All Press Releases are by our PR Officer James Sorbie unless otherwise stated.
The Burgess Hill Runners’ cross country teams were in action again this weekend, this time at Lancing. The hilly event is the third of four events in the Sussex Cross Country League and the club were pleased to field a full team in the 3 mile women’s event and two teams in the 5 mile men’s event. Emma Leeson, Clare Payne and Vicky Connolly finished in 26:19, 29:35 and 29:35 respectively to finish 19th out of 23 in the women’s Division 2 on the day. Paul Sargent (34:00), James Collins (34:33), Jon Boxall (36:15) and Jason Collett made up the men’s a-team who finished in 5th place in Division 2 for the day whilst Neil Grigg (36:49), Glynn Merritt (39:06), Ian Jones (41:39) and Stuart Condie (41:42) made up the men’s b-team in Division 3. Also competing were Daniel Belton (44:37) and John Palmer (45:11).
Gary Woolven and Andrew Murrell ran the Seaford Striders ‘Mince Pie 10’, a hilly 10 mile race with a mince pie reward to the finishers. They completed the event in impressive times of 1:08:10 and 1:17:07 respectively.
Jon Boxall, Steve Bird, Caz Wadey and Eileen Adlam took part in another cold, hilly, local event, the “Downland Devil 9” in Worthing. Results were unavailable at time of writing.
Jan and Jon Lavis ventured further afield for the Thanet 10 mile road race. Jan was 29th female, completing the course in 1:28:11 and Jon followed not far behind in 1:34:36.
Experienced club runners Stuart and Ian chase glory in Lancing (courtesy - Jon Lavis)
The "Mo Run" in Brighton was the setting for several of the BHR crew this week. Hills and mud made the 5k and 10k a much more difficult challenge than road races of these distances, but it didn't stop the club's hardcore runners from putting in some serious effort. Linda Russell was the first to complete the 10k with a time of 1:10:10, followed by Helen Pratt (1:22:04) and Allison Willcox (1:40:11). In the 5k Jane Harle finished in 56:43.
The club hosted their annual "Downslink Relay" on Saturday and 6 teams made up of either 3 or 6 runners competed over the 37 mile event on the Downslink trail. For the first time, the club had a guest team from the local Clair parkrun. The winning team, in a superb time of 4 hours 49, was made up of Matt Cawthra, Neil Dawson and Andy Murrell.
Finally, the notorious “Gatliff Marathon” attracted three of the club’s members on Sunday. A tricky 50km (31 mile) run lay ahead for Nick Dawson, Karen Harvey and Steve Roberts. Nick and Karen were happy to complete this mammoth distance whilst unfortunately Steve had to withdraw due to injury after a valiant 17 miles.
Steve and Kim dodge the rain at the Downslink Relay (courtesy: Jon Lavis)
Bexhill was the destination this week for several Burgess Hill Runners, for the second instalment of the four race Cross Country League season. Cold, windy and muddy were words that didn’t deter Kirsty Armstrong from storming the 3 mile course in 22:48 which put her 31st out of 103 women. The girls team finished 6th out of 22 teams in Division 2 also helped by Miranda Skinner (25:41) and Emma Leeson (26:32). Six men from BHR entered their 5 mile event meaning that with the minimum of four per team, they had one and a half teams. Paul Sargent led the a-team home in an impressive 30:23, 38th place out of 152. The a-team finished 6th out of 8 teams in Division 2 with contributions from Jason Collett (32:11), James Sorbie (34:49) and Ian Jones (37:30). In the b-team Oliver Dewdney (39:38) and John Palmer (44:02) put in a superb effort to keep the team alive in Division 3.
