December 23, 2015

After more than eighty years the Boxing Day races, the longest running road race in Sussex, will go ahead as usual this coming Saturday starting at 10.20am.

In the early 1930s it was started by Jack Davis, the then Athletics reporter of the then Sussex Daily News as well as the Evening Argus and it was just a six-mile race walk.

Sponsored by and started from the Labour Club in London Road, with few cars to worry about, the races cut through Baker Street and Union Road and thence north up the Lewes Road where they would turn in the middle of road near Stanmer Park and return to finish in Baker Street.

The running event was added in the early fifties and from then on nearly two hundred runners and walkers have turned up each Boxing Day sometimes attracting competitors from Surrey and Kent plus the odd competitor from far flung reaches of England when they have been in the area at Christmas.

It was some forty years ago that the event eventually succumbed to the increasing traffic and was transferred to Preston Park.

Despite the increase in road races locally the eighty year old race will go ahead as usual on Saturday with the Walking event starting at 10.30 and the Run at 10.50.

The races cater for all ages and abilities as competitors have the option of running or walking one, two, three or all four laps of the Park and so allows athletes to adjust the treatment according to the amount of over indulgence on the previous day.