Photo by Lorraine Bulbeck
Sunday June 2
Martin Read – Sports Reporter
In warm, humid conditions, Southampton AC’s Alex Wall-Clarke romped home first in the 10K race after taking an early lead over a strong field.
Clear winner Alex completed in 33 minutes and 7 seconds telling the District Post: “It is such a hot day, but it was very enjoyable to win because its quite a tough course with a long drag up to the finish!” First lady home, Rachel Gorman of Brighton Phoenix finished in 38.59, also leading most of the way round, saying: “I run a lot, but this was my first time at Horsham and my first Grand Prix race, so I’m pleased to win on my debut here. The course was more challenging than I envisaged, so it was perhaps just as well that I didn’t know what was in store!”
The outstanding multi-terrain circuit, starting and finishing at Horsham Rugby Club has two laps, mainly on quiet open roads, including country lanes and a woodland bridleway stretch. Ahead of the main event there was a 1200 metre fun run around the rugby field for under 16 year olds, won – at the third attempt – by Reuben Marsden from Christ’s Hospital. 11 year old Emily Carman, who runs for Worthing, was the fastest girl, reprising her last year’s win commenting: “I’ve competed here four times now and this is my third win – I just love running!”
Entrants for both races came from across the county – including clubs at Crawley, Crowborough, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Heathfield, Henfield, Lancing, Midhurst, Seaford, Uckfield, Wadhurst, Worthing, and of course, Horsham Joggers – and further afield. And, the main event was particularly well supported, despite a clash with the Race for Life in Horsham’s town centre. The 10K and fun runs are staged by Horsham Joggers and marshalled by some 80 volunteers, with profits donated to local charities. The runners clearly enjoyed the experience, praising the efficient organisation of Race Director Geoff Parker and his hard working team.
Horsham’s highly popular 10K race is in the Sussex Grand Prix Series in which points are scored at each participating event, counting towards the championship trophy. Every runner received a race memento, with prizes awarded in the various categories, and all were chip-timed. Again pacemakers carried flags and ran with those wishing to run in a specific time. Each flag displayed a set number of minutes and 10K runners wishing to complete in that time just had to stay with their chosen pacemaker – followers were then shepherded to the finish line in their desired time. Post race the runners celebrated their achievements with refreshments in Horsham Rugby’s Clubhouse, many undauntedly stating their eagerness to return with the intention of bettering their time on the third Sunday in May 2020.