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.

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.

July 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to the July newsletter.

We have some an excellent piece from our head coach Sue, as well as some lovely race reports (including our amazing ladies running 100km from London to Brighton) and more news from Theresa in parkrun corner.


Coaches Corner by Sue Baillie

Running economics

Don’t worry I’m not talking about “Brexit/Bremain”!

I’m talking about running economically; burning your body fuel as economically as possible, allowing you to run further or faster before fatigue sets in.

It may also lower your risk of injury by distributing work load across more muscle fibres.

There are a number of approaches to becoming more economical.

The first we’re all familiar with- “the long run”. Adding  5 minutes to each long run is believed to improve aerobic fitness without increasing your risk of injury?

However, it maybe better to improve your stamina by building strength, speed and hills into your training plan!

Strength. There’s lots of research evidence indicating high-intensity strength training improves running economy, lower body exercises which use large amounts of muscle recruitment can be advantageous. Lunges and Squats use your own body as resistance training. I would recommend doing strength training a few days before your tough running sessions or the same day but after a tough run.

Change of pace.  By adding some fast running it challenges your body to adapt to the increased effort. You can do this by inserting intervals of increased speed into your run; Try adding 30 secs effort every half a mile, you can use a scale we often talk about at club RPE (rate of perceived exertion).  If your usual run is gentle & you can hold a normal conversation without gasping for air you may perceive that at 4 RPE, but your speed interval maybe 8 RPE where your now panting & puffing. This is just one example of speed play, there’s lots of variations on this theme. Variety is the spice of life & produces the desired training effect = enhanced performance.

Hills. Hill running recruits more muscle fibres than flat terrain does. Initially adding a hill into your run circuit will help build your base fitness, then challenge things further with either hill reps (charge uphill & jog back to the bottom & repeat 6 times. Or run a circuit with a few hills & try to maintain the same uphill as you did on the flat.

These are just a few examples of how mixing it up on your usual run will improve your strength, stamina and running economy, plus it makes a mundane run far more interesting & inspiring.

Enjoy the journey & see you out there

Sue X

Race reports

Flying the flag at The London Mile was Helen, this is her report of the race…

Amba Hotels City of London Mile.

On Sunday 18th June my daughter Amelia and I took a trip up to the city of London to run the Amba Hotels City of London Mile.

The Mile course is iconic, fast and flat. It starts at St Pauls Cathedral, runs towards the Mansion House before going towards the Bank of England. It then joins onto the London Olympic marathon course looping past the Guildhall before finishing along Cheapside.


The mile run is free to all entrants to allow everyone to run and enjoy participating in a race.

There were several different race waves, 8 general races, 3 family races, a womens race, a wheelchair race. A youth race and 2 elite races. There were all ages running. It was great watching the tiny tots sprinting to the finish line.

First stop having arrived at St Paul was to go to the race village to pick up our race packets. Everything was like a big race. Our numbers were chipped, there was an organised bag drop, portaloos etc.

The races started at 10am. We were in wave 7 and we were due to start at 11am. We were called at 10.45 and walked to the start. Each wave had about 100/150 people all of roughly equal ability.

11am came. The starting gun sounded and we were off. It is amazing what adrenaline does and we soon found ourselves at the half way point with cheering crowds along the route. 400 metre and finally 200metres. Now there were drums playing and more crowds cheering us towards the finish line.


Next, the most important bit. The bling! Definitely worth running for. Each year apparently there will be a different monument on the medal. This year was the Royal Exchange.

Within minutes of finishing a text had come through with finishing times.

Yes, it is a long way to come for a mile and the train fare to get there isn’t cheap but it was a fantastic, well organised run. It was great to see families running together and the faces of the tiny tots finishing with their parents dragging behind them.

We had a fun day and having run we then spent time in London seeing the sites.


London 2 Brighton 100k Challenge – Helen’s report of her experience.

It seemed a good idea, a great way to celebrate our “0” birthdays. Running, walking, crawling 100k. So the early bird entries opened and we entered.

Saturday 28th May arrived “Team 0 to Hero” made our way, blurry eyed to Richmond Old Deer Park for a 7.20 start. Registration was straight forward. We were give a map,a neck buff and a timing lanyard. It was then time to say goodbye to our wonderful crew and get warmed up.



7.20 arrived and we were off. Scared, excited, worried… Brighton seemed a long way away. All we had to do was follow the fluorescent pink arrows and when it was dark the glow sticks They were everywhere as long as we kept our eyes peeled we were not going to get lost!!

Before long we were running along the River Thames looking at the beautiful houses sitting on the banks heading to Kingston.

Along the route about every 12k, there were aid stations. These were really well stocked.



Crisps, nuts, sweets, noodles and more and around 25k there was a pick n mix. They were amazing. Sweet heaven!

The first aim was to get to Tulleys Farm at 56k.This was our half way point and major rest stop. By now our watches had given up, our feet and bodies were getting tired and our feet were yelling at us. So far we had gone up a few inclines, down a few slopes, crossed several railway lines including the London to Brighton line and gone over enough stiles. This part of the route was mainly on quiet country lanes with a little off road. We turned the corner and crossed the road to Tulleys and there was a mass of Burgess Hill Runners waiting to cheer us on. It was amazing seeing everyone there.


We were soon shooed off to get sorted at the aid station. Massages, Hot food, fresh clothes and feet plastered up it was time to say goodbye to everyone. Only another 44k to go.

We were now on familiar ground. Digging deep we continued. This part of the route was again on quiet country roads but there were also woods, uneven ground, mud, more stiles and bigger hills.


