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.

Newsletter – May 2015

Welcome to the 5th Edition of your newsletter.

We’ve had some request to change around the order etc and also some new ideas – which we hope you’ll enjoy! – Please let us know if you have anything to contribute or idea for future editions!


Marathon Meal

The Marathon Meal took place on Wednesday 29th April at the Emperor Chinese Restuarant in Burgess Hill. Despite the name of the event – it was open to all members and what a turnout over 70 people attending a brilliant night – which in some cases turned into a ‘marathon’ of a different kind!

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The evening recognised those members who had run the first marathon – including ultras as well as highlighting PB’s


Coaches Corner

Advice issued by English Athletics

As training ramps up, it’s important to make sure you don’t put yourself at risk of injuries. For example, for road runners of all levels, overuse injuries are one of the most common things to bring you to a halt. They can affect different parts of your body but it’s probably those that affect your legs that cause most trouble: runner’s knee, Achilles tendonitis and the somewhat generic ‘shin splints’ to name a few.

What causes overuse injuries?

Overuse injuries such as these can develop if you suddenly increase your training rather than gradually building it up. Yes, your body has the ability to adapt – that’s why you get fitter and stronger the more you do appropriate exercise. But if you try to do too much too soon, running further or faster (or both) before you’re ready, your body can’t adapt quickly enough. It’s important to take time to recover between sessions so your tissues can repair, making your body strong enough for the next push.

Preventing overuse injuries

EA have put together a list of some specific things you can do to lower your risk of an overuse injury.

Experienced runners will probably already be familiar with them, but a reminder never hurts. And if you’re new to running or coaching beginners, it’s really important to learn or teach good practice from the outset.

  • Warm up before you begin your session, and cool down afterwards. And remember to stretch the muscles you’ve used afterwards when they’re warm.
  • Make sure you’re wearing the right shoes for you. Lots of shops offer gait analysis services to help you find the best size, fit and style of running shoe. Orthotics (insoles) can help some people reduce their risk of injury.
  • Include some strength exercises in your training programme to build up your muscles. This is helpful no matter how strong – or weak – your muscles currently are.
  • Step up your training gradually. Even if you’re used to training for events before, it’s worth bearing in mind the ’10 percent’ rule. This means not increasing how far or how fast you run from one week to the next by more than 10 percent, and perhaps testing a new distance or weekly mileage for a month before further increases. Following a training plan may help you steadily build up how much you’re doing.
  • Resist the temptation to overtrain – this may be more likely as you get fitter or if you’re experienced and feel you can push yourself. More is not necessarily better. Not taking enough time to recover is the downfall of many an athlete. If you feel tired, take notice and rest – your body will thank you for it.

 Treating overuse injuries

If you, or someone you’re coaching, do develop an overuse injury, it’s important to take steps to treat it sooner rather than later.

Don’t do anything that causes pain, and that probably means stopping normal training for a while. Try not to worry about losing fitness – if you carry on, you may do more harm. You may not need to stop exercising completely – in fact it’s often recommended that you don’t. Incorporate activities that don’t use or put weight on the injured area, such as swimming. As always, make sure that you warm up properly first.

If the injury is more severe, follow the PRICE procedure: protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation, in the event that it is painful paracetamol is a useful and widely available analgesic. Seeing a sports physical therapist or sports medicine doctor can be extremely valuable for both prevention and treatment of overuse injuries. This is particularly important for serious athletes. A professional can give you guidance on improving your running technique, and advice about training and specific exercises.”


Featured Member

Mush Miah


When did you start running?

January 2015 at Clair parkrun.

What is the best piece of advise you have ever received?

When I started running I used to start sprinting and then get tired and slow down so I was told to slow down and pace myself.

What is the best piece of advise you would give?

At the moment I need advise not give, may be once I am a proper runner then I can advise.

When was the first moment that you felt like a runner?

Well I was always interested in football and played reasonable also did x country in school days and was the first one to finish back in 1991, after I did the Burgess Hill 10k I thought I am a runner and I can go further.

What was your first ever race?

Burgess Hill 10k

What is your biggest running achievement?

Ran the Brighton Brooks 10k at 51.00 minutes last year, very pleased with that.

What is the toughest race you have ever done?

I ran the Lindfield 10k and that was over mud and streams, crossing gates, hilly, queuing up to cross over brooks and swerve across cows and thought that was tough.

Where is the best pace you have ever run? Lewis 10k

What is your favourite WSFRL race? So far Brighton brooks 10k

What is your favourite piece of kit? Trainers foot wear

What is your favourite post race treat?

Well as I haven’t run very far so I only have a packet of crisps and water

What is your favourite training session? 7.00 pm Every Wednesday with BHR!

Rain or shine? Both no problem

Hill or flat? Flat please

Road or Trail? Both

Alone or in a group? Group

Garmin Connect or Strava? Non

Race Number – Scrunch or Flat? Flat

With or without music? Without music

X-Factor or Strictly? Strictly

Marmite – Love or Hate? Hate

Who do you most admire and why – doesn’t have to be athletic related.

Well, I admired John Barnes from Liverpool back in the days and thought he would be the next Pele and take England to the next level but unfortunately that didn’t happen but still loved his skills.

Tell us something you may not know about you………well, I have now started training with a proper club BHR and started thinking how to progress on running which I never thought I would do and hoping for the best.

What is your favourite picture of yourself and why?

This is the first run I did at park run and we had to run through a big puddle and this picture still makes me giggle.

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How would your friends describe you? A businessman and a good footballer.

What would you sing at Karaoke night? Not a good singer so I wouldn’t dare to take the mic on my hand.

How did you get involved in running? – Well, I know couple of friends Jay and Caz they come to my restaurant (flavour) to dine every week and somehow they persuaded me to go to parkrun in Haywards Heath and here I am again moving forward and joined BHR.

What is your ambition? – My ambition is to keep running and keep fit and to do a half marathon next, No, not a full Marathon!!!



SDW50 – Reviewed by Darren Chilcott

SDW50 Devil's Dyke

The SDW50 is one of a series of 50 & 100 mile trail events organised by Centurion Running. Starting at Hill Barn Rec in Worthing, the route initially follows the same gnarly track towards Chanctonbury Ring as the more recent Three Forts Challenge, and then from Chanctonbury takes the route of the South Downs Way almost all the way to Eastbourne totalling just under 50 miles. After writing off all of 2014 through injury, this was a key event for me on the road to the SDW100 in June and would help determine (one way or the other) whether attempting double the distance would be feasible.

Weather on the day was looking good as myself and Andrew Baillie were kindly picked up by Jon Lavis, with Jan already on board, around 7am for the short trip to race HQ at Worthing College for the 9am start. After the mandatory kit check on arrival (quite rightly, Centurion take these things extremely seriously knowing how the weather on the Downs can change in an instant, and how dangerous this can be when you are cold and tired after several hours out there) and picking up our numbers, we were joined by Philippe to complete the BHR contingent for the race. After saying hello to several ‘old faces’, we made our way over to the Rec and RD James Elson of Centurion set us off. My plan from the start was to keep things comfortable (think Zone 1-2 on a scale of 1-5) and the first few miles clicked by pretty comfortably as I jogged and chatted to Jan and others. As we crested Chanctonbury Ring I was joined by an old pal from my fishing days and we flew through the next 4-5 (downhill) miles at sub 9s (yes, too fast) happily chatting away, down past the pig farm and to the first of the aid stations at Botolphs (around 11 miles) where the friendly face of Steve Roberts was waiting to make sure we didn’t get flattened crossing the road. The spectre of Truleigh Hill then presented itself so it was pretty much a walk all the way to the Youth Hostel and then the usual walk the hills/run the flats and Downs approach that most of us take on these longer events.

Jon was waving his little Nikon about at Devils Dyke and told me Andrew had dropped – was absolutely gutted for him as we’d trained together since New Year and his calf had pinged on our last recce the week before the event so starting was always a risk. After a bottle refill and some food at the next station at Saddlescombe Farm I was feeling very much on ‘home ground’ which helped and the familiar landmarks just floated by – Pyecombe, Jack and Jill (where I very rudely almost missed Paula Ridley), Ditchling Beacon (Jon and Andrew Bishop shouting welcome support) where the weather had now turned a bit nasty, with a cold wind and rain – not ideal on the highest part of the course. One thing I have realised on longer distance running is you need to take care of things straight away so I stopped and relayered, putting a base layer and jacket on as it got decidedly colder. Turning right at Black Cap was great, as I knew the next couple of miles were all gentle downhill, before the climb through the woods and the steep drop to the A27 and a major aid station at Housedean Farm, approx 27 miles into the race – I was going well at this stage, getting here in under 5 hours. I took this opportunity to sort out a small blister, have some food and flat coke and take good wishes from some pals before starting the very long climb up Castle Hill, before dropping down the Yellow Brick Road to the next Aid station at Southease (33m). The weather had cleared now and was much more pleasant, which is more than I can say about the climb up Itford Hill out of Southease – this hill, and the rest of the section to Bo Peep is difficult but I was feeling pretty strong and just ground out the miles. It was great to see Paula pop up at Bo Peep (38 miles), but sad to hear from her that Jan had decided to stop – for those of you who so kindly support these events never underestimate the lift seeing a friendly face can give – before dropping down into Alfriston and probably the best cup of tea I had ever had at the Village Hall aid station.

It was only at this point (around 42 miles) that I started to think about the time – with a cut-off of 13 hours I was never in danger of not finishing, but I was losing hardly any time at all in the second half and started to think I had an outside chance of dipping under 10 hours if I could keep moving. My training has involved a lot of hill hiking – fast uphill walking being one of the big keys to improving ultra times and I powered up the long hill out of Alfiston, now starting to keep half an eye on my watch. The next section to Jevington was just glorious and I was on a massive ‘runners high’ at this point – I was completely alone, the bright sun was getting lower, the wind had dropped and I was STILL RUNNING 45 miles into the event. I knew a decent finish was now in the bag, so when I got to Jevington with about 4.5 miles to go I simply checked in my number and carried on. Up the last big hill to the Trig Point (the one Andrew and I missed completely in the fog the previous week) and a left turn down a long narrow rutted gully before a short muddy footpath took me onto the edge of Eastbourne. Two miles to go, 9hrs 30 on the clock…..sub 10 definitely on here……just keep run/walking……past the hospital and on to the cycle track which seemed to go on forever, before seeing the finish gantry in the distance at the Eastbourne Sports Ground. Andrew had kindly returned to see me finish and greeted me as I entered the car park before the ‘lap of honour’ Centurion requires around the track before finishing.

Coach James Elson (Centurion owner and Race Director) was at the finish to greet all the runners, I got a medal and a hug from ultra legend Mimi Anderson and a hot dog and a cup of tea from BHR legend Steve Roberts who was now at the finish area for a second volunteer stint. What a star. My official finish time was 9hr 51mins 18 seconds, absolutely over the moon with that, and more importantly finished feeling pretty strong with no niggles and a big confidence boost for the SDW100. I was really delighted to hear later that Philippe also finished strongly well inside the cut-off time.

Have learned some huge lessons in the last 6 months including :

-the difference a tailored/individual programme can make to your running really is night and day, in terms of performance, consistency and injury avoidance

-you have to learn to trust that programme – some of it will be counter-intuitive at first

-tapering properly is absolutely critical for events like this

-running long still requires a lot of speed sessions in your training

-the importance of practicing everything in training cannot be underestimated (food, electrolyte balance, hydration, kit)

Thanks to everyone involved in supporting. Finally, I wouldn’t discourage anyone from attempting longer distances – if you can do a marathon you can go further, but don’t treat it lightly. The longer you are out there, the more there is that can go wrong so practice and planning for all aspects is critical.

Happy Running !

SDW Tee and Medal


Paris Marathon 12th April 2015 – Reviewed by Theresa Chalk


Paris. Wow! an amazing city to run in.

Entry. It is easy to get a place in the Paris Marathon. Just sign up . There are 3
price brackets. Initially it was around 85 euros rising quickly to 99 euros and
then to over 100 euros. This year it was first come first served. NOTE
requirement to run the Paris Marathon is a medical certificate.No correctly
signed and stamped certificate. No run.

Friday 10th April arrived, we boarded the Eurostar and headed across the channel to France .We arrived in Gard de Nord and found our hotel. An interesting choice of area but the hotel was clean and comfortable. We stayed in the La Chappelle area which was great as the nearby metro took us directly to where we wanted to go on race day.

Saturday. Expo day. – The Salon du Running is held at Parc des Expositions de la Porte de Versailles .

We arrived to a long queue to get in but it moved quickly. First to hand in our medical certificates and then to pick up our number and goody bags. It was a good expo ,it compares well with London offering many different items on sale which are not found in the UK. Finally we enjoyed the Pasta party ( only 8euros a meal) before leaving.

Sunday. Race Day. Forecast temps of 20 sunny and cloudy .

We boarded the metro and headed for Porte Dauphine which bought us out at the finish line. A short walk along the Avenue du Foch took us to the bag drop and toilet queues Plenty of them). It was a well organised area which was busy but considering it is a marathon of 50k people it wasn’t too bad.

Once bags were safely stowed away we walked along to the Arch de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees where the marathon starts. The marathon officially starts at 9 with the elite and fast runners. Paris has staggered starts. We were in the rose which meant we didn’t start until 10.05 .It was suggested we were in our pen by 9.35.

Around 9.50 the noise of the crowd started to get excitable and we suddenly realised our wave was just about to leave Frantically we set our garmins only just getting a satellite seconds before crossing the line.

We were off, running downhill towards the Place de la Concorde . We had 6 hours to complete the 42.1km/ 26.2miles. Next we were running along the Rue de Rivoli past Angelinas, best eatery ever) toward The Louvre with firemen (best view in Paris) standing on ladders stretched out over the road and onto the Bastille around 5km.

I was in BHR top but Helen in her finery of all things British inc rock tape, got the attention of many spectators. Crowds were nowhere near as big as London, but there were a lots of bands and dancers keeping runners and spectators entertained.

The water stations were every 5km. There was water, orange segments, bananas, sugar lumps, raisins, apricots and other dried fruits piled high on each table. The water stations were very much a “bun fight” with lots of pushing and shoving people out of the way.The ground got very slippery due to the water, banana and orange skins.

As well as the fuelling stations there were cooling points .There were large hoses sprayed across the road (by the fireman) so well worth getting close up, and bowls full of water to dip our sponges in which had been in our goody bags .These were very welcome as the day was hot .

The route continued past the Paris zoo, through the Bois de Vincennes back to the Bastille and then along the river Seine around 23km. Notre Dame peeped over the buildings and finally the Eiffel Tower came into view at 29km … of course a selfie had to be taken.

Along this part there were several underpasses, one of which was about half a mile long and had an animated DJ and lazer lights. These were a welcome relief from the heat of the day.

Eventually we approach the finally few kms/miles and go through the Bois de Boulogne. At 23 miles a welcome sight another French marathon was advertising and handing out cups of wine. Well we were in France!!

39km, 40km passed. We were nearly there. Finally the crowds were getting bigger and the encouraging shouts to finish …” You are nearly there”

The 42km mark was such a welcome sight and the finish. A final sprint to the end and yes we had done it .All we had to do now was to get the all important bling and the t shirt.!

We had 6 hours to complete this … we did it no problem..


An amazing, well organised marathon in a beautiful city. The support was patchy but fantastic where itwas.Amazingly the Parisians continue life as normal during the marathon, crossing the road at any point so you have to dodge people, bikes, dogs etc .

Just under 42k people took part in the marathon and at the end there was not massive congestion getting bags or getting out of the race village toward the metro. There were no steps to walk up or down either (we saved that for our trek to the top of the Eiffel Tower the following day).



Brighton MarathonReviewed By Emma Leeson


This was my first ever marathon! I entered at the expo last year having just done my first half marathon at Brighton a couple of months previous. Doing a marathon has been the top thing to achieve on my bucket list, and to do it in 2015 when I turn 25!

Training has generally gone well for this event, in hindsight I have learnt an awful lot about my training during this time, basing it around a lot of long runs as my goal for my first marathon was psychologically for me to be able to run the distance. I started training for it in October last year and achieved a few PB’s in December. The Wednesday & Sunday BHR sessions have been a huge help to me as well as continuing my weekly circuit training classes at The Triangle Leisure Centre. Since then training has been progressive; I had to have a few weeks off due to illness & niggles in February and got up to 19 miles before a three week taper.