James Collins led the Burgess Hill Runners contingent at the annual Brighton 10k this weekend completing the course in 37:27. With strong winds making the race somewhat trickier, the blue army conquered the distance with several impressive performers. Following James' magnificent performance were: Paul Sargent (38:31), Jon Boxall (38:46, PB), Gary Woolven (39:47), Steve Bird (40:02), Jonathan Lelliott (40:44), Andy Sayers (43:44), Stuart Condie (44:14), Matthew Cawthra (44:25, PB), Sharona Harrington (44:54), Ross Wiggins (45:23), Martin Skeats (45:43), Emma Goodhead (45:47), Oliver Dewdney (46:18), Benny Coxhill (46:35), Jay Wadey (46:50), Andrew Gasson (47:02, PB), Dave Oldfield (47:04), Lee Crow (47:16), Simon Thompson (47:23), Malcolm Slater (47:37), John Palmer (48:01), Hannah Tedman (48:36), Emma Buckland (48:44, PB), Catherine Kempton (49:12), Oliver Jones (49:17, PB), Annette Maynard (49:22), Andrew Pullen (49:25), Owain Powell (50:17), Steve Osborne (50:31), Mark Craigs (50:47), Emma Leeson (50:56), Keith Brown (51:06), Linda Russell (51:18), Claire Tucknott (51:37, PB), Jonathan Leak (51:42), Lara Maynard (51:56), Cath Beckett (52:15), Sally Symes (52:21), Melanie Acres (52:33), Jean Leak (52:46), Marie Carey (53:24), Gary Foley (53:47, PB), Dave Woodhouse (54:15), Jon Lavis (54:38), Gill Berglund (55:37), Kay Mcmenamin (55:55), Mustak Miah (56:40), Amy Hulley (57:19, first 10k), Philippe Ecaille (59:07), Jackie Osborne (59:28), Sarah McEwen (59:28, first 10k), Jane Owen (1:00:17), Claire Giles (1:00:20), Tracey Golbey (1:00:33, first 10k), Hannah Watkins (1:01:38), Hugh Stevenage (1:02:05) and Helen Pratt (1:03:42).
On Saturday 14 youngsters aged 8-13 year olds from the club's Junior Academy represented the club in the Sports Hall event which included a variety of disciplines such as speed bounce, standing vertical jumps, relay and hurdles. The club are proud of the efforts put in by the youngsters who competed for them in club colours.
Some wet, windswept BHR at Brighton 10k (courtesy: Jay Wadey)
Jay and Caz Wadey travelled to the Lake District this weekend to take part in the Lakeland Trails "Dirty Double". The Helvellyn terrain and unforgiving weather didn't stop the hardy duo completing back to back races on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday they finished the 15km race in 2:11:09 and on Sunday, the 9k race in 1:22:00.
Daniel Belton led the way for the blue army at the Poppy Half Marathon in Bexhill on Saturday, finishing in a speedy 1:54:12. Not far behind were Matthew Cawthra (1:56:38), Emma Leeson (1:57:53), Vicky Connolly (2:02:51), Carole Mills (2:02:58), Gary Foley (2:10:09) and Claire Giles (2:22:25). There were also 10k and 5k alternatives and in the 5k it was Allison Willcox who led the club's runners with a time of 44:56. Not far behind were Jane and Joshua Harle, 45:11 and 47:14 respectively.
Jamie Goodhead (3:37:40), Neil Dawson (4:24:53), Debbie Saint (4:16:17) and Phillipe Ecaille (4:48:54) completed the Velothon Marathon on Saturday. An unusual event where these runners had to complete a dizzying 72 laps of the cycling track at Preston Park to make up a full marathon.
Jay and Caz survey their adventure
Debbie Saint takes on the Velothon (courtesy: Jon Lavis)
A reputation for being one of the hardest marathons in the UK would often deter even the most hardcore of runners, but on Saturday the strong stomached, blue army of Burgess Hill Runners turned out in force to tackle the unforgiving Beachy Head Marathon. Neil Grigg was the first intrepid club member to finish with an impressive 3:58:35 on the clock. He was followed by Emma Goodhead (4:40:35), Andy Sayers (4:42:20), Martin Skeats (4:41:54), Emma Buckland (4:48:57), Liz Carter (4:48:58), Debbie Saint (4:59:39), Lee Crow (5:03:17), John Palmer (5:19:36), Claire Tucknott (5:24:53), Diane Delderfield (5:36:12), Paul Russell (5:49:13), Philippe Ecaille (5:55:38), Tony Radmall (6:48:48), Jon Lavis (6:49:20) and Janet Clapton (7:20:46). Helen Pratt completed the 10k in 1:13:30.
