Welcome to the newsletter for September. We have all of the usual features and a few more.
A massive thank you to all of the contributors as always.
The Purpose of different training runs by Head Coach, Liz Cooper
Do you ever hear your coaches or fellow runners talking about different types of runs but you’re not quite sure why they’re doing these sessions and the purpose of them
Sometimes it’s as important to run slow as it is to run fast! It’s important to vary the types of running workouts you do. Variety in your running workouts helps strengthen your cardiovascular system and your muscles. It will also help with your endurance, running economy, efficiency and aerobic capacity and reduce your chance of injury and boredom.
To get technical on the physiological effects for a minute, if you want to run further, faster or more comfortably, you need to challenge your body so that it can adapt and get stronger. The main systems which put the limits on your performance are:
Aerobic power – measured by something called the VO2 max, this is the maximum volume of oxygen the muscles can consume per minute. The more oxygen that’s available to your muscles, the better you’ll perform.
Lactate threshold – Lactate threshold is the speed at which lactic acid (a waste product of exercise and the thing which really causes fatigue) accumulates in the muscles and blood. If you can reduce your rate of production or improve the amount your body can absorb, you’ll be able to run faster and farther.
Aerobic capacity – this is your body’s ability to produce energy to be used during exercise or running, improve this and it mean greater endurance.
These all work together, but these aspects respond most effectively to different types of training. That is why most training programmes offer a mix of different types of runs. Some of these are hard, and you need to have a reasonable basic level of running fitness before doing the harder speed and hill work.
A comfortable run, anything up to, say, around 5 miles at your natural pace.
Also known as threshold runs. An example would be 1 mile of jogging to warm up, followed by 3 miles at the fastest pace that can be sustained, followed by 1 mile of jogging to cool down. To test whether you are doing this at the right pace, you should be able to talk in broken sentences but not be able to carry on a full conversation or be gasping for air. Tempo runs will help you increase your speed (lactate threshold) and the amount of time you can sustain it for (aerobic capacity).
Short segments of uphill running that you’ll repeat to help increase aerobic power, endurance and strength. The best type of hill to run these on has a moderate gradient of about 4 – 6 percent.
For example, if the hill takes 45 seconds to run up, then your recovery should be around 1-2 minutes. Repeat 8-10 times.
Short or long bursts of intense effort separated by equal or slightly longer segments of slower running, jogging or walking. The intense segments should have you pushing yourself to a point where you are gasping for air and counting the seconds until you can stop. Interval training is fantastic for improving your aerobic power and speed (even over much longer runs) and boost running economy, efficiency and fatigue resistance. Try doing: 1 mile of jogging to warm up, followed by 5 sets of 1000 metre runs at 5k pace with light jogging between intervals, followed by 1 mile of jogging to cool down.
A less structured run than your interval session, but with the same effects. After warming up, try 30-60 seconds bursts of effort perhaps using lamp posts, trees or target the end of a road. You can play around with these and have a bit of fun!
Long, slow run
Whether you are building up to a new distance, 10k, 10 miles, half marathon, marathon or ultra, your main goal is to increase the distance over what you can comfortably cover on your base runs. By increasing your endurance, you won’t feel limited going the distance during a race. You don’t need to run faster than your normal, comfortable pace during long runs. (These are generally the most effective for burning calories – you will do so at a slower rate than more intense runs but you will be able to keep it going for a lot longer).
Just a nice easy run, usually just 3-4 miles, which are generally short done at a relatively easy pace. They are best done after a hard workout, such as interval or tempo runs, so you can still add some mileage to your training routine without pushing your body too much. They will also help to overcome any tiredness.
Bringing variety into your running will help you improve and provide more interest. There are many different schools of thought on how best to use different types of run to train (and how long and hard, or not, they should be). Different approaches work better for different people so when you have some objectives in mind, look at different ideas and ask your coaches for suggestions. The most effective type of training is what you enjoy and feels right to you so you are prepared to stick with it.
Henfield Seven Stiles (WSFRL) – July 2017 – by Katie Thomas
The 30th of July dawned clear and bright which was unfortunate, as I had been hoping for a freakishly heavy rainstorm to give me a legitimate excuse to get out of the Henfield 7 Stiles. I was ridiculously nervous about making a fool out of myself, and coming last after being overtaken by a load of pensioners who regularly run 15 miles before breakfast.
