Sunday, March 25, 2012


Hastings Half Marathon round up

This Sunday sees the 28th Hastings Half Marathon, organised by the Lions Club of Hastings, for the community.

After recent many Half Marathons in the area, now we come to 'The Big One', it has all been building towards, both in numbers, but especially in quality.

Ben Fish (Blackburn) is returning after his win at Hastings in 2010, and will face stiff opposition from the Kenyan and Ethiopian Athletes. It will be good to have a good race up front.

The leading female is a quality athlete Jane Muia from Kenya, who is going for the course record at Hastings (71:13), but UK Athlete Justina
Heslop (coached by four times winner Birhan Dagne), is moving up from her fast 10Km races to half marathon distance, and could spring a surprise if she stays with the pace over the early miles.

It will be interesting to see how Eastbourne Half winner Yvette Grice will finish.

Bur apart from the top of the field, Hastings has so much more to offer in character and fun. From The Extreme Ironing man Phil, William The Conqueror in full battle dress (race Number 1066 of course), the Bexhill rowers going for a world record as a pantomime horse, the team of 'Mankini's' (ladies turn your eyes away), the team running the route twice, quiz king egg head CJ De Mooi, and so many fancy dress innovations that it will seem like a carnival.

Spectators are welcome to view the Runners at many points around the Route as it circumnavigates the town of Hastings.

The route will have more entertainment for the runners, with the added addition of Battle Town Band and playing half way along Queensway, to add to the other bands, choirs and disco's, and the famous “Pots and Pans Brigade” on The Ridge.

Over a hundred charities and needy causes are represented, and it is hoped that St. Michael's Hospice, celebrating its 25 years, will raise a record sum of over £25,000.

For those taking part in Sport Relief, they will be running 13 miles instead of one, and in the Mini-Run for ages 11-16, they are running just over a mile.

The Hastings Half Marathon is for all abilities, and we wish all participants a good day on Sunday.

Eric Hardwick M.B.E.
Race director
Organised by The Hastings Lions Club
28th Hastings Half Marathon on the 25th March 2012.
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P.S. I was very pleased and honoured to hear this week that I have been fortunate to be chosen to carry The Olympic Torch at Hastings on Tuesday 17th July. This is a very great honour, and something I will carry with pride for

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