May 2016 Newsletter

First of all, thank you for looking at the first newsletter after the relaunch last month.  We had over 250 visits from over 160 different people, which is nice.

To say that the past month has been busy is the understatement of the year (so far).  Lots of running, a considerable amount of supporting, volunteering in abundance and the odd bit of socialising as well.

The newsletter this month has some words of wisdom from our Head Coaches, some wonderful race reports and Teresa’s take on the world of parkrun.


Coaches Corner – with your Head Coaches, Sue and Liz

It’s all in the mind, don’t worry, be happy !

It’s a known fact that running releases endorphins which can lift your mood, and help you cope with negativity & stress improving happiness. But scientists are discovering that it works both ways, meaning happiness can improve your running performance!

If you head out for your run with a positive upbeat attitude you’ll run better than if you set out feeling negative.

It has been reported that a happy runner

  • Suffers fewer injuries, Happiness reverses the body’s muscle tensing stress response (tension makes us more susceptible to injury).
  • Receiving positive feedback reduces negative emotions and helps increase focus, thereby enhancing performance.
  • Happier people have more of the neurotransmitter dopamine in their brains which helps control the brains pleasure centre and makes it easier to tolerate uncomfortable sensations.
  • Happier people get sick less often & recover more quickly (negative emotions can provoke cellular activity that leads to illness and feeling happy & joyful reverses this detrimental process.

So apart from running, what can make you happy?

  • Mood boosting nutrients such as magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, B12, iron & vit D can be found in kale, oysters, mussels, pumpkin seeds, Greek yoghurt & most importantly Chocolate 😀.
  • Get enough good quality sleep.
  • Listening to music helps distract you from pain and fatigue when training/racing hard.
  • Positive mantras can help reduce negative thoughts which would otherwise increase muscle tightness and intensify sensations of pain.
  • Get friendly, chatting with and supporting others at a race or training session improves your own mood and wellbeing and helps you to mentally relax and physically relax your muscles.
  • Get outside, trail running improves cognition, mood, health and increases vit D absorption, (one study found simply by looking at a lake/river induced calm feelings).

So run happy friends & see you out there with a smile on your face.

Finally, some news on the coaches front:

Congratulations and welcome to Ann Savidge, Kim Gow and Karen Harvey who
have now completed their LiRF course and Jill Bennett her Assistant
Coach course for the Junior Academy.

Sadly, a couple of our coaches have stepped down. Leanne Cleaveley has returned to studying but will still be involved in Learn to Run and Hannah Brett has moved out of the area due to work but we still hope to see Hannah from time to time.

We would  like to thank Leanne and Hannah for their commitment and coaching over
the past few years.



“All roads lead to Rome” – Maratona di Roma – 10th April 2016

(By Paul Russell)


Getting back into the running ‘groove’ and having missed out on London, in February I decided to enter a race that would be ‘a bit special’ and Rome certainly looked the part. First though I had to overcome the most difficult online registration process I have ever encountered, resulting in emails to the organisers to confirm my entry.

Flights, hotel and race all booked – what could go wrong? A small matter of a skiing holiday in March resulting in a knee injury that’s what!

Anyway, I was off to Rome with a new marathon strategy of just getting round and taking in all the sites the city has to offer.

TIP: Don’t go skiing before a marathon!

Race Pack Pickup

Having survived Italian driving, I checked into my hotel in the heart of the city (near to the race start/finish in the Via dei Fori Imperiali) and headed towards the Colosseum to get the Metro B line down to the Marathon Village Expo at Palazzo dei Congressi to pick up my race pack. Arriving at Eur Fumi eight stops later and not knowing exactly where to go, I thought a safe bet was to follow an Italian runner who had last years back pack on – Wrong!

The race pack didn’t disappoint – T-Shirt, backpack, usual energy drink and a pack of Penne pasta?

TIP: Don’t follow an Italian in Rome, they are as lost as the rest of us!

Race Day

Following a mass of runners, I made my way to my starting pen in Via dei Fori Imperiali and waited in the warmth of the sun (it was going to be a hot one). Introduced this year was a staggered start to reduce congestion and I was in pen D and in the third and final wave at 08:51.

Paul 2Paul 1

The route is relatively flat with one long hill (that I can remember), on road with sections of cobblestones that takes you around the most famous places of worship in the capital: St. Peter’s, the Synagogue and the Mosque; further out you pass the Olympic village. On route, there were plenty of much needed refuelling stations and there was great support throughout.

Paul 4Paul 3

At the finish I collected my medal and another goody bag before heading for a few celebration drinks!

TIP: Go and see for yourself, you won’t be disappointed!


Brighton Marathon – 17th April 2016

(By Steve Bird)

This was my third marathon having run Brighton in 2011 and 2012. Not having a clue what I was doing my first two attempts resulted in me getting round but really not enjoying them.

Having developed the bug for running, I was determined not to be beaten so I went back to basics, starting with parkrun, then 10k, followed by some halves, before joining BHR early last year.

One of the things I love about running is how inclusive it is and how you can learn from everyone – as a result my approach this time was a totally different.

