|Saturday 27th June saw Round 3 of the Sussex Veterans League, where athletes over the age of 35 descended on the Lewes track to battle it out over a selection of track and field events. Lewes AC (twinned with Haywards Heath Harriers for this league) were up against Brighton & Hove AC, Eastbourne, Worthing & Steyning, and Hastings AC.
There was a good turnout of Lewes athletes, and there were a few newcomers to the event. Mike Green was one of these newcomers, who not only came a respectable 3rd in the 800m with a time of 2mins:32secs, but was less than a second behind the winner in a very tight race. Two other new faces to the Vets League were Chris Hunt and Colin Bennett, who both ran well in the 200m. Colin managed a time of 29.3secs, which considering his expertise is at long-distance running, was a superb time.
But one of the great runs of the evening was Mike Lane in the over 60s 200m race. Mike, who will be 70 this month, came 2nd with a time of 37.7secs, proving that age is no excuse when it comes to a good sprint. Chris Hunt ran a great 3000m, coming 3rd with a time of 10mins 27secs. Mat Homewood also came 3rd in his race with 11mins 19secs, and Tim Monson was 2nd in the over 50s race with a time of 11mins 56secs. Colin Bennett also competed in a non-scoring capacity in the 3000m, achieving an impressive time of 10mins 59secs.
The women’s team also ran extremely well. Another newcomer to the league, Clare Anstee, made a very impressive debut, finishing 1st in her 200m race, with a time of 36.0secs. Linda Tullett came 3rd in her 200m race with 32.4secs. In the 800m, Linda Tullett was 4th, and Jenny Denyer 2nd in their individual races. Andrea Ingram ran a very good race to come 2nd in the over 50s, with a time of 3mins 24secs. Andrea, Carol Walters, and Karin Divall all came 3rd in their individual 3000m races, with times of 24mins 33secs, 23mins 11secs, and 22mins 18secs respectively.
The Lewes men were a bit short of athletes for the field events, and the ever-reliable Mike Bale of Haywards Heath scored well for our joint team in the discus and javelin. However, Lewes were lucky enough to have Hamilton Thomas, who comfortably out-threw his opponents in the over 60s discus with a great throw of 22.9m. Lewes women also had to rely on their Haywards Heath comrades to provide some superb results in the discus and shot put, with Linda Tullett and Jenny Denyer scoring high points in both events. However, Lewes’s Fiona Monson and Christine Brightwell both scored valuable points in long jump.
The last events of the evening were the 4x200m relays; always exciting races for both competitors and spectators alike. The Lewes men had so many athletes they were able to enter two relay teams (although only one of these would be allowed to score points). Mike Green, Mat Homewood, Colin Bennett and Chris Hunt were selected for the scoring team. There was an almighty battle for first place between Hastings and Eastbourne, with Hastings just coming out on top by just one second. Lewes fought hard to keep up, but came a comfortable 3rd in an overall time of 2mins 2secs.
The women also fielded a good team, consisting of Clare Anstee, Jane Boyes, Jenny Denyer and Linda Tullett. There was an incredibly tight battle to the line, and Lewes & Haywards Heath just held off Eastbourne to come in 2nd by 0.4secs, in a time of 2mins 24secs.