Tapering was really difficult! Being my first time as a ‘marathoner’ everything was new to me and I found this period the hardest out of the whole process; feeling exhausted, sleeping a lot and forcing myself to eat and ‘fuel’ for the big day. Thankfully I went to club on the Wednesday before the big day which really cheered me up; I felt really energised and being with the awesome BHR’s made me even more excited for Sunday.

The day before the marathon I was an emotional wreck! Nerves, excitement, suspense, adrenaline, tears – it all happened! Doing this was a HUGE thing to me which had been my focus for so long, I couldn’t wait to get to the start line. Did some strides & drills in the morning, had my pre-event massage earlier in the week, picked up my number & walked around the Expo for a bit, had a nice hot bath with essential oils and the obligatory pasta for dinner.

Sunday 12th April was finally here! The weather was perfect; Sunny with a slight breeze. We Squeezed our way out of Preston Park station, queued 25mins for the loo’s, quick warm up then BANG! We were off! The crowds and atmosphere was amazing! Being my first time my focus was just to pace it out, hold back and complete the distance! I saw loads of BHR’s on the way round (on the course and spectating – thank you for your support!) I loved the route; around town for 4-5 miles (I had to walk for a couple of minutes here due to a stitch?! – but ran the rest comfortably), onto the seafront out to Ovingdean, back along to Grand Avenue then the dreaded New Church Road. This was actually the worst part of the race for me, the crowds were great but it went on for so long!

I slogged through and made it to the power station where I had some friends waiting for me. My other half met me at mile 24, held my hand and ran with me for a bit which was lovely. I never really hit the wall at any point but started to get emotional as I picked up the pace, heard so many people shouting my name in the distance but I was just fixated at that finish line. Managed a sprint finale and I’d done it! Fell to my knees, looked at my watch. 4Hr 47mins 41 secs. Not quite what I was hoping for but I was still over the moon I had just done a marathon!

I was apprehensive about there being water ‘cup’ stations this year but they were actually very good and I felt well hydrated throughout the race (I got rid of my water belt after mile 3 – I personally don’t recommend taking one for this race – and I am normally the person who clings onto my hydration backpack!). They give out High5 Gels at about 3 or 4 points in the race too which is good and there is always good ‘bling’ and a free finishers t shirt at the end too. I would recommend this race to anybody, I absolutely loved it and would do it all again tomorrow! Most definitely will be a yearly ritual now. It will have to be if I want to achieve my goal of sub 4hrs by my 30th Birthday! 🙂




Bungay Black Dog Festival – Reviewed by Helen Carr


This is a great day of running on the Suffolk / Norfolk border, organised by the Bungay Black Dog Running club, encompassing a loop from Bungay outskirts/Ditchlingham through to Beccles and back round to Bungay Maltings Pavillion facility and the start/finish. It’s one lap for the half marathon, 2 laps for the full marathon and a cut across the main loop for the 10k.

If you’re looking for something other than Brighton/London marathon at this time of year, this is a great alternative. Or just for a smaller event that you’re willing to travel a couple of hours for. If you stay the night before, there are loads of pubs, inns, B&Bs in the area.

It’s a really pretty route, along some closed roads, some very well marshalled open roads, through the little town of Beccles, more roads and farmland and finally a mile or so along a track through the woods. The route does take in some challenging hills on the way from Ditchlingham to Beccles – there are 3 long “ups” – Suffolk is not flat! But the return leg from Beccles, through Ellingham and back to Bungay is easier on the legs and very scenic.

The event has all the things you could wish for – well organised number pick up, chip timing (collect & return), secure baggage storage, refreshments for spectators, plenty of loos, a great tech t-shirt for just £8 extra on the already low entry fee. The marshalling was great and there was loads of local support with jelly babies being given out and people driving from point to point to keep the support continuous. And the medals are great too, a different colourways for each event, really chunky with the name of the event and the year, with the local black dog logo prominent. Oh and the goody bag was excellent too – a bottle of water, banana, 9bar, crisps (for salt replacement of course) and a can of Adnams beer (Adnams being the local brewer).

Below is a link to the legend of the Black Dog and a screen shot of the elevation and route.



The Angmering Bluebell 10 mile race – Reviewed by Gill Berglund


On Sunday 26th April Kjell and I headed off to Angmering for the much looked-forward to Bluebell Run. In previous years we had done the 10k race but this year decided to go for the 10 miler. We planned to run together – lovely!

“We’ll run it together,” we said.

“Yes, we’ve trained together so we’ll run it together”, we said.

There’s something about this race that is so engaging. Everything works well – from the parking to the marshalling. There’s The Fox pub garden where it was great to see some familiar faces from BHR – Di, Keith, Nick, Neil, Dan and Janet, (Andy J supporting).

The 10k race starts 15 minutes before the 10 mile one – both starting on the road outside the pub.

The route is stunning! After starting on the road you run down into the beautiful Angmering Park Estate and then on into the forest where bluebells lay like a carpet in places. At the top of Monarchs Way you turn right and head towards the top of the ridge called The View – for obvious reasons. What a sight – rapeseed fields for miles! Then there’s a very welcome downhill part which takes you to South Downs National Park. Following that there’s a tough climb through fields but still the views do not disappoint. The rest is a variety of grass, trail and tarmac. Finally, the cruel last climb to the finish – 200 metres of hill! The spectators standing there clapping and shouting encouraging words really helped though.

This is really a brilliant race not to be missed next year – put it in your diaries – we certainly will be!

So, did we run together??

I’d love to say that we did but to be truthful after about two and a half miles there was a dilemma. Kjell had got just a little bit behind me so I kept looking round and one time I ran back for him. He looked into my eyes and said “OK, my love, I’m fine, run on ahead and I’ll see you at the end – good luck”

Errr, no of course he didn’t say that – what he said was “Bugger off – might see you at the end” You can take the man out of Ludvika!!

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The Mid Sussex Marathon WeekendReview by Mark Craigs


The Mid Sussex Marathon is a 3 day event that combines three races – two 10 mile races in East Grinstead and Haywards Heath and a 10 kilometre race in Burgess Hill. The three races combined will cover a total of 26.2 miles – the classic marathon distance.

Day 1 – East Grinstead

Saturday started well with the trip to East Grinstead for the first 10 mile race. On arrival I had a gentle warm up with my daughter Lily before joining her in the Mini Mile event. This was a quiet turn out compared with previous years but that didn’t stop the excitement building as we set off on a lap of the rugby club field. Feeling confident of a good run I joined a number of other BHR’s on the start for the main event and set off. I had my usual set off too fast but after a mile got into my stride and settled into the run enjoying the fantastic surroundings of Weir Wood Reservoir. Virtually all of the route is off-road and traffic free. As much as you enjoy the very steep downhill section at the beginning, it is a whole lot different when you have to climb the same section towards the last mile. Its a very steep climb that most runner struggle to run all the way up and I was no different. My only gripe of this event was being sent the wrong way by a marshall and turning round after realising there was no one around me. The long trek back up the steep road I had just ran down may have added a little extra to my time but didn’t take anything away from the race overall.

Day 2 – Haywards Heath

Sunday arrived far too quickly and unfortunately so did the rain. It had rained all night and most of the morning, so by the time we arrived at Haywards Heath we were already soaked. That didn’t damped Lily’s enthusiasm as we again set up of on Mini Mile event. Lily’s confidence was clearly growing as she started to overtake people and even waved for the cameras as she sped around the course. The rain had eased before the main race started and off we set on another 10 miles. The race starts on the High Street, before runners do a lap of the park and then do two loops around the town using roads, paths, trails and footpaths. Much of the route is off-road and mainly traffic free.

I was beginning to feel very ‘leggy’ quite early on in this race but caught up with Jan Lavis (who had slowed down with an injury, not that I had actually caught up with her). She gave a quick pep talk and paced me for a mile or so before sending me on my way. The route has few climbs and is heavy going but the sight of the park at half way gives you the boost keep going for one more lap.

Upon approaching Victoria Park for the second time, you start to hear the supporters and nice littledownhill stretch gives you the lift to push for fast finish. Seeing Lily jumping and waving at the end was all I needed for short sprint up the bank to finish with a smile.

strong in those climbs and had the confidence to go quickly on the downhill sections so much so, that on the second lap I was able to really close up and pass a number of runners. It was a great feeling running back into the school field knowing I had completed 26.2 miles over the three days. The medal at the end was special one that all three individual race medals fitted into.

Day 3 – Burgess Hill

Monday came and so did the sunshine. The weather could not have been more different. It was a glorious sunny day and we were in my home patch. The turn out at Burgess Hill was huge and the addition of a number of Burgess Hill Junior Academy Runners meant there was a massive crowd for the Mini Mile race. Even on her 3rd race in as many days, Lily flew around the course and was overjoyed with her third medal, She even wore them all to school the next day to show her teacher. There were a lot of additional BHR’s at this race and even more supporting and marshalling around the course. This helped keep me going and focused on achieving a good time. The race starts at Oakmeeds School and exits onto the roads before moving into the local meadows where we do two laps of the fields including the dreaded climb up to the water tower. If there is one thing I did take away from this race, was that I felt strong in those climbs and had the confidence to go quickly on the downhill sections so much so, that on the second lap I was able to really close up and pass a number of runners. It was a great feeling running back into the school field knowing I had completed 26.2 miles over the three days. The medal at the end was special one that all three individual race medals fitted into.

Overall I would say that this was a well organised event (despite the marshalling mishap on day 1). The chip timing meant the result were published really quickly and different locations meant you got to see a lot more of Sussex. I will probably run this event again and would recommend it to others.



parkun corner by Neil Dawson

When we arrive at Clair Park on Saturday mornings, it’s easy to forget that you’re part of something that is absolutely huge.  Our 120-150 runners form part of a worldwide phenomenon.   April proved this with 2 incredible stats.  On the 18th April 107,452 people completed their 5km Saturday run.  A truly amazing figure.  And that’s not the end of the story.  On the 25th April, parkrun saw its 9 millionth finisher ever.  It’ll never catch on you know.

On the first Saturday of the month 25 BHR’s took the Saturday morning 5k plunge.  Carole Mills and Jean Lyle both set new personal bests at Tilgate.  In Clair Park, Tracy Brownings and Catherine Kempton complete the same feat, while Paula Ridley went sub 28 for the first time in Preston Park.

On the 11th April of the month BHR had runners at Tilgate, Preston Park and Clair Park.  21 in total.  At Tilgate, Amy Mills went sub 27 for the first time ever in her 68th parkrun.  In Clair Park, James Collins and Douglas Cooper both set new bests, with James leading the field home, followed by first timer Gary Woolven (taking it steady the day before the Brighton Marathon).

On the 18th, Nigel Cruttenden headed off to Lloyd parkrun in Croydon and Hugh Stevenage made his way to Chichester.  Nearer home, Amy Mills, not content with going sub 27 for the first time the previous week, completed the same course in 24.48.  Totally amazing.

On the final weekend of the month we set a new course attendance record in Clair Park of 153, boosted by an amazing 23 BHR’s.  11 BHR’s headed to Tilgate Park, where many of the Learn to Run group tackled their first ever 5k.  This is a fantastic achievement after such a short period of time.

I never tire of thanking the volunteers. We have been blessed with so many willing helpers in Clair Park.  Without them, the event doesn’t happen.  The only reason why over 100,000 people completed a parkrun on the 18th was due to the fact that over 13,000 volunteers made it happen.

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My final thought for this month is about one of the integral volunteers at Clair Park.  On the last week of the month, I had the pleasure of completing my 50th parkrun with Jay.  Right from week 1 (well week 2, to be fair) he has been an incredible advocate of parkrun and his enthusiasm for parkrun is only match by his enthusiasm for the WSFRL.  Thank you for all that you and the Wadey family have done for us in Clair Park.


Take care all, Neil.


Spot the Difference



Magic provided by Andrew Baillie!

Can you spot the 6 differences between the below pictures? – Answers below the pictures


Other pictures this month

10984835_10152728301056184_3022060373672602572_n 11076737_10152919597767983_6267117940370156793_o 11078239_10152984706308763_8465550085579959012_n


Want to Contribute?

Please remember this is your newsletter, so if you want to do a race report, or let your fellow members know

about something just email either:-

Alan Fry

Neil Dawson


Spot the Difference – Answers

  1. Nick Dawson’s shoes a different colour.
  2. Sign has changed.
  3. Alan now Ian on club vest
  4. Dave Woodhouse gone and two Neil Dawson’s.
  5. 3 Runners have same number (248).
  6. Light above the door gone.



Newsletter – April 2015

With apologies for the delay of this issue another varied month see’s the BHR colours flown far and wide!



The Marathon breakfast on 28th March raised £439.20!! –

Thank you to everyone that took part – especially the cooks and kitchen crew! – I’m sure everyone would also like to thank Kim & Chris for their hospitality and for letting us invade their beautiful home.

Those members who have contacted us to say they are running a marathon for charity will be asked soon for their sponsorship details (Justgiving page etc) and a Club donation will be made.

Final call if you’d like to attend the Marathon Meal at the Emperor Chinese Restuarant in Burgess Hill on Wednesday 29th April at 19.30

The social committee have extended the deadline to the 23rd April. If you have any questions please contact either Karen, Paula, Neil or Alan on

The all important information you need to know about this event is : you DONT need to have run a marathon to attend, you need to have paid £15 for a wonderful Chinese meal by 23rd April!


Now that the newsletter is up and running we’d be interested to know your thoughts on it’s content and ideas for future items. Please email any suggestions to:

Alan Fry

Neil Dawson


Henfield 9 – Review by Sheryl Caldecourt


So it’s Saturday afternoon in the pub and I’m considering doing the Henfield 9 race in the morning….reasons to do it are

a) the weather forecast is good

b) I need to start increasing my mileage as I’m doing the Exmoor 16 in April

c) I can enter on the day

d) my running buddies are marathon training & running too far for me

and reasons not to do it are

a) I need to stop drinking by 8pm !!

Anyway, my sensible head took over for once & I set off at 9.45an on Sunday 8th March towards Henfield.  The car bonnet decided to open on 4 occasions on the way over, which left very little time to register- panic mode. I ran into the hall & was the last entry – number 134. This made me realise this was quite a small field of runners and I was advised there was a walk to the start. Now I’m feeling stressed in case it starts before I get there. At the start line I was pleased and relieved to see my fellow club runners – Trevor & Sally Symes & Janet the Muddy, although I knew I was only likely to see them in the distance once we started running. Trevor was the only one of us looking keen as Janet was recovering from a cold, I was recovering from flu & a few vodkas & Sally was slightly jaded too !

The race started and I quickly realised that the route was similar to the Henfield half route that I had run a couple of summers ago. The weather was perfect & the route is 95% off road on fairly flat tracks , fields, over stiles, through gates & a beautiful long run along the river . I had decided to enjoy the scenery rather than try to get a decent time and so didn’t bother to wear my Garmin but they did have a few mileage markers- my favourite marker said 8 miles! There were 2 drink stations offering water at mile 2& mile 6, which were perfectly adequate for this distance.

By the time I was half way through the run , the field was very spread out & although I could always see people ahead of me, there were times when I wondered if I was actually the back runner as I couldn’t see anyone behind me- thankfully I wasn’t actually last !

The last mile is the toughest as always and is back through a rough terrain field & my legs felt like they were getting slower & slower. In actual fact they WERE getting slower & slower & I really struggled to keep on running (if you can call it that) . Once you get through this field you are through to the Leisure Centre & a short run to the finish line…..yaaaay!

To sum it up , it’s a very relaxed, local event with a lovely, scenic well marked route, good marshalling , with a medal at the end and the results were on Henfield Jogger’s website on the same day.  I would recommend it.


Surrey Half MarathonReviewed by Carole Mills


On Sunday 8th March an “elite” pair (well Jon maybe certainly not me) of BHR made our way to Woking to run the second Surrey Half Marathon. This was the first time over this course after being run in Guildford last year.


My family and I arrived early and the sun was beginning to break through with a slight
breeze – looked good running weather. Now to see if we could spot the other BHR. Amy
managed this quite easily – on his way into the Gents.

Time for a quick pre-race photo and chat. We both agreed this would be a slow training run in preparation for our marathons in April.

Jon left us to go and warm up and we made our way to the various stalls and merchandise tent where they were handing out free drinks and sweets (other healthier options were available – mainly bananas).

After a quick walk around it was time to make my way to the starting pen where the pacers seemed to be very well prepared.

