August 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to the August newsletter.

It’s been a busy month again with lots of great weather and lovely races.

Hope you enjoy the contributions this month.



Coaches Corner by Head Coach Sue Bailie


Generally being physically flexible is good thing, running biomechanics are less strained and injury risk is reduced – However, you can have too much of a good thing!

Excessive flexibility may indicate Hypermobility, or Hypermobility syndrome (a more serious condition managed by a rheumatologist).

Hypermobility is diagnosed by fulfilling certain criteria, doctors and physio’s use the “Beighton scale score, the more serious syndrome uses this and the addition of other pain & disability factors”.

It can affect some or all of your joints. The hypermobile soft tissue collagen has less tensile strength making them too lax allowing too much range of movement putting stress & strain on the joint surfaces and overloading the body’s biomechanics increasing muscle strain, joint instability and injury risk.

It has been noted that hypermobile individuals have reduced levels of proprioception (knowing where your body is in space and adapting to this agilely).

Some Signs to lookout for are:

Elbows bend backwards, thumb touches forearm when bent backwards, knees bend backwards, little finger bends back more than 90*, skin laxity (eg, when lifted away from back of hand).

Feeling muscles are constantly tired & recurring injuries often in more than one area.

If you have most or all of these signs and symptoms consider talking your concerns over with your GP.

The good news is Hypermobility doesn’t need to wreck your running career, you can make positive changes to your training.

So to help yourself you’ll need to work on improving your strength, balance and control.

Exercises should be done moving in a small range of movement so as not to over extend your joints;

Lunges, keep weight on back foot & dip knee to kiss the floor (8 reps each leg)

Single leg squats, don’t let knee drop in or rotate outwards or go past the toes (8 reps each leg)

Single leg calf raise, standing on one leg & lift up onto toes with leg straight (15 reps each leg)

Core strength exercises and wobble board balances.

Stay strong & keep injuries at bay.

See you out there,

Sue X


Bushy Park 5 & 10k – 10th July 2016

(By Oli Jones)

Well I chose Bushy Park as a location because I wanted to do a run in London and it happened to be quite near where a family member lives. It is fairly easy to get to, a train to Clapham Junction and then change and get a south west train to Hampton Court.

It is an easy walk from the station as you go all the way past Hampton Court and follow the road straight and the main Entrance to Bushy Park is on the opposite side of the road. Brought back some fond memories of the GBR as you walk over the bridge and straight past the start line of the first stage.

The Race:

The start / finish line is situated to the North West of the park, not far from the car park and the lake. The race is two laps of a multi terrain course and starts at 10.00 am on the Sunday morning.

Off we go:

I started quite near the front as I thought I would be able to try and beat my PB, also it is a mix field as you can choose to do the one lap (5k) or two laps (10k).

Well the starter sounded and of we went, the first part of the course was over grass as you headed off towards the North West of the park. You join a tarmacked pathway that goes all the way round the outskirts of the park, there are opportunities to overtake on this part. You follow this path round to the main gate then cut upwards to the centre of the park, half way up this you turn left back into the trees and onto grassy paths that are cut through ferns.

The course then follows the grassy paths working their way up towards the start / finish line, as you get towards the line there is a nice section for people to watch and sit down and you also have to be careful of the deer as you go round. The finish line is set up on a nice straight path which is grass and you run quite near the lake. Two laps of this and your race is done, I was a bit disappointed as I missed out on my PB by a couple of seconds but I enjoyed it.


I enjoyed the race as I like doing and exploring different types of races and terrain. It is run by Nice Work, who also do a Richmond parkrun along with this one, every month for about seven months of the year (don’t quote on that). Bushy Park is a lovely park, I have been here a few times now and it is good just for a family day out with a picnic. Bushy Park is the third biggest park in London and also has a large population of deer.


High Weald Challenge 2016 – Andredsweald Circuit 26 Miles – 10th Jul 2016

(By Paula Ridley)


For those of you who don’t know the LDWA is the Long Distance Walking Association. They have a branch in each county and you can become an annual member for a very small charge. They arrange group walks and also challenge events which are generally open to walkers and runners, members and non-members. These are low cost, no frills and wonderfully low key events. I first heard about the LDWA a year or so ago when a few BHR members entered something called the Punchbowl 30. This was to be one of their first ultra distances so I went along as crew.

I love being out and about, I love to walk and my running ability is somewhat lacking so having a go at a long distance event aimed at walkers seemed perfect. When Steve Roberts mentioned the Andredsweald Circuit in Kent I thought it sounded like a great idea, it’s fairly local, the middle of summer (yeah right) and a manageable 26 miles. I knew I wanted to walk this and went out to acquire some Nordic walking poles which I took up on the South Downs for a test run. I love these poles! Karen Harvey had expressed an interest in running this event, Helen Pratt and Steph Harding were also keen, so that was our merry band complete.

The great thing about these events are they are a bit ‘turn up and start when you’re ready’ affairs. So on the day walkers were encouraged to start at 8:30am and runners at 10:00am though it’s fairly relaxed. The start was the Forest Row Community Centre where you could enjoy a cuppa first, sort out any kit, pin on your number and basically wander out. Karen settled into breakfast to wait for her later start and the rest of us ‘faffed’ for a bit and headed out 15 minutes after the main start time. To give you an idea of the size of event there were 95 starters in total with 86 finishing.


These routes have to be navigated although you are given fairly comprehensive instructions to follow. This does take a little bit of settling into as we discovered to our cost; we went off route within the first mile and found ourselves at a dead end in a housing estate. So after starting slightly later than everyone else and adding a bit extra to our journey we estimated we were almost an hour behind the main pack of walkers before we’d really hit the trails but because the event was so relaxed time really didn’t matter.


