Race 2: Bexhill 5k, 30th July

Race two of the 2014 Harvey Curtis Sussex Road Race Challenge (RRC), the Bexhill 5k, took place on Wednesday evening (30th July). Though the seafront course is pan-flat, its four 180-degree turns break up rhythm, and a moderate westerly breeze slowed progress on the westbound sections.

Graham Godden sets the pace early on

Graham Godden sets the pace early on

Despite the less-than-ideal conditions, the leaders set off at lightning pace, and some were rewarded with fast times and PBs. Within the first lap, two middle-distance specialists, Max Thomas (Hastings AC) and Nick Duggan (Crawley AC), broke clear and began their own battle out at the front. It was the younger man, 21-year-old Thomas, who ultimately produced the decisive finishing kick, moving clear in the final 500m and crossing the line in a decidedly nippy new PB of 15.18, four seconds ahead of Duggan – and probably worth sub-15 in better conditions on a fast course.

Nick Duggan leads eventual winner Max Thomas

Nick Duggan leads eventual winner Max Thomas

“I really enjoyed the race,” said Thomas, who will now focus on middle-distance events until September when he will increase his mileage for the cross-country season. “With the wind, I didn’t expect the pace to go out as fast as it did but I was very pleased in the end with a new PB, especially with the four turns on that course. I’ve raced Nick a lot this season, and we’ve always been quite close so I knew it was going to be a battle right to the end.”

The early battle at the front in the women’s race was between current series leader Rebecca Moore (Worthing & District Harriers) and Sarah Roff (Hastings AC), though Moore gradually moved away, eking out a margin of 18 seconds by the finish, clocking a PB of 17.20 to Roff’s 17.38.

Moore is gearing up for some autumn half-marathon and 10-mile races, and she was delighted to take the win.
“It was pretty challenging with the wind,” she said, “but I just tried to follow the men in front to make sure I kept up the pace. I’m really happy with the run, as I’ve had a few weeks out with an Achilles injury, so it’s a good confidence boost to know that I’m getting my fitness back.”

The next race in the Harvey Curtis Sussex RRC is the Barns Green Half Marathon on Sunday 28th September.

Top 3 men
1 Max Thomas Hastings AC 15:17.65
2 Nick Duggan Crawley 15:21.35
3 Kevin Rojas B&H AC 15:40:40

Top 3 women
1 Rebecca Moore W&D Harriers 17:19.90
2 Sarah Roff Hastings AC 17:37.85
3 Helena Tobin B&H AC 18:10.55

Full results (PDF) here: http://tinyurl.com/bexhillresults

Fully updated Sussex RRC standings will be published soon.