Chichester juniors plan Sportshall campaign - as seniors end Fun Run season

Chichester juniors return to Sportshall League action this weekend / Picture by Lee Hollyer
Chichester juniors return to Sportshall League action this weekend / Picture by Lee Hollyer

Chichester’s juniors head to Tanbridge School near Horsham on Sunday for the opening fixture in the Sussex Sportshall League.

After the strong showing of both the under-13 and under-15 squads at the end of the outdoor track season, Chichester will hope they can give a strong showing against the county’s indoor top two clubs, Crawley and Brighton & Hove.

It will be an opportunity for the sprinters and jumpers to show their mettle against some of the county’s top juniors.

The league has been a springboard for many future international athletes, the latest of whom is the Brighton & Hove 400m runner Amber Anning, who still holds a number of indoor records over two and four-lap distances plus the long jump.

Three age groups will be in action with school Years 5 and 6 contesting the under-11 events, plus the more experienced under 13s (Years 7 & 8) followed by the under-15s (Years 9 & 10).

As well as the sprints and jumps, there will also be a six-lap middle distance race for the under-13s plus an indoor shot put with the exact outdoor weights being used with a protective soft covering for indoor use.

The competition starts at 2 pm and spectators and supporters are welcome to enjoy the hectic and noisy two-hour programme.

Fun Run League

The penultimate fixture in the 2019 West Sussex Fun Run League season took place on Sunday with the aptly named Steepdown Challenge at Lancing Manor.

Starting with the Hangover 5 at nearby Hill Barn in Worthing on January 1, the 17-race fixture list has taken runners over a variety of terrains and challenges of differing degrees, including the Chichester Runners own promotion at Goodwood in May.

In the latest race James Baker led the whole field home having returned from a winning parkrun performance in Minehead the day before.

Added to a double in the Upton House parkrun and the 15-mile Exmoor Stagger fell race the weekendbefore, this made it four successes in just nine days for the unstoppable Chichester veteran with well over 900 career victories to his name over a wide variety of terrains and distances.

His time of 27min 38sec for the hilly five-mile course was exactly half a minute in front of his nearest challenger, Jamie Corbett of Worthing Harriers.
Chichester’s next man home was top over-60 Richard Miles in 66th in 38.03 followed closely by Tim Brown, 74th in 38.22.

A fine run from Aleksandra Vargin in 83rd overall made her seventh woman home bringing her a full ten bonus points to go with Baker’s.

A further three of the club’s talented over-60 squad followed in quick succession with Tony Cooley 97th, Tom Blaylock 121st and Jan Hill 123rd.

They were followed by the club’s next two highest points scorers, both notching up a near maximum nine points with Amanda Godfrey 124th overall, 20th woman, and Elizabeth Robinson next home in 125th, 21st woman.

The remaining ten members of the squad were Peter Dunne 138th, Tracy Lockyear 150th (F31), Persephone Hagan 154th (F33), Wim Amir 162nd, Sue Baker 174th (F43), Nic Jolly (F49), Peter Shaw 189th, Catherine Betts 197th (F55), Peter Anderson 216th, Jill Renson 226th (F74).

This Sunday sees the end of the 2019 fixtures with the Gunpowder Trot in Denne Park, Horsham, where Chichester will be aiming for a strong showing to keep them in the top half of the 18-club table.