The gun went off to start the race – this was greeted with lots of cheers from the supporters who lined the start area and out onto the roads of Woking we went. The majority of the course is a bit of a mystery – I remember passing a golf course and a selection of large houses and a number of water stations. Between miles 5 and 6 I spotted Jon making his way towards me on the opposite side of the road. He missed me waving like a looney at him – he was obviously in “the zone” The 1 hr 30 pacers were a short distance behind him. The next thing I remember is the final mile where the cheers and applause from the well populated route became louder and louder. As we turned to come into the Leisure Centre car park the finish was in sight.

Then I recall my pre-race email informing me of prizes for the fastest lady and gent over the final 100m of the race – not a chance – my legs were a little like jelly. A quick look at my watch and a shout from Amy who was in the final few metres and I had done it. I crossed the line in a new half marathon PB of 2 hrs 0m and 50 seconds. So much for an easy slow training run – that was two half marathon PB’s in 2 weeks.

Unfortunately we did not see Jon after the race but from his post on Facebook later that day he too had run a new half marathon PB of 1 hr 24m 39s .

This was a well organised event benefiting from chip timing, professional pacers and an app for family and friends to follow your progress together with good support around the closed road course. I will more than likely run this again and would recommend this event to others.

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Milton Keynes 20 mile – Reviewed By Neil Grigg


In early March I took part in the Milton Keynes 20 Mile Race which forms part of the Milton Keynes Festival of Running. In addition to the 20 Mile route, there are three other race distances; 5km, 10km, and Half Marathon.

The courses seem to have been well designed; with the 10km route forming the basis for the longer events. I hadn’t done much research and was expecting the route to be through town (and it is) so was pleasantly surprised to find that Half Marathon participants took a lap around the picturesque Willen Lake (those running the 20 Mile route enjoy two laps of this section of the course). The race was run mostly on closed roads and Redway Paths, many of which are adjacent to open roads. Other than a few undulations as the Redways pass over / under roads the course is fairly flat although there is a downhill section at the start and a climb to the finish for the three longer events; I can’t comment on the 5km route as it is different.

Start times are staggered and take account of the additional lap for the 20 Mile route; runners for the Half Marathon started later and appeared to be starting their lap of the lake as similarly paced 20 Mile participants were starting their second lap – given the number of events taking place there appeared to be only minimal congestion on the day.

Spectator support was limited, although the marshals and those who had turned out to spectate were very enthusiastic. An enjoyable event; if for no other reason, I’d seriously consider running again just for the excuse to go back to the bakery that sells the giant sultana Danishes.



Moyleman – Reviewed By Neil Dawson


Sunday 15th March was the first running of the Moyleman Marathon, a trail marathon starting and finishing in Lewes and taking in many of the wonderful trails and hills of the surrounding area.

The event is called the Moyleman, after a local runner Chris Moyle who loved running the hills of this area and sadly died a few years ago. It was really quite fitting that Camilla Moyle, Chris’ sister ran the race and she wore the number 1.

Registration for the event took place in Wallands school hall in Lewes. An excellent place for registration with all of the facilities you needed, including tea, coffee and cake.

There were 4 Burgess Hill Runners taking part. Darren Chilcott, Philippe Ecaille and the Dawsons. Philippe and I managed to get numbers 2 and 3. A reflection of the fact that we registered early rather than our ability.


The start is a short walk from the school hall and the bottom of the hill that leads up to Black Cap. The race brief took place there, excellently delivered by the Race Director, who quite correctly described the hills as ‘a bit of a bastard’.

So, we’re off bang on time at 10am. Now this is where the first dilemma came. My rule for hilly trail marathons is walk the hills, run the flat and the down hills. However, the first 3.5km are uphill. The total ascent was 140m. Not bad to start with. Everyone ran up the hill to Black Cap. This certainly wasn’t in my plan, but it wouldn’t have felt right to have walked that section. I would have been alone if I had.


Having passed Black Cap, we turned left and headed down to the A27 for 6km, almost all of which was downhill. This section was quick, but it was time to make the most of the slow descent to the A27 crossing, where we met the first aid station.

The second climb came at 9km and was 2km long with 130m of elevation gain. I walked it all. We weren’t even a quarter of the way through and I knew that there were bigger fish to fry later in the race.

After a short descent of 3km, we found ourselves in a valley. I had never been in this part of the South

Downs before and it is totally stunning. No signs of life apart from a few idiots seeing how quickly they could complete 26 miles.


The 3rd climb soon came into view and again I started to walk. This climb is 3.5km long and just over 100m of elevation gain. At the top we are greeted by the folks at the 2nd aid station. This was the most remote station as well. It a pretty good job that the forecast bad weather didn’t come in, or these marshals would have frozen.


At this aid, you turn left and head down what is known as the yellow brick road, which is downhill almost all of the way to the half way point at Southease.

At the half way point there is a good crowd gathered and another aid station serving sweets and water. We are at sea level here and I know what was round the corner. I filled up the water bottles and set off again.

The next 7km are almost all uphill. The much of it totally unrunnable (not sure that’s a word, but you know what I mean), even if I’d wanted to. The first section is especially steep. Just when you thought that the uphill had finish, you went over the crest of a hill and there was another hill coming up.

You reach the most easterly point at 28.5km and I knew that the most difficult part was over. Well, that’s what I thought anyway.

The section that brings you off the South Downs Way is very steep, on concrete and thigh busting. I even met a runner going down backwards to save his knees and thighs. The bottom of the hill is the 30km point and another aid station with water and jelly babies.

I found the next section pretty easy. It’s 8km, mainly downhill. I got into a rhythm and made up some time. It was at this point that I was sure of making my 5 hour target. In fact, I was heading for nearer 4 and a half hours (although I hadn’t taken into account what was waiting at mile 23). This section was in the shadow of the South Downs Way to the north side and I really enjoyed looking over my left shoulder at the great views.

As we closed in on Glynde village at the last 3 miles, we had to cross a very rutted field. It was totally dry and this played havoc with tired calves and ankles. Better than if it had been wet though.

So we head through Glynde village, past the marshal who points us right into a field and there it is. The hill. At this stage? Really? You’re having a laugh. So, I set off walking up the hill to where I thought it ended, where there was a gate and a hedge. Oh how I was wrong, that was probably half way up the hill. Through the gate it continued and you really could not tell how long it went on for. It was only just over a kilometre, but there was 130m of elevation gain.

This is the view back from the hedge and below is the view up.

The views from the top were stunning. Hang on a minute. I thought that was the last climb, but oh no. You head down into the valley (some of which is too steep to run), before the last climb (it had to be the last climb surely). It was only about 700m, but still enough at 25 miles.

So, we could now see Lewes and we headed down the steep hill into the town. The finish took us along the main shopping area where people either clapped or looked at you like you were a bit weird. It was a great place to finish. A quick right turn and we were in the yard of Harvey’s Brewery.

So what about the race? Well, think of the Brighton, London or any other mass participation run event and now think of exactly the opposite. Well that’s Moyleman. Hilly, beautiful, lonely (it was for me, but I like that), relentless and brutal in places.

This is a tremendous addition to the Sussex trail running calendar. It sits very well with the Steyning Stinger, 3 Forts and Beachy Head, and had a very similar vibe to the Sussex Trail Events races.

Here is the link to the route from my gps –

This race was a brilliant tribute to someone who loved those hills.

Can’t wait for next year. I will certainly do it again. If anyone is concerned about doing the full marathon next year, there is an option to run it as a relay with the change over at Southease, which is approximately half way.

It’s well worth it for next year folks if you’re up for a challenge.


Mel’s Milers 10k – Reviewed By Gill Berglund

We love this race – the organisation, the course, the enthusiastic marshals, the setting, the jelly babies at the finish etc!

So, yet again the Berglund clan – three of us this time – set off for Christ’s Hospital school in Horsham on Sunday morning.The weather, as we drove up from Brighton, was dreadful and we all thought for the first time it was going to be a wet and muddy race. The school, and in fact the race, is very well sign posted. Once parked it’s just to pick up your microchip and number at the race HQ and chat to other runners.Nice to see Neil and Rainer here.

The weather still looked ominous – light drizzle, blustery wind but not cold. So, it was vest and shorts for me – much to the dismay of the other two! Then we made the very short walk to the start in the school’s quadrangle. No hanging about though – after a few announcements we were off!

The course is lovely. Mixed terrain and mostly off-road. After doing a lap of the school we ran along part of the beautiful Downs Link. At one point things look vaguely familiar and then you realise that you are running the last half mile of the Valentine’s race. The route also takes you through the scenic Southwater Country Park for a great downhill burst – water station here too. After that, it’s just to cross a road and then run along country footpaths back to the school. Great to hear Neil and James shouting encouragement along the finishing line – thanks guys! It was at that point I remembered that the weather had been kind to us and I felt vindicated about my choice of kit. Nothing worse than being too hot.!

After having your microchip removed – collect your medal, bottle of water, chocolate milkshake and, of course, those jelly babies!

This can be a deceptive race – given that there are more or less no hills – my times never match Brighton or Chichester. Am I complaining? NO, in my opinion one of the best 10k races around -will definitely be back next year.

Well done Mel’s Milers!!


Palace Half Marathon
– Reviewed By John Carey



I may not have considered this event if it had not been for Marie and she may not have considered it were it not for the ‘bling’. She was not disappointed!The ‘Palace’ Half Marathon should not be confused with the ‘Original Hampton Court Half Marathon’ which was run five weeks earlier. From looking at the course map of the ‘Original’ there may be a case to be made under the Trades Description Act as you will not catch more than a fleeting glimpse of the famous residence.

The same cannot be said of the ‘Palace’ event which starts on the main drive and winds around and within the extensive grounds. The terrain is mixed, some tarmac paths and pavements, some grass, some trail (quite muddy today) and some gravel but generally conditions underfoot were ok and the paths were wide enough to accommodate the 3,500 entrants with relative comfort. It was however quite twisty turny in the grounds which is only an issue if you don’t want to keep seeing those who are a mile or so in front of you (this did mean that I caught a couple of glimpses of Marie during the race).

It was a nine o’clock start which was a little testing given that the clocks went forward the night before but with a reliable and experienced driver – thanks Helen – we arrived in good time and were well directed to a spacious car park about five minutes walk from the Palace. The downside was it was pay and display – £5 required.

The start and finish are in different locations so pre race required a ten to fifteen minute walk into the grounds to the race village, dropping off bags and then re-tracing steps back to the main drive for the start. My fellow BH Runners – Helen, Stephanie and Karen – had been here before and were able to turn this mild inconvenience (no pun intended) into a distinct advantage as we were able to visit quite the best toilets I have ever been to on a race day, not once, but twice!

The course is two laps but don’t be put off, both laps were quite different. It was well marshalled with no possibility of error and there were enthusiastic crowds at the more central points. It is very flat with only a couple of minor inclines and so would be a potential PB course. Today was wet and very windy making it quite testing in places.
The downside of the event was the drinks provision which, although water bottles were only at four, five, ten and twelve and a half miles and needed to be more evenly spaced. After the finish the bag reclaim was fairly chaotic but on the plus side all the finishers received a technical top.Overall I enjoyed the event and if they can rectify the drinks and bag situation it would be a nine out of ten with the added attraction of the PB potential.


Coaches CornerGoal Setting – By Tony Radmall

As a coach I’ve observed many of our runners to be competing in races virtually every weekend, and whilst many at the moment are achieving PB’s. Long term I would expect the comments back to be afterwards they were disappointed with their times!

As a coach my answer would be, “I’m not surprised”. The question I would ask is;“do you train to race or race to train?” Too much racing is either going to lead to slower times (over raced) or long term injury (over raced) .

Thought processes of top athletes are first to set down (here, there is no difference from a top athlete and us club runners) goals for the season and discuss these goals with their coaches. What do I need to do to reach my goals and which races do I need to make sure my training is on course to deliver that?

For many of us our goal is a marathon/ultra and usually we like to choose a spring marathon. For me this is a non-starter as I struggle with winter training on dark nights and running on tarmac. A goal for me is an autumn marathon where I have the summer to train over the multi-terrain that our local area offers. Does any of this sound like you?

The next question is what do I want from the marathon? Is it a PB or just happy to compete and the time will be what it is. If the answer is a PB, then we need to start looking at various marathon courses available. For example, the only marathon PB achievable on Beachy Head will be a course PB. Alternatively, if you want a fast PB on a fast marathon course, look at something like Brighton (other races available).

So we come back to the original question, ‘do you train to race or race to train’ when you’re disappointed not to have PB’d at Brighton and you start analysing what went wrong. Maybe it was just a bad day (it happens), maybe a number of inappropriate races in the build up to Brighton or simply didn’t do the right sort of training with all the correct strength and conditioning work and recovery properly built in?

We need to think more like the elite, get a realistic plan and schedule, then you will see the results of your new PB whether it be marathon or any other distances.


  1. Discuss your goals with the club CiRF coaches.
  2. Build a realistic plan together that suits your work and lifestyle.
  3. Continue working together on a regular basis throughout the plan.


Parkrun corner – By Neil Dawson

As usual, March was a busy month in the parkrun world.

For the first time ever, over 100,000 people ran a free timed 5km parkrun on a single Saturday morning. Just over 10 years ago, the first parkrun event took place with 13 runners. Out of acorns…….

The first weekend of the month saw a whopping 27 club members complete parkruns across the country. James Collins ran in Oxford and set a new PB of 17.25. Hannah Brett completed the Chelmsford Central parkrun in a large field of 423.

Of the 4 BHR’s visiting Hove, there were 3 PB’s, including Jon Lavis, proving that marathon training helps set PB’s at all distances.

Steve Roberts and Keith Brown made their Preston Park debuts, joining Paula for a run around one of the quickest courses around.

At Clair Park we had a bumper crowd of 139, including 4 members of the 26.2 RRC, who have completed over 1000 parkruns between them.

On the 14th March, we saw 22 members tackling their early 5km test.We were represented at Hove, Tilgate and in Clair Park. Carole Mills carried on her tremendous form with another PB at Tilgate, going sub 26 minutes for the first time.

In Clair Park, we celebrated the return of one of our regular runners from a scary incidence of Meningitis by holding a cake and bacon sandwich sale, which raised over £250 for Meningitis Now.

11030860_349608951904825_92789472108092777_n10985871_349606745238379_4796627242336463187_nJames and Hannah also completed their 50th parkruns together, fittingly finishing hand in hand.

On the 21st March, 24 BHR’s completed 6 different parkruns, including Philippe’s visit to Southend and Jean Lyle’s visit to Ormeau parkrun in County Antrim.

In Clair Park, we saw a big PB for Steve Bird, the first time he’s gone sub 20. This didn’t go unnoticed by Stuart, who quickly pounced to talk about X-Country with Steve.

11051943_349607155238338_6599045395860375685_oNigel Cruttenden and Di Delderfield both hit new bests.It was also great to see Niamh and Seb Bennett tackling the hills with Jill.Finally, it was great to see one of the Learn to Run group, Peter Humphreys, complete his first ever parkrun.At Hove Park, Paula Ridley continued her march forwards with a new course PB, while Jonathan Herbert set a new fastest time at Preston Park of 21.39.

The final Saturday of the month saw some fantastic performances. Simon Thompson and Karen Sargent both set PB’s in Clair Park, with runners also visiting the usual haunts around Sussex.

In March we passed through another big milestone in Clair Park. We have now had over 9,000 runs completed. Now to think of some way of celebrating 10,000.

Finally, the really exciting news at the moment is that there is a team working on setting up a junior parkrun is Mid Sussex.

As you’d imagine BHR are heavily involved with several club members being on the core organising team. The event will take place every Sunday morning and is 2km in length.

There is a lot of hard work being put into this at the moment and we will, of course, be keeping you up to date with developments.

Take care everyone and see you soon.



Other Recent Photos

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Want to Contribute?

Please remember this is your newsletter, so if you want to do a race report, or let your fellow members know about something just email either:-

Alan Fry –

Neil Dawson –

Newsletter – March 2015

Another month goes by and thank you once again for everyone who has contributed this month. It seems that there weren’t quite as many races this month, but have a read of the reviews and put some dates in the diary for next year!


A few confirmed dates for your diary!

Hopefully you will all be aware by now that the combined AGM/Award night is on Thursday 19th March starting at 19.30. The event was a great evening last year and is once again being held at The Hassocks Hotel. Please make every effort to attend as we need to ensure the AGM part of the evening is in accordance with our constitution, which requires a certain amount of members in attendance. The night will also see the annual awards being presented. During the event a Curry will be served (Meat & Vegetarian) which is free!!!!!!

