RACE REPORT

Race 3: Barns Green HM, 28th September

And they're off...

And they’re off…

Athletes taking part in race three of the Harvey Curtis Sussex Road Race Challenge (RRC) on Sunday (28th September), the Barns Green Half Marathon, were taken by surprise by unseasonably warm temperatures and blazing sunshine. Fortunately the course had numerous shaded sections and, thanks to excellent organisation, plenty of water stations.

As the race got under way a small lead group soon formed, consisting of Neil Boniface (Horsham Joggers), Matt Bradford (Lewes AC) and Darryl Hards (Worthing & District Harriers). Not far behind, Hards’s team-mate Rebecca Moore led out the women’s race in assertive fashion, covering the first mile in under 5:30, well clear of her rivals.

Neil Boniface led from gun to tape

Neil Boniface led from gun to tape

With several of the county’s fastest men missing – most notably, Kevin Rojas (Brighton & Hove City AC), who was in Berlin and on his way to a stunning marathon PB of 2:19:36 – Boniface was in no mood for a game of tactical wait-and-see. As they passed two miles, he turned the screw and began to ease away from Bradford and Hards – who remained toe-to-toe until around mile eight, when they were caught by Patrick Acaye (Phoenix AC), which motivated Bradford to surge ahead to secure second place, while Hards began to fade.

L-R: Matt Bradford, Neil Boniface, Patrick Acaye

L-R: Matt Bradford, Neil Boniface, Patrick Acaye

 

And that was how the order at the front remained: Boniface broke the tape in 1:12:24, well clear of Bradford, who clocked 1:13:58, and Acaye took third in 1:15:13. The winning margin in the women’s race was even larger: Moore totally dominated the race, clocking 1:17:44, nearly five minutes ahead of second-placed Emily Proto (Arena AC), in 1:23:02, and Amy Harris (Horsham Amphibians) was third in 1:25:35.

L-R: Emily Proto, Rebecca Moore, Amy Harris

L-R: Emily Proto, Rebecca Moore, Amy Harris

 

Moore has now won three from three in the 2014 Harvey Curtis Sussex Road Race Challenge, putting her in an unassailable position at the top of the leader-board – claiming the title with a race to spare. “I’m really pleased to have made sure of the series win today,” said Moore, who is currently based in Cambridge where she is studying, “as I’m not sure I can make it down for [race four] the Brighton 10k.”

Boniface was similarly pleased to have put himself top of the RRC standings. “I took it out at around 70-minute pace,” he said, “but it was hot out there today, and my calves and hamstrings felt like they were beginning to cramp at around mile nine, so I backed it off for the last few miles.”

The concluding race in the 2014 Harvey Curtis Sussex Road Race Challenge is the Brighton 10k on Sunday 16th November.

Full results here: http://www.sportsystems.co.uk/ss/results/Barns%20Green%20Half%20Marathon/1352