As I pulled on my BHR vest which, much to my disgust I’d had to buy in a very large size in order to be able to breathe, I asked myself why I was doing this. My fellow newbie Liz and I set off, both slightly apprehensive and wondering whether we would set a new record for the slowest WSFRL race ever.
When we arrived we spotted the Blue flag and were immediately welcomed by Jay who was aware that it was our first race, and was very supportive and encouraging. What I liked most about the pre-race wait was the camaraderie between the BH runners, and the way in which everyone welcomed us and made us feel like an instant part of the team.
It was soon time to begin. Standing there waiting to go I felt like my teenage self at Sports Day knowing I was going to mess up. The first issue I encountered was a step bank which I had to stumble down. I was terrified that I was going to slip but I made it, and later discovered that everyone had gone the wrong way so this could have been avoided.
I got into my stride in the second field and was really enjoying myself. Fellow BH runners were encouraging and I wondered why it had taken me so long to start running in the first place. Leaving the fields and going up a small incline made me lose pace slightly, but once back on the flat I was on target again. The 2 mile mark came up and I was loving life!
Then I hit the queue for the stile which was daunting. It took 7 minutes before I could get over, and by then I was out of the zone. My pace had slowed and I was living the nightmare: being overtaken by practically everyone. I hadn’t taken water with me and my head was starting to pound. In the last field, a Marshall gave me some much needed encouragement, and I managed to run to the finish line. I could hear my fellow runners shouting my name and it was such a good feeling. I was hot, sweaty and thirsty, but I’d completed my first ever race. I only started running in February, and it made me feel proud that I had actually accomplished something. My first medal!
I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone at BHR as you have all made me feel so welcome, and I am really enjoying being a part of it all.
Vanguard Way Marathon – Aug 2017 – by Oli Jones
It was bright and early on Sunday 6th of August. I had signed up to do the Vanguard Way this morning and I was looking forward to another off road Marathon.
A fairly straight forward journey, out to the A23, M23 then follow the signs to Croydon and it starts at Lloyd Park. I got there in under an hour with no problems, I was there early enough to park right next to the start.
The setting was nice, a lovely open park where you could see the juniors setting up for Sunday parkrun and all the other runners warming up. As we got closer to the start I noticed Paul Sargent was running. I had not expected to see him here, so it was good to have a fellow BHR running as well. We had a quick chat before the start and wished each other well.
The horn went and we made our way round Lloyd Park out towards Ballards Way. We then continued on towards Croham and a climbed up through some streets before we headed into Selsdon Woods.
The path carried on through the woods and round the edge of Farleigh Golf course, down through Chelsham Common and on towards the B269. Onwards over some open fields and past Heath Farm and down a long and steep hill before and long uphill climb to the Ridge.
The route then turned eastwards and followed the ‘North Downs Way’ as you ran along not far from the M25. I remember this part as one of the fields had tall crops growing in it.
The route carried along this path and through some fields until we came to a road bridge that went over the M25 and continued along Broomlands lane to the turnaround point.
The way back was slightly tougher I would say as you had two big hills to climb. One was just after the M25 stretch as you climb up a very steep hill away from the ‘North Downs Way’ path and further on another long steep hill back up towards Heath Farm.
On the way back however, as I came out of the Selsdon Woods I must have made a wrong turn or missed a marking. I found myself in Edgecombe Road. I managed to find my way back somehow, crossing over the tram track and through some woods ‘Addington Hills’.
Luckily I had my phone with me so I headed west and found my way back into Lloyd Park with the other runners ‘Phew’. Finished off the route by running round Lloyd park to the finish and completing in a time of 4 hrs 36 mins.
I loved the route and the setting, beautiful views in some areas. I would do it again but the only thing that would deter me is the lack of marshals at some road crossing and the signage on some of the route.
Mud and Chocolate Half marathon, Sammamish, Seattle – Aug 2017 – by Matt Wilson
Historically most of my holidays were preceded by a little TripAdvisor research to find the best places to visit. Nowadays they are preceded by some research to see what races I can squeeze in. www.runningintheusa.com is great for finding any kind of run in the States.