As the Marathon session is nearly upon us, two of the regular social events have also been confirmed. The Marathon Breakfast is once again being hosted By Kim & Chris Gow (Thank you!) on Saturday 28th March . This event raises moneyfor those who are running for a charity in a marathon, so please come along and help make it a special day! (You don’t have to be running a marathon to attend!) and the Marathon meal, which recognises anyone that ran a marathon and or ran their first! – again you don’t need to have taken part in a marathon to come along – there were a few sore heads after this event last year! Due to the friendly welcome we received last year we are returning to the Emperor Chinese Restaurant in Burgess Hill on Wednesday 29th April at 19.30

Please keep an eye out for more details on either Google groups or Facebook.


The Eliminator – review by Hannah Watkins


The Eliminator Race is a natural obstacle course which takes place in the midst of the coldest months. There is a choice of 3 distances starting with a 5 miler, then a 10 miler and lastly a 26.2 miler for the individuals who really want to test themselves. The race throws you straight into a downhill start and then quickly followed by a slow and long hill climb. This is perfect to get you warm as the next part of submersion into a pond that is only just above freezing temperatures is sure to cool you off. An interesting numbing sensation from waist down follows, but once on the move it slowly subsides. The rest of the course throws plenty of obstacles in the way of mud and spending most of the downhill parts sliding is always fun. A sigh of relief comes when you see the finish at the top of yet another hill, little did we realise that there would be a series of icy baths that separates us from finishing. Crossing the line you are awarded with a lovely medal and t-shirt and the opportunity to wrap up in a space blanket. If this is your kind of madness, be sure to pencil this in your diaries for next year.


WSFRL Valentine’s 5 Mile – reviewed by Tracy Brownings

11001582_10152755500497983_4321276135457778239_oWSFRL – St Valentines day (well the day after) massacre.

Lulled into a false sense of security by the Worthing Lido 4 and the thrill of wearing a running club vest again I boldly replied to Mr Wadey that I’d give the Horsham run a whirl. Bearing in mind that at this point 4 miles was the furthest I’d tackled and that I’d only ever run on tarmac, some would say this was a tad foolish?

Race day dawned, dry, hurrah and I set off for Horsham trying to ignore the nagging doubt about the info that “it might be muddy”! How muddy and where the heck is Horsham? I arrived safely warmed up with the lovely friendly Theresa and Ann and decided to interpret butterflies as excitement and we were off.

10998034_10152755478862983_8221769536237056741_oA nice start along a country lane and an innocent turn right into the woods turned into mud fest! Oh my goodness I don’t think I’d have normally tackled terrain like this in wellies! Slippery, deep, heavy, really heavy and endless, soggy and just urghh. Early lessons – that dry patch your leaping towards actually is knee deep, steadying yourself on a holly bush is not to be recommended, the splits is painful and fraught with ending up completely face down in it!

What can I say though? It was honestly so much fun! I know it’s sounds mad doesn’t it? But I’ve not got that dirty since I was about aged 8! The breather gained whilst waiting to cross the stile at almost mile two was a good thing and even though the weight of my trainers felt like a toddler on each foot at times I can totally recommend it and will definitely be back next year. That’s if I’ve managed to get the mud out of my socks by then. Plus I can now proudly say I can run (slip, slide, trudge) 5 miles, brilliant.


Kenley Aerodrome 10km reviewed by Helen Dumbbell Carr


I really enjoyed taking part in the Kenley Aerodrome 10k on Sunday 22nd Feb – 3 x 3km laps + 1km to the finish. Being held on an airfield (home of the Surrey Hill Gliding Club) this race is on tarmac and almost completely flat, if rather exposed up there on top of the North Downs. It’s a low key event – pick up number on the day, no chip timing, no motivational bands or massage tents, quite a contrast to other events happening on that day (!). Facilities were pretty limited – a couple of loos in the Gliding Club’s shipping container, but the essentials were covered – water station part way round, so passed it 3 times. The field of entrants was very mixed – all ages, a couple of dogs and a buggy-pushing runner, so that atmosphere was informal. The aerodrome is now part of Kenley Common, a great community facility, with WW2 memorials and a small museum over the road – it’s well used by local families, hence there was lots of support, other runners and users of the Common but there were no problems with the race being held at the same time – I think there were about 300 entrants.

There were a few other representatives from Sussex clubs taking part – Fittleworth Flyers and Lingfield were represented and a few runners from further away – Portsmouth and Cambridge – had made the trip to Surrey, so the event seems to be well thought of.

I haven’t seen any results yet and the only disappointment was the finishers medal (precious to me, as it’s my first since my injury) it doesn’t even have the year inscribed on it, let alone the event name, just the MCC Promotions logo. I would definitely recommend this event if you prefer the smaller races and are looking for a non-XC or non-trail run early in the year.


Brighton Half Marathon – review by Ann Savidge


It was a bit of an early, cold start on the morning of the half marathon. My hubby Andrew had kindly offered to drive us girls down to Brighton to save us having to find a parking space. Theresa duly arrived at around 7.25am and we set off for the London Road to pick up Claire and Helen.  Andrew dropped us off by the aquarium and we walked along a very frosty/icy Madeira Drive towards the race start. The first stop as always for us ladies is the loo! Was it my imagination or were there extra portaloos this year? After leaving our bags at the bag drop (quite well organised as usual) we set offfor a warm up jog which took us up to around 10 minutes before race start. The blue shirts of the Burgess Hill Runners seemed to be everywhere, including one being held aloft by part of the ‘Burgess Hill Supporters Club’, Helen, Leanne and Paula – a very welcome sight.

Then we were off – it took us, from where we started, ten minutes to get to the start line. The weather was perfect for running and as we climbed the only up hill stretch towards Ovingdean, there was a crisp wind blowing that I for one appreciated. I also spotted our resident club photographers, Caz and Jon on the way up the hill and also on the way down. Unfortunately, another spot that was less welcome – a lady with I think it’s called ‘runners trots’ who seemed to be totally oblivious until asked if she was ok by a fellow runner. She stopped and I didn’t see her again. My heart went out to her, after all it could happen to any of us.

10997210_10152771124492983_7487439928447766248_oAs I reached the pier, I saw the first of our club runners nearly finishing their race, huge respect!

More welcome support form Marie and John who were marshalling along the road towards the King Alfred Leisure Centre, for me the boring bit of the race. A sigh of relief when I reached Hove Lagoon as in my head I remembered a post from Neil I believe, saying something like ‘only one Parkrun left at this stage!’ I have to say, it felt like the longest Parkrun ever. Lovely to see though, Steve’s smiley face around the 10 mile ish mark.

10275603_10152771143612983_8588957466897621104_oWhen I crossed the finish line I was handed a bottle of water but somehow missed out on the fashion accessory of the day, a foil blanket. By the time I had picked up my 25th anniversary ‘bling’ and my goody bag I couldn’t stop shaking, I was so cold. The wind had picked up and the day had turned decidedly chilly.

As we all waited in a bus shelter out of the wind for Andrew to pick us up, we looked back on a day of highs and lows and on the whole I think we were very happy. The day produced an armload of PB’s for our club thanks to our brilliant coaches, we couldn’t do it without you!


Eastbourne Half Marathon – reviewed by Jon Lavis


Eastbourne Half Marathon continues to manage to retain its small event atmosphere, despite it attracting nearly 1400 entrants in 2015. Unfortunately for me it nearly always clashes with the Steyning Stinger and the draw of the trails and the free breakfast normally wins. However this year, as part of my Marathon training Eastbourne won.

I have done the race before and as a fairly slowish runner it’s an attractive course. The start is in Princes Park, it’s fairly unassuming, a start and finish arch, a bit of red and white tape, a couple of marquees and the statutory row of porta loos. The whole start pen, although marked at expected time intervals is only about 100m long and entrance is via the goalposts or just ducking under the tape! The only acknowledgement of modern technology is the chip timing.

From the start it’s straight out across the playing field and onto the seafront where there are full road closures. The one and only hill is at about 3 miles heading towards Beachy Head and once you reach the top it’s all downhill to the seafront esplanade. There follows a straight flat run along the seafront to the harbour. Fortunately this year the sun was out and the wind behind so there was plenty of support. Once into the harbour complex the course winds its way round the residential streets before entering the harbour area itself. Negotiating the tight turns and metal footbridges can be tricky but the atmosphere is actually quite special. The course then returns to the seafront and eventually back into the Princes Park Start/Finish area. There you get a fairly decent bit of bling and help yourself to chocolate bars and bananas.

The course is well Marshalled and benefits from full road closures. I would thoroughly recommend this as a first Half Marathon as the atmosphere is friendly, it’s low key and I pretty much guarantee you won’t be anywhere near last. My only caveat is that if the weather is bad and the wind is in the other direction it is a whole different event!

So how did my race go? I had a plan, I knew on paper what I could achieve based on recent results. Despite running upwards of 25 half marathons I had never broken the 2hr barrier. Actually it went pretty much to plan, started a bit fast, slowed a bit on the big hill, made up for it by legging it down to the seafront where I caught up with the sub 2hr pacer, managed to hang onto him all the way to the end of the harbour section and then dug deep and crossed the line in 1:59:03 – job done, new PB!

So will I do Eastbourne again next year? Hell no, it’s back to the trails and the free cooked breakfast.



Steyning Stinger Half & Full Marathon – reviewed by Linda Russell


On Sunday 1st March I joined a group of other BHR members at Steyning Grammar School to take part in the Steyning Stinger Half Marathon. This is a challenging off road course across the South Downs that includes two ‘stingers’.

It was clear from the outset that this was a well organised event with ample car parking close to the registration point, clear loudspeaker announcements and very efficient volunteers taking details and handing out race numbers.

The start of the race, unlike most, is very relaxed as the start times are staggered so no hanging around nervously with hundreds of other runners waiting for the start gun to go off. I set off with a few other BH runners and it was immediately clear that the torrential rain from the day before meant this was going to be a mudfest. Within the first few yards we were faced with many large puddles of water, some of which were quite deep and just so much mud that it took all your efforts just to stay upright a lot of the time. I wasn’t wearing trail shoes, but to be honest even if I had been I’m not sure it would have made much difference as everyone, regardless of type of trainer, seemed to be struggling as much.

Myself and my running buddies for the day, Marie Carey and Hannah Watkins quickly settled into our running stride. I use the word ‘running’ but actually for much of the race we were slipping and sliding our way around the course and grabbing hold of any tree, fence or person that happened to be nearby in order to remain on two feet.

Before long we were heading towards the first stinger and as we chatted, laughed and joked our way

upwards we sighed with relief when we eventually got to the top. Only to realise a mile or so on that we hadn’t yet reached that first stinger, this had been just a little taster. The first stinger was brutal, so steep and slippery with the mud trying to suction off our trainers with every step .The second stinger just seemed to go on and on for ever. However, despite the tough terrain, and the icy cold wind that tore into our skin, once we reached the top we were rewarded with the most stunning views and breathtaking scenery that took our breath away and more than made up for the hard efforts.

After three long hours we eventually started our descent which meant we were on our way towards the finish. Even so, going downhill proved just as treacherous with uneven ground and obstacles such as exposed tree roots to avoid. At this point we also met and were overtaken by runners who were completing the full marathon (we were all in awe of this achievement, just taking on the half was hard enough!)

It seemed to take forever to reach the finish as we ran through one field after another with very heavy legs by now. I’d like to say we were still laughing and chatting, but by this stage we were too exhausted. It certainly felt that we had run much further than a half marathon distance.

The course was well marked throughout and all the marshals were so encouraging and enthusiastic with their support. There were plenty of water stations and checkpoints where the volunteers offered us chunks of mars bars, chocolate biscuits and flapjacks.

Finally, to round off an exhausting but brilliant day, we collected our medal and enjoyed a complimentary fry up breakfast.

In my opinion, this is an excellent event, great organisation from start to finish and a good value for money race.


Coaches Corner


This month Coach Ian Jones talks about Drills and their benefits

Many of us have done Drills during our club night, either as part of a warm up, run or separate session but are they worthwhile doing and persevering with? Hopping, skipping and jumping just isn’t running and some of them feel awkward to do.

What Are Drills For?

Drills underpin correct movement patterns so it’s really important to perform a drill well. Through repetition, it teaches joints and muscles to move through correct movement ranges. Muscles learn and adapt to fire in correct sequences and movement becomes more efficient and effective. Drills can strengthen specific muscle groups needed for running, especially the muscles of the feet, calves, shins, thighs and hips. They also help prepare the ankle, knee and hip joints for the specific range of movements required during running.

Runners move in one directional plain, the same repetitive movement pattern repeated many thousand times over, again and again. Over time and for many different reasons, range of movement or movement patterns start to change and diminish. To compensate the nervous system fractionally alters movement patterns, recruits smaller stabilisation muscles to take on work they’re not designed for, all so that we remain feeling comfortable but our running form looks and performs terrible. We become less efficient.

Why Do Some Drills Feel Awkward To Do?

Some Drills feel awkward to do because they’re stimulating the nervous system differently from that we’ve become accustomed to and we may have a limited range of movement in some joints. Coordination of limbs maybe difficult because muscles aren’t firing in the correct sequence, are too weak to perform the exercise, or have simply forgotten how to move correctly.

Been Running For Years, Why Start Doing Drills Now?

Drills highlights one or more aspects of good running form and accentuates them through repetitive motion, which trains the body to become more comfortable with that movement.

Where Do I Start?

Drills can be specifically designed to improve particular movement pattern weaknesses, or strengthen weak muscle areas and any of our CiRF’s will be able to help design a drill for you if required. A good general all-rounder to start with for any runner is the A-March. It is performed walking. The A-March emphasises a driving knee lift, upright posture and coordinated arm swing. Though it is the most basic form of running drill it must not be rushed. Building sufficient confidence when performing the march will help when the time comes to perform the far more flamboyant skip version.

Overcoming embarrassment is paramount. Start slowly but exaggerate confidence – hold the body upright and stable; move the legs and arms with deliberation – place one hand in your back pocket and scratch your nose with the other, encourage a wide range of motion at the hips, knees and ankles. Do not worry about speed as this will come in time as you develop balance and coordination.

Once mastered progress onto the A-Skip then B-Skip, which is useful for developing strength and coordination of the gluteal and hamstring muscles. As you start to progress, do ask the CiRF’s at the club to check your Drill form; it’s really important to get the basic stuff right.

How Often Should Drills Be Done?

Drills should be fun to perform, and get into the habit of doing them regularly. Twice a week is good, run 5 – 10 minutes first to warm up then have a break somewhere quiet then do 10 minutes worth of drills before continuing your run. That’s not much in comparison to the elites who will have a dedicated hour long weekly session doing nothing but drill work in addition to all the other drill work already incorporated into daily schedules.


Featured Member – Glyn Merritt

This month we have asked a relatively new member to take part to introduce himself to everyone and also because he’s quick, you’ll now know ‘who was that?’ when he overtakes you! Glyn over to you!

When did you start running? – 2008

What is the best piece of advise you have ever received? – To not run the marathon in new trainers and defer until next year

What is the best piece of advise you would give? – Get trainers that fit well rather than look good.

When was the first moment that you felt like a runner? – 2014 – Joining BH Runners!

What was your first ever race? – 2008 – Barns Green Half Marathon

What is your biggest running achievement? – So far breaking the 4 hour mark at the Brighton Marathon but I hope to surpass that this year.

What is the toughest race you have ever done? – Brighton Marathon I’m yet to go a further distance.

Where is the best pace you have ever run? – Kuramathi (Maldives) – I little training run on holiday round the island. (5.5k)

What is your favourite WSFRL race? – I’ve only done 3 so far but I really enjoyed the Hangover 5

What is your favourite piece of kit? – Gloves in the winter!

What is your favourite post race treat? – Anything chocolate washed down with Peroni

What is your favourite training session? – Fartlek hard but rewarding

Rain or shine? – Shine

Hill or flat? – Hill

Road or Trail? – Road

Alone or in a group? – Group

Garmin Connect or Strava? – Errr!? Strava though I use Runtastic

Race Number – Scrunch or Flat? – I attempt flat…

With or without music? – With

X-Factor or Strictly? – X-Factor

Marmite – Love or Hate? – Love Marmite

Beetroot or Brussel Sprouts? – Beetroot

Who do you most admire and why – doesn’t have to be athletic related. – Kevin Mashford (Brother in Law) open heart surgery 7 times 3 pace makers and 2
defibrillators, 1 stroke and finally a lifesaving heart transplant. Strongest person I’ve
ever known.