Emma Leeson was lucky enough to meet athletics legend Jo Pavey at the Great South Run in Portsmouth. Emma finished in a superb time of 1:24:29. Meanwhile Mark Nicholls ran a mind blowing 3:18:02 at the Bath Marathon.
The blue crew at Beachy Head (courtesy: Helen Pratt)
The bright and cheerful faces of several Burgess Hill Runners were, quite aptly, scattered amongst the participants of the Bright 10 this weekend. The new 10 mile race along Brighton seafront proved popular and several BHR were keen to see what it had to offer. Dan Foord continued his excellent form and led the club to the finish in a superb 1:10:52. Not far behind was Leigh Smith (1:12:08) followed by Simon Thompson (1:19:08), Hannah Tedman (1:19:28), Gayle Tyler (1:19:47), Mark Craigs (1:25:30), Marie Carey (1:27:35), Carole Mills (1:28:18), Laura Fowles (1:28:05), Claire Giles (1:42:02) and Mary Johnson (1:43:34).
On Saturday the club were pleased to field two male teams and a female team in the first Sussex Cross Country League race of the season at Goodwood. In the men's 5 mile event Paul Sargent led the way with a time of 29:28. He was followed by John Boxall (30:22), Jason Collett (30:41), Neil Grigg (30:58), Ian Jones (33:44), Andy Sayers (35:27), Oliver Dewdney (36:39) and John Palmer (38:06). For the women Lara Maynard led the way in the 3 mile event with a time of 22:56 followed by Annette Maynard (23:06).
On Sunday the club further strengthened their second place in the West Sussex Fun Run League. With one race to go, the club were top scorers at the 5 mile event, 'Lancing Steepdown Challenge'. With 34 club members in attendance, the club logged points from Gary Woolven who finished 8th overall in 31:52. Steve Bird followed in 33:02, James Sorbie (33:11), Glyn Merritt (34:45), Kirsty Armstrong (4th lady overall in 37:22) and Miranda Skinner (40:14). In the Junior 1 mile event the club finished 3rd overall with Zak Snelling leading them home with a time of 6:42 (9th place). He was followed by Lily Craigs (8:34), Amber Bird (9:08), Lois Roberts (10:23) and Reece Roberts (11:15).
Claire, Simon and Laura at the Bright 10 (courtesy: Claire Giles)
It's been said that Burgess Hill Runners don't do things by half, except half marathons of course. This weekend was no exception and amongst some fantastic results several came from half marathon events. James Collins ran another PB at the Oxford Half, finishing in a brilliant 25th place, 1:19:00. At the Royal Parks Half in Hyde Park, Steve Bird beat his PB with a time of 1:31:31 and Ellie Willett completed her first ever half in 2:28:52.
Completing a full marathon was Andy Murrell who finished the Sussex Marathon in an excellent 4:18:58. Just short of a full marathon, intrepid long distance specialist, Darren Chilcott completed the JogShop 20 mile race in about 3:05:00. Catherine Kempton couldn't resist a roll in the mud and completed the Warrior Run obstacle course.
Finally, at Hickstead the adults and the juniors were fighting hard to remain second in their respective leagues. With only two races to go the adults were joint first on the day just short of maximum points and with a huge turnout of 60 runners. Scoring top points for the club were Gary Woolven (31:08), James Sorbie (32:00), Jon Boxall (32:21) and Kirsty Armstrong (36:23). The juniors were 4th on the day in their event thanks to Zak Snelling (7:31), Amy Mills (7:32), Benjamin Bristow (8:39), Lily Craigs (8:49), Fahmeeda Begum (9:58), Sanjeeda Khanom (10:29), Waheeda Mujahid (10:47) and Arafat Kashem Abul (10:55).
It seemed this week that if there was a race taking place, Burgess Hill Runners were in some way involved. From 5 miles to 38 miles and spanning several counties, the 'blue army' were doing their club proud.
Paul Sargent literally topped the bill at the Downslink Ultra. 38 miles of running on the old Downslink from Surrey to Sussex were no match for Paul who finished 1st with a mind blowing time of 4:57. He was also joined by Jason Collett (5:40), Sharona Harrington (6:06), Neil Dawson (6:55), Nick Dawson (7:55) and Jan Lavis who ran 21 miles as a 'sweeper' in 5 hours.