When I had the opportunity to go to Vancouver via Seattle I found a choice between a half marathon with a helping of yoga and some free shorts, or a half sponsored by a chocolate company, with lots of freebies.
The choice was easy so I booked myself on to the Mud and Chocolate half marathon in Soaring Eagle Regional Park. Sammamish, just outside Seattle. It was described as undulating, but avoiding the biggest hill in the park so I was a little apprehensive.
Having booked the run and planned my trip I realised that; as Seattle is quite hot their races start early to beat the Sun, that Sammamish is quite far from Seattle, and there is no public transport at 8am on a Sunday morning.
So, having hired a car I made it to the start line. The smoke from the Canadian forest fires had cleared, leaving an overcast day with a little drizzle, which kept the heat off. A briefing was given to the small crowd of around 60 runners. The instructions were fairly simple, up a short path, turn left, and then follow the trail. Every time you get to a junction there will be markers in the ground on the side you should turn, then ‘reassurance’ flags to let you know you’ve gone the right way. Run round three times and head back to the start, easy.
Then we were off. The short path was long enough for the crowd to thin and we turned left on to very narrow but flat and dry path. I managed to stay in a peloton for about three miles so kept quite a good pace. The route was relatively flat, with no real inclines, but with a lot of roots and rocks to be careful of. After three miles I peeled off and found a more sustainable pace. The race then became a little lonely. Being in a deep, relatively flat, forest there were no views other than a lot of trees, and Americans do not seem to want to talk as they run. After 50 minutes of waiting for a big hill that never came I reached the aid station back at the start path.
Being sponsored by a chocolate company the aid available was chocolate chip cookies and Gu chocolate energy sachets. I was already sold on the word chocolate, but the sachets also contained amino acid, sodium and caffeine so seemed fantastic. They also had water!
After a few tiny cups of water and couple of chocolate sachets in my pocket I set off for lap two. I now discovered that consuming chocolate while running was not for me. Imagine sucking a melted mars bar from a plastic tube, whilst trying to avoid roots and stones, and having no water to wash it down. It didn’t work! Once it was eventually finished I realised there are no bins in the park, so had to tuck the sticky wrapper in to my waist band and keep going.
55 minutes later I was back at the aid station for more cookies and chocolate goo. Now I know I didn’t really enjoy it, but it was chocolate, and it was free. I then set off for lap three, things were starting to get a little repetitive. Then my knee went. Halfway round lap three my knee decided it was not built for running, and so the pace slowed, considerably. Walking was fine, but anything faster caused agony.
I hobbled, hopped and grimaced my way through and got to the final straight, completing the course in 2:44:22. I knew there would not be a PB, but I had hoped for around 2:20, particularly as my watch said I was only at 12.1 miles.
At the end I got a huge medal, a chocolate medal, and a bar of chocolate, which made it all worth it. There was a physio on hand so I got my knee packed with ice which felt amazing, before hitting the chocolate table. I was actively encouraged to take as much as I could from the huge selection.
To summarise, I learnt that; running several laps of the same route by yourself can get boring, my knees will not last forever, trees play havoc with GPS, and every race should be sponsored by a chocolate company!!!
South Coast challenge 100km – Aug 2017 – by Fred Sykes
I guess more detail is needed for an event report. So here goes.
The starting point was Princes Park, Eastbourne.
Well organized, with large marques for check-in / seating area, and loads of loos.
Staggered start of about 250 runners / joggers / walkers at a time from 8am, every half an hour. (1,800 taking part) They had a warm up session just prior to starting which was a laugh, with some famous fitness chap (who I’d never heard of). He did a great job and even got a few of the serious runners smiling. I guess they were worried about the competition as I was wearing the blue army colours.
We’re off ….
5k to Beachy Head to sort ourselves out, then the South Downs Way. What a beautiful day, cool with the sun shining, blue sea and a spitfire buzzing about.
Check-in/aid stops every 10/12km to look forward to, which were very well set up with more than enough refuelling stuff and medics at each one.
Down into Cuckmere Haven was a bit of a relief. Suns up, going to be a hot one. And it was.
Alfriston then back up the downs and down again to Southease. Up again and down to Brighton. Wow, so many people, impossible to run the sea front to Hove Park. SO HOT the heat coming off the tarmac was eye boiling.