Tell us something you may not know about you……… I have a Hindu name ‘Mohan Kumar’ given to me before our wedding was blessed by a pundit.

What is your favourite picture of yourself and why – Memories of an awesome Birthday celebration with my wife amazing food and wine (photo taken before the wine)

HBHow would your friends describe you? – Short (in height) indecisive energetic and competitive.

What would you sing at Karaoke night? – If you manage to get me up then anything easy and short – ‘When I’m Sixty Four’?


parkrun – Update – by Neil Dawson

February at Clair parkrun saw us break through several milestones. We have now completed over 8500km between us, over 2000 PB’s have been achieved, the total number of different runners to complete our course is now over 1700 and the total number of hours run in Clair Park has passed the 4000 hours mark.

Before you start to think that I’m a real parkrun stat saddo (I am a bit), these stats are all available from our home page and are calculated for us –

February has seen the start of a run of people reaching their 50th runs. This is the first big milestone for senior runners and each runner who completes 50 run will receive a commemorative t-shirt (when they finally arrive). We have now complete 85 events, so many of the runners reaching this milestone have done most of the runs with us.

Although not a BH Runner, I’d just like to highlight the example of Lesley Scott, who reached 50 runs on the 21st . She has completed all 50 of her parkruns in Clair Park. The first time that she completed the course she did it in over 39 minutes. It was certainly a struggle. She is now going round in under 31 minutes and a sub 30 is only just around the corner. She is now going onto compete in a 10k and will be doing her first half marathon at Barns Green this year. Lesley’s development mirrors that of many people in our club and I would like to thank you volunteers for helping to make our parkrun happen each week for people like Lesley.

lesleyThis month we also saw Dave Woodhouse complete his 50th parkrun. Dave has been a tremendous supporter of our event. He is seen most Saturdays either running, volunteering or both. 47 of his 50 runs have been in Clair Park. Thank you Dave and well done.

daveElsewhere this month, Kevin has continued his Australian odyssey with visits to Toolern Creek and Frog Hollow parkruns. Visits to parkrun outside Sussex also included Sue Lyle’s visit to Cuerden Valley parkrun in Preston. I can only imagine that she was away for the weekend, as this would be a very early start to get there for 9am.

It has been really nice to see some first time visitors to Clair Park this month from the club. I imagine that this was in order to register a time for the club championship. We hope that you enjoyed your visit and hope to see you back again soon for another hill session.

Finally, we saw the course record broken on the last day of the month. It is the first time that we have seen the tail runner lapped before they reached the cricket nets for the first time. The time of 16.28 is truly phenomenal. He took 22 seconds off the previous best time, which was set by a runner who has represented GB in the world mountain running championships.

Thanks and take care, Neil



Other photos this month



Want to Contribute?

Please remember this is your newsletter, so if you want to do a race report, or let your fellow members know about something just email either:-

Alan Fry –

Neil Dawson –

Newsletter – February 2015

Well, what a busy month it has been, as you can see we have lots of race reviews to inspire and encourage you as well as some great advice from our coaches. Thank you to everyone who has provided us with material, it makes it so much easier when you volunteer!


Club Kit

We are looking at what the club offers in terms of non-technical kit and how we deliver it to you. This is your opportunity to tell us what you like about the club kit, and how it could be improved! What would you like to see that we don’t currently offer – bags, beanies etc – and is there anything you would miss if we dropped it? Please note – at present we are not looking to change the design of our BHR running tops. The feedback request relates to hoodies, t-shirts etc. Please comment on Naomi’s post on Facebook with your feedback (or email if you prefer) and keep it clean!
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Caption Competition

10376992_397836643716642_2111626783581012545_n A suggestion has been made to have a caption competition as we have so many photos posted on Facebook etc…. Email your captions to and try to keep them for a family audience! No prize, but the knowledge that you made us all laugh!


Race Reviews

Greenwich 10k by Helen Pratt

On 21st December 2014 9 Burgess Hill Runners took a trip up to Greenwich Park to take part in the Run Through Greenwich Park 5k/10k. Run Through have several events throughout the year, Battersea 10k,Wimbledon Half and others . At some you get t-shirts, some medals and others both . Greenwich Park is a beautiful London park housing the Greenwich Observatory and is the red start of the London Marathon. We arrived early which allowed us to park in the park itself. Everything was still being set up but Christmas music was heard across the park.  We were able to get our numbers and chip. The run started at 10am and there was soon many Santas, elves and fairies lining up ready to run . The 5k and 10k runners all started together. Anyone thinking a London park would be a nice easy run soon found out different . Greenwich park is nicely undulating and throughout the 10k run there was 4 steep inclines. The run was 2 laps around the park for those doing the 10k. At the end of the first lap makeshift cardboard signs were held up directing the 5k to the finish and the 10k on to do another lap . Eventually the final steep incline . Once at the top the finish is just around the corner . There is loads of encouragement for the last few metres and then the finish and the medal ! … except they had run out .. teach me to take so long ..Eventually some more were found and we could all go home happily having tucked into a mince pie . Maybe a run which is slightly disorganised but it is a great one to do just before Christmas .. just dont hang around entering as it does sell out. Roll of honor…. Linda Russell. ..54.48, Marie Carey. 55.13, Gill Berglund 56.56, Victoria Newman 57.34 , Carole Mills 59.09 , John Carey 59.53, Claire Giles 1.02.45, Kjell Berglund 1.02.54, Helen Pratt 1.06. 36.

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Hangover 5 by Simon Alexander – New Year’s Day at 11.30 (Goring Road Runners)

The Hangover 5 is one of three races in Worthing that form part of the West Sussex Fun Run League. This is one of the older courses on the circuit and has not changed much in recent years. Traditionally it is the ‘Ice breaker’ for the season (sometimes quite literally) and is a great way for its participants to realise that they have overindulged at Christmas and New Year and that their winter training wasn’t quite what they expected! This years race was a bit of a milestone for me. Twenty years ago this was the first race I ever entered.

10863968_10152648554367983_6416070429415277492_o The race hasn’t always been the curtain raiser. My mentor, Dan Maskell (not the Wimbledon tennis commentator) took me to this race to see how my training was going. It was in the autumn back then so the weather was much brighter and the ground much firmer. I recall the course being very similar to its current route although given that my 1995 time was 38:17 and my 2001 PB is 32:08, I feel that the field section might have been a bit shorter then. At the end of my first race I thought I’d done well until Dan introduced me to a 70 year Hedgehoppers runner with no teeth who had beaten me by over two minutes!! I wasn’t too deflated though because apart from the odd gap year I’m still enjoying my running and competing in the fun run league.

10872823_10152648560267983_5686547002826001812_o The course and why you will enjoy it. The course is a five mile Downland course and follows a path between 2 golf courses and incorporating the outer perimeter of Cissbury Ring. The view from the top is fantastic looking out across Worthing to the sea and is always guaranteed to be influenced in some way by the weather. The race starts on open playing fields for the first half mile to help thin the field out a bit before the climb to the top. The hill is a steady gradient and Garmin shows the rise from 20 metres to 160 metres. The hill climb is a bit narrow in places so not easy to pass and does appear to steepen towards the top so if you still have bounce left in your bungee then you will need to be good at working your way through the field. The climb is not as steep as some but is a good test. The surface can be sticky at times so good grip is essential. At the top you turn sharply downhill and follow the southern perimeter of Cissbury Ring for about 1/3rd of a mile. This has a couple of sharp climbs in it and the surface can be tricky due to the wet and slippery chalk. At around the 2 ¾ mile mark you start your decent. There is normally a 400 yard muddy puddle at the top but fortunately this year most of it was missing. The downhill section opens out and there is room to pass but you still need to watch you footing as the surface is loose in places. With just over a mile to go the route turns sharply left and follows the line of the golf course back to the original path that you climbed on your route out. If you get a chance you can glimpse one of the trickiest par three holes in golf that is protected by 10 bunkers! Back on the main trail again you drop down back to the field and finish where you started.

10900157_10152648555262983_7886446127975665673_o There is no lap of the field at the end so if you’re after making up some places toward the end you really need to start as you come back onto the main trail. Facilities Marshalling team are positive, friendly and enthusiastic. There is some shelter from the elements as the race control is incorporated in the clubhouse and generally the queue for the toilets is not lengthy. There is water at the finish, medical facilities at the top and bottom of the course and a staff selling cakes and drinks. After Jon Lelliott’s encouraging comments about my size I thought it best to avoid the cake stall but I spoke to some other customers who felt the range was good quality and good value.

10869731_10152648542602983_584908896706809154_o Results There were several first timers in the 28 Burgess Hill Runners who took part in the main race. Jon Boxall came 11th with an impressive time of 35:30 scoring 10 points and ‘Old Timer’ Jon Lelliott managed 9 points finishing 24th with a time of 37:05. Former Race secretary Trevor Symes has bounced back from a tricky season last year with an impressive 42nd place 8 points with a time of 39:18. Benny Coxhill finished 91st in a time of 42:50 scoring 6 points and was thrilled with his result as he is now seeing the benefit of his winter training. First lady home was Janet Clapton finishing 13th in category scoring 10 points in a time of 44:57 closely followed by Emma Buckland in a time of 45:18 and scoring 9 points. Sally Symes also scored a sterling 9 points with her 29th place finish in 47:47. Lily Craigs was the sole representative in the Junior section finishing 24th with a time of 6:54.

10891540_10152648542197983_4519373926852194266_n 10834888_10152648542412983_7231581963897344206_oThe team scored 80 out of a possible 85 points. A solid start. Although I was a little off the pace this year I had a great time and really enjoyed running the course which set a good bench mark for my training for this years season. Trevor and I still are still aiming for that elusive 9 point finish although I think he has less work to do than me however he has already failed his New Years resolution of achieving a PB in every race this year. Anyway, onwards and upwards. Well done to every one who took part in this years race and for those of you who have not tried any of the fun run league races you really should give it a go. They’re all a bit different and there is something in there for everyone and at £3 a race they knock spots off of the mass participation events!

1909363_10152648543332983_8891685078106815607_o10862669_10152648557317983_7575736143566968574_o Photos courtesy of Caz Wadey (including this one of Jay being camera shy as usual).


Eastbourne Longman 10 miles by Theresa Chalk

When my husband asked me how long I thought it would take me to do the Longman 10 miler, I seriously replied “around 3 ½ hours”. I had images of climbing a range of mountains comparable to the Andes while being buffeted by 80 mile an hour winds, Motivation for entering was pure dread of coming last in the Paris marathon this coming April .

10264282_819611991406520_5834248087602981602_n I gently coerced fellow runner Ann to join me (she may have a different view on this) knowing how keen she would be to do a bit of marathon training too. On the plus side, if I got lost on route I wouldn’t be on my own. Little was I to have known that this would indeed happen.

10866171_913412658693119_5997312800671685907_o After a 15 minute delay on the start line, due to a marshalling error we set off on what was to be one of the few flats we were to encounter over the next few miles. Half a mile or so in we were greeted with a view of our first steep incline. I reckon this was the steepest that we encountered. It was so steep there wasn’t a soul running it. Having such a clear blue sky and just the right weather for a walk we joined in. Onward and upward we went, where we really could enjoy the fantastic views around us and get settled into a nice comfy pace. Around 4 miles, and not a soul in sight apart from us and another three ladies we ran towards, so we headed right (no sign to point the way was evident) and began our descent towards a marshal placed at the bottom. Half way down we noticed a snaked line of runners, coming from the other direction towards the marshal. Oops, we were clearly in the wrong place and back up the hill we trotted. No clues as to where to go so we phoned the helpline to get us back on track. A few complaints of lack of marshals around and then they appeared like buses. No marshals in sight for miles and when we did see one, there were always one or two others in tow. Still who needs marshals when you have great beacons of light directing you to the right path in the form of 5in high sticks sticking out of the ground? In spite of running half or so mile more than needed, it was a very pleasant day which was hugely helped by great weather conditions. It was a lovely steep downhill then flat last mile to the finish line where you were greeted with a medal put around your neck and an offer of a warming recovery chocolate drink.

10818200_913289565372095_5726238735955509048_o As well as a lovely big silver medal, you received a cotton tote bag with drink sachet, nutrition bar and a Longman tee-shirt. Finish time was around 2.08, so well within my original estimated time. This is quite a pricey race to enter and for its price should have had bigger and more route signs. The marshals could have been a lot more helpful and more of them. It is a challenging course and trail shoes would have been better than the usual running trainer.


Two Bays, Dromana, Victoria, Australia by Kevin Walker


Tough run, imagine Tilgate Forest with some beachy and a little jungle like, well that was two bays. Very much a party attitude ( like Beachy ) with people dressed up ( or some ). The 28km run was from Dromana to Cape Schanck, uphill road start then on the trail. 90% carrying Camelbaks or similar, only 3 aid stations for a tough run, and everyone carrying a snake bandage as this is bush and there are poisonous snakes. I took a tumble, and quite a few did, quite a few DNF sadly too.  Mine was hurt pride, and no damage. By Aussies standards it was a cool day 24°, but it felt hot to me. I think I drank 3 litres of water, nice start time of 7am though, so first bit was cool. Switched my watch to km which was confusing to start, but soon got the hang of it. Managed 7km an hour and that got me in as the last qualifying runner of 15 seconds under the four hours Pleased with that, well over the moon as younger fitter looking people came in way behind me.

10924716_10153002202592037_1278054719045885393_n10933868_10152694977809611_2490791169173145802_n —————————————————————————————

Battersea Park 10k by Marie and John Carey

Sunday 11th January 2015 got off to an early start, when we left home at 7.30am to drive up to Battersea Park to take part in the 10K event, organised by (We had taken part in a couple of their other events during 2014, the Wimbledon Common HM and the Greenwich Park 10K and were keen to again run somewhere we hadn’t run before). On arrival, we found that not only was there plenty of parking in nearby roads, but it was also free, an unexpected bonus. The event organisers don’t post out race numbers so we had to queue up to collect them. There was then a further queue to drop off bags, but both were well organised and fast moving. After a short walk down to the start line, there was just enough time for a warm up, whilst having the usual dilemma of whether we were under/overdressed – it was a lovely sunny morning but there was a very chilly wind blowing. The race got underway at 9.35am and off we set on our 4 laps of the park. The course was fast and flat and it was all on paths which were very wide and this meant no dreaded bottlenecks. There were longish, straight sections and no tight corners and we got a good overview of the park which was very pretty. We’d been warned by the organisers that there may be areas where we were competing for space with other park users but there really weren’t any problems at all. The laps seemed to go quickly and we finished in times of 52:27 and 56:15. Not our fastest 10K’s but the intention had always been to treat this as a training run with laps 1 & 4 being at easy pace, and laps 2 & 3 being at threshold pace. We don’t know whether this added to what was a very positive experience, but we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The medal, in the shape of Battersea Power Station, (which the route passed by), was also a lovely reminder of an event which we’re very pleased to have taken part in. This is a fairly ‘low key’ event – approximately 400 runners took part. Unusually, there was also an option of a 5K (2 lap) run, which started 5 mins ahead of the 10K. The 5K attracted about 120 runners. The price (£16 affiliated) was the same, regardless of which distance you ran, and you could decide on the morning which distance to go for.

carey1 carey2carey3We would definitely recommend this event, particularly if you are chasing a PB. If mud and/or hills are your thing, then it’s probably not the one for you.

John & Marie Carey


The Winter Tanners 20 by Steve Roberts

This a rather belated report on the Winter Tanners 20, which Nick Dawson, Jon Lavis & I took part in on 11th January (Sue Lyle & Jan Lavis also came along & completed the longer 30 mile route). The Winters Tanners challenge event is organised by the Surrey wing of the Long Distance Walking Association (LDWA) & in one shape or other it has been going since the early 1970’s so it’s a bit steeped in walking/running history & is brilliantly supported by the Surrey LDWA folks. The route of the Winter Tanners 20 & 30 began in the middle of Leatherhead, near the municipal car park in a small, no frills whatsoever sports hut (LDWA events are not for bling hunters or those who need high spec facilities that’s for sure!). The route is an unmarked, self-navigated one & walkers/ runners are given really well detailed instructions at the start. There is no mass start & once you’ve arrived & clocked in with the registration team you can head straight out onto the course. The tendency is to follow others initially but I think it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the directions in case you, or the people you are following, become lost. If you follow the instructions closely though you shouldn’t get into trouble. Anyway, once we were out of Leatherhead we were quickly into the beautiful Surrey countryside & taking in the views of Denbies Vineyard & Box Hill. The course follows recognised footpaths & access land the whole time & being the Surrey Hills there are some pretty significant climbs in places. The course covers a great mix of terrain with well made paths, woodland, open farmland all getting under your feet (along with a lot of associated mud) The lovely route does help to take your mind of the tough bits I reckon! 10374977_10152465927336184_2146482759137456714_nSo to me & my compadres…many of you will know I’ve had a pretty rocky 18 months running-wise & last year was a wash-out really due to a bit of back surgery. I’ve been very steadily getting back into things & bar a parkrun the week before Christmas The Tanners was my first proper event in well over a year. That said, I walked almost all of it – & therefore very amiably Nick & Jon did the same & I’m very grateful for them sticking with me & keeping me company. We walked at a fair old pace throughout & when Jon highlighted that we only had “a parkrun to go” at the 17 mile point I thought I’d lead a jog to the finish, which was great to do – for me at least!