Also in 'Ultra' territory was Helen Pratt who completed the LDWA's Founders' Challenge, a 27 mile event in the Surrey Hills, in a time of 8 hours 20.
Across the English Channel, Debbie Saint completed the Jersey Marathon in 4:09:56. Mark Nicholls completed the Bournemouth Marathon in 3:23:37 with Emma Goodhead not far behind in 3:45:22. In the Bournemouth Half Marathon Jonathan Leak led the Burgess Hill contingent with a time of 1:51:37 followed by Jean Leak (1:59:22), Kim Gow (2:16:49) and Jayne White (2:10:35)
Marie and John Carey were in Cardiff for the Half Marathon and did the club proud with times of 2:01:41 and 2:06:43 respectively. Hannah Brett and Allie Wood finished together at the Tonbridge Half with matching times of 2:23:37.
Finally, favouring a shorter, faster race, Carole Mills completed the Rise 8k in Saltdean in a speedy 40:48.
Paul Sargent and Jason Collett at the Downslink Ultra (Courtesy: Jon Lavis)
The Barns Green Half Marathon is always a popular event with members of Burgess Hill Runners and it was no surprise on Sunday that they turned out in force to enjoy the scenic event in the sunshine. James Collins was the first club member to cross the line in an impressive 23rd overall with a new PB of 1:22:55. He was pursued by Paul Sargent in 25th (1:23:24), Gary Woolven (1:27:34), Neil Grigg (1:31:14), Steve Bird (1:33:29, PB), Glyn Merritt (1:34:52, PB), Jamie Goodhead (1:37:57), Dan Foord (1:38:58), Mark Nicholls (1:39:00), James Sorbie (1:39:10), Leigh Smith (1:40:30), Matthew Cawthra (1:41:37), Martin Skeats (1:44:19, PB), Sharona Harrington (1:44:58 and first BHR lady), Simon Thompson (1:47:38), Oliver Dewdney (1:48:17) , Alison Dunks (1:48:33), Jay Wadey (1:49:51), Benny Coxhill (1:51:03), Steve Roberts (1:51:11), Susan Lyle (1:52:00), Annette Maynard (1:52:16), Sarah Elsmore (1:52:51), Liz Carter (1:53:22), Emma Buckland (1:53:23), Linda Russell (1:58:13), Emma Leeson (1:58:55), John Palmer (2:00:38), Katia Hannah (2:00:45), Laura Fowles (2:00:52), Claire Tucknott (2:02:33), Owain Powell (2:03:37), Sheryl Caldecourt (2:04:48), Carole Mills (2:09:10), Daniel Belton (2:09:23), Gill Berglund (2:09:28), Clare Payne (2:09:48), Steve Gray (2:15:20), Claire Giles (2:22:25), Andy Carr (2:25:27), Mush Miah (2:29:21, first timer), Kjell Berglund (2:29:38), Caz Wadey (2:31:53), Jenny Nicoll (2:32:30), Kelly Tomsett (2:35:52) and Helen Carr (2:39:19).
Meanwhile Andrew Baillie completed an impressive 50km trail event, the self-navigated "High Weald Challenge" in an impressive 6:50:44. Catherine Kempton completed the Black Hill Run in Dorset, a 10k race which raises money for the Bere Regis Scouts. Helen Pratt completed the 26.2 mile "Shine Walk", a night time walking Marathon that raises money for Cancer Research.
Helen makes sure she is well lit (courtesy: Helen Pratt)
The 'blue army' awaiting the start at Barns Green (courtesy: Jon Lavis)
Ross Wiggins led the Burgess Hill Runners home in the Hove Prom 10k on Sunday with a time of 43:58. He was followed by Miranda Skinner (44:46), Dave Oldfield (46:40) and Gayle Tyler (47:51). BHR were also represented at the Reigate Half Marathon. Emma Goodhead finished in an impressive 1:44:32 followed by Lee Crow in 1:49:14. Claire Giles completed another 10k race this week, this time the Bexhill to Hastings Link Road 10k. She was pleased to finish in a time of 1:03:04.
Burgess Hill Runners were colouring the South East (and the North) of England with their famous blue vests in another week of disparate events. The highest profile event was the televised Great North Run and as Mo Farah hogged the limelight once again, it was club chairman Mark Craigs who championed BHR with a time of 2:02:08 in this popular half marathon.