54km Hove Park.
Major rest stop, hot food /massage, gathering of thoughts. Onward and upwards to more familiar ground, Devils Dyke to Steyning. Where is everyone at this check in? Two challenger’s only, getting ready for the night. Will do the same. Check feet, change socks. Get head torch ready. Past the pig farm and on.
Darkness descends, thankfully the route was well marked with glow sticks and signs. Head torches light up front half a km and behind. Strangely disorientated, tiredness, darkness not sure if I’m going uphill or down.
Down to Windlesham and the rest stop, which was like something from a sci fi film, lights flashing, slightly foggy, a bit Blade Runnerish.
Anyway. Pizza, cup of tea, a massage again and off.
Last push was the hardest I feel, seemed to take forever, not because of a feeling that I couldn’t do it in the head, more will legs hold up on the uneven trail. If any of you feel the coaching on a Wednesday doesn’t do you any good I suggest you try this event. It’s what got me though.
Use your arms, big balloon, use your core, little feet all work.
Down to the fog at Houghton and the last aid station. More tea.
Last 8km to go.
This is where some bastardy git removed the signs and glow sticks and put them up in the wrong direction. There ended up with five of us together looking at the GPS while talking to the hotline.
Back on track ye haa and to the finish in Arundel.
Event was well organized with an app updated on every aspect of the challenge.
Check-ins /aid stops very well stocked.
One thing though, the bling should be the size of a dustbin lid!!!
A BIG thanks to Scally for his support and rescuing my running buddy who had to pull out at 34km.
Wakehurst Willow 8k – Jul 2017 – by Richard Copland
On a balmy Wednesday night in July, a number of Burgess Hill Runners descended on Wakehurst Place in Ardingly.
Owned and managed by the National Trust and the Royal Botanic Gardens respectively, this was never going to be a run of the mill event.
The house dates from 1590 and is surrounded by the most magnificent gardens visited by thousands every year and is known as “Kew in the Country”.
So our 8k event in this sumptuous setting was always going to be special.
With a restricted field of three hundred it was a first come, first served event that sold out in a matter of hours especially after its successful inaugural launch last year.
With a two lap course of 4k each lap, an enthusiastic field set off just in front of the house with the cheers of family and friends setting us on our way.
The gardens were closed to the public but we were allowed to bring guests and they gathered around the start / finish.
Once out on the course, I thought that it looked as though it was going to be an easy trot round with maybe a couple of undulations here and there.
How wrong was I? Beautiful views aplenty, spectacular trees, the fabulous English countryside could not help me as I struggled up one of the biggest hills I have ever seen in a race!! I know I am a novice racer but this came as a shock!!
I would imagine that 90% of the field walked up this incline and even that was tough according to Malcolm Slater!!
Once at the top we then summoned up enough strength to start running again past the start / finish line and fool everyone into believing that we had run the whole way round!!
Second time around, the hill seemed even steeper but the prospect of the most glorious run-in to a race gave us the energy to finish with a real spurt!
It isn’t every day that you get to run into a finish line in front of a four hundred year old country house and to be greeted by a medal, water, apple and a banana!
The consensus was that it was an excellent event, well run with really cheery marshals all the way round. Sadly with my lack of running prowess I didn’t really get to enjoy the spectacular views and all the horticultural delights that Wakehurst Place has to offer.
It was great having such a neat event on our doorstep and I for one, cannot recommend it enough – but remember you need to be quick to enter.
Finally, congratulations to Kirsty Armstrong who was second lady home and to the other half of that dynamic running duo, Neil Phillpot for sending me these photos!!
Dorset Invader Marathon – Aug 2017 – by Oli Jones
I decided to this race quite a long time ago. It takes place on a Saturday and I knew I had the week off. I had booked camping for the Friday night and decided to travel down quite early, luckily I did in the end.
It happened to be the first weekend of school holidays and it ended up taking me about four and a half hours to get to East Farm in Dorset, this is also the venue for the East Farm Frolic as well.
I got there about 7pm and decided I would go and eat my food (Spaghetti Bolognaise) washed down with a nice pint of local beer. I finished my meal and made my way back to the campsite, it had started to rain and the wind had picked up considerably.
I made the decision to not bother with the tent and just sleep in the car.