Ardingly, Lindfield, Scaynes Hill and eventually Wivelsfield Green. It was dark in this section too so head torches were needed and we were following hundreds of glow sticks

At Wivelsfield school there was more hot food and more fantastic Burgess Hill runners and only 20k to go.


Then to Plumpton college and over the Downs, a really big hill, nearly there. We only had to get to Brighton racecourse and 100k would have been done.


It was an amazing event to do. So well organised. The aid stations were heaven and there were the cleanest event portaloos we have ever seen.


After the final push up the hill on the race course we finished. As we crossed the line we were give a glass of bubbly, our wonderful medal and t shirt. If we had wanted it another hot meal and massage too.


Claire Giles at the Endure 24

Last year after I took part in the Bacchus Half Marathon the race that involves wine! The group I did this with said who is up for Endure 24 next year – I put my name down, and really didn’t have a clue what i had entered for!! But it sounded good, a weekend away and even better I will be running.

So what and where is it?

It’s like Glastonbury for runners, it’s a 24 hour running party in the woods. Free camping for runners, friends, family and support crews. 24 hour catering, showers and massage are available throughout the event weekend. The race village will be full of music and entertainment with live result updates screened throughout the race.

Mizuno Endure24 it mixes serious ultra-running with a 24 hour team relay race. Anyone of any ability level can take part and enjoy a challenging but rewarding weekend of trail running. The five mile race route through Wasing Woods is incredibly scenic and ends with a loop around the campsite.

Mizuno Endure24 is all about the teams, run as a pair, small team 3-5 runners or large team 6-8 runners.  You don’t need worry about how fast you are, just complete as many 5 mile laps as you can in 24 hours. Most people will complete 3 – 5 laps.

Paula picked me up on the Saturday morning (missed parkrun) we did think we may be able to sneak this in but we didn’t plan that right! The rest of our team went down there the Friday afternoon, got our camping space and pitched our tent.

When we arrived we got ourselves together, and worked out the running order. I was running three of the 5 mile laps, one around 5pm, one around 10.30pm-11pm, and one 6am. We thought give each around an hour to do the lap, then we can gauge the times after the first lap. Worked out we were around 45-50 mins each.

We had a look around, got to grips of where everything was, and how far it would take us from our tent to the hand over pen / start.

At midday the race began, then we either got something to eat at the events tent, or we chilled out back at our own tents. Then each of us made our way to the start, where we did the hand over of the wrist band, and then took our turn to run.

I took over from Paula. My first lap i did enjoy, the first bit was a hill, and it did take a while to get my breathing sorted, it was humid. My words were humid, hilly, heartbreak hill – that was a killer, but was good. I then met Brian at the handover and he ran the next lap.

I had a look around before i made my way back to the tent.

Around 8.30-9pm went down to the start, but went to the music area, where they had the football on the big screen, was a great atmosphere, England were playing. Lots of cheering and shouting!

Then it was my turn for my second lap. Getting darker now, and in the woods you definitely needed  a head torch.

I took the wrist band, and borrowed Paula’s head torch and off I went for lap 2. I really enjoyed the night run, it was still warm, but cooler than before, quieter except for the plodding of runners, and all you could see was the light from the torches. This was great practice for me as I am running the Downslink in Oct. I found Heartbreak hill easier this time around, music was playing at the Campervan, going through the woods, there were fairy lights. Everyone was motivating each other. I came into the finish to hand over to Brian, was slightly difficult to find him. Then I had a bacon roll from the tent around 11.45pm, then I made my way back to the tent. I chatted for a bit then got myself ready for a doze. Set the alarm for my next lap.

We worked out that in the end we had picked up on speed, and at times we were an hour ahead of the schedule, this meant a few of us ran 4-5 laps.

I got up at 4.55am, made my way down to the start, I saw Paula disappear off at the start of the race, so I thought ah the times have all got out, so I found our other team member who said yeah he ended up doing a double as he came in quicker. So i went back up to the tent, then back down for an hour later, where I ran my third lap.

It felt weird running again in the daylight, it was still hot, hilly but loved it.

Got to the finish and handed over to Lucy – as Brian picked up an injury during the night run, and I said I would run his lap. But in the end I didn’t need to.

Went back to the tent for a lovely bacon roll, salmon and cheese bagel and a cuppa!

We packed up, and got things ready so we didn’t have a rush at the end.

We watched our last team members come in after their last laps, and collected our bling!

The weekend finished midday Sunday. I completed 15 miles over the weekend.

What a fab weekend of running – I definitely recommend it.


parkrun corner with Theresa Chalk

We can never  guarantee a day of bright, warm sunshine on our little island of England. But we can guarantee that  Saturday mornings at Clair Park and other park runs around the country, are filled with willing volunteers to make sure the run is a safe and happy one, and runners for a variety of reasons, get to the start line at 9am, hoping for that seemingly elusive PB.

Last month I mentioned an exciting incentive to get you all volunteering in June.. This months lot at Clair were

Jay Wadey
Kirsty Armstrong
Paul Russell
Malcolm Slater
Jill Bennett
Ann Savidge
Simon Thompson
Caz Wadey
Helen Pratt
Dave Woodhouse
Alice Burdsall
Nigel Cruttendon
Dave Oldfiield

The only other ones I know of for Junior Park run are:

Anita Harris
James Sorbie.

“Well done”, is a generic quick and easy verbal comment. Reality is, parkrun cannot operate with runners alone. Great when weather is warm, but those freezing blustery and wet days are not fun. Holding timing watches, number checking , handing out tokens. Your feet and fingers become numb. You give up your precious time. You give up a lie in in bed. You are generous in kind and spirit. Don’t underestimate your value and think ” you did nothing really”. You are the core of the parkrun. Long may it live.