Steve 1

Arriving at Preston Park there was a great atmosphere with everyone preparing in their own way, time flew by and before I knew it we were off.

It took a few miles to settle into my target pace and it wasn’t long before we popped out onto Marine Parade and were heading towards Ovingdean. This section contains the only real inclines on the course, I love running with the sea in sight and the miles seemed to fly by and before I knew it we were heading back towards Brighton again.

The wall of noise and support as you reach Brighton Pier was incredible, it’s difficult not to get carried away at this point but the half way marker soon reminds you that there’s still some way to go.

I’d decided to run the race as two distances – the first a 20 miler and then hang on for a 10k to the finish.

I found the four mile loop into Hove the toughest bit of the course. When I started to tire at 16.5m I reminded myself that I only had 3.5m to the end of my first run and this really kept me going.

I’d run the last 8 miles of the course a couple of weeks before race day so I knew what to expect and this definitely helped. This is not the most exciting part of the course but there’s the added motivation as you make the turn knowing it’s a straight line to the finish.

As you hit the Prom the support picks up again and you can see the Pier. I’d seen Nat and Amber at miles 3, 5 and 12 and knew they were waiting at 26 so my countdown started again, only a parkrun to go. I ran the final section to the finish with Amber, after months of hard work it was awesome being able to share this part with my baby girl.

The different approach this time round certainly paid off and I can honestly say I loved every minute of it. A really well organised event, great course with brilliant support.

Steve 2


Boston Marathon – 18th April 2016 – The world’s oldest annual marathon: 2016 =120 years

(By Jan Lavis)

Jan 1

My journey to Boston 2016, began in 2015 at the BHR Marathon Meal. Sue Lyle proudly showed off her Boston medal from that year and the seed was sewn. Boston isn’t so straight forward to enter but my time from Barcelona in 2015 secured me a place.

On 18th April 2016, I found myself on the start line in Hopkington, 26.2 miles away from the finish line in the centre of Boston.  It was my first experience of snipers on surrounding roofs at a marathon start area. This was just a taster of the very tight security that surrounded the entire event. And they were just the ones we could see.

Jan 2

The course is pretty much a straight line, west to east into the city, although it resembles a roller coaster in terms of course profile. “It’s not hilly” said Sue Lyle. We always had a different definition of the word hilly.

The Americans seem to be more obsessed with the weather than we are and so we knew there was a heat warning – an accurate one. The temperate at the start was 72 degrees with a headwind predicted all the way to Boston.

So I decided to forget my original race plan and run by effort level. In that heat, head wind and roller coaster hills, this turned out to be around 30secs a mile slower. But I stuck to my revised plan. My aim had always been to enjoy the experience.

There are no pacers at Boston because the organisers say you need to run your own race. I like that. People don’t do that enough.

The support on the course was amazing. 26.2m of the most motivational, uplifting (and quite noisy) support.  Local residents along the entire route spraying us with their hoses, feeding us, running with us, willing us to the finish. I’ve never known anything like it.

It was suggested that the head wind was a good thing as it was cooling but I’m not so sure. I’m famous for being rubbish on hills and running into a head wind.

Boston is about the experience and the journey you took to qualify to get there. I am proud of my marathon PB of 3:32 from 2015 but I’m more proud that I got to run Boston

Of course it’s now also about taking the stance that we will not be defeated by terrorism. Patrick Downes and Adrianne Haslet were 2013 amputee survivors of the terrorist bombing. They ran the race this year using prosthetic limbs.

This was marathon no 65 for me. It was as difficult as they have all been. They never get easier. You just chillax more, worry less and wish you’d drunk less gin throughout your training. Run your own race.

I had a great time and was very happy with my time of 4:01.

Jan 3


Brighton Marathon 10K

(by Allison Willcox)

It’s 8am on a chilly Saturday morning and I’m making my way towards Preston Park with my fellow Burgess Hill Runners, Jane Harle and Tracy Grover, en route to participate in the Brighton Marathon Weekend 10k event. There’s a sense of anticipation in the air as we enter the park, which is seriously busy with runners in various warm-up poses, some in costumes, and taking pictures to create memories of their own part in this event.

Bag drop done, we head towards the portaloos, then avoid them after seeing the queue – it seems that there’s never enough toilets!! Huge smiles all round as we spot some BHR shirts in the crowd and wander down to the start pens. Yes, it’s a mud bath underfoot as we were warned – oh well, we’ll soon shake it off once we start.

Not one of us three girls have taken part in an event this big and for Tracy, this is her very first race! There’s a big sense of excitement as we keep moving around to stay warm, not easy in the mud but we managed to stay upright! The big screen is showing us pre-marathon interviews and upbeat tunes get the crown singing along. It’s a bit like a cross between a ‘fun-run’ event with the costumed runners and the crowd frenzy, and a much more serious event with people warming up, wearing serious faces that seem intent on a PB – We’re definitely in the middle of those two camps!