Day of the Race:
I woke up early, a bit stiff from the night in the car but everything seemed okay. I went and picked up my number and got a couple of bits from the shop, went back to the car and got everything prepared.
They had told us the day before that the race was going to be longer than marathon as they had had to change the course to avoid some busy roads. It was now two laps of a 10 mile circuit and an out and back of just over six miles. I was looking forward to it as I have heard it was a tough hilly course and wanted to test myself.
Off we went at 9 am and the weather was dry and a bit cloudy but still warm. I had my trusty hydration pack with Tailwind in so I knew I would be fine and some nuts and raisins to munch on.
The first three or so miles went out across the farm and other fields as we headed out to the start of the big 10 mile loop, which we do twice. The first part of the loop headed out towards Thornicombe, not far from the A354. Then you followed the road/lane Littleton Drove up to Ward drove, these were the hilly parts.
I knew to try and save some energy as I knew I would be doing this again. Up to the top of Wards Drove and onto the old railway to Charlton-Marshall Halt, this was an old railway line and it was nice to have a flat run for a few miles.
Once you came of the railway is was back to the tough stuff off of road and hills. On towards Speitsbury and into the countryside, I somehow missed a sign and managed to do an extra 400m at this point, luckily someone called me back. Onward down some hills and through a very nice wooded area with some fairly rough tracks and an uphill towards the “Love station” where I got some liquid refreshment in the form of cola and then a fruity shot and a couple pieces of cake.
After the aid station there was a nice downhill section, a bit of recovery before a long incline up to start the second loop. I managed to get round the second loop okay but hit my barrier at about 19 miles, I struggled for few miles and had the company of Marina Bullivant for the last few miles, she helped me push on.
I managed to pull myself together and keep Marina in sight. We had another aid station at about 25 miles, so I took on some water and found out we had about another 2.5 miles to go. My legs decided to come alive again and I found some energy from somewhere. I found enough energy to keep my legs pumping for the final push as I came down a steep descent, cow bells being rung by the marshals as I entered the final field to the finish line.
5 hrs 13 mins was my finish time and ended up doing 28.7 miles. Well chuffed with that and the race and the great medal you get.
Loved the race and would go back and do it again any day. White Star running always put on good races and look after the runners well.
K2 Crawley Athletics meeting – Aug 2017 – by Oli Jones
I had decided to go along to the Athletics meeting on the Bank Holiday at the end of August, just to see what it was actually like to do a race round the track.
K2: The meet.
Kim picked me up quite early just in case we had any problems getting into the Stadium, as she remembered it being very crowded last year. We got to K2 at about 11.30. It was turning into a rather hot morning as we went and registered for the 1500m and got our numbers.
Our race was due to start at 12.45, so we had a bit of time to prepare. A nice relaxing 15 mins in the seating area to see some of the events going on, quite interesting to see the level of some of the younger kids and teenagers.
Kim decided to go off and start warming up and I decided to go off and prepare myself and attach my numbers. I joined Kim on the track about 10 mins later and went through the some warm up exercises and tried out the track a bit.
(Photo: John Palmer)
Time fast approaching and John turned up just in time to see us get ready to go. First up was the U17/U20 race, off they went as they started their laps. Some of them were fast and I was impressed how some of the slower ones just kept on going no matter how far behind they were. Now it was mine and Kim’s turn see what we could do in a very strong field. There was about a ten minute delay as the 110m hurdles on the other side of the track kept false starting.
The Race: 1500m
(Photo: John Palmer)
Finally off we went, the young guys at the front zooming off into the distance. I settled myself into some sort of rhythm that I thought I could sustain, I soon realised that this was going to be tougher than I thought. The first one and a half laps went out okay but then the heat started to kick in as my lungs started to struggle to get enough air in quickly.
I managed to get round the entire three and a half laps in just over 5 minutes, Kim did well and finished in just over seven minutes. I did enjoy it and I think Kim was pleased with her time considering the heat. I would do it again maybe to get a bit more speed into my legs.
Unfortunately we could not stay to see John compete in the 100m and 200m. John did well in both of his events as he posted a time of 15.04 in the 100m and 31.26 in the 200m, great effort by John there.
