55 teams from all over the South East, and an overseas entry from the Minnesota Loons in the USA, tackled the second staging of the 1066 Relay on Sunday 6th May which raised nearly £1700 for local charities.
The 5 stage 33.05 mile course follows William the Conqueror's historic 1066 Country Walk route, starting from the grounds of Pevensey Castle, one of Britain's oldest surviving Roman forts, dating back to 300AD. The mainly off-road route then passes by such iconic landmarks as Herstmonceux Castle and Battle Abbey, before going through some glorious countryside in the Brede Valley on the way to the finish in Rye.
Race organiser Nick Brown of Hastings Runners was delighted to see so many teams taking part from outside the 1066 area. The incessant rain during the weeks leading up to the race had left some of the off-road sections resembling Vietnamese rice fields! Runners who had ignored advice to wear trail/fell shoes on the short Stage 3 through Battle Great Wood were left to regret their decision, as they were slipping and sliding all over the place!
Beckenham RC men's senior team retained the Trailguides 1066 Winners Shield in a time of 3 hrs 42.58, but they were pushed all the way by runners-up Canterbury Harriers in 3hrs 45.38 and third placed Petts Wood Runners in 3hrs 49.31. Dulwich Runners women's seniors retained the ladies trophy, finishing 9th overall in 4hrs 7.19; whilst Serpentine RC won the mixed team trophy finishing 10th in 4hrs. 12.07.
There was a battle royal for the honour of lifting the 1066 Trophy for the first local team. Hastings AC men's vets claimed the prize, finishing 5th in 3hrs 55.13 just ahead of Hastings Runners men's seniors in 6th place in a time of 3hrs 58.02.
Stage winners were Ali Thorp, Beckenham RC on Stage 1 (Pevensey Castle to Herstmonceux Castle 6.42 miles); Jim Addison, Beckenham RC on Stage 2 (Herstmonceux Castle to Battle Abbey 11.08 miles); Peter Hogben, Canterbury Harriers on Stage 3 (Battle to Kent Street 3.00 miles); Mike Williams, Dulwich Runners on Stage 4 (Kent Street to Icklesham 7.05 miles); Kris Everett, Hastings AC on Stage 5 (Icklesham to Rye 5.50 miles).
The runners on Stages 2, 3 and 4 finished very mud spattered, but had plenty of time to enjoy the spectacular scenery which included a number of brutal climbs including Tent Hill (the highest point on the 1066 route), Doleham and the Brede Valley up into Icklesham! Stage starters included former UK international runner Derek Stevens, Hastings 1/2 marathon supremo Eric Hardwick and Hastings-born double Olympian at 400m Sean Baldock.
Photos: Hastings Runners Juliette Baker looking far too comfortable at the top of Doleham Hill! Hastings Runners Terry Kitson showing the pain that is Doleham Hill!
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