Baker and Barwood make their road-race mark for Chichester

James Baker is the first Sussex finisher in Hastings
James Baker is the first Sussex finisher in Hastings
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Two of Chichester’s seniors have been making their marks on the road scene recently with multi-medal winning James Baker adding to his tally to become Sussex Half marathon champion for 2013 at Hastings on Sunday.

Despite being an event not known for its fast times on a hilly course often exposed to the elements, the race attracts thousands of competitors and often elite foreign athletes at the front of proceedings.

This year was no exception and three African runners were joined by a Cambridge Harrier to push the pace in the early stages with Baker leading the rest.

At the finish it was the Englishman Dean Lacy who split the two Kenyans for the top three places, with a talented young Ethiopian in fourth and Baker next home as first Sussex athlete by more than two minutes in just over 72 minutes, a fine run over the tough course not helped by freezing conditions.

Meanwhile, in one of the biggest races in the south, the Reading half marathon, Chichester’s Martin Barwood joined the field of more than 13,000 to come home a fine 101st in a time of 1.16.38.

This Saturday sees the final event of the winter championship season with the popular Sussex road relays taking place at Christ’s Hospital School near Horsham with races for all age groups starting at 11am.

PHIL BAKER