Cross Country Corner with John Palmer
So September arrives and that can only mean one thing – next month is October. And that can only mean one thing:
It’s time for the Sussex Cross Country League!
If you’ve had the pleasure of reading my previous articles or Facebook posts, or been cornered by me at some event, you’ll know that my usual focus is on encouraging enough participation to fill at least two men’s teams and one women’s team throughout the four race season. That’s only 8 men & 3 women but I still haven’t managed it and I’m not going away until I do! However, this season starts with a different focus:
Performance Men – Your Club Needs You!
Neil Grigg @ Lancing
The SCCL has a high-standard at the front and with our A Team in an 8 team Division 2 we need our top runners running. With the odd departure over the years we went into last season’s final race with the possibility of relegation and a further departure for this season puts greater onus on our core A Team to be available. So if you’re up there with Jon Boxall, Jason Collett, Neil Grigg & Paul Sargent (whom I’m hoping will all be running this season!), please form an orderly queue to give your names to Stuart Condie.
Performance Women – Let’s Get Started!
Miranda Skinner @ Lancing
We had an excellent squad of 6 last season, 3 running in each of the middle two races but unfortunately none at either end! My big lesson learned is that if the club don’t make an appearance in the first race they don’t get on the scoreboard for the season so if someone could get to Goodwood on Saturday 14th October that would save the embarrassment of accepting James Sorbie’s annual offer to run as a woman.
Juniors – Have a word with your parents / guardians!
The Junior Team aka Rosie Beckett @ Hickstead
We put a bit more focus on the junior team last season but the team photo was still a bit lacking in numbers!
There are races for boys & girls from U11 upwards, so come along and find the BHR Flag & our little storage tent.
The Rest of Us – This Competition Will Improve You
Trevor, Stuart & Ian @ Stanmer Park
Despite my struggles last season where I was photographer more than runner, I still believe that running at this higher level of completion is a great motivation for improvement as long as you’re currently running well enough not to be a potentially demotivating distant last. I’ve got a month to get my fitness levels up!
See the event details below for guidance on performance levels.
How It Works
The season is spread over four Saturdays from October to February. There’s a break in January for separate championship events.
There are separate races for men (5 miles), women (3 miles) & juniors (to be advised).
Teams are made up of 4 (senior men) or 3 (everyone else) runners. The teams are not declared names, simply the first 4 (or 3) to finish each race score for Team A, the next 4 or 3 for Team B and so on. We can have as many teams as we like.
The number of points scored by a runner is their finishing position, so the lower the better. Incomplete teams have their missing runners each scoring last place + 10 penalty points, so just by turning up and making it round to compete a team you’d score us an extra 10.
There is no pre-entry (although we’d like to know you’re coming!), just turn up on the day with your club shirt and pay £5 (probably). You are welcome to run as many of the races as you like, there is no commitment.
Race 1 – Goodwood – Saturday 14th October
Goodwood is a great introduction to the cross country season. With a bit of luck the weather can be fine and it’s a nice course with no ridiculously steep hills.
If the weather is good you can even get away with wearing road shoes, some of our runners chose to wear them last year. However, trail shoes may be handy.
You can find my report from last year’s race in our November Newsletter.
As a guide to performance levels, if you can at least compete with the back-marker times from last season then we’d love to see you. I’ve saved the official results spreadsheet in a pdf file here.
Watch out for e-mails from Stuart and Facebook posts & events from me & James Sorbie. Due to the limitations of Facebook we may invite the whole club along (apologies if this really isn’t for you) or no-one. If we invite no-one you may get a shout if we’re your ‘friend’, no offence intended if you don’t get a mention, just invite yourself!
Dates for your Diary
Stuart has already e-mailed out the official draft fixture list and I will highlight some of the other events throughout the season, but for now the important dates for your diary are:
- 14 October – Sussex Cross Country League Race 1 – Goodwood
- 11 November – Sussex Cross Country League Race 2 – Bexhill (venue tbc)
- 2 December – Sussex Cross Country League Race 3 – Lancing (venue tbc)
- 10 February – Sussex Cross Country League Race 4 – Stanmer Park
Track & Field Corner with John Palmer
So the Open season comes to an end – at least locally as far as I’m aware.
