September 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to the September Newsletter.

First of all a few words about Track Nights from Head Coach Liz, then some lovely race reports and then parkrun corner with Theresa.

Hope you enjoy the read.  Please don’t be shy in coming forward to contribute to future editions.


Winter Track dates

To make it easier to remember, all the track dates take place on the first Wednesday of the month at Lewes Leisure Centre! Get there at 7.45pm for 8pm start. You will probably do a few drills as part of your warm up and then there will be a choice of a speed or endurance session.

5th October
2nd November
7th December
4th January
1st February
1st March
5th April

Whether you love running in circles or hate the thought of it, the truth is that track sessions will make you a better, faster runner. But how should you use your time to best effect? There are many benefits to track sessions regardless of your speed.

A track session is an excellent environment for a high intensity interval workout and will give you a very focused training session. It will benefit training for all levels of race distances: 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon. Track sessions also help you to practice consistent running and race pace.

There are variations of sessions which can incorporate short intervals, 100 to 400 metres, at a faster pace which help to increase raw speed, stride power and running economy.

Middle distance intervals, 600 to 1200 metres, would generally be run at your 3-5k race pace and help your body to learn to consume oxygen, recycle lactate and resist the major physiological causes of muscle fatigue at high running speeds resulting in increased aerobic fitness.

Long intervals, typically 1600 to 3000 metres, are run at a slower pace which would be closer to your 10k pace and will be close to your lactate threshold pace for many. Longer intervals increase the body’s intensity to recycle lactate for muscle fuel.

You can also incorporate a mixed interval session.

So whilst you may not be Mo Farah or Usain Bolt, why not give track a go. . Track is fun and if you’re not sure where to go or don’t want to arrive on your own, there will be plenty of people who will happily give you a lift. Remember, if you aren’t going to track, there are no 7.30pm sessions from the school.

Race Reports

13 The Hard way – 27th Aug 2016

(By Keith Brown)

To be honest I had no idea what to expect from this race that was my first trail half marathon and only my third event at this particular distance. I was persuaded to sign up by a fellow club member who I have been running with for most of the time since I have been a member of the club.


Having arrived and registered in a field at the foot of the South Downs I soon realised that there were a large number of fellow club runners participating so it felt more like a club training session.


The route started with a fierce climb up to the South Downs way following the tank tracks. The elevation gain of 139m for the first mile told its own story as did the 15 min time to complete. Once up on the South Downs Way heading east towards Housdean the route followed both loose gravel and grass paths whilst undulating, with spectacular views of the Sussex countryside, and a good downhill sprint to the half way point.

The way back was just as tough in reverse with miles 6 1/2– 8 1/2 almost entirely uphill. The breeze strengthened and legs began to tire but the downhill to the finish was a welcome sight at the end.

My time of 2:40:38 was one I was very pleased with considering I had nothing to measure it against. Felt like I could have gone a bit quicker but on this occasion just happy to finish the course.

My memories and thoughts from this day was the non-stop encouragement from runners, some I knew, some I didn’t, the warm welcome from all of the volunteers and of course my own personal achievement and more bling!

Running is a great sport and one I am beginning to love more each day.  If you haven’t given anything like this a go then my advice – Do it!


Dublin Rock n roll Half Marathon- 7th Aug 2016

(By Helen Pratt)

Five Burgess Hill Runners, Linda R, Steve G, Marie C, Lee C and myself flew to Dublin to run the Rock n roll half Marathon.


There are many events in the rock n roll series. Most in America but there are a few within a short flight/drive for us – Liverpool, Lisbon, Madrid and Dublin. They all have a range of distances to run and they all have amazing bling.


Dublin has a half marathon, 10k and family 3k run on the Sunday and 5k on the Saturday.

Saturday afternoon saw a visit to the expo to pick up numbers, t shirts and enter the 5k family run. This year it was held at Trinity college which was central Dublin. The expo isn’t much to get excited about, apparently the American ones are amazing but this allowed us time to explore Dublin, well the Guinness factory actually.

