The runners are off

Runners massed for the off, race organisers in green
“When I ring the bell….”

About 250 runners massed in Rye High Street last Sunday morning, September 9, ready to take part in the Ancient Trails Run. The 30km course took the runners on a circular route along paths, farm tracks and lanes linking Rye, Iden, Beckley, Northiam, Peasmarsh and back to Rye.

About half the runners present opted for a shorter route of 15km, but they all set off at the same time at 9:30am at the urging of Paul Goring, the Town Crier who cried out: “When you hear the bell, run like hell.”

Runners stream through the Landgate

The run was organised by Nice Work, a specialist race management company, in association with the Rye Runners. Nice Work, a family business owned by Martin and Kathy Burke, organises more than 140 races across the UK each year on behalf of running clubs, charities, local authorities and private companies. Martin Burke said: “We’ve created a route that showcases the best running terrain the area has to offer while involving the local community to retain a local feel.” Sam Murphy who set up Rye Runners in August 2010 says: “We hope this will become an annual fixture.”

A group of Rye Runners breast the hill

First home in the 30km race was Andrew Donno of Eastbourne Rovers Athletics Club in 2hr 24 minutes. In the 15km race, it was Daniel Newman of Hawkinge Hurricanes Running Club in under 1hr 10 minutes, both in the seniors category. More than 50% of the total runners were classed as vets, (veterans not veterinary practitioners).

The first home for Rye Runners in the 30km race was David Brightling who completed the course in 2hr 54 minutes, and placed no. 25. Rowley Merricks was the first Rye Runner to complete in the 15km race in 1hr 16 minutes and 53 seconds. He was placed 10th. Other clubs taking part were the Horsham Joggers, the Sittingbourne Striders, the Hastings Runners and many more.

Each runner’s vest carried a GPS tracking code, capable of identifying their location at all times throughout the race. There were trophies for category winners and medals for all.


Image Credits: Kenneth Bird, John Minter, Jacqui Maxted.


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