Last Sunday morning things were noticeably different in central Rye. Lots of vehicles arriving earlier than normal, many of the occupants wearing fluorescent jackets or tops and most looked a lot fitter than some of our other visitors. These were not tourists, they were runners, apparently over 400 of them, arriving in town for the Rye Ancient Trails run over 30K or 15K, depending on your level of fitness and for the longer run it took you to Peasmarsh, Beckley and Northiam.
The registration area and assembly point was in the playing field opposite the primary school where the runners booked in then made their way to the High Street. Nice Work, the organisers, gave a safety briefing to the assembled runners, outlined the route then left it to Paul Goring, our town crier, to do his thing. He announced the race in his inimitable fashion adding his own touch of humour ending with the words, “when you hear the bell, run like hell!” and with a ring of his hand bell, at approximately 9:30am the race started.
Crowds of onlookers had gathered by this point, mobile phones capturing every moment, their husbands, wives and partners either taking part or supporting from the side lines and for some of the Rye Runners who were unable to take part they did a sterling job as marshals.
Off they went and what fantastic weather they had, not too hot, no wind and no rain, perfect. The winner of the 15K event was James Crombie from Hastings Athletic Club and the 30K race was won by Ben Hebblethwaite from Ashford AC.
An event not to be missed next year, quite a spectacle seeing so much colour moving so quickly around the town and congratulations to the organisers for keeping everyone safe and informed.
Image Credits: Nick Forman .