Race day arrived, fuelled with the Guinness we prepared ourselves to run 13.1 miles. Steve put on his green tutu, a birthday challenge, which he took to very well.

The half marathon and 10k started together at 8.30 in waves. Eventually we got started. A lovely flat course running along the River Liffy. Flat? Mmm, that’s what we though. To begin with yes. The course runs past the Ha’penny bridge, the gates of the Guinness storehouse, through the Kilmainham hospital, the Gaol and the Irish museum of modern art grounds.

At mile 6 the road splits and the 10k runners peel off to enter Phoenix Park leaving us half marathoners to carry on to enter the park further up the road. Here we meet the hills at 8 miles. The remaining 5 miles were a tough up and down around Phoenix park.

Throughout the run there were bands lining the route which gave a great boost.

Finally the finish line and the bling.


Not satisfied with running 13.1 miles we then had another 3k to run as we had signed up for the family run. Well more bling of course!!

At the finish there is more music and a concert laid on for anyone who wishes to stay and listen

Bad Cow Double Marathon Weekend (plus a 10k and half marathon option) – August 2016

(By Neil Dawson)

So, the Bad Cow weekend arrived and we headed back to Holton Lee in Dorset, where we had run the Bad Cow Saturday marathon last year. We love Dorset, but we had agreed not to do the same event 2 years running.

We broke this promise for 2 reasons.  Firstly, it’s White Star.  We love White Star.  They’re cool, as are their races.  Secondly, with the Chiltern Wonderland 50 fast approaching, this seemed like a good last big training weekend with a marathon on Saturday and Sunday.

It’s 100 mile drive from Sussex, which took me 4 hours.  Lovely Friday rush hour.  When I got there, Nick and the rest of the Burgess Hill Runners campers were there along with Nick’s Dad and his wife.

My tent was already erect and all I had to do was to open a beer and get my vegan pizza from the on-site caterers (MYO – very good you know).

It was pretty cold on Friday night and we soon headed off to bed pretty early ready for an early start on Saturday.  I didn’t sleep well (surprise surprise).  6 foot 2” light sleeper inside pop up tent while the wind is blowing a gale and it’s chucking it down outside.  Recipe for 3 hours kip.

So, I got up.  The first person on the camp site to emerge from their shelter.  If only there were a prize for this.  I’d win at every race where we camp.  Breakfast was good.  The stomach wasn’t playing up (yet) and slowly but surely the camp site came to life (assisted by Andy, the race director driving round the field with music on full blast).

9am and it’s time to go.  The 2 marathons are on the same course, but are run in different directions on each day.   There is also a 10k race at 6pm on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday morning for those who don’t fancy taking on 26-ish miles.

The race is 8 laps of varied terrain and flora/trees and so on.  This is the flattest of the White Star events with only 2 sections that I would call hills.

There is always a sense of fun at WSR races, but I think that they outdid themselves this time.  There’s always fancy dress and there’s always an incredibly relaxed and jovial atmosphere.  The runners are always very friendly.  There is always a ‘Love Station’ as well, which is the feature aid station on WSR events.  For the Bad Cow Marathons you pass it 8 times and it was a joy.  It was ABBA themed.  Music playing all day.  There was singing, dancing and booze.  It really was quite amazing.  I don’t know how they kept it up all day.  They did also have a lovely selection of the usual aid station food and drink.

So, for my races.  I knew that I should have taken day 1 easy, but that would be too easy.  Something inside me was saying to go for a time.  So I did.  Well, a time for me, but it’s all relative.  These races are chip times, so you have accurate lap split times.  One day I decided to set off around 6 minute km pace.  This would give me my second quickest marathon ever and would batter my trail marathon record.  The splits are below (each lap is 5.3km).

