Just prior to the launch of the Entry forms for The 24th Hastings Half Marathon, to take place on Sunday 16th March 2008, The Organisers -Hastings Lions Club - are proud to announce a NEW and one and only Event for Hastings, to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Hastings 1908 Marathon.
Edward V11 was on the throne, Asquith had just become Prime Minister, London Life was returning to normality after the Olympic Games had run for a record six months. The Great War was still six years away, and The Titanic had not yet sunk! In Hastings the appetite for sport had been well and truly whetted, and in December 1908 a remarkable Marathon race was staged. Covered shoulders and knee length drawers were essential attire for the 51 competitors, and local people turned out in vast numbers to cheer them on. The Start/Finish point was The Central Cricket Ground (now Priory Meadow Shopping Centre) next to The Town Hall. The route took in the surrounding villages and towns of East Sussex, from Telham, Battle, Catsfield, Ninfield, Sidley, Bexhill,Cooden, Bulverhythe, St. Leonards on Sea and back to Hastings . A number of Olympic Runners took part, and the winner was W.T. Clarke of Sefton Harriers in 2hr. 37min. 16.8 seconds. Spectators were kept in touch by Pigeon Post. The Event was Sponsored by OXO, and the OXO Vans accompanied the runners, carrying besides OXO, rice pudding, raisins, bananas, soda and milk stimulants, and 'Eau de Cologne with sponges in case of collapse. The Hastings M.P. Mr. Arthur de Cross fired the Start Pistol, and also supplied and presented the Harvey du Cross to the first Hastings runner home -George White. The Event was staged for the 'Welfare of Hastings and the encouragement of two deserving bodies -Hastings Football Club and the Distress Committee for the relief of the Unemployed ' In 2008 The Hastings Lions Club are putting on the Event to promote Hastings, and to raise monies for those less fortunate. This will be a 'one and only chance' to take place in this unique Event, and interested parties can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or check back here www.hastings-half.co.uk to register their interest both for taking part and for Commercial Sponsorship. Entry Forms will be available, and 'online' entries in the New Year. Make a note in you diary NOW - Sunday 14th December 2008 -9.30a.m. Start.