Karen started later than us and we were looking forward to her catching us. Steph had already said that when Karen caught us she might fancy running on too so we tried to estimate when she’d reach us.

Although it was warm the weather was by no means a summer’s day. It drizzled and rained for the whole morning so our feet were wet within the first mile and there was much coat faffing between us all, but we soon settled in to reading the route and marching on though the Ashdown Forest. Despite the weather it was beautiful scenery and changed frequently between wooded footpaths, open bracken covered forest and lanes through pretty villages. It wasn’t long before the runners started to appear behind us and they sailed on past. Some familiar faces from other long distance events went by and we were very shortly joined by Karen who if I remember rightly joined us at about mile 6, well before we had predicted. Karen stayed with us for a couple of miles to our first check point at Gill’s Lap car park where Steph was glad to get rid of her walking poles and join Karen on her run.

Steve, Helen and I continued with our walk and soon caught the back of the walking pack, a group of 5 girls who were also new to LDWA and attempting the full 26 miles. We passed them, quickly leaving them behind and began to realise that time was actually getting quite tight to make the cut off at CP2 (13.8 miles). We made it though and we met a poor runner who had suffered a shoe malfunction and was standing barefoot in the pouring rain waiting for a ride back to Forest Row. After some cake, biscuits and squash we marched on. I have to say at this point Helen was leading the charge with the most incredible walk; Steve and I were half walking and half running along behind her trying to keep up with her amazing pace.


Once onto the Forest Way Cycle Path 21 we knew we weren’t going to make the cut off for CP3 if we continued to walk so for the first time that day we picked up our poles and ran. We made it with just a few minutes to spare at Balls Green (18.2 miles). The volunteers at the check points are lovely, they had saved food back for those of us towards the back and made sure we had everything we needed. The rain eased off and it started to turn into a nice afternoon. The cut off to the next check point was a little more generous so we were able to settle back into a good walk and enjoy the surroundings again. Helen and I were less than happy to read in the route instructions “Ahd between posts and in 80yrds TR to X ST (“Bull” sign) and ahd across field 280o to TK”.  Most people know I have an aversion to cattle but BULL!! That’s a whole new bull game!! However, we were 20 miles into our marathon distance so with our big girl pants on we crossed the style and headed across the field which was thankfully small without sight of the horned resident. Phew.

Once safe we headed on and did a bit of pole swapping…..Helen’s had once been up Kilimanjaro!


Check point 5 came and went at 22.3 miles where there seemed to be some concern from the course organiser that it was 100 yards in the wrong place – shame on the volunteer in the deckchair; now it was just the small matter of 6 more paragraphs on our sodden instructions to reach the finish. We caught up with another walker, a lady who was walking alone so we ruthlessly overtook her and congratulated ourselves on not being last – hooray!!.  (Those we had passed before had retired).

Again realising we were tight for time and in fear of not receiving our sew on badges for completing the course in the given time we picked up them poles and jogged, nay may I say ran the last couple of miles. It was a tense couple of miles and with a little bit of confusion again back in Forest Row we followed the main road back to the community centre where Karen and Steph were tucking into the post race light supper of quiche and salad. Certificates were printed and badges purchased.

It was a fantastic event and a really enjoyable day. The soaking wet feet for 26 miles were not a highlight but having great company, the fun of finding our way and the laughs we shared along the route made this another memorable BHR outing. I really hope to do more of these and perhaps add a little more running here and there. The 2017 High Weald Challenge is scheduled for Wadhurst in late June/early July so I’ll be keeping my eyes open for that one. One thing is for sure, although these are walking events they can’t be underestimated. To complete the distance in the given time you do have to keep a good pace and read the instructions carefully. There were 3 distances available on this day with 26 being the longest. I would recommend to everyone to check them out and giving them a go.


parkrun corner with Theresa Chalk

Starting back to front, I will start with the volunteer winner of the swim pass which goes to Mr Jay Wadey. Well done you. Happy Swimming.

parkrun doesn’t exist without volunteers, so if you can spare some time on a Saturday or on a Sunday morinng at junior parkrun, we would really appreciate it.

I have one more volunteer swim pass to give out at the end of August. Many of you will be away, but if your around please come along and lend your support your local parkrun.

We have had a couple of weeks this month with about 20 BHR taking part at Clair. Keep it going, its a great hill training session if nothing else and as always great to catch up with friends past and present.

A great added bonus to parkruns are the milestone tee shirts. If figures are up to date, 17,748 people have their 100 shirt. 699, have the 250 shirt and 3 have their 500 shirt. I have noted there are a handful of you with 5/6 more runs to reach those miles stones, so keep them runs coming. your doing great.  Eileen Adlam has now passed her 200th parkrun.

We had a celebratory third birthday parkrun in July, where are very own James Sorbie won the trophy for most points in the male points league. He was very chuffed. I would like to add his picture to this write up but as he had a pic in last month I wouldn’t want his head to grow. Well done James.
Now for Tilgate Parkrun. Nothing like our own. It was huge and it was busy. Couldn’t hear a word anyone was saying. But being used to parkrun it didn’t worry me. We have so much I value for our home parkrun. But I do have to say, the morning we went, it was hot, the sky was blue. There was a cheeriness around. I’m not one for views usually but running around the lake was beautiful and invigorating.  It felt uplifting.  It was a vision of calm while everyone seemed out to just enjoy the scenery. Because of a few walkers it took the pressure off charging off, which was kinda nice. I would go back for the beauty, but when it comes down to it, there really is no place quite like home.

Cheers and good bye July.



If you would like to contribute to the newsletter, especially with a race review or even a piece of creative writing about running (why you do it, why you like it and so on), please let us know.


Neil, Steve, Claire, Theresa and the Head Coaches.

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