Lap 1 – 31.17
Lap 2 – 30.55
Lap 3 – 30.56
Lap 4 – 30.22
Lap 5 – 31.07
Lap 6 – 33.10
Lap 7 – 38.33
Lap 8 – 38.57

I’m getting pretty good at running even splits, although I ran out of gas on the last 2 laps.  There was a lot more run/walking involved, but a finishing time of 4 hours 25 minutes and 7 seconds.  That’s my third quickest marathon ever and quickest trail marathon by a distance.

At the end of day 1, I must admit that I was pretty reticent about doing the same thing the next day (but in the opposite direction).  It turns out that there was nothing to fear.  In fact, day 2 was much more fun.  I ran with Nick and Philippe for the first 3 laps.  We took lots of photos and had a real laugh.


I set out at 5 hour 25 minute pace (an hour slower than the previous day seemed like a good arbitrary target).  My pacing on day 2 was spot on.

Lap 1 – 39.40
Lap 2 – 39.02
Lap 3 – 38.38
Lap 4 – 39.41
Lap 5 – 38.11
Lap 6 – 38.15
Lap 7 – 37.12
Lap 8 – 36.12

That’s 5 hours 6 minutes and 51 seconds.

Almost constant until the last 2 laps when I speeded up.  I felt strong and really loved day 2.  Very unexpected.

I fuelled on baby food, tomatoes, crisps and fruit.  I took a salt tablet every hour and used Zero electrolyte tablets in my drinks.

As far as confidence boosts for my second 50 miler go, this could not have been better.

So, what did I learn from this weekend:

  1. Pacing is king. Choose a pace that you feel you’re going to be comfortable at and keep to it.  Even if you’re feeling good at 10k, 15k or 20k, don’t speed up.  It’s a marathon, not a sprint.  Literally.
  2. If you wear a head torch in bed and there is a moth in your tent, it will constantly fly into your head until you turn the torch off.
  3. Learn from the professionals. Having read about the meticulous preparation of the Team GB cycling squad and how they take their own pillows with them everywhere they go, to aid with better sleep, I decided to take my own pillows with me.  This was clearly a step up from rolling up my bulky clothing to fashion a pillow, which is what I did at Giant’s Head.
  4. Philippe is forgetting how to speak French.
  5. Get smaller bags to pack different types of things in, rather than putting everything in one big bag. This will make it easier to find things.  In conjunction with this, get everything ready the night before the race rather than rolling up, cracking open a beer and saying ‘I’ll do it in the morning’.
  6. The weather always sounds worse inside a tent than it actually is outside.
  7. Runners are brilliant. Volunteers, photographers, fellow runners.    Just amazing.  This community is the business.  It doesn’t matter how quick or slow you are.  Everyone cheers.  Everyone encourages you along.  Big hugs to you all.
  8. ABBA can make you happy. I know that the circumstances were slightly strange, but ABBA actually made me happy.  My only regret is that I didn’t get the chance to sing ‘Knowing Me Knowing You, Aha’ in an Alan Partridge style at the aid station.
  9. Hokas are sooooooooooooooooooo comfortable. I ran the first half of day 2 in my normal Adidas road shoe, but changed back to my Hokas for the last 3 laps.  My first ever pair and I love them.

So, that’s the Bad Cow by White Star running.  In a nut shell, great race, lovely place, wonderful people, amazing medals, free photos (yes free photos – free – yes free, and they’re really good.  A huge thank you to Rob Hannam for these) and the best aid station on the planet.  There is only one thing I’d suggest as an improvement for this event and that is the flavour of the crisps in the goods bag.  Would have loved veggie friendly crisps. You can tell that your £30-ish has been well spent when that’s how deep you have to scrape the barrel for something you’d like to change.

Thank you Andy, the Race Director.  Just amazing.  You set the standard.


The East Farm Frolic by Jay Wadey

The East Farm Frolic is not just another race, no sir!

It is an experience. An experience that everyone reading this would be able to participate in, and from the Burgess Hill Runners first time taking part in this event, I can honestly say that I can see an even bigger squad heading off to Dorset for next years race.

