The 7th Annual Fishbourne Flat Five was another huge success with around 220 runners and walkers taking part. This event is held in memory of Beckie and Lucy Hassell and it was particularly fitting that the date marked Lucy’s 18th birthday. The sunny but breezy conditions were perfect for runners and preferable to the searing heat of last year. James Baker, absent this year, holds onto his course record of 27 minutes 19 seconds set in 2009. This year’s winner was Anthony Roddis who ran an excellent race to finish in 29 minutes and 9 seconds, only 9 seconds ahead of Robin Ward of Portsmouth Joggers. Yet another new course record was set by the fastest female, Hayley Cripps, from Chichester Runners with a time of 34 minutes 11 seconds, taking 11 seconds off Jennifer Harley’s record set last year. There were a number of other running clubs represented, including Tone Zone, Lancing Eagles, Angus Harriers, Fareham Crusaders, Winchester and District, Arena 8, Worthing Harriers and Portsmouth AC. There were also a record number of younger runners, including the impressive David Taylor-Beale finishing in 35 minutes and 16 seconds. This is however not just a run for elite athletes and many took part for the first time as well as some who have taken part in this event every year since it started. As ever, the challenge of the kissing gates, harbour wall and boardwalks makes this a unique and increasingly popular event attracting many local people as well as those from farther afield. As well as the runners, several families and groups took part in a walk which followed the same route around the harbour. Many ended the event with a drink at the Woolpack or at the Fishbourne Centre who provided refreshments and a chance for a much-needed break.
This year’s Fishbourne Flat Five was raising money for the Fishbourne Romans Community Football Club and, although not all the money has been counted, thus far £1700 has been raised to enable them to widen their provision to include children with special needs.
Huge thanks are due to all the marshals and helpers, to Game, Set and Match, to Chichester Runners, to HM Scarterfield, Gill Simpson our First Aider, Laura Maddicks physiotherapy, Strawberry Shortcake, The Woolpack Inn and the Fishbourne Centre for their generosity and support.