Now all you amazing volunteers were put in a little hat for a draw. Winner of the Swim family day Pass at the Triangle…….., drum roll please,……. goes to Kirsty Armstrong. (we will get this to you)

Now for the participants. As without you the volunteer crew would  be redundant.

We have a newbie to parkrun. Margaret John. Welcome aboard.

Personal Bests this month are from Christine Jones, Lucy Norton, Anna Wooler,

Rebecca Norton (x2), Emma Leeson, Lynette Brown (x2), who throughout May and June has achieved 5PB’s out of 7 runs. Exceptional.

Great runs from you all.

Two giants leaps for Emma Leeson and Jamies Sorbie on their 100th Park Run. Whoop Whoop!  And to celebrate it was also the last parkrun before James and Hannah got married, so James ran in a wedding dress.


This month (July) there will be another swim pass up for volunteers to win. You just need to volunteer. We get around 5 BHR a week (not incl. Caz &Jay in the core team who are there week in week out).  We must have at least a couple of hundred members. Many who just find 9am too early. Get out of bed and come and join the motley ever happy company at Clair parkrun.

Bye for another sun shiny month, Theresa C.

As always, a big thank you to all of the contributors.  Without you, we don’t have a newsletter.

If you would like to contribute in any way, especially with race reports, please contact me, Steve Bird or Claire Giles.

Hope you have a great July and enjoy the sunshine.



The Annual Black Cap Handicap Race

Each June we hold our annual Black Cap Handicap Race.

Here are a few musings from your Race Director, Mr. James Sorbie:

The Blackcap Handicap is one of the more unique races you’ll get the chance to run each year with your fellow Burgess Hill Runners. Over the last few weeks my brain has been ticking over with the organisation of this race and trying to put on something brilliant for the club. I think you’ll agree that the true measure of a successful Blackcap race is everybody finishing together. For me I get a huge buzz seeing a big crowd of runners descend towards the finish because it means I’ve done a decent job of predicting your times. For the runners it means that the competitive element is truly fair and that’s what I honestly strive for when I slave away at your handicaps.

As your race director I have to confess I have only ever run the race once myself, I think it was 2012 and I was lucky enough to work my way up to 3rd. As a pretty competitive chap I loved the concept and wanted to get involved more in it and as I thought 3rd place would probably mean a big old handicap the next year it made sense to me to take some time off of running it. Keith Delderfield had previously done the handicapping (and many before him) and I think he was looking to hand it over so I was straight on the email asking if I could take it on. Keith gave me a handover year where we both handicapped you all. A lot of our handicaps were similar and I have to hand it to Keith that whilst I spent a lot of time on the scientific approach, he used quite a simple method of ranking the runners in order based on things such as the WSFRL results….you can probably guess, Keith’s methods turned out to be more accurate (we did actually check after the dust had settled!).

Since taking over the the sole responsibility of handicapping I haven’t been deterred from persisting with my ‘scientific’ approach and in the last few weeks a lot of runners have asked me “how do you decide what the handicaps should be?”. I think a few people have regretted asking the question, I’ve seen their eyes glaze over after the first few seconds of something I could talk about for an hour or so. However, I am a bit of an excited little puppy when it comes to this race so I have written a little guide on how I do it. If you’re not really into reading about spreadsheets or strange mathematical formulae I warn you that this article is heading that way.

The first thing I do is collect a list of runners names. That bit was probably obvious, but it’s not always easy. Last year Indiana Jones entered (I suspect one of the coaching team was responsible for this) and some runners entered more than once (I think 5 times was the record, good on you for being so eager!). These things actually brought a smile to my face when up at midnight staring at the Blackcap spreadsheet but I am thankful no one particularly abused our the online entry system. In 2016 I tried to make it simpler using Facebook and email (back to the old system).

The next thing I do is collect a list of races that BHR attend. The fun run league is a godsend for me because we have such a great turn out and it’s easy for me to grab the results from a central repository. The parkrun website is another source for good race info. Before I do anything with these results though, I rank them in order based on 3 (very nerdy) criteria. I score each race based on how similar the distance and course profile are to that of Blackcap. I also score it based on how close to the Blackcap race date these are because if there is any change in a runner’s ability then the nearer the better. This year 38 races are on the list and just for interest, the top 3 races for ‘relevance’ were Hedgehoppers 5, Trundle Hill and the Burgess Hill 10k (although I have had to be careful with that one due to stye course distance lacking accuracy).

Next up, for each runner I take their 3 highest ranked races from the list. If they have any obvious outliers, for example they consistently seem to be running 10k in 50 minutes but have one that is over 60 minutes, I consider looking at their next one on the list. Now obviously none of the races are exact same length as Blackcap, so this is where it gets exciting (or boring if you like). There’s a commonly known formula for predicting race times when the distances differ from the race with the known time. It was created by an engineer and marathon runner called Pete Riegel and Runner’s World first published it in 1997. This is the formula I also use. Time 2 = Time 1 x (Distance 2 / Distance 1) ^ 1.06

Essentially this is saying that you don’t run 10k in exactly twice your 5k time, the “to the power of 1.06” takes care of that. So when I’ve applied that to all the times it’s converted into a predicted time for the Blackcap course.

But that’s not the end. For the first time in 2015 I made a minor adjustment to try to give the really fast boys and girls a little bit more chance. The race winner at Blackcap usually beats their handicap by about 3-5 minutes. For the likes of Paul Sargent (currently the course record holder) to beat his predicted time he’d have to be running it in around 26 minutes to stand a chance. Whilst some of those faster people may not be that bothered about winning, my aim is to make it fair, so I have written a little coefficient this year which I hope makes it even fairer than usual. This doesn’t mean these folks will have an easy ride, they are still going to have to seriously out-run their predicted times, but I am hoping it’ll close up that finishing pack even more.