Although the actual race is on a Sunday, to really get in the mood, I would advise arriving on the Saturday with your camping equipment and staying through to Monday. That way you can really soak up the atmosphere and you feel the excitement growing! The main pack of the blue army managed to all camp in the same spot and it really made for a great base for the weekend. Most of the first afternoon was spent erecting tents and getting ourselves comfortable, but by tea time, most of us headed to the start area, where there was a huge tent where you could get a meal and if you fancied, a rather nice ale or two (or three)! It was lovely to meet other runners and chat. The evening was warm and pleasant, and it was great to chill out before the next days main event.

After a good nights sleep well as good as you can get from sleeping in a tent! BHR’s finest stepped out to compete in The East Farm Frolic.

Now the actual race takes place over a 6(ish) kilometre lap and the aim is to complete as many laps as you can over a 12 hour period. You can choose to run as a team of 4, or 3, or 2, or if you are super fit or completely mad you can do it solo! You can take it as seriously or as fun as you like, it’s up to you. The rule one is that over the 12 hours each one of your team must run at least one lap. Lots of runners dress up in fancy dress, mainly as farmyard animals to add to the fun. Burgess Hill Runners lined up 5 teams of 4 athletes. As 8:00am approached, we got ready to race.

My team was The Beetroot Bombardiers and we consisted of Neil and Nick Dawson, Malcolm Slater and myself. Neil decided to lead us off by completing 2 laps straight away (we had our tactical team talk the previous evening in the beer tent and this was a sure-fire way for us to win this challenge!). After just over an hour or so, he passed the baton on to Malcolm Slater. Now when I say baton, I actually mean a deep pink rubber squeaky chicken! All teams were issued with one and you had to keep that chicken on the course at all times (that was the second rule). We cheered Malcolm off and I went back to watching the runners completing their laps. I must admit, I totally lost track of the time and was busy chatting away with everyone, when all of a sudden Malcolm appeared in the distance and it was my turn to run.

The morning was rainy, but I frantically tore off my rain coat and stripped down to reveal the mighty blues colours (a bit like Superman does!). Malcolm crossed the line and attached the chip bracelet to my ankle and handed me the chicken. I was off!

As I said, the lap is 6k (just over) and you start by heading over the field you are camping in, through into another field that is flat, but slightly bumpy underfoot and then the fun starts.  You head into a third field that goes up and I mean UP! It is steep to say the least. Even on my first lap I chose to conserve energy and walk for the two or three minutes it takes to get to the top. When you reach the top, there is a sign saying look at the view behind you and you turn around and see the whole camp site below and a steady stream of runners heading up behind you. It is a fantastic view for sure. You carry on and you soon head into the wooded area for around half a kilometre. As you emerge, there is a field that has a slight downward incline. Then we have a jump over a hay bale, turn left and head gently upwards to the halfway point and some farm buildings.

Next there is 1k of trail path on a gentle down gradient. A nice break for the legs. You then turn right and head slightly up for 400 metres to the LOVE STATION. This is the point where you can replenish all your lost energy with water, biscuits and jelly babies or if you prefer, you can move to the next table and have some cola, cake and pretzels or you can move to the third table and have beer, cider or shots of melon vodka! You may find this hard to believe, but on my first lap, I bypassed all this and abstained and headed down through two more fields until I could see the finish line. I crossed over the finish in around 34 minutes and found Nick waiting to take on the next lap. I placed the chip bracelet around her ankle, handed her my chicken and away she sped!

I then had around 2 hours before my next lap, so I re-fuelled and prepared. time goes by very fast… it was my lap again. this continued for the next few hours. I decided that I would do a double lap for my 3-4 finale and that pretty much finished my day. By the end of the twelve hours, the Beetroot Bombardiers had managed a marvelous 16 laps which is over 96 kilometres. This somewhat pales a bit when you learn that the top solo runner finished on 18 laps all by himself! Still, we had all had a fantastic day and we partied on into the night.

That is not quite the end of the story.

The next morning we awoke and all signed up to the charity race that was put on at the same area. The Chaos Run. It cost just 6 to enter and the medal was as big as your head!

