After much thought the organisers pressed ahead with the race, despite several similar events being cancelled. Fortune favours the brave and the 8th Annual Fishbourne Flat Five turned out to be another classic showing a particular side of Cross Country, wet and dirty!!
In the man’s race, James Baker won his fourth Fishbourne shield with a time of 30.06. He was three minutes behind the course record which he set but this was down to paddling through chocolate like mud in places. Newcomer Emma Guetenbock won the women’s shield. She has been doing well in triathlons but seemed stunned to win this title in cross country. She ran an impressive 41 minutes and 27 seconds, only narrowly beating the on-form Fiona Holden who finished in 41 minutes and 34 seconds. Behind them a field of enthusiastic and energetic runners struggled against mud, rain and conditions many wouldn’t brave. It was good to see some impressive performances from the younger competitors including Alice Sowden crossing the line in 45 minutes and 54 seconds and the ever-swift David Taylor-Beale finishing in 39 minutes and 13 seconds. Well done to them all. In the end nobody suffered serious injury and most people claimed to have enjoyed it.
Whilst no records were broken, it was a great village event with the usual serious running edge added by many club runners involved. Over the years almost a thousand people have enjoyed the delights of Fishbourne Creek through this event, wet or dry, hot or cool.
This year’s Fishbourne Flat Five, held in memory of Beckie and Lucy Hasell, has already raised over £1400 for the Play Today for a Fit Tomorrow community project in Fishbourne which is re-designing the local play area to include facilities which will not just give children some fun today but will help to counter obesity and isolation both of which threaten today’s children with the risk of having shorter lives than those of their parents.
Huge thanks are due to all the marshals and helpers, to Game, Set and Match, to Chichester Runners, to HM Scarterfield,to Gill Simpson and to both the Woolpack Inn and the Fishbourne Centre for their generosity and support.
Here’s to next year. See you all then.