Finally, I go back to Keith’s proven methods and validate everything by looking at the rankings in the league races etc. After all this ‘science’, sometimes you can end up giving somebody a much bigger handicap than someone who has consistently beaten them in every race so there has to be some room for adjustment.

In order to start everyone in groups at the start without total chaos I also round up or down everyone’s handicaps to the nearest 15 seconds.

As you can appreciate, if you haven’t done a lot of races for me to work on, it’s harder for me to handicap you and if I’m honest I tend to over handicap rather than under handicap if I’m short of info, as Indiana Jones…oops, I mean Ian Jones….will testify to after last year. I imagine this article will be published after the 2016 Blackcap race has been run and I am hopeful everyone is reading it thinking “wow, that’s how he got my handicap spot on” rather than “so this is how he made such a mess of it”!

Thanks, James (Race Director)

June 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to the June newsletter.

May has been busy.  Really busy.  We have finally got out on the trails and we know how happy that makes us feel.  It’s so much more enjoyable with the warmer temperatures and the longer evenings.

The race reports are a little longer this month, but I guess that trying to condense 2 days of the Green Belt Relay into 400 words was never a possibility.  We hope that you enjoy them.

This month we have some brilliant race reports, updates from the social committee, Theresa’s update from parkrun and a lovely Coaches Corner piece from Andrew Baillee.


Coaches Corner with Andrew Baillee


A few weeks ago I overheard one of our runners say (as another runner went past), you know, in my mind I picture myself running like her, but it never seems to look like it in reality!


Aside from identifying with that sentiment, this is something we could all benefit from.  Positive mental imagery has been used in science and sport for many years, with many good examples of top sportsmen using this to achieve their goals. Jack Nicklaus, still the most successful golfer of the modern era, winning eighteen grand slam events between 1962 and 1986, never hit a golf ball, not even in practice, without first picturing the flight of the ball in his mind. If you watch the world downhill skiers when they prepare, they go through the route in their mind, living each turn as though they were physically doing it.


So, what can that mean for us? Well, it doesn’t mean we should be envisaging the route for each planned race (although if that works for you, please continue!). What I’m talking about is our own technique. For me, looking at other runners puts into focus what we can learn from them, and I can always find something good about every runner’s technique, which can be a pointer for my own running technique.


We can learn from our own club members.  For example, when I’m running downhill, I try and picture the relaxed confidence of Trevor Symes running downhill. There are very few runners I know who can’t nail a downhill section like Trevor, and his technique of no fear, once mastered, can gain you vital seconds and indeed positions in a race.


Paul Sargent has a nice relaxed running style, which belies his speed. Relaxed shoulders and upper body, and a running style which doesn’t look any different from the start of a race to the end of it, no matter the distance! From Paul we can all learn that a strong core makes everything look a lot easier, which it is! Jon Boxall is also one to look at for a strong core.


Cadence (the number of steps per minute) is something I work on. The suggested perfect cadence is around 180-190 (depending upon height), with the science being that a higher cadence promotes a midfoot strike. One person who I think has good cadence is Jason Collett. If you watch Jason’s head, you will also note a lack of vertical movement – no head-bobbing at all. Mark Nicholls is also a good one to watch for cadence.


Another thing to look at is leg action. Legs working well and effectively will also work efficiently for you, making each step easier in the long run (pun intended!). Watching Glyn Merritt running at pace shows a good technique – his legs have an almost piston movement, with high knees and heels tucked up under the glutes while the opposite leg pushes down and back with each step. Good extension of the hips when driving back too.


Good arm work is also important; driving back with every step assists in the forward movement (evidence of Newton’s 3rd law – For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction). Jon Herbert is a good one to watch at races for this.


I realise I’m missing out at least half the club by commenting on the men only! That’s partly because I’ve spent a lot of my time in the performance squad, which is short on women most of the time.  However, I believe men can learn from the running styles of women, and vice versa; there are just as many good examples of female runners in our club as men. Liz Carter has a good strong upright technique showing evidence of a strong core, with good strong arms; Catherine Kempton’s leg action is also one to follow, along with a good lean. I recently watched Alice Birdsall on club night and was impressed with her heal pick-up and general leg action. I could go on, but I hope I’ve made my point.


This is not to say that my own technique is perfect – far from it! That’s one reason why I watch other people’s.  And If I haven’t mentioned you earlier, please don’t take that as an assumption that you have nothing of note to credit you in your technique, more that I haven’t really had the opportunity to see you run!


One last word of warning, though – technique can take months to change, given that it’s been that way for probably most of your life, and from experience when you think you’ve made a big change, it’s doubtful anyone else would notice a difference! But remember every run is an opportunity for us all to work on technique, and every run with the club is an opportunity to study and learn from your fellow club members!


Happy running, BHR!


A few links for those with more interest:



London Marathon – 24th April 2016

(By Oli Dewdney)

So I’m quite bad at trying to remember what I did yesterday, but here I go with a report on the Virgin London Marathon 2016. There I was in October arriving home and there was the bumble bee…a yes! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry but I think with the odds against you, you never quite expect it.


So a week after the Brighton marathon, I was absolutely ecstatic to give my all to this amazing race and the whole day was a lot less nervy than I was expecting. This was mainly because a group of BHR members got the train together and everyone offers so much support to each other, even though it was wayyyy too early for me, we had a laugh and got to the event nice and early.

