Cruise Control at Crowborough

Monday 25th November 2019

Cruise Control at Crowborough

The 2019 Sussex Grand Prix season came to  a happy conclusion at Crowborough on November 24th with (subject to official confirmation) emphatic PHX wins in both Team competitions. 

Simon Heath has ended the season as individual SGP Men’s champion with an unprecedented perfect 3000 score, thanks to  wins in all six of his scoring races, whilst female champion Rachel Gorman all but matched Simon’s achievement, finishing on 2997 . All results are still provisional but as things stand Rachel will be joined in the Individual Top 20 Women by an unprecedented 5 more PHX runners – Amelia Culshaw, Georgia Flowers, Caz Garrett, Alison Moore and Gill Checkley, with Tony Rickwood, Paul Whelpton and Will Russell joining Simon in the men’s Top 20. Add to that age category wins for Amy Gamblin, Caz Garrett, Tony Rickwood, Lance Bellers, Phil Grabsky, Paul Whelpton and Malcolm Kemp, and 2nd/3rd places for Georgia Flowers, Val Avella, Amelia Culshaw, Matt Lui and Andrew Haig. And a particularly  welcome feature of this season has been the current strength of our women’s team - boosted by a bumper contingent of new female members joining us this year- which  has enabled us to recover from what was by our standards a poor start to the season in the early SGP fixtures at Hastings and Rye.

Crowborough  10k is a challenging and unusual 2-lap course, very tricky to pace correctly, with a headlong downhill dash for the first 2.5K before you splash through a ford and tackle a fierce kilometre-long climb hampered by wet shoes and socks, unless you decide to lose a few seconds on your rivals by  taking a detour via the adjacent narrow footbridge. Particularly dispiriting for those of us who struggle to maintain a run up the steepest part of the hill on the second time around yet  fail to make any significant impact on the gap between ourselves and those ahead who have abandoned running and slowed to a walk. 

Nothing dispiriting about the end result for us though. A great turnout of 28 PHX runners ensured the day would end happily for us, and the haul of  race trophies picked up on the day was an added bonus to our overall SGP victory.  We came away with a win in the women's team competition, thanks to our top 3 finishers Bobby Searle, Amelia Culshaw and Emily Budd, and second place behind an outstanding youthful Tonbridge quartet for our men thanks to our top four finishers Simon Heath, Austen Hunter, Tony Rickwood and Paul Whelpton - and age category wins for Caz Garrett, Tony Rickwood, Lance Bellers, Paul Whelpton and Malcolm Kemp. We also took the opportunity to present Simon belatedly with his Phoenix Best Newcomer Award - one of the easier decisions in  the run up to Awards Night!

Crowborough 10k Results       SGP Provisional Results

Many thanks to Mike Parks for some great photos of the race.

Bobby Searle calm on the hill

Austen relaxed at the ford

Cyril the winner (just) v Pothole in the ford

Caz displaying Kipchoge-like serenity on the hill

Simon with Best Newcomer Trophy