Vet Pete stuns the young guns

The Horsham Joggers Team at Sunday's Downlands Dash 5 miler in Hassocks. Below: Helen Varcoe and Raff Vitale celebrate success in the Splash & Dash Triathlon at Christ's Hospital School on Sunday
The Horsham Joggers Team at Sunday's Downlands Dash 5 miler in Hassocks. Below: Helen Varcoe and Raff Vitale celebrate success in the Splash & Dash Triathlon at Christ's Hospital School on Sunday

A team of 18 Joggers competed in Saturday’s Downlands Dash, the ninth of 18 races in the West Sussex Fun Run League series, in fields and woods near Hassocks.

Despite the numerous stiles, gates and plank bridges making dashing a dangerous business, all the Horsham team finished without incident.

Vet 50 Pete O’Connell stunned the younger runners as always by taking eighth place overall in 35mins 40secs, with Matthew Anstee-Brown in hot pursuit and finishing ninth, five seconds behind. Both earned the maximum of ten league points, with Mike O’Grady (39.1) taking nine and Mike Saunders (42.2) and Alan Pettitt (42:44) seven each. Among the ladies, Vet 50 Val Purnell took an excellent 13th place in 44.45, garnering nine points.

Other good times: Duncan Caskey (42.52), Rod Thomson (49.58), Fiona Clifton and Mark Smee (53.48), Caroline Bransden (57.31), Diane Berry (58.46), Fiona Lear (1hr 4mins 48secs), Edna Clark (1.5.14), Eileen Quinton (1.15.42), Verity Dods (1.17.14), Victoria Saunders (1.17.33) and Jenny Boyd (1.17.43).

Sunday saw splash added to the dash as five Horsham Joggers competed in the Christ’s Hospital Splash and Dash Triathlon. In the Super Sprint category, Raff Vitale, a non-swimmer two years ago and making his triathlon debut, took an excellent 13th place among 68 competitors in 1.3.44. In the Sprint category, Emma Catlow (1.40.42) was first Jogger to finish, with team-mate Kathryn McNaughton following in 1.43.35, then Helen Varcoe (1.48.32) and Colleen Conti (2.1.34).