We arrived to the big event and of course took the obligatory selfie with other blue starters. Everyone was really excited for this and it’s easy to tell why. Almost 40,000 people run this event, spectators line the entire course and the iconic course has incredible views. They pulled no punches this year and with the 1 millionth finisher crossing the line it was aptly named “one in a million”.


So I set off, and the conditions were perfect, much cooler than the week before. I knew it wouldn’t be particularly quick but I wanted to just enjoy the day. I decided to run right next to the fences the whole race, to give high fives and soak up the support!

The incredible views of Tower Bridge, Westminster, Buckingham Palace and Cutty Sark were amongst some really mind blowing moments which really give you a great feeling.

The supporters are non-stop! And this is perhaps what makes the whole event a bit easier, my pace over the event was quite consistent, though not spectacular – I ran the whole marathon, and this is because the crowd just keep you going. I approached mile 21 and my family and girlfriend were there to support and took the below photo. This was my face the entire way, I ran the whole event with a massive smile on my face because I just enjoyed the whole experience.

I got great support from incredible BHR supporters, as well as seeing Colin Jackson and getting a high five while screaming like a fan girl in his face! One big hug from Neil Dawson later and I was on my way to the finish. Mile 23 and the time just flies from here. The noise was unbelievable and the best part is Westminster. I kept smiling as I made the way to the finish, the last mile was pretty tough as at this point you are drained but crossing the line was the most rewarding experience. We all run for the bling and the VLM bling was lush. I finished in a respectable 4 hours 27.


For anyone who is considering running the VLM – I can thoroughly recommend, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you get a place! J


The Bluebell 10 Mile – 24th April 2016

(By Oliver Jones)

We arrived at the car park the south side of the A27 at about 9:30. The course offers two car parks depending on the weather, the second car park which we were in is nearer Angmering village. It was about a ten minute walk to the Fox Pub where the race started, a nice garden with a big Marquee to watch the goings on of the London Marathon and to put your bags in.

The race started promptly at 10:30 from further down the lane from the pub. You start off on the road and for the first mile you gradually work your way up the hill towards and into the woods.


As you got into the woods you could see immediately why this was called the bluebell run, although not out fully it was a beautiful sight. The route took you through the woods for about two miles before you started going down the downs and out into the grassland. You carried on following the footpaths on mile four and the course had a double back on itself where you could see and cheer on fellow runners as you went past them.

I was running with Nigel and this point and we could see fellow BHR so I cheered them on as always, Jay cheered ‘go on the beast’ which I responded to. Nigel was doing fine and he didn’t mind me pushing on a bit, the next challenge was a big hill at about the five mile mark. I saw Benny gradually climbing up the hill and had him in my sights.


As I got to the top the hill you could see a load of sheep panicking because of all the runners, they had decided to run towards the gate I was meant to be going through. A bit of sheep avoidance and trying not to scare them too much and Benny and I made it through the gate. A track you followed then went past some buildings and it worked its way back to the forest, me and Benny were having a bit of a battle at this point and we overtook each other a couple of times.

The course went back into the woods at about mile nine and you saw a lot more bluebells than before, the tracks were not too muddy and there were families out for a Sunday stroll with their dogs. I had managed to catch up with Benny and pushed on a bit. In the process of pushing on towards the final stages of the race you cross over the course where you go out from about the one mile mark on towards the two mile mark.

I managed to increase my speed and could see Simon in the distance, somehow I managed to catch him and we ran towards the finish together. We both saw the massive hill that led to the finish, as we went up the hill we saw James out supporting the club and waiting for Hannah. Simon had the stronger finish and pushed up the hill beyond me. The finish was in the back of the Fox Pub, it was a nice finish as the spectators and other runners could see you go across the line.

After the finish you had a selection of Cliff Bars to choose from. Overall a very good race and the BHR ladies did very well in getting first and second place.

I really liked the race and would do it again, it is on the same day as the London marathon so if you don’t get into the marathon it is a nice alternative.


Hedgehoppers 5 (WSFRL) – 8th May 2016

(By Caz Wadey)

The Hedgehoppers 5, a race that I only really remembered because of the long walk to the start and the fact it was my first fun run of 2015 after a few months of not running and I moaned my way around it complaining of the ‘never ending hills’!

This year I decided to chill out about it and truly take it as a ‘fun run’. I was going to run with Hannah and we were taking it easy and enjoying the scenery and as it turns out, the glorious weather!


It is a longish walk to the start, but when you are chatting away and the sun is shining down on you and all you can see ahead and behind you is a sea of blue vests and t-shirts, it really doesn’t take that long.

We all congregated on a chalky path up on the downs, all very relaxed and the supporters got comfy on the grass verges in the sunshine and I made sure I could see Hannah before we started. I was chatting to Steve Roberts and all of a sudden I heard someone say ‘We’re off!’ and that was it. We all started trotting along (some faster than others) and Hannah and I got in to our stride. It always takes me a good mile to get going and the fact that most of the first 2 miles are on an upward climb did make it feel a little harder. The marshals were plentiful and encouraging and it wasn’t too long before the path makes way to open fields and you are winding your way up towards Devils Dyke.


There was a lovely breeze at this stage and stunning views and I found myself really enjoying the run. I had also forgotten to wear my Garmin, which certainly made me more relaxed, as I wasn’t constantly checking my pace or my mileage.

We had a little walk on one of the final climbs up towards Devils Dyke and were joined by Neil. We were having a little joke with him when he spotted Jon Lavis in the next field with the camera, so we broke in to a run although we did stop to pose for this shot! It really was a beautiful spot for a photo opportunity!