We paid our money and turned up at the start line. We were told to remove our shoes and place one in each of two bags. These were taken up the field and emptied into two big piles. The race started, and we headed off to find our shoes. Once they had been discovered we could then run a shortened course in reverse (around 5k). There were a couple of obstacles to overcome too and I was made to do 10 sit-ups whilst being squirted by a water gun, but I overcome and finished the course in good spirits.

I am already looking forward to next years event. I hope you will join us!


parkrun corner with Theresa Chalk

Hello to you all.

Do you like Spanish food? I wasn’t sure that I would, but still I went ahead and booked a table for two in a lovely little eatery  in the Lanes. The food was delicious, and we enjoyed a bit of flamenco dancing and singing too.

Now, being someone who loves tucking up in bed with a good book on the go it was quite novel affair for me to be down in Brighton at 11 pm. Way past my bedtime. The streets were filled with gaiety and chatter, colour and energy. It took my mind to thinking ‘normally fast asleep by now’, and while I’m sleeping, all this bustle of entertainment is going on. People enjoying being together; walking arm in arm silently soaking up the atmosphere,  some rather noisy rowdy groups adding to the ambiance, then the  clatter  and clinks of classes and cutlery sounding from open doors and windows, people meeting friends with hugs and smiles.  It did something to my soul and I felt truly part of the picture in front of me.

This really does have a lot to do with parkrun, so hold on in there. It will come quicker than a finish line.

So, a Saturday morning arrives.  I’ve not got any commitments so I could go to Clair Park for a run or any other parkrun for that matter.  However,  my head is still in sleep slumber mode, snuggled into my pillow and oh my duvet is just so snugly. Why on ever would I want to rise and leave the warm cocoon of slumber? Well the answer is, I don’t have to. I can just stay in bed.

The other option is, yes, you’ve guessed it, is to get up and go and join in with some lovely people for a run/jog/walk.  Where you can laugh, hug and cry. You can experience elation, encouragement and friendliness all in one big sugary heap and not pile on the lbs on in the process.

If getting up out of snugly dreamy world is difficult you or there are other reasons a Saturday does not work for you, you can still do Parkrun Freedom. Go along to the Parkrun at a date and time more suitable to you.  Run it, record your time, then go to one of your parkrun emails and click on the link for freedom parkrun and record your time there. Just so easy.

Meanwhile as some of us headed to our local parkruns, Ann Savidge headed to Ipswich to run The Ipswich Parkrun which is held at Chantry Park.  Well, in reality they went for a family wedding.

On the 20th August, my husband Andrew and I were up in Ipswich for a family wedding and I thought I would give the local Parkrun a try. It is held in Chantry Park, which is the largest town park in Ipswich. It extends over 124 acres of parkland and wildlife areas and is situated on the western edge of town.

A short 5 minutes’ walk took us to the Ipswich and East Suffolk Cricket pavilion where the run would be starting from. Over 250 runners took park that morning, so slightly more than I’m used to at Clair Park! The description of a multi terrain course was spot on as we ran on a section of woodland trail paths, gravel pathways, short sections of tarmac and quite a bit of grass. It was a very scenic route which passed the usual children’s play areas and football pitches but also the imposing Chantry Manor with its walled gardens and bowls green where they were setting up for the days play. Not quite a flat course as there was a couple of undulating bits but a lovely Parkrun to visit if you ever get the chance. Highly recommended in my opinion.

One other small sweetener – all the cakes at the end were free, you were only expected to pay for your teas and coffees.

Thank you to everyone who has helped out with parkrun in whatever capacity. Last month we know Jay Wadey won the swim pass but being a member of the leisure centre already he has passed it on. So this month one voucher for a family swim pass goes to Richard Copeland and one to Miranda Skinner.

Have a good September

Theresa C


As always, thank you to the contributors.  This newsletter only exists if you contribute with your race reports or any other article that you would like to write.

Please send any contributions to myself, Steve Bird and Claire Giles.

Thanks and take care, Neil.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s