Four club members took on the Firle Half Marathon on the South Downs and whilst disappointed that the course had not been marked up correctly, will be pleased with their fantastic times. Leading the club home was Ross Wiggins with a time of 1:33:51. He was followed by Matthew Cawthra (1:39:44), Stuart Anderson (1:42:50) and Karen Harvey (2:05:57).
Another half marathon adventurer this weekend was Claire Giles who completed the Bacchus Half in Surrey. Also out in Surrey were Jay Wadey, Steve Roberts and Jon Lavis who completed the Farnham Pilgrim Half Marathon in 2:04:02, 2:04:47 and 2:12:34 respectively. Taking on the full marathon at the Farnham Pilgrim event were Jamie Goodhead and Darren Chilcott who finished in superb times of 3:52:12 and 4:18:57.
Whizzing about in 10k events were Gary Woolven and Keith Brown. Gary completed the Hellingly 10k in 38:28 and Keith travelled to Berkshire to complete the Swallowfield 10k in 51:38.
Finally, congratulations to club member, Sharona Harrington, who utilised her superb running ability to help her to complete her first Half-Triathlon.
Jay, Steve and Jon showing off their race bling! (courtesy: Jay Wadey)
Some of the nuttier Burgess Hill Runners took on the 'Nuts Challenge' on Saturday. Not satisfied with a standard run, they braved the mud and obstacles helped on by the camaraderie and laughs along the way.
With a tasty handful of interesting events on offer, Sunday saw Burgess Hill Runners split in several directions. Oliver Dewdney and Lee Crow represented the club at the Richmond Half Marathon and did so with superb times of 1:41:47 and 1:46:40 respectively. Meanwhile, several club members were also in London participating in the River Relay. Catherine Kempton, Neil Grigg, James Collins, Gary Foley, Daniel Belton, Linda Russell, Clare Bradford, Paul Russell, Karen Harvey and Steven Gray made up two teams and completed the five stage relay from Windsor to Kingston-upon-Thames. Amy Mills, Lily Craigs and Amber Bird represented the club in the Junior one mile event at Fittleworth finishing in 8:28, 9:40 and 13:44 respectively. Inspired by their younger counterparts, the adults went on to third place overall in the five mile senior race. In 8th place, Gary Woolven scored maximum points for the club again with a time of 32:15. Sharona Harrington also scored maximum points with a time of 37:59 and was 8th place lady. Also contributing their scores to the total were Steve Bird (33:53), James Sorbie (34:20), Annette Maynard (40:36) and Lara Maynard (41:20). The club remains second in the league with three races to go and boosted by high attendance figures they'll hope to hold on to this.
Karen wrestles the River Relay baton from Steve (courtesy: Helen Pratt)
Last weekend Burgess Hill Runners were delighted to strengthen their second place spot in the West Sussex Fun Run league. Another high scoring performance at the Hove Hornets Stinger ranked them 1st place for the day and with four races to go it looks like the club could well be in course to improve on their 3rd place in 2014. Speed demon James Collins was in attendance at the wet and hilly 9.5km race to score maximum points for the club with a time of 36:20 placing him a lofty 3rd for the day. Gary Woolven was hot on his heels, finishing 10th with a time of 39:48. Miranda Skinner and Janet Clapton finished 8th and 9th amongst the ladies with excellent times of 49:02 and 49:33.
Matthew Cawthra was the club’s lone representative at the undulating Newick 10k this weekend logging a cracking time of 51:04.
After completing another hugely successful Learn to Run Group, Burgess Hill Runners will commence a new one at 6.30pm on Wednesday, 9th September. Our course is a total of 10 weeks, using the ‘Couch to 5K’ Running Program. The cost is £15. Visit Burgess Hill Runners website and click on Learn to Run for contact details for more information.
