Social Committee/ Hastings Marathon

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1908 saw the first marathon at the Modern Olympic Games which finished in very dramatic style and caught the public's imagination. Our neighbouring town of Hastings, which was not averse to getting on the band wagon in those days, decided to have its own marathon. The race attracted 27 entrants and was sponsored by Oxo, who provided sustenance to the runners en route including such things as rice pudding. The Lions Club who organise the now very successful annual half marathon decided to run a 100th anniversary race on 14th December 2008. As with the initial race it took in the local villages of Senlac, Battle, Catsfield, Ninfield, Sidley, Bexhill and Bulverhythe. Rotarian Frank, our current marathon man had entered, this time in a field of 1908 runners. We all received an anticipated schedule of his timing round the course and enthused by his epic run in the Rotterdam marathon a good many of us turned out to watch him strut his stuff. He was going to be easy to recognise as he was running in an Edwardian bathing costume and sporting a droopy moustache and straw boater. Thoughtfully the Lions planed the route running past all our houses made it easy for us to turn out and give him a wave and some cheery encouragement. David and Fiona stood out on the roadside in Ninfield for nearly two and a quarter hours and nearly froze to death but didn't see him. Malcolm and Stella based themselves at the sailing club and kept watch though the window of the clubhouse bar but were eventually thrown out without spotting our intrepid runner. Keith Walter cycled down to Bexhill prom and walked up and down the prom trying to keep warm. He even inspected the boat that the rowing club aim to row across the Indian Ocean, thinking that it will at least be warmer for them.