After high winds led to the cancellation of the Brighton 10k, the 2016 Harvey Curtis Sussex Road Race Challenge (SRRC) was concluded after five races rather than the intended six – but that didn’t stop one Chichester athlete taking a title.
This meant Kevin Rojas (Brighton & Hove AC) was crowned champion for the third year in a row with a total of six points from his three qualifying races, finishing three points ahead of second-placed Paul Navesey (Crawley AC). The ever-improving James Westlake (Crawley AC) finished third on 13.
The cancellation of the Brighton 10k was disappointing for all concerned, not least Howard Bristow (Brighton), who, needing to complete one more race to qualify for an overall position, was poised on just four points.
Rojas’ hat-trick of SRRC titles rounded off an excellent year for the 35-year-old, who represented England in October at the Toronto Marathon, where he finished ninth.
In the women’s contest, it was SRRC title number two for Rebecca Moore (Chichester AC), who won two of her three qualifying races, and whose lead was unassailable after race four, the Phoenix 10k, where she sped away from her rivals to clock a swift 34:30.
Izzy Coomber (Lewes AC) took second overall, finishing four points behind Moore and just one point ahead of third-placed Sue Fry (Hailsham Harriers).
Among the over-40s, Mike Ellicock (Lewes) and Sue Fry took the Masters titles. Ellicock finished just one point ahead of team-mate Lewis Sida in second, while Fry was five points clear of runner-up Katherine O’Hara.
The team contest was won by Arena 80 AC, whose excellent women’s squad provided the necessary strength in depth to finish two points clear of Brighton & Hove City AC. Third were last year’s champions Lewes AC.
The prize-giving took place at the Crowborough 10k, each champion picking up £300 cash and the SRRC perpetual trophy. The 2017 SRRC begins with the Chichester 10k on Sunday, February 5.
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