The troops of the BHR blue army were scattered this week as they were presented with a wide variety of available challenges. On Thursday evening the inaugural "Beat The Tide 10k" attracted the beach lovers from the club to Worthing for a jog across the sand and shingle with a healthy helping of waterlogged shoes. Paul Sargent clocked another impressive race time of 39:06 as he finished 3rd overall. He was followed by Mark Nicholls (41:27), James Sorbie (42:41), Glyn Merritt (43:40), Jay Wadey (49:53), Neil Dawson (51:16), Steve Roberts (51:21), John Palmer (52:21), Catherine Kempton (53:02), Marie Carey (57:48), Nick Dawson (59:50), John Carey (1:00:07), Tracy Brownings (1:00:16), Karen Harvey (1:00:19), Claire Giles (1:05:45), Helen Pratt (1:07:44), Caz Wadey (1:10:28) and Philippe Ecaille (1:10:30).
On Saturday Neil Dawson, Nick Dawson and Philippe Ecaille ventured to Dorset for the "Bad Cow Marathon" having fully recovered from Thursday night's exploits. Results aren't available at this time, but all three completed the event with smiles on their faces and some nice chunky bling for their efforts!
On Sunday Mark Nicholls finished 14th at the Henfield Half Marathon with a fantastic time of 1:29:33. Joining him were: Dan Foord (1:42:07), Stuart Anderson (1:51:19), Debbie Saint (1:57:42), Sheryl Caldecourt (2:02:27) and Claire Giles (2:23:11). Meanwhile Marie Carey represented the club at the Royal Parks 10k in Hyde Park with an excellent time of 54:28.
BHR waiting for the tide to go out in Worthing (courtesy: Helen Pratt)
Steve Roberts topped the bill for unusual events this week as he took the Burgess Hill Runners vest to Tywyn, North Wales for the 'Race The Train' event. 14 miles of rugged Welsh terrain didn't stop Steve completing the course in 2:20:47, not quite beating the steam train he was racing, but still a superb time.
The club scored well once again this Sunday in the 'Tilgate 5' league race. The undulating 5 mile trail race in Crawley loops out from the leisure centre around Tilgate forest and back. 58 Burgess Hill Runners turned out and scored highly, 4th overall for the day and provisionally retaining 2nd place in the league with only five races to go. Gary Woolven (33:07), James Sorbie (34:31) and debutante Miranda Skinner (40:16) scored maximum points for the club with Steve Bird (34:51), Gayle Tyler (42:29) and Annette Maynard (42:45) also registering their scores towards the team tally. Meanwhile in the 1 mile junior event BHR were proud for finish in 3rd place overall. Amy Mills led the BHR youngsters home in 7:59 followed by Zak Snelling (8:12), Ryan Sargent (9:11), Ben Sargent (9:17), Sanjeeda Khanom (9:59), Joshua Bristow (10:00), Benjamin Bristow (10:05), Fahmeeda Begum (10:18), Georgia Wadey (10:20), Lois Roberts (11:41), Amber Bird (11:50), Waheeda Mujahid (12:17), Arafat Kashem Abul (13:11) and Reece Roberts (14:46).
BHR team at Tilgate (courtesy: Jay Wadey)
This week the blue shirts of Burgess Hill Runners once again dominated the finish funnel in the West Sussex Fun Run League. With forty five runners, BHR were again the most represented club, this time for the ‘Highdown Hike’ in Durrington. The flashes of lightning and crashes of thunder didn’t deter the runners, nor did the promise of two evil loops of a hilly course. Helped on by the large attendance the club were joint top scorers on the night, which moved them up to a dizzying 2nd place in the league table overall. As well as the large number of attendance points the club were only one point short of maximum points from their top six runners. Gary Woolven (26:00), Mark Nicholls (26:44), James Sorbie (26:48), Joe Carey (27:42), Gayle Tyler (33:18) and Annette Maynard (33:28) all added their race scores to the club’s total for the event.
Following on from their previous adventures in the “Rock ’n’ Roll Half Marathon” series, Linda Russell and Helen Pratt flew out to Dublin last week to sample the latest of these events and to add to their collection of race ‘bling’. Linda and Helen both completed the event in excellent times of 2:01:40 and 2:29:37 respectively and the club will be interested to see where they fly to next!
