April 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to the re-launch of the BHR newsletter.  This will be a monthly newsletter and the content will be driven by all of you.

Steve Bird and Claire Giles are going to collate the race reports, Sue and Liz (our head coaches) will be providing interesting material for you to read, Theresa Chalk will be providing us with a monthly parkrun report and Alan Fry will be updating you on everything that the social committee are up to.  I (Neil) will be collating it all and publishing it here.

If you have any ideas or comments, please let us know.

That’s it for the introduction, here’s the interesting stuff…………………..


Coaches Corner – with your Head Coaches, Sue and Liz

Hill running technique

Hills are usually a part of our running experience so can’t and shouldn’t be avoided.

Success on hill running is a combination of strength & endurance training which allows the body to cope with the cardiovascular demands placed upon it. Running uphill is physically tough but running fast down is technically harder and more stressful on the muscles.

So here are a few technical reminders for you to think about when running those hills plus a couple of hilly session training ideas.

Uphill technique

So from feet upwards;

  • Get up on your toes & run light and fast with “fairy steps”
  • Knees should drive strongly upwards
  • Hips and waist stay strong and lifted, try not to collapse at the core or lean forwards excessively
  • Arms actively driving to aid upward progress
  • Neck and shoulders remain relaxed and loose, not hunched up
  • Head & eyes up and looking forward.


10 second hill reps; on a steep hill, sprint hard uphill for 10 secs, jog back down & rest for 2-3 mins then repeat 6 times.

5 min intervals; on a long, moderately steep hill, run at consistent pace uphill for 5 mins & jog back down for 5 mins (this is your recovery), turn back up hill immediately and repeat four times.

Downhill technique

  • Feet kept parallel to the slope, don’t over-stride & avoid jamming your heels in too hard.
  • Knees & legs stay soft and responsive to cushion and absorb the impact.
  • Lean slightly forward at the waist to accelerate & lean back to brake.
  • Arms used to aid balance (waving around as you need)
  • Shoulders remain relaxed & move freely
  • Head & eyes looking to spot the best line & map where you want to go.


Speed reps; on a not-too steep soft/grassy hill, run downhill as fast as you can for 30-60 secs, (try to stay relaxed) let your legs turn over as quickly as possible. Walk back uphill as your recovery (take 2 mins), repeat four times.

Consistent pace; on a fairly steep hill that takes 2-3 mins to run up, run up & down continuously. Run the ups conservatively and the downs strongly. Repeat a few times.

Enjoy those hills and see you on the South Downs soon.

Sue x



Eastbourne Half Marathon – 6th March 2016

(By Jill Chalk-Craigs)

Having finally decided to quit smoking last year, I took up running towards the end of 2015.  Although I had flirted with the odd run here and there I didn’t expect to see myself running as regularly as I do and never in my wildest dreams would I think of running a half marathon.

Once my husband had cleverly signed me up, he knew I would give it a go.  Training had generally gone well and I increased my mileage a lot quicker than I expected to but still had these worried thoughts about whether I could complete the distance. I set myself a goal and with the advice and support from the club I was determined to succeed.

Disaster struck in the last few weeks of training and a knee injury had me worrying if I would even make the start line never mind complete the distance. Thankfully I went to club on the Wednesday before the big day which really cheered me up; I felt really energised and made me even more determined for Sunday.

The day before the race I was an emotional wreck! Nerves, excitement, suspense, adrenaline, stress, I had it all!

Race day arrived and we got to Eastbourne nice and early.  The weather was bright but very cold to begin with but I started to relax as we met up with other BHR’s.

We jostled for a good position at the start and once the gun went, I wanted to fly off and get going. Probably the only negative about the event was the start funnel. It was too congested and runners were still walking over the start line.  It took almost 30 secs to start running which didn’t mean a lot to me at the time, but it would later as the clock ticked and my goal time got closer.

The first few miles went really well, I settled into a good pace and weather had warmed up perfectly. Then we approached the dreaded hill at mile 3, it was a steep climb that seemed to go on and on for ever. Just when I thought I was at the top, there was a sudden sharp turn into an even steeper climb.  My worst fears came through and my knee injury started to let me know it was still there so I succumbed and had a little walk up last part of what I will now fondly name “that bloomin’ git of a hill”.

Thankfully, this was one of those courses where you get the immediate payback of a steep downhill section straight after and whilst I continued to be cautious, I made up good time on the way back down towards the sea front.

Towards 9 miles I really started to feel my injury so I took my energy sweets and after a quick pep talk from my husband, I knew if I could get through the next few miles, I could do it.

The sea front at Eastbourne was really nice and despite ‘that bloomin git of a hill’, I thought the course was fantastic.

I slogged through and made it to mile 11 where the course twists through a housing estate and into the Marina.  Whilst it looked very picturesque, I do think the many short twist and turns would put off some of the faster runners.  There were a number of signs up around this part of the course saying “all this effort for a free banana” and “did I really get up early on a Sunday for this” which did make me smile and forget about my pain for a while.

Once I got to mile 12 I knew it was almost over and a last push to the end. In the last run up to the line Mark grabbed my hand and we finished it together in a time of 1:56:13 for a longer distance of 13.25 miles. I had done it, I had just completed a Half Marathon.

A great race, highly recommended (even with “that bloomin git of a hill”).

jill 2  jill


Steyning Stinger – 6th March 2016

(By Catherine Kempton)

‘Write a race report’, they said. But I hate races generally, so why did I enjoy this one?

Well to start with it is a race on your terms – although there is an official start time you can chose to ignore it and start when you want. Just wander over to the start line and they let you go every 5 minutes. There was less of a panic about getting to the start line on time, and less of an urge to run off too fast to escape from the pack. So it was with relatively little fuss I found myself at the start with Jay and Alan, with a sort of plan to stick together.

The first few fields we ran across were muddy and ploughed – it felt like you were carrying muddy weights strapped to your feet and all the strength in your legs was gone already, but luckily it improved from here. I am a big fan of muddy puddles and there were plenty to enjoy on the way round. I prefer jumping in them but when I was following Gary along one particular muddy section I discovered he prefers his mud face first…each to their own. Sadly I don’t have a picture of Gary falling but it looked something like this.


We had already agreed our plan was to walk the uphill sections and we stuck rigidly to this – after all this was a race for walkers as well as runners. It should have meant we arrived at the summit of each hill fresh and raring to go, but in truth I was still pretty knackered.

Another feature of this event was the free downloads of photos taken by the lovely folk at Sussex Sports Photography. I may be shy and retiring but Jay and Alan are certainly not, and much time was spent posing for the cameras.

Did I mention breakfast? Included in the entry fee is not just a medal but a cooked breakfast and hot tea for all. It was the carrot that lured us round the course…’only another x miles to breakfast’. Although this was my first time at this event both Alan and Jay had done it before and talked a lot about their sausages…


This was a great morning spent doing a great event. We did the half marathon option – respect to anyone who did the full marathon (I hope you got 2 breakfasts), and the weather was fine – I’m not sure it would have been anywhere near as much fun in driving rain. Marshalls were lovely, aid stations had chocolate and the organisation couldn’t be faulted. I might even do it again.


Larmer Tree Marathon – 13th March 2016

(By Philippe Ecaille)

My second marathon in 2016 turned out to be the Larmer Tree Marathon organised by White Star Running and taking place in Wiltshire. I ran two of their events last year, Invaders and Bad Cow, I liked them so much that I treated myself to a season ticket to all their races this year – that’s 5 marathons and an ultra (35 miles). In fact I have signed up to 2 more events so I must love their events or I’m mad.

I was lucky to have the company of Karen Harvey on this occasion which delighted me as we run at similar pace (actually Karen is faster than me!) and I thought it would be a good challenge to stick together from start to finish. We treated ourselves to an Airbnb in Salisbury and a Thai dinner the night before as we didn’t think a 5am start from Sussex would be a wise decision. I woke up to a glorious sunny and crisp morning, picked up Karen and off we went to find the start of the race.

As always, WSR events are really well organised and more importantly very low key. Imagine if London Marathon was the V Festival, Larmer Tree is the family-friendly music festival set in the woods surrounded by peacocks. Straight from the start, I knew we were going to have an amazing time and we were not disappointed.

We were blessed by the most amazing weather and the beautiful surrounding of the Larmer Tree gardens on the Rushmore Estate. This place is absolutely stunning with huge trees and even a temple and a theatre.

I won’t bore you with the fact that there were small hills and big hills, muddy bits and single tracks, however, you must make the most of the lovestation, a place you can rest, sample some delicious cakes, a cup of cider and a hug.



Time doesn’t really matter that much to me anymore, I just run for the pleasure to be outdoors all day and enjoy the moment in great company. I certainly did. The bling is amazing too.



Bath Half Marathon – 13th March 2016

(by Helen Pratt)

March 13th 2016 was a perfect day for running, cool but sunny and Bath, a beautiful city to run in.

The Bath Half is a well organised road event run by Vitality. It is not a cheap one but there is an early bird entry, if you are quick.

I stayed out of the city a few miles away in Bristol. It was a 15 mins train journey into Bath and even this was geared up for easy travel to the half. Extra trains were laid on and timetables were given out when buying ticket.

On arrival in Bath the race village was easy to find. Just follow the crowd. It was about a 5 mins walk from the station. The race village was at the Bath Rugby ground. There were many charity tents, food vans, the bag drop and the all important loos were in abundance!

Everyone assembled in their allotted colour start zones in Great Pulteney Street, a Bath street straddled with beautiful Georgian houses …. I had been given the zone at the back of the fast boys. I heard someone saying they were hoping for a 1.40 finish … scary something was not right.

The run started promply at 11am. It is marketed as a fast flat course… mmm?

The first mile was a gentle downhill … loved it! But then over the course there were a few humps and bumps. The course was either side of the River Avon. Initally running east towards Bristol. At 4 miles turning back to the city. Just before 7 miles it turned east again for another lap. In the final mile there was a gentle, long rise to the finish back on Great Pulteney Street.

The support on the course was great. Amazing spectators, loads of cheering and encouragement. There were several bands and the water and fuel stations were spread out well.

Once through the finish there was a bit of a bottle neck but it soon cleared and drinks, t shirts, goody bags and the medal were picked up. Bag pick up was quick and easy too.

A great Half , I loved it … and of course great BLING !

helen ————————————————————————–

The Spitfire 20

(by Glyn Merritt)

This was my second attempt at the Spitfire 20 and it started off much better than last year as I managed to arrive on time with the help of John Palmers navigation, a far cry from last year’s 12 mile diversion.

The race is well organised with the start/finish and parking all close by. We start with a lap of the aerodrome and then off through the neighbouring villages and back for two laps of a 10 mile circuit completing the Spitfire.

The route is rather pleasant running through some country roads.  Some of the roads are busy. There are a couple of reasonably steep hills mixed in which are a little more daunting on the second lap but on the whole a flat course with an elevation gain of 790ft (if that means anything to you).

I really enjoyed the race and chatted along with a friendly fella for the middle 10 miles who helped me keep my pace up (thanks Barry). The toughest bit has to be the last 3 miles as, at the end, the field has stretched out and it’s a little lonely if you are running on your own + the 1 mile marker is actually 1.3 miles from the finish of the Spitfire. The end is great though as it’s a straight finish and you have a good crowd cheering you in with refreshments and a rather posh medal.

I managed to finish in 2:35.53 knocking 14 mins 55 seconds of my time last year which I’m very happy with. On the whole great prep for the marathons and well organised event with friendly marshals, oh and there are gels at some of the water stops too.


The Brighton Half Marathon

(by Claire Giles)

Two weeks prior to the Brighton Half I ran Worthing Half and got my PB. I did it again at the Brighton Half on the 28th Feb.

We made our way to drop bags off – was busy and crowded. Then we made our way to our pens. The atmosphere was fab, seeing friends running.  We all said hi, well done, calling our names, great crowds – thank you all for shouting and cheering – I heard & saw you.

The weather was fab after the wind was forecast but it stayed away! Saw so many people.  It was lovely.  You kept me going along.  Loved seeing BHR supporters thank you – great to see the Blue Squad get some fab times / PB’s well done.

Great to be picked up by Steve & Jackie, great to have a little run with you!

Turning onto the Prom I can’t deny my shins were aching, I slowed down a bit then these girls from Chelmsford said keep going & I ran with them for a bit.

At this point I’m thinking it’s a parkrun 😉

I kept going & enjoying the atmosphere – it was great, coming into the last bit, Brian goes past saying keep going Gilesy you’ll smash it!!  The crowds were tighter, my stomach and the adrenaline were bubbling away.  I could see the finish, dig deep, crowds were cheering, I could see the finish, then boooom foot on the finish.

I smashed it! Saw friends and I was sooooo happy.

Then we carried on to collect water, goodie bag most important bling & T Shirt!

I had to do my obligatory cartwheel 🙂



parkrun corner with Theresa Chalk

Saturday mornings 9am around the globe, parkrun is viral. A lifestyle that has spread into the lives of many, bringing communities and families together, bringing with it better health,  happiness, community spirit and lots of laughter, sometimes even cake.  We even dress up sometimes.


To start this little parkrun corner in the BHR newsletter we have Eileen Adlam’s account of her experience at Clair Park. Given that she has done Parkrun 187 times she is well qualified for the task.