You climb up again from here until you reach a loop back point, so at this stage you pass some of the runners ahead of you which always encourages a few ‘Blue Army’ or ’Burgess Hill’ shouts and because there are always a lot of us there are quite a few of these! We had to pass a few cows as we turned round, but even this didn’t bother me as I was feeling good and loving the run!

From this point we ran back across another field and downhill (hurrah!) before we joined the path again to retrace our steps back to the start/finish point. The ground was quite uneven so there was a little bit of dodging and jumping about which keeps you on your toes, but Hannah and I were now running at a reasonable pace although hadn’t stopped chatting the whole way round!

We knew there was an uphill finish so were prepared for this and there were a few little inclines before we hit the last hill, but even this wasn’t as bad as I had remembered and we were getting a few shouts of ‘Come on Burgess Hill’ from the marshals as we ran past. When you reach the top of the hill you are immediately looking for the finish (well Hannah and I were!) but it isn’t too far from here and you can hear the shouts from the people cheering everyone in and always the incredible support from the Blue Army who are always on mass at the finish line.

It was a truly lovely run which was obviously helped by the weather, but because I just treated it as a relaxed morning run in the sunshine with a good friend, it made it so much better than last year and the icing on the cake was to find out that evening that team BHR finished in 1st place!!! Wooohooooo!!


The Greenbelt Relay – 21st & 22nd May 2016

(By Paula Ridley)

The Green Belt Relay is an annual 22-stage running relay race around 220 miles of the Green Belt around the outside of London over a single weekend. The course mainly follows footpaths, towpaths or minor roads and is organised by The Stragglers running club. Teams are formed of 11 people with each runner taking on one stage each day.

Although the race is a relay, each stage starts at a fixed time. This allows each stage to be a competitive race in its own right, and also allows teams of all different standards to stay roughly together as they advance along the route. Each stage averages about 10 miles but difficulty levels (from 0 – easy to 10 – bloody hard) and distances vary.  This is also a self-marshalled course, so not only do you run but you have marshalling responsibilities too; providing a great opportunity to cheer on your runners and of course all the other teams.

Well that’s the sensible bit, mostly plagiarised from the event website which gives you the facts but doesn’t begin to touch on the spirit, madness, incredible logistics and sheer fun of the weekend. I should say, due the nature of the event I can only write this report from my own perspective and as I was the driver/passenger of 1 out of 3 buses I can only report on a portion of the event.  I could of course give you the results, but what I really want to share is the guts of it all so I apologise in advance therefore if this report doesn’t capture everyone’s best moments of an incredibly memorable weekend. I also apologise for the length but this race has 22 starts, 22 finishes and is two days long!

It all starts back in November when the wonderful Neil Dawson and Jay Wadey begin putting the teams together. This is BHR’s 3rd year and we’ve grown by a team each year so with the interest of 33 runners piqued the process begins. Team captains are named as Neil, Jay and Andy Sayers and it’s a meeting in Weatherspoons in February which reveals the legs carefully chosen for each runner. A draw takes place to establish which team we’re all in….will it be #wadeyswinners, #sayersshortarses (that name came about after all those vertically challenged were randomly selected for the same team – sorry folks!) or #dawsonsdreams. It’s also on this night we find out which minibus we’ll be riding in, who our drivers will be and who will be running the same legs as us….company or competition!? How Neil and Jay put this all together I’ll never know; the logistics of getting three teams of 11 runners around a 220 mile course, with marshalling duties too is mind blowing. However they do it, with great finesse, and we’re all sent away to research our legs. Needless to say, with 3 months to go there are inevitably movers and shakers so the organisation never rests. Just the fundamentals of finding 3 minibuses within budget, making the hotel arrangements, getting everyone fed are all projects of their own.

So May arrives and the boys go off to a captains meeting before getting us all together again in the Block and Gasket 8 days ahead of the event to provide us with our GBR T shirts, race numbers and final instructions….. It’s all systems go and excitement is growing. Sleeps are being counted.

The morning of the race arrives and 33 runners, reserves and a kindly driver (Kevin) converge at 6:15am ready to head off to Hampton Court in the three Convent buses, of all things, organised by Alan. The excitement is palpable and the journey there is full of banter, laughs and silliness. Just in that short journey I’ve learnt more about my comrades’ bodily functions then I ever should know and this theme continues with startling frequency throughout the two days. As a club we choose to all join together at the start line to see our first runners off, in this case Oliver Jones, Nigel Cruttenden and Alice Birdsall. I’m not going to name every runner for every leg in the body of this report but these three had the honour of kicking the weekend of awesome running off so are well worth a mention. With only 40 teams the start line looks nothing like the events we are used to, even compared to smaller events like Parkruns. I’m in no way exaggerating when I say some of the other clubs are serious in every way which can make toeing the start lines potentially intimidating places. However, what is glaringly obvious is the incredible support BHR have for every runner, whatever their ability and this is what makes being on the start lines nothing but fun. With our pals making more noise than anyone else (and generally behaving like hooligans) the nerves just disappear. So as the first leg heads out from Hampton Court BHR splits into three buses and begin their journeys around the first half of the course. With clever organisation as one bus drops a runner to a start line another is picking their runner up from a finish at the same point so we continually cross paths with the other two BHR vans.


In Vehicle 2 we head off with me driving and Steve R navigating. We make our way to Boveney well ahead of our runners start time and wander into a huge Triathlon event just down the river where we stop for coffee, food and a little mingling. We’ve only been there a few minutes and Alan’s gained temporary custody of a Springer spaniel but his offer to hold the attractive owners bacon roll is declined…. unlucky Alan. With breakfast consumed we cheer the first three runners from our bus off and then head for Little Marlow. We’re able to hang around to watch Catherine, Emma and Liz cross the finish line of their stage looking fantastic. With Alan, Simon and Miranda off and running we make our way to Little Marlow to pick them up. It’s an 11 mile run for them but a 29 mile drive for us. Fortunately we are there well in time and as we park up in the local pub we feel it only right to be patrons too. With a swift half knocked back we’re able to quickly catch up with the BHR crew who have just sent Gary W, Glyn and John P off, now heading for Great Kingshill.