10660214_10152465911411184_5414332979138075175_nWe completed our little trek in just under 6 hours & I have to say I loved every minute of it. Just over an hour later Jan & Sue returned from their 30 mile jaunt…they would have been quicker but had got a bit lost adding a bit more distance to their event. All in all we had a great day out & on a personal level it was a perfect to my 2015 campaign! Roll on the Sussex LDWA’s South Downs Marathon


Country to Capital 45 2015 Race Report by Phillipe Ecaille

This is my first race report and my second ultra-race since October 2014 with I completed the Downslink race.

This race was organized by Go Beyond ( and was made of 2 parts: the first one going through some pretty countryside with a few hills and finally a 20 miles stretch along the Grand Union Canal.

1 The weather prediction kept changing throughout the week and by Friday it was going to be cold with some sun apparently. I packed with this weather in mind and headed for London where I stayed closed to Marylebone train station. I woke up in good time to discover the weather forecast had changed to snow for a couple of hours around the start time and maybe some rain followed by sunshine later on. Unfortunately I wasn’t really equipped for that sort of weather albeit some leggings in case it was too cold. Lesson 1: The weather could be changing so be prepared for it.

Heading out to Marylebone train station at 6:50am on Saturday, I am still amazed how busy London is even at silly o’clock in the morning on a cold week end. I got there in good time to see quite a few runners were already there and wondered if I had to execute a masonic handshake to be recognized as one too. Only 50 minutes later and we arrived in Wendover and it felt a lot colder than London – frost everywhere with the most amazing sunrise as a bonus. I headed into the pub to collect my number (101), chip time and drop my bag; I positioned myself right at the back of 300+ runners as I have no plan to get into the top 10 when suddenly we’re off.

2Running down the high street, it’s not long before we arrive at the first stile and the resulting queue. We go through a few of these over the next 8 miles actually and it forces me to stick to my plan. Indeed, I have a plan and I intend to follow it for the first time ever, slow (30 miles at 12min/mile minimum) until I reach the Grand Union Canal and then see what my body says for the last 13 miles. I am confident I will follow it through, having spectacularly lost the wheels on the Downs link with 15 miles to go; I have no intention to experience it again. Lesson 2: have a plan and stick to it.

It’s not long before the snow starts coming down and it feels like Christmas all over again (that’s me as 101).

3One very important point I haven’t mentioned yet is that the course is not marked – we were all given a course map booklet (8 pages) for navigation which we need to use to reach the end. The trickiest part is making sure we don’t get lost until we reach the Canal, after that it simply boils down to following the water albeit a left turn when we get to the “white bridge”. I decided very early on to take the role of a sheep and I happily followed everyone wherever they took me; it wasn’t long before my GPS says that we’re off course several times but somehow our little group always seems to make it back on track. Lesson 3: don’t be a sheep and do your own navigation.

The time passes by nicely, snow is replaced with some sunshine – the scenery is rather beautiful in this part of the world. Talking to a few people around me, I am pleasantly surprised by the number of first timers and I happily share my very short experience but also listen to these veterans who are running alongside us. They confirm my plan is the right one and I must stick to it.

First CP comes quickly after 8 miles and I just refill a bottle, take a slice of the GoBeyond fruit cake and remind myself that I must eat a few more slices at the next checkpoint. I don’t really feel the need to eat just yet and I plan to start fuelling properly from CP2 at mile 18. Everything is going well, the legs are ok, the little voice hasn’t woken up yet and the group of runners we were at the beginning is starting to get into their own pace until I find myself running alone. These are my favourite moments when I can think of stuff (in English), talk to the loved ones I miss or hum a few tunes (in French).

CP2 comes and goes but it’s not long before the humming noise of the M25 can be heard and I start to recognize a few places – this is also when I usually have a low point, between mile 15 & 20. My legs feel a bit tired, the little voice starts telling me to slow down or walk for a bit and I now can’t wait for CP3 which is perfectly positioned at mile 25, another bonus, it’s on the Canal! I decide to pop a few Shake33 gels down my throat as I simply cannot ingest any other gels these days.

One of my objectives was to apply fuelling strategy correctly, I usually wait too long and by the time I realize I need food it’s too late – nothing will go down, cramps start appearing and I kick myself for being so stupid. To this effect, I made some awesome tortillas and wrap them up in tin foil with a view to eat them at CP3. Well, opening my backpack I realize that they’ve been transformed into a mush so I bin the lot and revert back to my bag of sweet I prepared earlier: dried mango and chocolate coated raisins. I also take more of the GoBeyond fruit cake. Lesson 4: A sheet of tinfoil will not protect your delicious handmade tortillas when shaken for 25 miles.

4My lonely run ends just after CP3 when I catch up with Richard – he’s plodding along so I decide I should tag along for a while, have a chat and if we have no awkward silence, maybe run together for a while especially since my little voice keeps pestering me “it’s sunny, you’re on the canal, relax now and walk for a bit”. We get on so well that we end up running all the way to the end but more to come on that… On the way we are also joined by Nichola who’s running her first ultra and yes we will finish the race together. Lesson 5: Talk to people, they’re here for the same reason as you.

5I learn that Richard is from Eastbourne and has done a few ultras and marathons around Sussex; his next challenge is the GUCR, 145 miles with a time limit of 45 hours. Nichola is from Bath and going to run the MDS in 2 months and this race is her longest run. I start to think that I really need to crank up my madness level a few notches here, I feel totally boring with my 2015 plan. I obviously have to answer the “how did you come to England?” question and I am quite happy to share this story for the millionth time. As the miles are passing by, it becomes obvious that we are more than just 3 runners; we are a team by now, checking on each other, making sure we’re going to make it to end together. The Grand Union Canal is only grand in the name as it is littered beyond belief with rubbish everywhere. We therefore spend our time using the bridges, boats, people, bushes, gas tower, street lights, and buildings for a 20 miles fartlek run. Lesson 6: supporting each other’s works; you’ll get to the end quicker.

Nichola’s friend suddenly appears out of nowhere and tells us we only have 2 miles to go. We make it in 09:31; a final group photo and I have just time for a cup of tea, 10 sausage rolls and a change of clothes at Paddington station before heading home with my first bling of the year – this one is for my wife.


Sussex Masters Cross Country

On Saturday 17th January, Jan, Sally and Janet broke new (muddy) ground for BHR by taking part in the Sussex Masters cross country championship at Lancing. We made up a ladies team in the over 45’s age category, which it turned out is a very competitive age group. The weather was quite nasty just before the race but turned sunny for our 4 mile effort through the mud and up the hill twice. Despite the course being familiar to most, everyone I spoke to found it unexpectedly hard – I guess it’s best in those situations to realise that most of the field want to give up running too so you might as well tough it out. Anyway, the company of 60 women over 35 and an even greater number of Masters men – slow as well as fast – made this a more friendly event than the usual all ages cross country series. I’m very proud that we achieved 7th out of 9 in our age group, following Arena 80 B (Yes! There were dozens of them…). At least two pals from Clair Park Run also did well – Marion Hemsworth looked effortless (despite lack of shoe grip) and Paul Cousens (maker of nice flapjack) so nearly succeeded in gaining the over 50’s title.


Dark Star Ultra by Jonathon Lelliott……the musings of a first timer.

Sunday 25th January 2015 must go down on the calendar of Burgess Hill Runners (the one with all the half naked people in it!) as some sort of record. Over sixty club members headed down to the second West Sussex Fun Run League event of 2015, at Worthing seafront. I only wish I had checked the calendar a few months ago, before I submitted my entry for the DarkStar Ultra Marathon, the events were to clash. I wasn’t prepared to forgo the twenty seven quid entry fee for the longer event and besides, it was to fit in as part of an overall plan for my spring marathon hopes. The fact you get free beer at the finish had nothing whatsoever to do with it either!

10410642_10152649534613870_5957705292945416421_n An ultra marathon is, by definition, any running event which exceeds the standard marathon distance of 26.2 miles. The DarkStar just manages this at somewhere in the region of 28.5, give or take. And then there’s the mud. The course starts and finishes at the Sea Scout hut, adjacent to the Adur Activity Centre at Shoreham. It winds it’s way up the east side of the River Adur before picking up the Downslink path, continuing north to the disused railway station at West Grinstead, just to the north of the A272. In places it’s very muddy and off road shoes and sure footed legs are imperative. At the turn around point the course then returns on the same paths, until you are required to cross the river via a footbridge and head the remainder of the way back to the finish line on the west side of the Adur.

10420190_10152649534543870_8303415720239491027_n I have not completed a trail ultra marathon. In fact, I have never completed any ultramarathon. Even my ‘normal’ marathon record is hardly inspiring. 1982: Beachy Head Marathon (in the days when it was known as The Seven Sisters Marathon. 1993: The Harrow Kodak Marathon where I ran a respectable time despite two unscheduled errrr, ‘comfort stops’. And somewhere between these two events I attempted to run South Downs Way Race, in the days when it was ‘only’ 80 miles. I failed, by pulling out at 53 miles. (I reached Ditchling Beacon and could almost see my house, smell the fish and chips and taste the beer!) I recorded my only DNF in a running event. Maybe it’s haunted me ever since? I had some ghosts to lay to rest, and a calf injury that I was to nurse around the course. Every runner I know has blamed performance problems on old injuries and today was not going to be an exception. Apart from the fact it wasn’t an old injury, it was a fairly new one, twenty five days to be precise, a calf strain picked up at the New Years Day race. But I was on the mend. Let’s just see how it goes. And so, after the safety briefing was completed, about 100 competitors headed outside to the start line for a 9 o’clock ‘gun’. I say ‘start line’ but what i meant was the bit of road next to the car park barrier. This ultra running is real hi tech! None of your fancy chip timing and medals nonsense here. Anyhow, I looked intently at my fellow competitors, a swarthy mix of bearded old timers who looked like they could eat 28 miles for breakfast, then run home; young racing snake types and some incredibly fit looking ladies…..and I mean fit in the proper sense of the word! What was I doing here? I could’ve been pottering along the seafront at Worthing instead. I was nervous, evidenced by the fact I’d already visited the facilities three times, not made any easier by the ubiquitous queue for the Gents. C’mon Jonathan, get a grip. The gun went off and……err, no, it didn’t. There’s no gun to speak of at the start. No sudden surge triggered by a load explosion in the bore of a small calibre starting pistol. Nope. There’s a cow bell. Yup, that’s right, a cow bell. It’s brilliant. And as half the field couldn’t hear it being dinged or donged, the ladies and gents of the 2015 DarkStar Ultra just told each other “yeah, we’re off now…” and away we went.

My race plan was simple, get to the finish and don’t die doing it. All the internet research, all the you tube clips and all the advice I’d managed to glean from real ultra runners pretty much followed the same thread. Don’t race, survive. If I could get to halfway with a smile on my face, I’d be happy. The calf injury had habitually flared up at seven miles, and halfway in today’s little jaunt was twice that. I certainly didn’t like the idea of coming to a grinding halt in the middle of nowhere with a long and painful walk to one of the aid stations.

So I followed the plan of taking things easy and was soon happily jogging along with fellow Burgess Hill Runners Andy Baillie and Darren Chilcott. My initial nerves now gave way to anxiety. It seemed that everyone around me was running with some form of backpack water carrier. All I had were two small bottles of electrolyte fluid and several small bags of Jelly Tots! I planned to drink these and eat every half hour, without fail. Well, I soon found out my first mistake. Ultra runner aficionados eat Jelly Babies, not Jelly Tots. When cold, just pulled out of your running jacket pocket, the latter are akin to small, sugary bullets and the mere act of chewing them (I wanted to say masticate, but that’s just setting myself up for James Sorbie’s double entendres!) is nothing short of exhausting in itself! What to do. Next packet, down the shorts! At this point it should be noted that no Jelly Tots warmed up using this method were shared with any other competitors! It worked though…. Stretching my legs out on the initial easy bit of the course was fine but then came the first proper muddy section. We were fortunate that the preceding night had been so cold and the top layer of mud was still frozen for the most part. Nonetheless animal hooves had taken their toll and the ground was very rutted and uneven. I wasn’t sure my calf was going to like this but an hour into the day all was well. I was really beginning to enjoy this event. So, I could describe every twist and turn of the course, but c’mon, it was twenty eight miles, we’d be here forever and my dinner won’t cook itself! So instead, my highlights: The cowbell. The amazing camaraderie between runners. Long races are generally run at slower speeds, especially for us mere mortals and I guess that gives you more time to chat with fellow runners, at least until things start getting really tough…..and they did! Thawing my Jelly Tots! (I know, easily pleased). Seeing Burgess Hill Runners Paul Sargent simply storming along the Downslink Path on his way back and very much in the lead, and still smiling. Cheers for the high five fella! The brilliant support and food/drink at the six aid stations. Top job of the day has to go to the halfway point station, staffed so enthusiastically by our very own BHR contingent including Paula Ridley, Helen Pratt and Steve Roberts.

10952589_10204351674286355_574479322224837426_n10931182_10204351273356332_45374642033780743_n10690132_10204351281076525_8463328908636640905_n Meeting my son Chris at the halfway point. Chris lives over near Chichester and made my day by volunteering to come over and cheer me on. It’s a far cry from the many hundreds of races he had to endure as a child when I was a bit keen on this running malarkey, but at least he didn’t have to turn up in a pushchair this time! Smiles, everywhere. Spectators, competitors, members of the public. The beautiful sunny weather helped too. Getting to one hour, then two, then three and my calf behaving. Four days ago I’d been at the physios and I had had my right calf taped. This seemed to help, together with the special compression socks to give calf support on both legs. Top hilarity moment was when I reached Aid Station number 5 at 22 miles. I had stopped for food and drink. Bananas and Cola seemed to be working well for me. I’d long since eaten all the Jelly Tots and had foolishly forgotten to restock at the halfway point where I had some supplies stashed. The happy, if a little cold, helpers at this point had a pop up type gazebo set up on the riverside pathway, together with the now familiar ‘car boot sale’ type table laden with all manner of proven runners fayre. I was happily scoffing my face with food and drink, trying to take as little time as possible but wary of the need to refuel sufficiently. I was also taking this opportunity to look ahead and behind me on the course to see who was likely to be next to pass this ageing has been runner!  Great, no one in sight for a good way back. Think I’ll have another cup of Cola. And it was at this point the breeze suddenly picked up, from ‘gentle’ to ‘I’ll have that gazebo’ strength! The whole thing lifted off from the ground, akin to anything Houston could offer and sailed majestically towards the river. I tried to help, honestly I did. But my legs refused to cooperate as requested. And besides, there was a damn great slope down to the waters edge and I had that sudden ‘I don’t want to be another statistic’ moment! So I looked on in awe as the woman who had until that point been my Cola providing saviour launched herself after the (rather expensive looking, and now very muddy) tent! It landed three feet from the water, upside down in mud and cow pats. IF you see a cheap gazebo on eBay this coming week……don’t bother! The team at the checkpoint took the very wise decision to pack it up and I was sent on my way, although by now I had another runner close behind and chomping at my heels. By the time I reached Upper Beeding at 23.5 miles my feet were sore.i don’t mean sore ‘oh, I’ve been on my feet all day, time for a cuppa’ sore. I mean full on screaming sore, every step was now seriously uncomfortable. It felt as though I was running on hot coals. The mud didn’t help and if I could’ve got away with it I’d like to have run back along the tarmac roads! I know that probably sounds a bit contradictory but the slow pace of running on/through sticky mud during such a long event means each footfall spends more time in contact with the ground. The running ‘form’ goes out of the window and I had to start walking some short sections. Not too proud to admit that either, hey, I’m a learner at this! The really difficult bit was the transition from the walk to the jog, mentally and physically. In fact, so much so that I opted to just keep jogging and just grin and bear the foot pain. I had managed to pass several people on the way up the course but now I found myself being overhauled by one or two and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it. That ‘tuck in behind them’ technique? Just doesn’t work when there’s not much left in the tank. Just survive. Photographer for the day was the Clubs Mr Lavis. Mrs Lavis was operating as the event ‘sweeper’, the runner deliberately at the tail of the race as a safety measure. As I ran back down the course our paths crossed as the very last runner had just reached the Downslink Path (about 10.5 miles for her, 18 miles for me, to give you some idea). I couldn’t help picturing Jan in my minds eye as some athletic form of the Grim Reaper! Even the man at the safety briefing had said to the gathered hordes, “if Jan Lavis catches you, touches you on the shoulder, you’re out!” Sadly I later learnt this last competitor Jan had been shepherding at this point was pulled out of the race just a couple of miles further on, in tears due to the cut off time limits in place. It was great to see Jon at several points around the course, even if it did mean doing that thing runners do when they see a camera pointing at them! Speed up. Running form check. Smile! That said, and I’ve yet to see the pictures, I don’t think it made any difference today, at least, not for me.

16339224936_202674ba1a_o16365643535_e63aa6f4c4_o Running the last few miles down past the eyesore that is the old cement works and then the beautiful Lancing College I knew that at the very least I was going to finish this one. Ok, it may not have been a fast day for me, but I had my imaginary L plates on and I was soon to be throwing them away and joining the ranks of the ultra running fraternity. Well, just about. I had almost buried the memory of that Did Not Finish result many years ago. But my feet STILL hurt. A lot. Under the A27, with it’s noise and frantic people all blissfully unaware of the pain beneath them. Pain, but also a building sense of elation. I could actually see the finish now and I was running on ground I knew well, having spent many years based down at the airport. However, there was still a sting in the tail of this race…. The very last section of the course is along the crooked, awkwardly sloping slabs that form the pathway towards the finish. Of course, they are of a size that doesn’t help your stride length, being neither one thing, nor the other. But I was almost there. I was almost an ultra runner. And my feet still hurt! A final pass under the railway line, a left and a right turn and there was the finish line. Compared to many events some might say it’s rather an anticlimax. A couple of people with time sheets and a clipboard, a ripple of applause from a few hardy souls and no medal. Yes, that’s right, no medal. And that seems to sum up the whole ‘ultra experience’ for me. People running, just for the love of running. No medals. No fanfare. No glitz and glamour. ….but there was a bottle of Dark Star beer at the end…..


Cheers Jonathan Lelliott (ultra runner 😉  )


Event organised by Sussex Trail Events


Aid Station 1: Bramber Foot Bridge –  5.3 miles….not the Road Bridge at Bramber.
Aid Station 2: Star Road Industrial Estate – Partridge Green 11.5 miles
Aid Station 3: West Grinstead Station – 14 miles (turn around point)
Aid Station 4 Star Road Industrial Estate – Partridge Green – 16.5 miles
Aid Station 5: Bramber Foot Bridge – 22 miles Aid Station 6 Cuckoo Corner – 25 miles


Rosebud, Victoria 10km by Kevin Walker


Today was Australia Day, celebrating the landing of the first fleet in Port Jackson 1788. Very much like the US July 4th… Anyways, us crazy runners have a fun run in the State of Victoria , a small town called Rosebud runs a 5km and a 10km. Rosebud is a coastal town on the bay of Melbourne, unusually we park at the finish and get a bus to the start, 10km up the coast at the aptly named Safety beach. It’s a road race on closed roads for the first 3km and then it switches to the coastal path leading to Rosebud. Having been a bit slack with running since November ( I’m in Australia on an extended holiday ) I decided to play safe and aim for a 1hour 10km, or a 6kph pace. As I got into the run, I felt good and increased pace, the 5km run started at 30 minutes after the 10k start, I passed the start at 28 minutes and was 300 metres away from them when the first 5k runners flew past me as if I was standing still. Shortly after, the route went back into trails, running through a holiday caravan park, where the campers took great delight in soaking us with water pistols , they were also handing out food and drink, but with only 2k to go, I pushed on. Crossed the line with a sprint finish and a time of 58:14. Excellent run and well organised, as its Australia and summer , temps can reach 40°c , multiple water stops all the way round, glad it was only 21°c today!

10419970_10152723594789611_992421673042100238_n —————————————————————————————

Coaches Corner

IJ DSC_2452

This month we look at the subjects of Warm Up and Pace. These are important areas to consider together as they are intrinsically linked. Get one or both wrong and it will have an adverse effect on your training and racing.

Warm Up

By Coach Ian Jones

The following is taken from the “Warm Up” section of the training area of the BHR website. Click here – Warm Up.

We recognise that some sort of pre-race warming up is a good thing because it helps us perform better and maybe prevents us from pulling muscles too. But how much warming up should we do, what is too much or too little or even why bother and save our energy for the race instead? This article is intended for when preparing your body for maximal race efforts lasting between 15 – 60 min

Why bother warming up?

When baking a cake, the cake mixture goes into a pre-heated oven otherwise the cake remains flat during cooking time. The similarity of warming up an oven applies to our own bodies too because we have 3 main energy systems that need to be primed first before they work at their best optimum levels. Without those energy systems primed, we carry the ‘cold oven’ burden too, throughout the race and our maximal race performance remains flat. Our 3 main energy systems are;

  1. Alactic or ATP-CP system – rapid pure energy delivered very quickly and we store only about 15 – 30 seconds worth. Great for those fast race starts.
  2. Anaerobic  system – supplies energy when available oxygen capacity is exceeded, i.e. can make energy when oxygen supply is insufficient against demand. Great for tackling a hard hill or those end-of-race kicks.
  3. Aerobic  system – the long-duration energy system. Great for cruising along at a good tempo.

How long does it take to warm-up these systems?

It takes 25 minutes in total to warm-up and prime, each of the energy systems including general mobilisation. Race start; Minus 30-35 min

  • 5 min easy (Aerobic)
    • Use this time to prepare mentally into ‘the zone’. Total focus with no conversations; think about your race plan and effort that’s going to be needed.
  • 5 min mobilisation exercises
  • 8 min easy progressive to very hard (Aerobic – Anaerobic)
    • Take 50-100ml of energy drink after
  • 2 min easy (Aerobic)
  • 2 min easy to include 3 x 6sec sprints (Alactic)
  • 3 min easy (Aerobic)
    • Take 50ml of energy drink or water
    • Remove warming up top in cool weather
    • Move towards start area

Race start; Minus 5 min

  • Be at the start line.

So what about warming up for longer races?

Events like half marathon and marathon it’s not as critical to be primed for performance from the gun like it is for shorter races. Some adjustments need to be made to this warm-up routine.

For the half-marathon, perform the same routine but without the sprints and recovery (21 min total). Take 100ml more energy drink afterwards.

For the marathon, the same starting aerobic and mobilisation exercises will be sufficient.


By Coach Jan Lavis

The below is an extract from the “Pace” section of the training area of the BHR website. It links in well with the above article. You will find more detail about pace and training paces on the website. Click here for information on Pace.

Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)

This is your perceived effort and is an easy way to judge how hard you are working. Your effort is the most important thing, not the pace/speed. Imagine a scale of 1-10, 1 is on the couch watching TV at home and 10 is running as fast as you can. The club coaches deliver sessions that are designed to target specific thresholds. Perform these workouts too fast or too slow for your own current fitness level and you miss out on the intended benefit.

Warm Up – Easy jog just to ease you in and out of workouts. Usually 10/15 minutes in duration so you can gently warm your body temperature up, get the blood flowing and prepare your mind for the activity ahead. Very easy normal chit chat. RPE 1-2

Easy or Recovery Effort – These runs allow you to see improvement without breaking down. These should feel very easy and relaxed. Enjoy the scenery. Breathe easy and you should be capable of holding a conversation. RPE 3-4

Steady Effort -These runs build your aerobic base that acts as the foundation for the rest of your training. Conversations are possible in sentences rather than a long gossip. The one thing with these runs is not to go too slowly. While running at this effort level, you are improving your Aerobic Threshold and it will effectively represent your Marathon Pace. RPE 5-6

Tempo Effort – The key for you to stretch your physical boundaries. These are controlled discomfort. They require concentration. You can utter a word or two but no more. As you get fitter and stronger you will constantly push your boundaries on these runs. They never get easy you just get faster and cover more distance. While running at this effort level, you are improving your Lactate Threshold (The point at which your body is happily removing lactic acid at the same rate that you are producing it).  It is the pace / effort level you can maintain for about an hour. Long intervals at this effort level are also useful as a way to increase the overall duration. This pace is approximately 10-15% slower than Fast Effort (below) so it’s quite subtle and important not to run this effort too fast. RPE 7-8

Fast Effort – No need for a description. While running at this effort level, you will be improving your Alactic Threshold (The point at which your body is unable to remove the lactic acid quite as quickly as you are producing it). Training at this level will involve maintaining the effort for a much shorter duration and/or shorter reps with longer recoveries in between.  No talking.  RPE 9-10


Junior Academy Update by Bryony Monnery


Now well into the spring term the junior academy is going strong with once again its maximum capacity of members filled, all of which are members returning term upon term and having to manage an ever growing waiting list. This term see’s the introduction of the British Athletics Academy award scheme which will allow the children to have all their individual achievements recognised and progress highlighted. With this new structured program in place all the children are currently working super hard to try and achieve the next level on the awards scale by the end of term which will see them presented with a British Athletics Academy graded badge to have sewn on their kit. The term will continue to be a busy one with teams also competing in the Lancing sports hall meet on 7th February, to date the children have done us proud showing great team spirit and good sportsmanship in the previous two meets we have attended as a club. The support of the club is essential to the success of the junior academy and thanks goes out to those who regularly give up their time to help us out, if anyone else is interested in getting involved with the academy and can offer help in any form then please do contact Bryony at monnery@talktalk.


Learn to Run

Burgess Hill Runners, in partnership with Mid-Sussex District Council, will be offering a new ‘Learn to Run’ 10-week course from Wednesday 11th February. The course will be aimed at absolute beginner runners. Starting with an initial induction session, participants will gently increase exercise across the 10 weeks, so that, by the end, they can jog a whole 5km. They will then have the opportunity of joining the club, if they wish, at a reduced rate. Sessions will be supported by Run England qualified leaders who have lots of experience of helping people new to running. The whole course costs only £15 & sessions will run from 6.30 – 7.15 every Wednesday from Burgess Hill School for Girls on Keymer Road, Burgess Hill. If you are interested and would like more details please contact Tel: 07876 898045.

Come on, make this your goal for 2015!


parkrun Corner by Neil Dawson

We were due to stage 5 parkruns in Clair Park in January, but due to the icy weather on the 17th, he had to cancel for the first time in 79 events. That’s a pretty good strike rate, given that this is our 2nd winter and given the nature of our course.

10947286_10152663891068870_133600239894489513_nJay and Georgia pointing out the big patch of ice behind the cricket nets.

The first parkrun of the year saw 93 runners in Clair Park, 15 of whom were Burgess Hill Runners. To start the New Year, there were also a couple of pieces of long distance parkrun tourism, with Amy Hulley completing the Wakefield Thornes event in 26.07. However, I guess that the longest distance travelled by a Burgess Hill Runner to complete a parkrun must be for Kevin Walker’s appearance at the Mornington Peninsula parkrun in Australia. During his visit to Australia Kevin has also run at Frog Hollow and Berwick Springs parkruns, as well as fitting in a volunteer session as well. Nice work Kevin. BHR were also represented at Tilgate and Preston Park.

kevinOn the 10th January 18 BHR athletes took part in 4 different Sussex parkruns. In Clair Park we had a bumper turnout of 136 runners. James Sorbie and Hannah Watkins headed down to Preston Park where James went well under 20 minutes. Paula Ridley is flirting with the sub 29 minute mark at Preston Park and Hove.

On the 17th, with no event taking place in Clair Park, we were represented at Tilgate, Preston Park and Hove. Andrew Bishop made a welcome return to parkrun at Hove Park where a whopping 533 runners took part. Preston Park also had a record attendance of 388 runners for the event. The January fitness binge is certainly alive and well.

The 23rd January saw 106 runners in Clair Park on a cold and crisp morning. There were 13 BHR’s in attendance. Notable performances included Hannah Watkins breaching the 29 minute barrier (by 15 seconds), which has been a target for a while now. Elsewhere Jon and Jan Lavis headed down to Hove parkrun and Carole Mills and Sue Lyle were to be seen at Tilgate which is their regular haunt. Finally Kevin Walker carried on his Australia odyssey with another trip to Frog Hollow parkrun.

The final Clair parkrun of the month saw us wake up to a bit of snow and ice.  The fear that we would have to cancel again soon subsided when we got to the park and there was no chance that the event was in jeopardy. 84 people completed the course, including a very cold tail runner, Dave Woodhouse, who chose to wear shorts to bring the field home on the first day that it has ever snowed during our parkrun. Again, we had runners at Hove parkrun and Tilgate, as well as Kevin at Frog Hollow in Australia.

1517702_10152659380743870_1499887019419235309_nWe have a lot of BHR athletes who are homing in on their 50 run milestone t-shirts at the moment. With the new t-shirt sponsors now in place, we hope that the t-shirt will not be too long arriving after the milestone is reached. The other fantastic news that we received from parkrun this month is that they will begin to present t-shirts to volunteers who have volunteered 25 times or more. This is a great addition to the parkrun world and is a lovely way to recognise the priceless contribution of the people who give up their time every week. Apart from Nick and myself, Jay and Caz have definitely past the 25 volunteer mark. I’m pretty sure that Helen is there as well. I also imagine that Theresa Chalk and Ann Savidge are both getting pretty close now as well.

vol tWe have now had 8284 people cross the line at Clair parkrun.  1664 different people have completed our course and collectively we have covered 41,420 km.

Thank you to everyone, runners and volunteers #loveparkrun

Neil and the Clair parkrun team.


Member of the Month – Linda Russell

10389429_10202698405795676_3531753177409028403_nLinda has been a member of Burgess Hill Runners since 2009 when she joined the beginners group. Almost 18 months after joining the club Linda completed the Brighton Marathon and has gone on to complete a further 4 marathons. Linda also became a LiRF (Leader in Running Fitness) in 2014. We decided to ask her a few questions about running and the other things:

When did you start running? Just over 5 years ago

Why do you run? To keep fit

What is the best piece of advise you have ever received? Maintain strong core muscles and the rest of your running will fall into place

What is the best piece of advise you would give? Remember to keep smiling – running is fun

When was the first moment that you felt like a runner? Completing Brighton Marathon 2011

What was your first ever race? Worthing Lido Fun Run 2011

What is your first ever memory of athletics? School sports day

What is your favourite race that you watched on TV? Kelly Holmes winning gold in both 800 and 1500 metres in Athens Olympics 2004

Who is your favourite athlete and why? Kelly Holmes for sheer determination and never giving up on pursuing her goal

What is your biggest running achievement? To date, achieving a sub 2 hour time for a half marathon

What is the toughest race you have ever done? Beachy Head Marathon

10574395_10152453302933870_7438056698761931147_nWhere is the best pace you have ever run? Virgin London Marathon 2014

What is your favourite WSFRL race? Littlehampton Beach run

Rain or shine? Shine

Hill or flat? Flat

Alone or in a group? Group

Garmin Connect or Strava? Garmin Connect

With or without music? With

Take That or 1 Direction? Ooooooh definitely Gary Barlow !

Beetroot or Brussel Sprouts? Beetroot

What is your favourite piece of kit? Race number

What is your favourite post race treat? Large glass of wine or two

10849845_10203021682247461_3261614119970190618_nWhat is your favourite training session? Lewes Track

Something you may not know about Linda………

Nearly drowning whilst on holiday in Italy as an 8 year old made me realise she needed to learn to swim.


Want to Contribute?

Please remember this is your newsletter, so if you want to do a race report, or let your fellow members know about something just email either:-

Alan Fry –


Neil Dawson –


Other Recent Photos

10341427_10152713110282983_3004218598128978648_n 10947188_10153054623876617_7744418848102531963_n 984313_10204351374398858_6769735955439604918_n —————————————————————————————

Newsletter – January 2015

Welcome to the first Burgess Hill Runners Newsletter of 2015.

