Race Report : Roy Castle* goes to Rye


A small group of intrepid Harriers made their way down to Rye for the final race in this years Nice Work Summer (!) Series on Friday evening.

After a day of mixed weather around Tunbridge Wells, things were a little windier on the coast meaning the anticipated fast times for the 5k race were under threat.
The road race started in a giant muddy puddle before making its way out on the tarmac pathway which weaves its way through the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. It was a sort of L shaped course with a turnaround at halfway and on the outward half our fears were realised, as it was run into an increasingly challenging headwind. 
The return second half back to Rye Harbour did benefit from the tailwind but unfortunately it seemed that the turnaround marker had been misplaced, meaning the advertised accurately measured 5k route actually had at least an extra 150 metres to cover, impacting times to a significant extent.
(I ran the race last year and clocked 5.01km for the route versus the 5.16km or thereabouts that we all had this year and looking on the respective Strava maps for last year and this, the turnaround point is markedly different)
Nevertheless the small group of harriers did pick up some silverware with Emily Nash finishing second woman overall (19:34), Ali Farrell winning the F50 category (20:57) and Geoff Turner being first M60.
Further good news (subject to confirmation) saw Geoff also set a new 5k M60 record of (21:00) eclipsing Mark Taylor’s time of 21:07 from the same event in 2014 and Margaret Deighton posting a new F65 record of (29:45) surpassing the 30:04 mark set by Stella Richardson in Crowborough last year.
Whilst I played the role of Roy Castle (sans trumpet), Liam White accompanied Emily in the nearly impossible role of both Ross and Norris McWhirter*
Mens Race Winner: James Crombie in 16:42
Women’s Race Winner: Grace Baker in 18:16
It’s a really nice, fairly low key event and the course is very flat – you just need benign weather and a marker cone in the right place.

Andrew Deighton
* for members unfamiliar with the multi talented Roy (one of Yorkshires finest), he hosted the Children’s TV show ‘Record Breakers’ throughout the 70s/80s/90s, where famed athletics officials, the McWhirter twins adjudicated on records (they were the founders of the Guinness Book of Records)