And so it continues….. There are three BHR runners stomping along The Green Belt Way at any given moment between 8:30am until around 8:15pm when Ann, Cath and Kim cross the line at Blackmore, Essex. During this time each vehicle must pick up a marshalling responsibility too. Ours was whilst Jon, Steve and Jill were dashing between Chipperfield and St Albans so we were able to cheer them on part way through their leg.  We also had to provide water for all runners and ensure Caution Runner signs were in place on a very busy road. Crossing 40 runners across some heavy traffic was rather hair raising for us all, apart from Alan for obvious reasons, but completed successfully. I should say at this point BHR gained a reputation for supportive, noisy, marshalling described at the closing speech as ‘mini raves’ and contributing to us being presented a special award…more on that at the end. We were just able to see Jill and Steve finish as we leapt out of our van at St Albans (Jon L had stormed home just before) and we were able to catch up with the team who had sent Jay, Flic and Neil off towards Letty Green. As the day goes on the pickup and drop offs prove to get tight and with some unlucky traffic Steve G, myself and Theresa are launched from the bus at Dobbs Weir into the arms of Emma and Liz who direct us swiftly to the start line (via a loo) just in time to shout our numbers to the timekeepers and hear the starters horn. So I’m up and running with 2 fantastic companions on my first leg in three years, yippee…and despite poor Theresa suffering badly with her asthma and after almost being tempted into the house of a couple of ladies offering wine we completed our 10.6 mile leg to High Beach. We had wonderful support from our van crew who had made their way down the course a little way to find us and run us home. This was the end of the first day’s madness for our van and it was time to make our way to the hotel.


The Premier Inn, Brentwood can only really be described as colourful. It’s a popular spot for hen and stag nighters, illustrated well by the young lady in veil carrying a large inflatable willy, but then we’re not exactly sedate so we fit in rather well. It’s almost 10pm when we make our way to the very local curry house who are ready and waiting for us, already prepped with our food orders. The beer flows, the curry is greedily swallowed and stories of the first day shared. We celebrate Kim’s birthday eve with some beautiful cupcakes presented by Helen and although most of us are ready to crash into bed at 12am I’m led to believe others continued on in another bar. Somehow, during all this James and Steve B have managed to fit a visit in to Wembley to watch the FA Cup final and make it back to join us for curry. Shame about the result boys but I think the need to drown their sorrows, or Steve’s at least, may have instigated the after dinner drinks!

The second day is a repeat of the first, with some of us being lucky enough to fit breakfast in before leaving the hotel. Unlucky all those on the first bus out! Sadly, the first day had thrown up a few injuries and with Emma and Theresa making the sensible decision to sit the second day out some shuffling takes place. Daniel volunteers himself up to run 2 legs (incredible), Cath moves to join Catherine and Liz, whilst Karen takes up the reins with me and Steve on the final leg of the day. Everybody has sterling runs, especially considering we’re all on tired legs so the second day consists of top efforts, ice creams, some more hydration and more hilarious banter. Particularly worth a mention I heard Simon A say quite casually that his leg on the second day is the furthest he’s ever run. It also later transpires that Jon L has broken the V50 stage record for leg 13. Helen also runs a leg within cut off ahead of her London to Brighton challenge the following week and Steve G and I are rather delighted to come in within cut off on the second day too. The in-between race conversations prove to remain as bizarre and inappropriate as the first day and have no place here, I’ll just let you imagine. The races themselves bring consistent feedback of “beautiful views”, “stunning scenery” and such like. We really are blessed to have the opportunity to run some of these trails.  I know more great running accomplishments were happening in the other BHR vans so apologies to them for not having the details of everyone’s brilliance.


As the second day passes again the start times get tight, this is all part of the fun. Simon’s driving is put to the test again when he is asked to deliver me, Karen and Steve G to a start the GPS says is 35 minutes away in 30 minutes. With his top driving we just about make it and again are launched from the van with moments to spare before we’re off and heading just over 9 miles back to where the craziness started on Saturday morning. In fact it finishes just nearby at the Hawker Centre where a BBQ, bar and awards await us. So with us three and 37 others running everyone else make their way there to form the most spectacular finish funnel. I say spectacular because I cannot describe the loveliness of running 9 miles along a very peaceful, very tranquil tow path to suddenly pop out into a mass of people and wonderful noise. Others who have done this leg before us will know what I mean but it is just the most incredible feeling. An Ealing Eagle was waiting just before the finish to hand me a beer as the three of us joined hands and dashed for the line. Karen described it as feeling as though she was flying and a moment she’ll keep forever and Steve G and I can only echo this. The sudden lift you get from 40 teams celebrating the end of a fantastic event is just brilliant. And to top off the weekend in true Burgess Hill Runners style we are awarded The Wissahickon Trophy as the most supportive club for the second year running. I don’t think we could have been any more proud of our teams, our club or of Neil and Jay for making this extraordinary weekend work. The words, fantastic, brilliant, wonderful etc have been used over and over. It’s all of those and I can only finish by saying…..count me in for next year.



Thank you Neil Dawson and Jay Wadey, simply amazing.