I’m pleased to say we enticed another newcomer to the 1500m with Oliver Jones joining Kim Gow for the last event of the year. Both put in great efforts in the heat – Hot weather on a Bank Holiday – who’d have forecast that! You can read Ollie’s report elsewhere in this issue but until next year, I leave you with one thought…
… I’m overdue leading my first Pub Run!
parkrun corner by Theresa Chalk
Time flies when we’re having fun. I wish it flew when attempting the four lapped course of our local park run at Clair Park in Haywards Heath.
For anyone new to the club this is a weekly timed 5k event which takes place every Saturday morning in parks around the world (or on Hove prom). It is brilliant they got away with being called parkrun when its along the sea front. It may not be too long before other towns find an array of venues to host a 5k, when there is not an available park. Maybe 12.5 laps of Lewes track would be a nightmare but heaven as totally flat. If you want to find out more. Google parkrun and all will be revealed or ask at the club.
Last week a few of us, headed off to the inaugural East Grinstead parkrun. I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty details as you can go on their parkrun website and find out, but here is an overview of my thoughts.
It may not be pretty but then it turned out to be one of my slowest ever. Don’t let that put you off. Firstly we spent ages walking through knee high grass (slight exaggeration) to get to the meeting point. Not happy with wet feet before it started. There is nowhere to put gear apart from a chain link fence which became a washing line of garments. We were blessed with dry weather but if wet you may want to keep things in the car. The course was described as two and a half laps. Boy did they seem long. Up, down, round the corner, up a hill, double back on yourself, and so on. There were plenty of marshals shouting encouragement and lots of arrows to steer us in the right direction. I heard people still got a little confused but I’m sure they managed to get back on track and keep going. It was a good view running along the top by the house, not sure which one… the only bit of concrete path throughout, as you could see the snakes of people navigating the course further down. Yes down, but we had to get up the top to get the view, at least it did go down again before it went up. I got disorientated, which really was not a problem and not unusual when your running at the back of the pack . You just follow the 350 people in front of you. By lap two the trails and paths were pretty muddy. So a trail shoe would have been more appropriate.
Having got to the end I joined a mighty long queue for barcode scanning. Two queues were in place and when I got to the barcode scanner, in front of me was a very polite young girl, of maybe 10 /12 years of age. She gave me a very warm and meaningful “well done” as I was scanned. She said this to everyone and seemed to mean it every time.
Headed then back to the car. I didn’t see a coffee stop but there is one somewhere. There are probably concrete paths too, that take you most of the way to the start so shoes stay drier. There may have been toilets, but I didn’t need one so didn’t look.
This one is for you if you fancy a different course, like meandering through woodland over lumps, bumps and tree roots, like ups and downs, and soft ground running.
Meanwhile well done to all who have reached a milestone in the last couple of months, or have got PBs, or like myself, just prised yourself out of bed to get to the parkrun start line in time.
Due to other commitments I will now be handing the baton of parkrun corner over to the lovely Claire Michelle Giles.
The Welcome Team
You may have noticed recently at 6.30 at the entrance to Burgess Hill School for girls, that you are being greeted at the door. Looking back to last April ,we saw Heads Together (charity supporting mental health) being the Charity of the year for Virgin London marathon.
This prompted discussion from members of the club to look at barriers that prevented people from coming along on a club night and giving running a go.
From that discussion, a small number of people volunteered for what is now known as the Welcome Team.
The team members are Kim Cruttenden, Ann Savage, Malcolm Slater, Phil Latham, Jayne Leaney, Chania Hemsley- Smith, Angie Bower, Eileen Adlam, Anita Harris and myself Theresa Chalk.
The initial concerns were: not knowing anyone, where to go and the impact of the hall setting.
The Welcome team all wear a named badge so are identifiable to all. There is someone on the main door for the initial welcome. Once in reception the new runners will fill out a disclaimer form if they haven’t already done so and have a conversation regarding group suitability. From there, there will be another team member to stay in the hall and put them hopefully put them at as much ease as possible.
In the four months this has been up and running it has been wonderful to see many of those newcomers try out for the free four weeks and go on to become members.
Being the happy, friendly group we have a reputation for, please feel free to go and introduce yourself. The hall can be a daunting place for even the longest serving members.
Any questions or thoughts. Please feel free to ask any of us.