On Monday the oldest non-championship race in Sussex will be held in Brighton’s Preston Park. The “Boxing Day Races” have been held, apart from the War Years, each year since the early 1930s.
Originally sponsored by the Brighton Labour Club from their base in London Road, Brighton the races were confined to a six-mile road walk and the running events were not added until after the War in 1949. When Boxing Day road traffic, became a problem the races came close to being abandoned before they were re-sited in Preston Park in the 1970s.
Several Olympians have competed in these races including 1964 800m semi-finalist Chris Carter who until a couple of years ago organised the event.
The 1956 50km walking gold medallist Norman Read from Steyning and 1980 800m champion Steve Ovett, who only lived half-a-mile away from the Preston Park course, were both winners on Boxing Day but before they won their Olympic Golds.
Frequently athletes returning home for a Christmas visit will don their running shoes for a workout while some years athletes will don fancy dress for their Christmas Workout.
The Walking race will start at 10.30 with the runners following about twenty minutes later and athletes will have the choice of doing one, two, three or four laps of the Park and everything will be done and dusted by noon.