BHR at the Highdown Hike (courtesy: Mark Craigs)
Linda and Helen in Dublin (courtesy: Helen Pratt)
It's been said before that Burgess Hill Runners harbour several loonies so it was no surprise that three of them were at the front of the queue to partake in the "Lunar-Tic Marathon" on Saturday night, so called as the latter stages of the event required navigation by moonlight (and possibly head torches). Darren Chilcott was the first club member to complete the event in a superb 4:21:56. Simon Thompson was not far behind in 4:31:43 and Philippe Ecaille in 4:59:47, both of which turned out again on Sunday morning for to represent the club in the West Sussex Fun Run League.
The Henfield Seven Stiles was the league race in question and the club managed to field a huge contingent of 62 runners despite torrential rain before and during the event. Paul Sargent clocked an impressive 24:24 in the muddy 4 miler and was 5th overall. Sharona Harrington was 3rd placed female with a great time of 28:42. Also contributing to the club's top 6 were Gary Woolven (25:21), Steve Bird (25:57), James Sorbie (25:59) and Gayle Tyler (32:17). The club were also pleased to field several first timers to league racing, some of which had come through the club's Learn To Run programme which helps non-runners to build up to running regularly and even taking part in race events. First time league racers included Tracey Golbey, Vanessa Corrick, Patrick Maher, Lara Maynard and Ethan Richards. The high point scorers and large turnout contributed to the club finishing joint 4th overall for the day only 2 points off maximum.
There was also a 1 mile junior race which several BHR juniors took part in. Zak Snelling led the youngsters in with a brilliant time of 5:57, 8th overall. He was followed by Ryan Sargent (7:19), Ben Sargent (7:25), Lily Craigs (8:00), Mia Harman (8:29), Amber Bird (8:49), Kayleigh Harman (8:29), Lois Roberts (8:52) and Reece Roberts (10:42).
Clair parkrun celebrated its 2nd anniversary this weekend with 139 runners tackling the course in Haywards Heath. In the past 2 years over 2,100 different runners have completed the 5km course over 11,000 times. Runners of all abilities gather every week to get fit for free and amongst the core team, regular volunteers and runners there are several Burgess Hill Runners and Haywards Heath Harriers.
This week was a great opportunity to celebrate the athletic achievements of the runners and the contribution made by the volunteers who help to organise the event every week.
parkrun is free for everyone to enter and it takes place every Saturday morning at 9am. It does not matter how quick you are, as it is not a race, but you against the clock.
Neil Dawson is the Event Director and is very happy with how the event has been received in the town and the surrounding area: ‘The success of the event over the past 2 years has been amazing. We have well over 100 runners and joggers each week and Saturday mornings have certainly changed for many people. Not only is this an opportunity to people to get fit for free, but it is a change to socialise and get your weekend off to the perfect healthy start. With times ranging from 16 minutes to 47 minutes it really is an event for everyone and the slower runners are always guaranteed a cheer as they cross the line.’
Wet weather never stopped BHR! (Courtesy: Jay Wadey)
Runners at Clair parkrun
Ross Wiggins was the first Burgess Hill Runner to finish a race this week as he led home a team of 7 club members at the Phoenix 10k in Brighton on Wednesday with a great time of 42:51. Following his lead were speedy club mates Dave Oldfield (45:41), Gayle Tyler (47:21), Emma Leeson (50:44), Marie Carey (53:10), John Carey (58:09) and Claire Giles (1:00:55).
On Saturday 4 Burgess Hill Runners took part in the Dorset Invader Marathon, a hilly trail marathon in the heart of Dorset. Neil Dawson led the way and finished with a time of 5:24:36 followed by Nick Dawson (5:35:25), Philippe Ecaille (5:35:40) and Catherine Kempton (5:59:38).
John Palmer was the first BHR to complete the Great Newham London Run in the Olympic Stadium on Sunday with a fantastic time of 48:37. Not far behind were Jean and Jonathan Leak (54:14), Bryony Monnery (1:00:33), Helen Pratt (1:07:58) and Hugh Stevenage (1:14:29).
John, Marie, Emma and Claire at the Phoenix 10k
Neil Dawson at the Dorset Invader Marathon
It was a weekend of 10k running for 3 of Burgess Hill’s Runners this week. Keith Brown made the journey up to London for the British 10k event and was pleased with his finish time of 51:54. Gary Woolven and Matthew Cawthra opted for the more local Uckfield 10k. Gary finished in a strong 3rd overall with a time of 39:09 and Matthew finished in 46:54.