And… we’re off! There are lots of cheers from the crowd as we head out towards Brighton. Having lined up at the start along with 2 Brighton Seagulls, we quickly decide on a fun aim of making sure the ‘birds’ don’t beat us across the finish line! The first 5k seemed to take no time at all, an approximate time of 39 mins, and we celebrated Tracy’s first goal of a non-stop 5k and carried on. Personally, I find the mental challenge of running longer distances much harder to push through than the physical challenge, and the encouragement of someone running with you is a huge part of achieving in my opinion. Having then got passed the 6k point, it was a huge boost to reach the pier and see not one, but 4 wonderful cheering BHR marshals! You have no idea how much that got me over the wall at that point – you guys rock! Along the seafront to Hove, there was really fantastic support from the crowd and we thoroughly enjoyed the high fives, the individual cheers, and the sense that people really wanting us to keep going.

The Pier was in sight, and the last km was the toughest of the 10. You can see your goal, your legs are wobbly, and you don’t think you can do the last bit without stopping – then your friend says you can, the crowd says you can, and you just find that last bit of whatever you have to push towards that finish point, crossing it to huge cheers, in a time of 1:20:09!

Taking part in The BM10k was an amazing experience. It pushed me to run further and longer than I’ve done before, I saw how the support of fellow club members, other runners, and complete strangers can help you to achieve your goal. I never thought for one minute last year that this year I’d be running 10k without stopping and be part of an amazing race like that. I’m definitely signing up for next year’s BM10k and planning on getting a PB!


Greater Manchester Marathon 2016

(by Claire Tucknott)

When you think about the big city marathons you would be forgiven for thinking that the Greater Manchester Marathon was one of those. However the clue is in the title; although the marathon starts just outside Old Trafford instead of making its way into the city centre as one would expect heads out into Salfords. The eagle eyed runner will spot amongst the 15,000 runners Media City and the Coronation Street studios. It then winds it way out towards Altrincham where a quick tour of the town will find you running pretty much the way you came for a few miles before turning left out towards Urmston.

The Marathon route eventually winds its way through the surprisingly rural countryside and finally finds its way back to the Finish at the Lancashire Cricket Ground at Old Trafford.

The Marathon route benefits from full road closures, pacers and is well marshalled, its reasonably flat and has PB potential!

The water stops provide bottle water and gels in abundance. The goodie bag consists of a decent technical tee shirt, a very decent medal and most importantly a complementary pint at the end!

So if you want a Spring Marathon that is a little different the 260 mile drive is a small price to pay for a well organised flat road marathon



parkrun corner with Theresa Chalk

The parkrun corner is short and sweet this month.

To date 169 BHR have run Clair parkrun a total of 2029 times. Between them of course.

43 BHR have run it once. Can we tempt you back? Read the warming account further on.

Charlie Donnelly and Georgia Wadey (J) have completed their 10th run milestone.


20 of you have completed your 50th run milestone:

Amy Mills, Jean Lyle, Malcolm Slater, Lucy Tyrell, Hannah Watkins, Phillippe, Peter Lyle, Jon Lavis, David Woodhouse, Emma Leeson, Alice Birdsall, Neil Dawson, Nigel Cruttendon, Jay Wadey, Janet Clapton, Miranda Skinner, Simon Thompson, Gareth Drenner, Jamie Goodhead and James Sorbie.


4 BHR have completed their 100th milestone:

Eileen Adlam, Carole Mills, Susan Lyle and Dave Oldfield.


Here are some thoughts Dave has written to sum up why parkrun means so much:

I have been a parkrunner for over six years, originally at Hove Park. In those days I had to work most Saturdays and could only get to run during holiday times. So when Clair parkrun started a few years ago, it gave me a chance to become a real regular. Now I only miss it when I’m away on holiday!

I have been to a dozen different parkruns, each one had its own particular character and merits.  

Clair may not have as many runners as Bushy.

It may not be quite as pretty as Tilgate.

It definitely isn’t as flat as Hove Prom. 

Or offer the PB opportunities of Burgess parkrun.

It may not be quite as well-known as Little Stoke parkrun.

It isn’t quite as select as Bryn Bach (I made top 10 only because there were only about 20 runners) 

And we don’t have a little van turn up at the finish to serve coffee like they do at Plymvalley.

However, what Clair does have is some truly wonderful people, both volunteers and runners and this definitely makes it as friendly, welcoming and supportive a place to come and run, jog, walk or volunteer as you will find anywhere. 

Now, if we could just get that little coffee van to turn up at the finish!!

Dave’s last sentence echoes what I have heard others say on Saturday morning.

As us and Haywards Heath Harriers host this one I know if you came along you would see many familiar faces. Really a heart warming way to start your weekend.

See you soon



Social Committee

We have a shortage of news this month, as Alan is sitting on a beach somewhere really hot at the moment.

This means that there will be a double helping of news from the Social Committee next month.


So that’s all for the May newsletter.  We hope that you enjoyed it.  If you have any ideas for the future, additions or changes you’d like to propose, please let me know.

If you’d like to contribute with a race report, please make yourselves known.

I am sure that you are all as excited as I am about the long summer nights and the adventures that lie ahead.

We are only 1 weekend into May and I believe that BHR have already taken part in 5 different events.

Take care, Neil and the Newsletter Team.

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