As you know, being a member of the best running club in the world, a great deal of effort is made to ensure that everyone is aware of what is going on in the club.  The club uses social media wherever possible, but understands that not everyone uses Facebook or Twitter.

Therefore, we are re-introducing a regular newsletter, written by members, for members.  It will be available in two versions, online and pdf, which will be emailed out to everyone.

Each newsletter we hope to have a review of any races or events that members have taken part in.  If you would like to write a race/run review, please let us know.  There is no set format, just put down how you felt and what you liked and disliked about it.  Also, let s have as many photos as you can.


Race Reviews

The Downland Devil by Neil Dawson

The Downland Devil 9 Mile event took place on a rather cold and windy 7th December at 10am. 20141207_093045_Richtone(HDR)The start is at Coombes Farm in Lancing, which is a working farm. 20141207_093218_Richtone(HDR)The registration area is in a barn with pretty good facilities. They had a licensed bar and they were serving hot drinks and hot food (including bacon sandwiches). 20141207_092908_Richtone(HDR)The start is about 5 minutes walk from the registration area, located in a valley. This means that there is only one way and that was up. 1908473_10152587070042983_3074272112372478714_nThis event is very challenging from the start. In the first kilometer you climb over 60m. However, what goes up, must come down and the next 1.2 kilometers is all downhill. This process is repeated several times over the length of the 9 miles. The course has the longest downhill finish that I have ever seen, which is very welcome after the hill that comes before it. The course is either on grass or farm track. Off road shoes are absolutely essential. 9 Burgess Hill Runners took part in the event. Jon Boxall headed the BHR contingent with a time of 1 hour 5 minutes and 31 seconds. Jonathan Lelliott continued his run of form and return to competition with an impressive time of 1 hour 11 minutes and 18 seconds. James Sorbie was next home in a time of 1 hour 15 minutes and 45 seconds. Dan Foord (sporting the running number ‘1’) followed James in 1 hour 18 minutes and 52 seconds. Emma Leeson broke the 1 and a half hour mark by a second. The Dawson’s came in within a few seconds of each other in just over 1 hour 33. Philippe Ecaille, ‘fresh’ from the Downslink Relay and recently returned from injury was next in 1.42.22. Hannah Watkins was close behind in 1.46.10. The final BHR home was Caz Wadey in 1.52.56. 10256220_10152587069912983_2153224108125015426_nI’d definitely recommend this event. It’s not easy. Most people will walk some of it. I imagine that almost everyone walked the vertical climb section which was sent to test us. The organization was good, although for some reason some runners accidentally managed a short cut. I am certain that they won’t allow this to happen again. 1779737_10152945334416214_5423346292936080145_nYou also get to see some of the South Downs that we don’t see to see very often, including some sections of the 3 Forts and Steyning Stinger events. More details available from

Thanks, Neil.

Photos from Caz Wadey, Jonathan Lelliott and Neil Dawson.


Downslink Relay by Jay Wadey

A Funny Thing Happened At The Downs Link Relay

One of the Burgess Hill Runners annual events takes place along the old and unused railway route from St. Martha’s Hill, near Guildford, to Shoreham, the Downs Link. It is a 37 mile course which is divided up into six stages of between 4 and 7 miles long. It is an in house competition and we compete in teams of six (each member running 1 leg), or teams of 3 (each member running 2 legs).

This year it took place on 6th December and was the first time that I had entered this particular race. After a lot of organising by Kim Gow and Steve Roberts, we managed to get together 5 teams. Three teams of six runners, and two teams of three. I was in one of the three man teams, comprising of Keith “Daredevil” Delderfield and Andy “Supersonic” Sayers.

We all arrived at St Martha’s Hill for the 10:30am start, and it was absolutely freezing. The sun was trying to cut through the cold, but was lacking any strength. Still this wasn’t going to put us hardy BHR’s off. We thrive on tough conditions and we put our bravest run faces on as we made our way up the hill to the start position.



Just before the off, there was a brief given to us all by Steve Roberts, explaining the details of the run. We were also informed at this point that the two teams of three members will be starting 15 minutes after the other teams had started. This was a good move as on paper the stronger runners were in these groups, and it would keep everyone closer together as the race developed. The downside was that we had to hang around in the cold for another quarter of an hour until Andy and Alan (Fry) started!

After the last of the teams had disappeared into the woods, we made our way back to our cars and headed off to the start of the next stage at Run Common. We did a quick stop at Bramber to see the first few runners go through. The runners from the six’s were still together and were running as a pack. We waved them passed and carried on our journey not waiting to see Andy and Alan as they would be a while behind.

Shortly, we arrived at the start of leg two. This was to be Keith’s first run of the day. We made our way with the other competitors to the changeover point and waited to see the runners come in. As it was cold Keith was wearing a big thermal coat and some tracksuit bottoms to fight off the cold. He started to warm up a little so he would be ready when he was needed to run. Further up the course a few people had positioned themselves so they could see when the first leggers came in to view, and it was only a minute before we heard a shout that they were coming. As we all strained our eyes to see who was coming in first Keith continued his warm up, after all our guy had started fifteen minutes behind the frontrunners so no need to panic. As the dots in the distance got closer we all suddenly realised that there were in fact five people all coming in. Andy and Alan had already managed to catch up and were here too! I shouted to Keith, Andy’s here already and then the panic set in!

As the first leggers got ever closer, Keith tried to disrobe his coat and trackie bottoms as quickly as he could. The coat came off pretty easily, but the same can not be said of his lower body garments. As the runners came over the line, Keith was still wrestling with trying to get them off over his trainers. Andy was cursing and Keith was struggling and everyone else was laughing at this hilarious sight! The other teams were off, and Keith finally got away at the back of the field.

As I wiped the tears from my eyes and watched Keith disappear into the distance, I turned round to see Alan standing there looking a bit puzzled. ‘Where’s Neil?’ He asked us all. We then realised that his team mates Neil Dawson and Philippe Ecaille were no where to be seen! In all the hilarity and excitement, no-one had noticed that they weren’t actually with us. Alan started to run up to where we had parked the cars to see if he could see them, while I started to try and contact Neil on my mobile phone, but as luck would have it, we were in a ‘no service’ area. A couple of minutes later Alan came running back to us and said that the only thing he could do was to run the next leg as well and so he shot off after the rest of the runners losing a good eight minutes or so with this fiasco.

We headed back to our cars wondering what on earth had happened to our two missing mates and we were pleased to see them pull up as we returned. They had taken a wrong turn on the way to the second leg and had got separated from everyone else and ended up getting lost!

The rest of the day (as far as I am aware) went by pretty much incident free you will be glad to know. I ran the next leg from Rudgwick to Southwater and managed to take a wrong turn twice! Luckily for me, Neil was nearby and shouted both times to let me know and as the relay wore on the teams gradually spread out. By the time I started my second leg (which was also the last one), my team mates had handed me a rather healthy lead over the other competitors. Still, I ran the Bramber to Shoreham leg as fast as I could and I experienced the joy of being the first person over the finish line. Not an experience I have had before, nor one that I will be getting used to I am sure.


The Downs Link Relay will be in our running calendar again in 2015 at some point, and after my first experience I can wholly recommend you taking part in it. It is a great team bonding race and a great day out. As with everything that Burgess Hill Runners does, it is a race that everyone can do no matter what your ability, and really is a fun. Give it a try.

Go on, you know you want to!


Cross Country 2014 by James Sorbie

After a long season of West Sussex Fun Run League races there’s no better way to unwind than four cold, wet, boggy races in the Sussex Cross Country League! That’s how they were pitched to me and after three years of Stuart Condie asking me if i’d take part I finally gave in.

Taking part in my first ever cross country race at Goodwood, I already started to wonder just how different from a WSFRL race it’d really be when I was told “you won’t need spikes for this one”.

Sure enough, the secret was out of the bag when I comfortably ran round in my standard off road shoes with barely a splash of mud on me. Goodwood, it turns out, would’ve been right at home amongst the fun run league races. In fact, it was less muddy and less hilly than the likes of the Hickstead Gallop.

Somehow though, the atmosphere was different. There were, as you’d expect, fewer fun runners out and I was nervous on the start line of a race for the first time in a while as I had gone from racing at a standard where I felt reasonably comfortable, to mixing with much faster runners. Sure enough, some of us BHR chaps starting at the back and larking about a bit before the start seemed a little out of place compared to some serious looking people, but by the end we’d made a good account of ourselves and I instantly fell in love with these extra races on our doorstep.

10701975_835465359838313_672094768095112661_nThe ladies team at Goodwood (left to right) – Naomi Gollow, Sharona Harrington, Janet Clapton and Emma Leeson.

Knowing that Plumpton was a lot muddier I also rushed straight out to buy some cross country spikes which were surprisingly cheap compared to the usual running shoe. Having now done my first three cross country races I can, hand on heart, say that the courses are no more challenging than WSFRL races. There are a couple of differences though. Firstly, the ladies run in a separate race to the men and for some reason have a shorter distance to run each time despite the ladies being perfectly capable of handling a longer run. One pleasant plus side to this though is that the men can cheer on their female club mates as they compete and vice versa. The other difference is the standard is higher. I see this as a positive and believe that it has pushed me to up my game and would recommend the same to anybody aspiring to get faster and more competitive. Don’t be deterred by the higher standard either, wherever you finish for the club (even if it was last) you’re still out there representing BHR and we still find time for the kind of camaraderie the club is known for.

1454623_505807836184413_292780088_nTrevor Symes running bear foot at Plumpton.

8309_505807492851114_230592110_nMark Collins at Plumpton.


The mens team at Plumpton (Stuart Condie, Neil Grigg, John Palmer, James Sorbie, Alan Fry, Paul Sargent, Andy Sayers).

In short, I recommend the Cross Country to everyone at this club, particularly those that have experienced the WSFRL (speak to Stuart Condie or Janet Clapton for more details). Just be ready to be hosed down in the garden afterwards!


Upcoming Events

1st January – Hangover 5 – Worthing – West Sussex Fun Run League
4th January – Apres – Longman 10k/10 Miles – Winter Trail Event
28th January – Dark Star River Marathon – sold out
28th January – Worthing Lido 4 – Worthing – West Sussex Fun Run League
8th February – Chichester 10k 14th February – Bexhill – Sussex Cross Country League 14th February – Valentines Run – West Sussex Fun Run League
22nd February – Brighton Half Marathon
Every Saturday 9am – There’s a parkrun all over the country, especially in Hayheath Heath


Coaches Corner by Jan Lavis


Run Specific Strength & Conditioning

This short article will hopefully explain the basics of run specific strength & conditioning and why it is important. Think of strength training as your running foundation. A house without any foundations will eventually start to crack and fall down. Without a few strength & conditioning basics, there will be a limit to the amount of improvements you make in your running before cracks appear and injury creeps up.

“Run Specific Strength & Conditioning”

First of all to re-assure you, this need mean nothing more than 5minutes here & there or a couple of 20min slots in your own home in front of the TV. Of course it could also mean taking classes somewhere if that’s what you like to do. Why “Run Specific” – because as runners we spend a lot of time on one foot or the other and hopefully not much time on two feet. Many of the basic exercises that benefit us as runners are done on a “Single Leg”. This not only improves balance but better replicates the stresses and loading associated with running.

“Core Stability”

The “King Pole” or “Centre Pole” of a big top tent plays a crucial role in keeping the tent upright and strong. Think about your core as performing a similar function for you as the King Pole does for a big top. If your core is nice and strong, it will be much more able to support you during your training and will assist in preventing injury. Your core muscles are made up of around 30 different muscles that connect your legs to your hips, spine, and rib cage. Here’s an article from runners world which details them – Click Here.

It’s important to target all these muscles in the right way for maximum benefit.

I would highly recommend Kinetic Revolution as a good resource for top advice on run specific strength & conditioning, core, balance and proprioception. There is a really good free 30 day challenge which will introduce you to a whole range of run specific exercises with explanatory videos. Click here to get started

Basic Balance

Work on the basics of being able to balance well on one leg. Of course once your core is nice & strong, your balance will naturally improve.

Here’s a good basic balance & proprioception routine – Click Here


The glutes are the powerhouse muscles which propel you forward when running. Often, the hamstrings do too much work and can be over used and/or tight and/or become injured.

Single Leg Squat

Elastic Band Walking (Bands very cheap to buy)

Click Here


There are many ways to target your core muscles and planks are just one. This video – Click Here, shows 10 different sorts of planks. It gets quite technical and the chap is obviously very good. Have a look at the first 3 for a start unless you are a regular planker. I would suggest using this plank challenge as a really long term 12 month project and build up to the more advanced stuff once you’ve mastered the basics. Good form is demonstrated in this video and it is really important to maintain good form for a shorter time rather than have bad form for longer. A good way to build up over all time if you’re new to core work, is by doing reps with recovery. For example, start with 10/15/20/30/45secs etc (depending on your level), rest for 30secs, repeat a couple of times. Gradually increase the plank time and reduce the recovery time.

For info on all matters training, please visit the Training Area of the BHR Website


Clair parkrun by Neil Dawson

groupIn the first newsletter, I thought I’d give you a quick update on happenings at Clair parkrun over the past 18 months, to give an idea of what we do.  parkrun is a volunteer lead free time 5km run that takes place every Saturday morning in over 250 parks across the country.  We set up our parkrun in partnership with Haywards Heath Harriers in July 2013. Here are a few stats to sum up the what we have achieved:

Number of events: 77
Total runs completed: 7865
Total distance covered: 39,325km
Total runs by Burgess Hill Runners: 876

First of all, I would like to thank everyone for their support, both with their running and their volunteering.  I would estimate that our club has already contributed over 700 hours of volunteering time on Saturday mornings to ensure that this event happens and runs as smoothly as it does.  Thank you to you all.

1920136_222014704664251_1071449985_n Our event has attracted runners of all abilities from course record holder Chris Smith, who has represented Great Britain in the World Mountain Running Championships to people who are completing their first ever 5km run.

10387686_289754334556954_6903604121888010964_n In each newsletter, there will be a monthly update on happenings in Clair Park. We look forward to seeing you for a lovely undulating 5km run soon.

Neil (Event Director)


Member of the Month – Jay Wadey

Jay has been with Burgess Hill Runners for a little more than a year.  In that time he has made a serious impact on the club (and not just with his cross dressing).  He is a legend at Clair parkrun and is now the West Sussex Fun Run League race secretary.  He’s also a lot quicker than he was 18 months ago.  In 2014 he ran the Wealdand Beachy Head Marathons and well a countless half marathons, 10k’s, WSFRL races and parkruns.  So we decided to ask him a few questions:

When did you start running?

3 years ago

Why do you run?

For fun


What is the best piece of advise you have ever received?

Get trainers that fit properly.

What is the best piece of advise you would give?

Finish behind me.

When was the first moment that you felt like a runner?

First Clair parkrun (27th July 2013 with a time of 25.20. 18 months later course PB is now 23.02)


What was your first ever race?

Burgess Hill 10k 2013

What is your first ever memory of athletics?

Seb Coe / Steve Ovett races.

What is your favourite race that you watched on TV?

London Olympics 10,000m. Gold for Mo Farrah.

Who is your favourite athlete and why?

Mo Farrah. He was the inspiration behind Jay beginning to run.

What is your biggest running achievement?

Joining Burgess Hill Runners.

What is the toughest race you have ever done?

Beachy Head Marathon 2014.


Where is the best pace you have ever run?

Green Belt Relay 2014


What is your favourite WSFRL race?

Round Hill Romp

Rain or shine? Rain

Hill or flat? Hill

Along or in a group? Group

Garmin Connect or Strava? Garmin Connect

With or without music? Without

Take That or 1 Direction? Pass (this was the most emphatic refusal to answer a question ever)

Beetroot or Brussel Sprouts? Brussel Sprouts

What is your favourite piece of kit?

Burgess Hill Runners vest

What is your favourite post race treat?

Going out for a curry. Jay has his own chair in ‘Flavour’ (other restaurants are available)


What is your favourite training session?

Any session other that ones in the field near the water tower

Something you may not know about Jay – he’s a very talented drummer or singer


Thank you Jay.

If you would like to be our featured BHR personality next month, let s know and we will send out or film crew to interview you.


Other recent photos

quizClub Quiz Night – The Winners !!!!

spicegirls Christmas and 20th Anniversary Party – Spice up you life?

gingChristmas and 20th Anniversary Party – Anyone know the collective noun for a group of Geri’s?