With apologies for the delay of this issue another varied month see’s the BHR colours flown far and wide!
The Marathon breakfast on 28th March raised £439.20!! –
Thank you to everyone that took part – especially the cooks and kitchen crew! – I’m sure everyone would also like to thank Kim & Chris for their hospitality and for letting us invade their beautiful home.
Those members who have contacted us to say they are running a marathon for charity will be asked soon for their sponsorship details (Justgiving page etc) and a Club donation will be made.
Final call if you’d like to attend the Marathon Meal at the Emperor Chinese Restuarant in Burgess Hill on Wednesday 29th April at 19.30
The social committee have extended the deadline to the 23rd April. If you have any questions please contact either Karen, Paula, Neil or Alan on
The all important information you need to know about this event is : you DONT need to have run a marathon to attend, you need to have paid £15 for a wonderful Chinese meal by 23rd April!
Now that the newsletter is up and running we’d be interested to know your thoughts on it’s content and ideas for future items. Please email any suggestions to:
Alan Fry firstname.lastname@example.org
Neil Dawson email@example.com
Henfield 9 – Review by Sheryl Caldecourt
So it’s Saturday afternoon in the pub and I’m considering doing the Henfield 9 race in the morning….reasons to do it are
a) the weather forecast is good
b) I need to start increasing my mileage as I’m doing the Exmoor 16 in April
c) I can enter on the day
d) my running buddies are marathon training & running too far for me
and reasons not to do it are
a) I need to stop drinking by 8pm !!
Anyway, my sensible head took over for once & I set off at 9.45an on Sunday 8th March towards Henfield. The car bonnet decided to open on 4 occasions on the way over, which left very little time to register- panic mode. I ran into the hall & was the last entry – number 134. This made me realise this was quite a small field of runners and I was advised there was a walk to the start. Now I’m feeling stressed in case it starts before I get there. At the start line I was pleased and relieved to see my fellow club runners – Trevor & Sally Symes & Janet the Muddy, although I knew I was only likely to see them in the distance once we started running. Trevor was the only one of us looking keen as Janet was recovering from a cold, I was recovering from flu & a few vodkas & Sally was slightly jaded too !
The race started and I quickly realised that the route was similar to the Henfield half route that I had run a couple of summers ago. The weather was perfect & the route is 95% off road on fairly flat tracks , fields, over stiles, through gates & a beautiful long run along the river . I had decided to enjoy the scenery rather than try to get a decent time and so didn’t bother to wear my Garmin but they did have a few mileage markers- my favourite marker said 8 miles! There were 2 drink stations offering water at mile 2& mile 6, which were perfectly adequate for this distance.
By the time I was half way through the run , the field was very spread out & although I could always see people ahead of me, there were times when I wondered if I was actually the back runner as I couldn’t see anyone behind me- thankfully I wasn’t actually last !
The last mile is the toughest as always and is back through a rough terrain field & my legs felt like they were getting slower & slower. In actual fact they WERE getting slower & slower & I really struggled to keep on running (if you can call it that) . Once you get through this field you are through to the Leisure Centre & a short run to the finish line…..yaaaay!
To sum it up , it’s a very relaxed, local event with a lovely, scenic well marked route, good marshalling , with a medal at the end and the results were on Henfield Jogger’s website on the same day. I would recommend it.
Surrey Half Marathon – Reviewed by Carole Mills
On Sunday 8th March an “elite” pair (well Jon maybe certainly not me) of BHR made our way to Woking to run the second Surrey Half Marathon. This was the first time over this course after being run in Guildford last year.
My family and I arrived early and the sun was beginning to break through with a slight
breeze – looked good running weather. Now to see if we could spot the other BHR. Amy
managed this quite easily – on his way into the Gents.
Time for a quick pre-race photo and chat. We both agreed this would be a slow training run in preparation for our marathons in April.
Jon left us to go and warm up and we made our way to the various stalls and merchandise tent where they were handing out free drinks and sweets (other healthier options were available – mainly bananas).
After a quick walk around it was time to make my way to the starting pen where the pacers seemed to be very well prepared.
The gun went off to start the race – this was greeted with lots of cheers from the supporters who lined the start area and out onto the roads of Woking we went. The majority of the course is a bit of a mystery – I remember passing a golf course and a selection of large houses and a number of water stations. Between miles 5 and 6 I spotted Jon making his way towards me on the opposite side of the road. He missed me waving like a looney at him – he was obviously in “the zone” The 1 hr 30 pacers were a short distance behind him. The next thing I remember is the final mile where the cheers and applause from the well populated route became louder and louder. As we turned to come into the Leisure Centre car park the finish was in sight.
Then I recall my pre-race email informing me of prizes for the fastest lady and gent over the final 100m of the race – not a chance – my legs were a little like jelly. A quick look at my watch and a shout from Amy who was in the final few metres and I had done it. I crossed the line in a new half marathon PB of 2 hrs 0m and 50 seconds. So much for an easy slow training run – that was two half marathon PB’s in 2 weeks.
Unfortunately we did not see Jon after the race but from his post on Facebook later that day he too had run a new half marathon PB of 1 hr 24m 39s .
This was a well organised event benefiting from chip timing, professional pacers and an app for family and friends to follow your progress together with good support around the closed road course. I will more than likely run this again and would recommend this event to others.
Milton Keynes 20 mile – Reviewed By Neil Grigg
In early March I took part in the Milton Keynes 20 Mile Race which forms part of the Milton Keynes Festival of Running. In addition to the 20 Mile route, there are three other race distances; 5km, 10km, and Half Marathon.
The courses seem to have been well designed; with the 10km route forming the basis for the longer events. I hadn’t done much research and was expecting the route to be through town (and it is) so was pleasantly surprised to find that Half Marathon participants took a lap around the picturesque Willen Lake (those running the 20 Mile route enjoy two laps of this section of the course). The race was run mostly on closed roads and Redway Paths, many of which are adjacent to open roads. Other than a few undulations as the Redways pass over / under roads the course is fairly flat although there is a downhill section at the start and a climb to the finish for the three longer events; I can’t comment on the 5km route as it is different.
Start times are staggered and take account of the additional lap for the 20 Mile route; runners for the Half Marathon started later and appeared to be starting their lap of the lake as similarly paced 20 Mile participants were starting their second lap – given the number of events taking place there appeared to be only minimal congestion on the day.
Spectator support was limited, although the marshals and those who had turned out to spectate were very enthusiastic. An enjoyable event; if for no other reason, I’d seriously consider running again just for the excuse to go back to the bakery that sells the giant sultana Danishes.
Moyleman – Reviewed By Neil Dawson
Sunday 15th March was the first running of the Moyleman Marathon, a trail marathon starting and finishing in Lewes and taking in many of the wonderful trails and hills of the surrounding area.
The event is called the Moyleman, after a local runner Chris Moyle who loved running the hills of this area and sadly died a few years ago. It was really quite fitting that Camilla Moyle, Chris’ sister ran the race and she wore the number 1.
Registration for the event took place in Wallands school hall in Lewes. An excellent place for registration with all of the facilities you needed, including tea, coffee and cake.
There were 4 Burgess Hill Runners taking part. Darren Chilcott, Philippe Ecaille and the Dawsons. Philippe and I managed to get numbers 2 and 3. A reflection of the fact that we registered early rather than our ability.
The start is a short walk from the school hall and the bottom of the hill that leads up to Black Cap. The race brief took place there, excellently delivered by the Race Director, who quite correctly described the hills as ‘a bit of a bastard’.
So, we’re off bang on time at 10am. Now this is where the first dilemma came. My rule for hilly trail marathons is walk the hills, run the flat and the down hills. However, the first 3.5km are uphill. The total ascent was 140m. Not bad to start with. Everyone ran up the hill to Black Cap. This certainly wasn’t in my plan, but it wouldn’t have felt right to have walked that section. I would have been alone if I had.
Having passed Black Cap, we turned left and headed down to the A27 for 6km, almost all of which was downhill. This section was quick, but it was time to make the most of the slow descent to the A27 crossing, where we met the first aid station.
The second climb came at 9km and was 2km long with 130m of elevation gain. I walked it all. We weren’t even a quarter of the way through and I knew that there were bigger fish to fry later in the race.
After a short descent of 3km, we found ourselves in a valley. I had never been in this part of the South
Downs before and it is totally stunning. No signs of life apart from a few idiots seeing how quickly they could complete 26 miles.
The 3rd climb soon came into view and again I started to walk. This climb is 3.5km long and just over 100m of elevation gain. At the top we are greeted by the folks at the 2nd aid station. This was the most remote station as well. It a pretty good job that the forecast bad weather didn’t come in, or these marshals would have frozen.
At this aid, you turn left and head down what is known as the yellow brick road, which is downhill almost all of the way to the half way point at Southease.
At the half way point there is a good crowd gathered and another aid station serving sweets and water. We are at sea level here and I know what was round the corner. I filled up the water bottles and set off again.
The next 7km are almost all uphill. The much of it totally unrunnable (not sure that’s a word, but you know what I mean), even if I’d wanted to. The first section is especially steep. Just when you thought that the uphill had finish, you went over the crest of a hill and there was another hill coming up.
You reach the most easterly point at 28.5km and I knew that the most difficult part was over. Well, that’s what I thought anyway.
The section that brings you off the South Downs Way is very steep, on concrete and thigh busting. I even met a runner going down backwards to save his knees and thighs. The bottom of the hill is the 30km point and another aid station with water and jelly babies.
I found the next section pretty easy. It’s 8km, mainly downhill. I got into a rhythm and made up some time. It was at this point that I was sure of making my 5 hour target. In fact, I was heading for nearer 4 and a half hours (although I hadn’t taken into account what was waiting at mile 23). This section was in the shadow of the South Downs Way to the north side and I really enjoyed looking over my left shoulder at the great views.
As we closed in on Glynde village at the last 3 miles, we had to cross a very rutted field. It was totally dry and this played havoc with tired calves and ankles. Better than if it had been wet though.
So we head through Glynde village, past the marshal who points us right into a field and there it is. The hill. At this stage? Really? You’re having a laugh. So, I set off walking up the hill to where I thought it ended, where there was a gate and a hedge. Oh how I was wrong, that was probably half way up the hill. Through the gate it continued and you really could not tell how long it went on for. It was only just over a kilometre, but there was 130m of elevation gain.
This is the view back from the hedge and below is the view up.
The views from the top were stunning. Hang on a minute. I thought that was the last climb, but oh no. You head down into the valley (some of which is too steep to run), before the last climb (it had to be the last climb surely). It was only about 700m, but still enough at 25 miles.
So, we could now see Lewes and we headed down the steep hill into the town. The finish took us along the main shopping area where people either clapped or looked at you like you were a bit weird. It was a great place to finish. A quick right turn and we were in the yard of Harvey’s Brewery.
So what about the race? Well, think of the Brighton, London or any other mass participation run event and now think of exactly the opposite. Well that’s Moyleman. Hilly, beautiful, lonely (it was for me, but I like that), relentless and brutal in places.
This is a tremendous addition to the Sussex trail running calendar. It sits very well with the Steyning Stinger, 3 Forts and Beachy Head, and had a very similar vibe to the Sussex Trail Events races.
Here is the link to the route from my gps – https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/720375846
This race was a brilliant tribute to someone who loved those hills.
Can’t wait for next year. I will certainly do it again. If anyone is concerned about doing the full marathon next year, there is an option to run it as a relay with the change over at Southease, which is approximately half way.
It’s well worth it for next year folks if you’re up for a challenge.