“The first thing you will notice when you arrive are the friendly smiles of the volunteers setting up.  The course takes you round a small pleasant park with tree lined paths. There is a short hill you go up four times and a long hill which you go down five times, which is always great.  Marshalls and spectators provide lots of encouragement as you go round, and if your more of a tortoise than a hare and you find yourself at the back you get your very own tail runner to support you all the way.

Then it is just seven days to wait before you can come back and enjoy it again”

A few noteworthy park run stats for  BHR:

Claire Giles 175 Parkruns and a PB this week 27.24.

Christine Jones braved her first park run at Clair.

Carole Mills fastest ever time was 25.31

Dave Oldfield is up to 175 runs.

9 BHR got PB’s this month (March)

Jonathon Herbert ran at Preston Park.

Liz Hayward ran at Tilgate.

Alice Birdsall hasn’t long till her 100th run and is presently on 91. Here is her account of the Norwich Parkrun she did recently.

“Norwich attracts 500+ runners causing the course to be changed over time and is a three and a half lap course.  While I am used to doing multiple laps at Clair, I was not used to being aggressively told to keep left as I got lapped, even to the people who were keeping left. Anyway despite the lack of sportsmanship it was nice to do a lovely flat parkrun in the beautiful setting that is Eaton Park and the finish to the bandstand is a great place to gather at the end”

Now to finish, if you have never volunteered, here is Malcolm Slaters reasons for why you should come along and have a go.

“Volunteering at parkrun gives you the satisfaction of knowing that you are giving other runners the opportunity to improve their performance and enjoy a morning with friends and parkrun family”

Thank you Eileen, Alice and Malcolm.

Have fun at a parkrun.



And now for some news from you wonderful Social Team……

Burgess Hill Runners – Annual General Meeting and Awards night.

The AGM & Award Evening was held on 17th March at the Hassocks hotel and for those who attend it was another very enjoyable evening.

The Club membership continues to grow and it was nice to see new faces as well as long standing members supporting the club.

The Awards part of the evening recognised some exceptional performances and commitments. The following presentations were made.

Junior Academy Performance Alfie Geere
Junior Academy Most Improved Runner David Burke
Junior Academy Coaches’ Award Abbey Trotter
Black Cap Handicap Kevin Walker
Back Caalf Trophy The Craigs Family
Social Award Helen Pratt
Committee Award Andy Sayers
Chairman’s Award Jay Wadey
Fun Run Champion Male James Sorbie
Fun Run Champion Female Fay Roberts
Spirit of the WSFRL Malcolm Slater
Daytime Group Most Improved Runner Tracey Golbey
Daytime Group Coaches’ Award Jacqui Sims
Hazel Holmes Shield Jane Harle
Beginners/Improvers Coaches’ Award Vanessa Corrick
Coaches’ Award (Most Improved Runner) Gary Foley
Coaches’ Award Neil Grigg
Club Championship Male James Collins
Club Championship Female Sharona Harrington
Male MSenior James Collins
Male Vet 1 Gary Woolven
Male Vet 2 Simon Thompson
Male Vet 3 John Palmer
Male Vet 4 Andy Sayers
Male Vet 5 Nigel Cruttenden
Male Vet 6 Stuart Condie
Male Vet 7 Malcolm Slater
Female Fsenior Hannah Watkins
Female Vet 1 Sharona Harrington
Female Vet 2 Emma Buckland
Female Vet 3 Catherine Kempton
Female Vet 4 Linda Russell
Female Vet 5 Sue Lyle
Female Vet 6 Jenny Nicoll

The social committee who arranged the event asked for feedback regarding the current social events and they also asked for ideas for new events.

Suggestions for new events:

  • Bowling
  • Go-Karting
  • Karoke
  • Go Ape
  • A Running with dogs event.
  • Rounders
  • Bridge Night
  • Dogs Night
  • Knitting with James Sorbie?
  • Day trip to France for a 10k run
  • Stoolball

..to mention a few.

If you have any further ideas or suggestions, please contact the social committee


A huge thank you to everyone who donated prizes for the raffle which raised an amazing £405!


Marathon Meal – 27th April 2016 – The Emperor Burgess Hill

This evening is for ALL members to come along and celebrate running achievements. Its always a really fun night out. We will be sending out details on how to book and pay for your place shortly. 🙂


We hope that you enjoyed this newsletter.  As we said, this is your newsletter, so if you would like to submit any race reviews or articles, please let us know.


The Newsletter Team.

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