All Press Releases are by Darren Chilcott unless otherwise stated.
On a relatively quiet weekend on the local running scene, a handful of Burgess Hill Runners still managed to find some events. Husband and wife team Kjell and Gill Berglund, along with Jon Lavis, entered the Little Horsted, Isfield and Barcombe 10k event organised by Little Horsted CoE School which started and finished in Isfield and followed a very scenic route. Gill was the first of the three home in 1.07.47, with Kjell (1.10.10) and Jon (1.11.48) close behind. Meanwhile, Head Coach Stuart Condie was a creditable 88th place in a field of 350 runners at the Horsham Joggers 10kin 44.56 and Mark Craigs was delighted to set a new PB for the distance of 49.54. Pictured – Kjell and Gill Berglund after the Little Horsted 10k.
Burgess Hill Runners sent 22 runners to the Portslade Hedgehoppers 5m race on Sunday, the 6th race in the 18-race West Sussex Fun Run League. In a field of approx 270 runners from 17 local clubs, the Club came 5th overall. Head Coach Stuart Condie showed how it’s done, leading the men’s contingent home in 38mins 50 seconds for 59th place overall, very closely followed by Simon Alexander (60th in 38.52) and Alan Fry, who’s performances continue to improve rapidly, finishing 67th in 39.25. The ladies were led home by Bryony Monnery in an excellent 43.08 (99th), Sally Symes (44.31, 113th) and Sheryl Caldecourt (45.59, 128th). Meanwhile, Club member James Sorbie travelled to Sutton for the Sutton Runners 10k event over a two-lap course around Cheam and Nonsuch Parks and was pleased with his 131st place (out of 434) in a time of 44.02. Meanwhile, the club is pleased to announce a new weekly training session has been introduced, aimed primarily at existing, but not necessarily quick, runners looking to improve at 7pm on Wednesdays, meeting at Burgess Hill School For Girls. Details of this and all the club sessions, which have been carefully designed to cater for all abilities, can be found on www.bhrunners.co.uk
The May Bank Holiday weekend saw a frenzy of activity for Burgess Hill Runners and a number of superb performances. Paul Sargent, fresh (if that is the word) from a PB at the Brighton Marathon decided to attack the Three Forts Challenge, a seriously hard 27.5 mile race that starts at Hill Barn near Worthing and includes several long and steep climbs over the South Downs. Paul led from the start, and despite being chased by some top quality competition, held on to secure his first victory at marathon distance or above in an amazing 3hrs 17 mins 55 seconds, only just outside the course record. BHR members Darren Chilcott (completing his third marathon in four weeks) and Jon Lavis also completed the event, contested in warm and breezy conditions, in 5.10 and 5.58 respectively. The weekend also included the Sussex Living Mid Sussex Marathon weekend, a series of three events held over the three days totalling 26.2 miles. The first event., a 10 mile race held at East Grinstead, attracted 282 runners, and Paul Prosser led the club home in third place overall in an excellent 1hr 5 mins 26 seconds, closely followed by James Collins in 4th in 1.06.30. Prosser was again leading BHR runner home in Sunday's 10 mile race in Haywards Heath, finishing 12th in 1.03.46, with Collins 24th in 1.06.33. The final race of the series, a 10km event, was held on Monday in Burgess Hill, and this time Collins got the better of his clubmate, finishing a superb 4th in 40.43, with Prosser 8th in 41.25. In the women's race, Jo Bryce ran brilliantly to clinch victory in 43.00. Overall, Prosser came a very creditable third over the three events - other confirmed results were not available at the time of writing but BHR club members completing the three events included James Sorbie, Sharona Harrington, Jan Lavis, Lee Crow, Lynsey Alty, Mark Craigs and Liz Carter
Paul Sargent with his trophy for winning the Three Forts Challenge
Paul Prosser approaching Queens Crescent in the BH 10k
Ladies winner Jo Bryce approaching Queens Crescent in the BH 10k
Burgess Hill Runners sent another healthy contingent to the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday. On a beautiful Spring Day full of emotion following the events in Boston earlier in the week, crowds turned out in their hundreds of thousands to provide the runners with unbelievable and noisy support, particularly in the later stages as temperatures increased and things became pretty tough. Despite very little training, Dave Richardson was delighted to finish in 3hrs 20 minutes 49 seconds, some way off his personal best but an excellent performance in the circumstances. Suzanne Sturgeon, who completed the Brighton Marathon just a week ago finished in a remarkable 3.48.17, closely followed by Darren Chilcott, another ‘doubling up’ from Brighton in 3.54.08. Sue Lyle was agonisingly just over the four hour barrier in 4.00.18, with Emma Buckland close behind in 4.07.15. Alison Hatch crossed the line in 4.32.54, and Helen Pratt fulfilled a lifelong ambition in completing the London event, smashing an incredible 20 mins off her previous best to finish in 4.45.10. Last, but by no means least was Leanne Cleaveley in 5.50.50. Leanne also completed the Brighton Marathon last week, and will be running the Manchester Marathon next week as part of a crazy ‘three in three weeks’ challenge. Pictured – Helen ‘Minnie Mouse’ Pratt at the finish.
