Sussex Grand Prix
Thursday 2nd March 2023
The Sussex Grand Prix road and trail race league returned in 2022 following a two-year COVID-related break, with thirteen fixtures across the county over varying terrain and distances, and our current strength in depth across all ages and abilities brought us spectacular success.
We retained the overall team titles that we claimed in 2019, this time with huge winning margins, and for the third year in a row Phoenix runners claimed top spot in both the women's and men's competitions.
This year's winners were Stuart Roberts - a V45 and one of the oldest athletes ever to claim the title - and Alison Moore, who clocked up a fabulous 2999 points, tantalisingly close to matching Simon Heath's perfect 3000 score in the 2019 competition.
In the Top Five competition (based on each club's best five male and best five female individual scores) we finished as the top ranked team in eleven of the thirteen races, and in the Open Competition, based on all athletes' performances, we claimed first place in nine of the races, leaving second-placed Hailsham Harriers and twenty more clubs trailing far behind us.
PHX runners filled no less than seven of the top 20 places in the men's individual competition and five of the top 20 places in the women's competition. We also had eleven age-category medallists, including six who claimed top spot.
Apart from our large number of runners with outstanding ability the other factor behind our success was the consistently large turnout that we achieved at all of the races. Special mention must go to the amazing Russell family. Sarah and Simon clocked up sixteen races between them - and a top-20 finish for Sarah, whilst Will achieved a fantastic double, finishing in 4th place overall and once again claiming the Ron Grover trophy as one of only three male athletes to complete all thirteen races.
The 2023 competition begins with the Hastings Half Marathon in just three weeks' time on March 23rd, and as ever the format means that all athletes can score points for their club, even if they complete just one of the twelve fixtures (though the minimum is six to have a realistic chance of claiming an individual gong).
Quite apart from the lure of trophies there is a lot of pleasure to be gained from meeting up with and competing against friendly and familiar rivals from other local clubs. Most of the races are organised by the participating clubs themselves so in most cases entry fees are low and post-race socialising is fuelled by home-made cakes and drinks rather than commercial goodie bags and takeaway fast food.
So why not go ahead and sign up now for any of the SGP races you can fit into your 2023 race schedule
Here is a rundown of the 2023 fixtures:
- Hastings Half Marathon (26 Mar) - surprisingly a potential pb course as the long initial climb is compensated for by an exhilarating descent back into the old town;
- Haywards Heath 10 mile (30 Apr) - a mix of road and woodland trail
- Rye 10 mile (7 May) - some serious hills along country lanes through lovely woodland
- Horsham 10K (14 May) - mix of road, country lane and trail
- Hastings 5 mile (4 Jun) - seafront race and a great chance for a pb at a relatively rare distance
- Heathfield 10K (18 Jun)- more country lanes and challenging hills
- Bewl 15 (2 Jul) - very scenic route including a full circuit on trails around Bewl Water
- Phoenix 10K (12 Jul) - high-class field and unmissable provided you find us a stand-in marshal!
- Hellingly 10K (10 Sep) - more country lanes in lovely surroundings
- Lewes Downland 10 (1 Oct) - trail race with spectacular views and hills
- Hove Prom 10K (15 Oct) - another flat seafront race with pb opportunity
- Crowborough 10K (19 Nov tbc) - great finale complete with two ford crossings
Below are Entry Links to 2023 races entry and full 2022 results: