Jempson’s Peasmarsh car park, on the beautiful sunny Bank Holiday Sunday morning, saw about 185 people from across the South East, and including some from Rye Runners, line up at the start of this Grand Prix event for a challenging 10 mile run around the lanes of Peasmarsh and Beckley. Everyone seemed to arrive in a cheery mood but as the start time got closer the expressions turned to anxious and determined. For some the goal was to come in the first few; for the rest of us it was the hope that we might complete the course without mishap.
The race, like so many locally, was organised by Nice Work which is headed up by Martin, Cathy and Liam Burke and their small team. If you see a race is organised by Nice Work you know it will be a very well run affair with lots of good humour thrown in and fig rolls, jaffa cakes and a medal on offer at the finish. This race, which was to help raise funds for Peasmarsh village hall, was no exception. The runners were wonderfully supported at every turn in the road by friendly volunteer marshals who offered encouragement and water and ensured we didn’t get lost along the way.
The sun shone as we ran, shuffled and sometimes staggered around the very hilly course to the finish line. It took in some wonderful views of the area which were sometimes so beautiful that, just for a second or two, it made you forget the pain.
Then at last, there was the finish line. The cheers from competitors who had already finished ringing out encouragement for us to do a ‘sprint’ finish to the line, and then it was all over. Exhausted, phew – but what a great feeling!
If this tempts you to take up running for the first time or come back to it then join us in a Rye Runners session on a Saturday morning or a Wednesday evening. They are a wonderfully friendly group of people whose aim is to do their best and to encourage all in their personal goals. Most of us will never feel the tape across our chest at the finish line but by completing a race we are all winners.
Photos: Katie Gurney, John Minter