.
It was the second successive West Sussex Fun Run League event to have a record number of entries, following Goring Road Runners’ annual Hangover-5 race earlier in the month.
In total, 724 runners took part in the four-mile race, which sees athletes head west along Worthing Promenade before returning to finish at The Lido.
It proved to be a successful day for the Worthing Harriers team as their runner, Kev Mason, won in 21min 52sec.
Mason was a little surprised with the success as it was his first race in six months, following a stress fracture, and he said: “I’ve been injured for a few months and I wasn’t really expecting to come home in first place, really.
“I’ve just been on the comeback trail in the last few weeks, so to finish in first place was fantastic.
“During my comeback, I have not managed to put together many sub six minute miles, so to string four back-to-back was also good.
“I ran the race a minute quicker last year but to win was great and I’m delighted.
“My injury is still not fully fixed, so I am not at 100 per cent but slowly I am getting back to my best and to win here helps out with my confidence.”
Michael Caffyn, of Arunners, took second place in 22-33, while Paul Leak claimed the final podium spot in 22-45.
In the womens’s race, Haywards Heath Harriers runner Kim Lo took first place in an impressive time of 24-58.
Lo was shocked with her race win and said: “I really was not expecting to win this race. I have not done this race for a few years as I have not long had a baby, so to return and finish first is great.
“I have only recently got back into training, so this will give me all the confidence I need going forward.
“This was my fastest time that I have ever posted at Worthing, so that was also great.”
Amanda Swann, of Hove Hornets, took second place in 25-11, with Grace Henderson of Worthing Striders third in 26-16.
Lewes were the senior winners on the day with 85 points to move up to third in the West Sussex Fun Run League table. Arunners, last season’s champions, are top, ahead of Portslade Hedgehoppers on alphabetical order.
As well as record numbers attending the event, a wheelchair competition was also held for the first time.
Chris Nash was the victor in the 1k race and thanked the organisers for setting up the wheelchair race.
He said: “It’s nice that they have set up a wheelchair race and it was a pleasure to come down and be a part of it.
“I live in Bournemouth but decided to come down for the day when I heard they were holding the race.
“It provided me with a great opportunity to get some race practice ahead of the new season and I hope it happens again next season.”
There were 80 entries in the junior race, where Harriers had more success as Samuel Guy took top spot in a time of 5min 14sec. Luke Ellard finished just three seconds later, while Alex Halfacree, of Arunners, was third in 5-26.
In the girls’ event, Harriers’ Hannah Binstead won in 5-54, while Jade Young was second in 6-08 and Hannah Halfacree was third in 6-44.
Harriers lead the junior table, from last year’s champions, Arunners.