Burgess Hill Runners sent a large contingent to the 4th Brighton Marathon on Sunday. In near-perfect conditions for endurance running, there were some excellent performances in another spectacular event in front of very large and noisy crowds including a number of first time marathon completions, personal bests and other targets achieved. First home for the club was Paul Sargent (pic attached) who’s excellent recent form continued, and from the Elite start finished well under the elusive 3 hour barrier in 2.56.59 and in a remarkable 38th place out of the 9,000+ runners. Mark Nicholls knocked almost 30 minutes off his PB, coming home in 3.08.55 and close behind, and in a superb first attempt at the distance, was Jason Collett who was delighted with his 3.14.12. Keith Delderfield, who has done a fabulous job leading the weekly long training runs at the club since Christmas and given invaluable help to the first-timers in particular finished what (he says) was his last marathon in an excellent 3.46.38, all the more impressive as he completed the race dressed, quite appropriately, as Superman (pic attached). Darren Chilcott was next home in 3.50.29, followed by Alison Dunks (3.51.52), first timer James Sorbie (3.52.48), Suzanne Sturgeon (3.54.02) and then Dan Foord, who took some 20 minutes of his previous best time finishing in 3.56.30. First timer Alan Fry completed the race in an excellent 4.08.47, another first timer Oliver Dewdney 4.11.54, Benny Coxhill 4.33.33, Jan Lavis (another supposedly retiring from marathon running) a fantastic 4.35.09 in full cat costume (pic attached) and Diane Delderfield (pic attached) matching husband Keith in completing what she also says is her last marathon in fancy dress in 4.38.50. Other finishers included Karen Lawson (4.38.59), first timer Nick Dawson (4.39.29), Elaine Sugg (4.41.20), Paul Russell (4.50.22), Linda Russell (4.57.17 – PB), Stephanie Harding (4.58.48 - PB) and Allie Wood (4.59.18) – both delighted to beat 5 hours, Bettina Jung (5.16.56), Nina Ecroyd (5.22.43), Kevin Walker (5.33.32 - PB), Anne Savidge (5.33.55), Leanne Cleaveley (5.35.13) and Steven Gray (5.42.33). Leanne, Suzanne and Darren are all putting themselves through this again next week in the Virgin London Marathon. Congratulations to all BHR members completing the event, and the club would also like to pass sincere condolences of all its members to the family and friends of the poor runner who sadly died during the race on Sunday.
Pictured : Paul Sargent, Keith Delderfield, Di Delderfield, Jan Lavis
As we build up to the big spring Marathons of Brighton (this Sunday – 14th) and London (21st), it’s a busy time for Burgess Hill Runners. Firstly, the club is delighted to announce that, following an inspection last week, it has received formal accreditation from England Athletics, being the first running club in the Southern Region to achieve this status. This is the culmination of a long programme of work, started by former Chair Fiona Bussell (who recently moved away from Mid Sussex for career reasons) and continued through to completion by Coach Sue Baillie, supported by numerous other committee members and the dedicated coaching staff. The accreditation means the club has been judged to meet exacting standards of coaching, organisation and welfare across all aspects of its activity, and BHR will now continue with plans to meet the even more prestigious ‘clubmark’ status which will include the establishment of a Junior Academy. On the running front, despite many members now tapering for the two big events, club members were in action this weekend over the hilly Sussex Half Marathon course near Heathfield, with Club Chairman Andrew Baillie pleased with his time of 1 Hour 50 minutes and Jon Lavis also delighted with 2.19. There were also good performances by club members in the Mel’s Milers 10k race held in the scenic surroundings of Christ’s Hospital School. Neil Dawson was first clubmember home in 48 mins 48 seconds, Gill Berglund 56.18, Karen Harvey smashed her personal best for the distance finishing in 57.11 and Kjell Berglund was pleased to complete the course in 59.37. Finally, BHR member Jan Lavis (pictured below) has been causing a bit of a stir in the Folders Lane area of town as she gets used to her running kit for the Brighton Marathon this weekend. In what remarkably will be her 50th (and she says, final) marathon, Jan is raising funds for Cats Protection. Jan is probably one of the few people hoping the cooler weather continues for just a little longer and she is reportedly spending the rest of this week curled up in front of the fire preparing for the big day. You can sponsor Jan at http://www.justgiving.com/Jan-Lavis
Burgess Hill Runners had a busy weekend and were well represented in both of the major local events at the weekend. The popular Eastbourne Half Marathon is a well-timed test of a runner's spring marathon training programme, and BHR sent 15 runners to the event. Continuing his good form, Paul Sargent was 9th overall in a fabulous 1 hour 20 mins 49 seconds. A welcome return to competitive running saw inaugural Brighton Marathon winner Jo Bryce finish in 1.29.25 and second female overall. Other good performances included PBs from Alison Bareham (a superb debut half 1.54.57), Kevin Walker (2.13.20) and Karen Sargent (2.15.15). Meanwhile, Steyning AC held their annual and aptly named 'Stinger' marathon and half marathon, both offroad routes including some evil climbs over the Downs. Darren Chilcott (4 hrs 32) and Jon Lavis (6hrs 53) completed the full 26.2 miles including four 'Stings' up and over the Downs, and Alan Fry completed the half marathon, choosing a tough course for his first attempt at the distance and achieving an excellent 1.59.31
There were some fabulous performances from Burgess Hill Runners members in the Brighton Half Marathon on Sunday, the clubs coaching and develop programme leading to a record number of personal best times for runners of all abilities. In perfect weather for long distance running, apart from the Easterly breeze fighting the runners on the homeward stretch along the seafront, Paul Sargent wiped 4 mins of his PB to storm home in 1hr 20 min 8 seconds and 48th place overall. There were also PBs for Mark Nicholls (1.29.25) and James Sorbie, who knocked a massive 6 mins of his previous best, finishing in 1.33.59. In all, there were approx 30 finishers for the club. Others securing personal bests included John Boxall (1.35.23), Nick Dawson (2.05), Helen Pratt (2.07.14), Linda Russell (2.07.33), first-timer Claire Trotter (2.09.38), Nina Ecroyd (2.14.26), Leanne Cleavely (2.15.45) and Debbie Beckett (2.26.34).