Mel’s Milers 10k – Reviewed By Gill Berglund
We love this race – the organisation, the course, the enthusiastic marshals, the setting, the jelly babies at the finish etc!
So, yet again the Berglund clan – three of us this time – set off for Christ’s Hospital school in Horsham on Sunday morning.The weather, as we drove up from Brighton, was dreadful and we all thought for the first time it was going to be a wet and muddy race. The school, and in fact the race, is very well sign posted. Once parked it’s just to pick up your microchip and number at the race HQ and chat to other runners.Nice to see Neil and Rainer here.
The weather still looked ominous – light drizzle, blustery wind but not cold. So, it was vest and shorts for me – much to the dismay of the other two! Then we made the very short walk to the start in the school’s quadrangle. No hanging about though – after a few announcements we were off!
The course is lovely. Mixed terrain and mostly off-road. After doing a lap of the school we ran along part of the beautiful Downs Link. At one point things look vaguely familiar and then you realise that you are running the last half mile of the Valentine’s race. The route also takes you through the scenic Southwater Country Park for a great downhill burst – water station here too. After that, it’s just to cross a road and then run along country footpaths back to the school. Great to hear Neil and James shouting encouragement along the finishing line – thanks guys! It was at that point I remembered that the weather had been kind to us and I felt vindicated about my choice of kit. Nothing worse than being too hot.!
After having your microchip removed – collect your medal, bottle of water, chocolate milkshake and, of course, those jelly babies!
This can be a deceptive race – given that there are more or less no hills – my times never match Brighton or Chichester. Am I complaining? NO, in my opinion one of the best 10k races around -will definitely be back next year.
Well done Mel’s Milers!!
Palace Half Marathon – Reviewed By John Carey
I may not have considered this event if it had not been for Marie and she may not have considered it were it not for the ‘bling’. She was not disappointed!The ‘Palace’ Half Marathon should not be confused with the ‘Original Hampton Court Half Marathon’ which was run five weeks earlier. From looking at the course map of the ‘Original’ there may be a case to be made under the Trades Description Act as you will not catch more than a fleeting glimpse of the famous residence.
The same cannot be said of the ‘Palace’ event which starts on the main drive and winds around and within the extensive grounds. The terrain is mixed, some tarmac paths and pavements, some grass, some trail (quite muddy today) and some gravel but generally conditions underfoot were ok and the paths were wide enough to accommodate the 3,500 entrants with relative comfort. It was however quite twisty turny in the grounds which is only an issue if you don’t want to keep seeing those who are a mile or so in front of you (this did mean that I caught a couple of glimpses of Marie during the race).
It was a nine o’clock start which was a little testing given that the clocks went forward the night before but with a reliable and experienced driver – thanks Helen – we arrived in good time and were well directed to a spacious car park about five minutes walk from the Palace. The downside was it was pay and display – £5 required.
The start and finish are in different locations so pre race required a ten to fifteen minute walk into the grounds to the race village, dropping off bags and then re-tracing steps back to the main drive for the start. My fellow BH Runners – Helen, Stephanie and Karen – had been here before and were able to turn this mild inconvenience (no pun intended) into a distinct advantage as we were able to visit quite the best toilets I have ever been to on a race day, not once, but twice!
The course is two laps but don’t be put off, both laps were quite different. It was well marshalled with no possibility of error and there were enthusiastic crowds at the more central points. It is very flat with only a couple of minor inclines and so would be a potential PB course. Today was wet and very windy making it quite testing in places.
The downside of the event was the drinks provision which, although water bottles were only at four, five, ten and twelve and a half miles and needed to be more evenly spaced. After the finish the bag reclaim was fairly chaotic but on the plus side all the finishers received a technical top.Overall I enjoyed the event and if they can rectify the drinks and bag situation it would be a nine out of ten with the added attraction of the PB potential.
As a coach I’ve observed many of our runners to be competing in races virtually every weekend, and whilst many at the moment are achieving PB’s. Long term I would expect the comments back to be afterwards they were disappointed with their times!