The 3 Forts Half Marathon – 2nd May 2016

(By Neil Dawson)

This was my first 3 Forts Half Marathon.  In fact it was my first hilly trail half.  I have done the 3 Forts Marathon twice, so knew what it was all about and this year just fancied doing the Half.

That was a pretty good choice, given the recent illness, as I would not have enjoyed the extra 14 miles.

They call this event ‘The Tough One’ and there is no doubt why.  This is the elevation graph for the Half.  The 27 mile race is certainly no less up and down.


So, 3 Forts.  It’s low key.  Around 400 doing the Marathon (well 27 miles actually) and the same number doing the Half.  The Marathon starts 30 minutes before the Half, which works perfectly with the narrow paths in the first 2 miles.


They send you your chip timing race number in the post or you pick it up on the day.  It’s easy.  Bag drop takes 30 seconds and they ask for a donation to their charity.  There is hot food and drink available.  Toilets, shelter, a group warm up.  You know, pretty much everything that you need.

The race heads out of the field at Hill Barn Rec in Worthing, up a road for 200 yards (this is the only section of road that you see – you come down the same section on the way back) and then you’re on trails.  Oh yeah.  Trails.  Thank god for that.  Bye-bye tarmac.  A summer of trails, grass and hills beckon.


It is 3.2km straight up to Cissbury Ring.  It flattens out in a couple of places, but it is nothing more than a small respite.  Anyone at my pace will walk up here (if they have any sense).


What goes up must come down.  That’s what happens from 3.2k to 5.3k.  You pass the first aid station and enjoy the freedom to stretch your legs.



This section is very empowering and great fun.  Best make the most of it.  What goes down must go up, especially when the high point of the race is Chanctonbury Ring.

From 5.3km to 10.8km the elevation varies from steep uphill to slightly uphill, with the odd short section of rolling ups and downs.


And this is the view back down the hill.


The views are just fantastic.  One of the good things about walking up the hills is that you get the chance to take in the countryside.



And the hills keep coming until you reach the highest point of the race at Chanctonbury Ring.  By the way, don’t expect that to be the end of the hills.


From there, you have 3k of decent.  It’s lovely.  It can be a little tough on the knees and quads, but most of it has a gradient that is gentle enough for you to run it comfortably.


And then comes the first sting in the tail.  Well to be honest, it’s the first of 2 stings in the tail.

There are 2km of ascent and it’s pretty steep in places.  I was wondering if I’d be able to run sections of it, given that I was only doing the Half and I’d had to walk it on the Marathon.  No chance.  I had to walk most of it.

You then have around 2km of descent and flat until you meet Cissbury Ring again.  Once you have walked over it (no way at this stage am I thinking about running up here) it’s downhill all the way.  You are now retracing your steps to the start.

If anyone wants to run this race next year, I’d highly recommend it.  It’s very well organised.  The timing is done by chip.  They have cake at the end.  The marshals are lovely.  The course is tremendous.  Not easy at all, but flat is dull.  For the medal hunters out there, the lump of metal is nice as well.



parkrun corner with Theresa Chalk

Behold!  The sound of splashing, the sound of laughter, children giggling.  Yes, this could be you and your family. Read on to find out how and you don’t even have to buy anything.

A huge round of applause for Emma Leeson who got to 100 this month. Yes! she does look very good for her age.

This May you BHR have travelled as far away as Camperdown Parkrun, Dundee. We’ve also ran at Eastbourne, Whistable, Brighton and Hove, Horsham, Preston Park, Hove Prom and our very home one, Clair Park.

We’ve had 6 first timers : Michelle Sutherland, Rebecca Norton, Lucy Norton, Anna Wooler, Romy Conroy and Mark Grigg. Well done all of you it’s a brave step to make.

PB’s achieved this month include: Neil Phillpot, Emma Leeson, Ollie Bennett, Andrew Ground, Lynette Brown, Gayle Tyler, Tlou Mati and Faith Parker. Magnificent runs.

Splish and a splash almost there.

Fourteen of you have helped this month in  a volunteer role. Your parkrun needs you. It needs more of us.

Do you remember your parkruns?  The marshals clapping and cheering you as you passed by. Now imagine doing Clair (four Laps) on your own in silence. Doesn’t it make a huge difference knowing people are encouraging you and it lifts your spirits and keeps you going?  You could be one of those people. You just need to have a pair of legs and two hands.

Now, everyone who volunteers this month, your name will go into a draw and the lucky recipient will receive a family swim pass (woohoo I hear you say) donated by The Triangle. Now with summer fast approaching you’ll be wanting to win this. If you volunteer at a parkrun other than Clair , this month please let me know.

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So have a good month, here’s to new goals and new faces




Social Committee with Karen Harvey

We all had a great time at the marathon meal. 85 of us were there to celebrate the achievements of many members. Well done to those that received a prize!
Up coming events
15th June: As is tradition, we shall be heading to the White Horse in Ditching after the Blackcap race for a celebratory drink. Food can be ordered from the pub too.
Sunday 24th July: the lovely Pete Crowley is hosting our annual bbq. We like to thank those of you that volunteered at the Downlands Dash and to have a lovely summer family day together. This is being held after the seven stiles race this year so you can go home, get changed and head over to Petes, bring your own food, picnic blanket and swim things, bbqs and drinks are provided 🙂
The Social team are also organising some other events including a wine tour, a brewery tour and a bingo night to go on over the coming months. information to follow shortly!
If you have any suggestions, feedback or would like to offer help, a venue etc please get in touch –
Karen, Nick and Neil.
Well that’s it for the June Newsletter.  Thank you for reading.  If you have any ideas for the future or would like to contribute, please let me know on
Take care and enjoy the sunshine.
Neil and the Newsletter Team.


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.

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 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.