As a coach my answer would be, “I’m not surprised”. The question I would ask is;“do you train to race or race to train?” Too much racing is either going to lead to slower times (over raced) or long term injury (over raced) .
Thought processes of top athletes are first to set down (here, there is no difference from a top athlete and us club runners) goals for the season and discuss these goals with their coaches. What do I need to do to reach my goals and which races do I need to make sure my training is on course to deliver that?
For many of us our goal is a marathon/ultra and usually we like to choose a spring marathon. For me this is a non-starter as I struggle with winter training on dark nights and running on tarmac. A goal for me is an autumn marathon where I have the summer to train over the multi-terrain that our local area offers. Does any of this sound like you?
The next question is what do I want from the marathon? Is it a PB or just happy to compete and the time will be what it is. If the answer is a PB, then we need to start looking at various marathon courses available. For example, the only marathon PB achievable on Beachy Head will be a course PB. Alternatively, if you want a fast PB on a fast marathon course, look at something like Brighton (other races available).
So we come back to the original question, ‘do you train to race or race to train’ when you’re disappointed not to have PB’d at Brighton and you start analysing what went wrong. Maybe it was just a bad day (it happens), maybe a number of inappropriate races in the build up to Brighton or simply didn’t do the right sort of training with all the correct strength and conditioning work and recovery properly built in?
We need to think more like the elite, get a realistic plan and schedule, then you will see the results of your new PB whether it be marathon or any other distances.
- Discuss your goals with the club CiRF coaches.
- Build a realistic plan together that suits your work and lifestyle.
- Continue working together on a regular basis throughout the plan.
Parkrun corner – By Neil Dawson
As usual, March was a busy month in the parkrun world.
For the first time ever, over 100,000 people ran a free timed 5km parkrun on a single Saturday morning. Just over 10 years ago, the first parkrun event took place with 13 runners. Out of acorns…….
The first weekend of the month saw a whopping 27 club members complete parkruns across the country. James Collins ran in Oxford and set a new PB of 17.25. Hannah Brett completed the Chelmsford Central parkrun in a large field of 423.
Of the 4 BHR’s visiting Hove, there were 3 PB’s, including Jon Lavis, proving that marathon training helps set PB’s at all distances.
Steve Roberts and Keith Brown made their Preston Park debuts, joining Paula for a run around one of the quickest courses around.
At Clair Park we had a bumper crowd of 139, including 4 members of the 26.2 RRC, who have completed over 1000 parkruns between them.
On the 14th March, we saw 22 members tackling their early 5km test.We were represented at Hove, Tilgate and in Clair Park. Carole Mills carried on her tremendous form with another PB at Tilgate, going sub 26 minutes for the first time.
In Clair Park, we celebrated the return of one of our regular runners from a scary incidence of Meningitis by holding a cake and bacon sandwich sale, which raised over £250 for Meningitis Now.
On the 21st March, 24 BHR’s completed 6 different parkruns, including Philippe’s visit to Southend and Jean Lyle’s visit to Ormeau parkrun in County Antrim.
In Clair Park, we saw a big PB for Steve Bird, the first time he’s gone sub 20. This didn’t go unnoticed by Stuart, who quickly pounced to talk about X-Country with Steve.
The final Saturday of the month saw some fantastic performances. Simon Thompson and Karen Sargent both set PB’s in Clair Park, with runners also visiting the usual haunts around Sussex.
In March we passed through another big milestone in Clair Park. We have now had over 9,000 runs completed. Now to think of some way of celebrating 10,000.
Finally, the really exciting news at the moment is that there is a team working on setting up a junior parkrun is Mid Sussex.
As you’d imagine BHR are heavily involved with several club members being on the core organising team. The event will take place every Sunday morning and is 2km in length.
There is a lot of hard work being put into this at the moment and we will, of course, be keeping you up to date with developments.
Take care everyone and see you soon.
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