Gary and Matthew with their medals.
A trip to Steyning for the Roundhill Romp league race started the week off for 36 of the Burgess Hill Runners. The mostly off road course of just under 10km taxed the runners with a steep hill to run up and back down. With the heat wave unrelenting on Wednesday evening the club were pleased with their total score, finishing 5th on the night and retaining 3rd place in the league overall. Gary Woolven scored maximum points again as he led the club home in a time of 41:09. He was followed by James Sorbie (43:18) and Glyn Merritt (46:08). The ladies also scored well and registering just short of maximum points were Annette Maynard (52:29), Fay Roberts (53:04) and Gayle Tyler (54:53).
On Saturday the club’s very own Benny Coxhill was race director for the annual St Lawrence Fair fun runs which form part of the popular village fair in Hurstpierpoint. Yet again runners were subjected to a big hill in roasting hot conditions but club members James Sorbie (who went on to win the race), Andy Sayers, Catherine Kempton and Kim Gow weren’t put off and did their bit to represent the club in the 5 mile event over Wolstonbury Hill.
In contrasting conditions on Sunday, the Bewl 15 started amidst torrential rain creating slippery conditions for the athletes. The 15 mile mixed terrain course around the beautiful Bewl Water reservoir seemed to tax even the fittest of runners who came home caked in mud and looking pleased to have finished. Jon Boxall was the first BHR to claim his goody bag, gold medal and free beer with a time of 1:48:54. Claire Tucknott was next with a time of 2:34:08 followed by Jon Lavis (3:08:37) and Hannah Watkins (3:10:20).
The team brave the rain at Bewl
The majority of the Burgess Hill Runners week was taken up with race organisation this week. On Wednesday night the club hosted their annual “Blackcap Handicap”, a 5 mile race from Ditchling Beacon to Blackcap and back but with a staggered start based on the recent race results of the competing runners. Kevin Walker pushed ahead of his handicap to finish 1st with Matthew Cawthra and Daniel Belton just short of snatching the trophy in 2nd and 3rd.
On Saturday, Steve Roberts was race director at the club’s league race “The Downland Dash”, another 5 mile race, this time starting and finishing at Downlands School in Hassocks. The BHR troops mucked in assisting with the course, marshalling, handing out water and generally supporting both the 5 mile adult race and the 1 mile kids race. There were also a handful of the club’s runners who couldn’t resist taking part themselves. Usual suspects Gary Woolven and Fay Roberts continued their impressive season of running finishing first BHR male (32:40) and first BHR female (40:20) respectively. Several of the club’s juniors took part in the 1 mile race. Boden Duffy led them in with a superb time of 4:36 (3rd place overall) followed by Toby Bradford (4:53), Lara Holt-Wickens (5:34), Martha Kibble (5:43), Edward Connolly (5:48), Joshua Bristow (5:49), Laura Cooper (5:50), Elena Croft (6:19), Jack Turner (6:27), Torri Duffy (6:28), Niamh Bennett (6:29), Josh Beckett (6:29), Niamh Harding (6:35), Georgie Wadey (6:36), Lily Craigs (6:47), Benjamin Bristow (7:13), Seb Bennett (7:22), Amber Bird (7:59), Lois Roberts (7:59) and Reece Roberts (9:06).
On Thursday Steve Roberts, Dave Oldfield, Steven Gray and Jay Wadey took part in the Whitemans Green 5k whilst on Sunday Mark Nicholls added another Marathon to his list of achievements with the North Sea Beach Marathon in Denmark. Actually totalling 27 miles Mark took on the sandy beach to finish in a brilliant time of 3:53:39 (12th place overall).
Kevin Walker showboats for his fans before winning at Blackcap (Courtesy - Helen Pratt)
A beautiful sunny evening presented itself to the Burgess Hill Runners who paid a visit to the Haywards Heath Harriers organised Summer Relays. A popular local event in recent years, now part of the BHR Championship race calendar, where teams of 4 run an almost sprint paced 1.25 mile leg each. Burgess Hill’s team of Paul Sargent, Jason Collett, Mark Nicholls and James Collins finished highest out of the BHR teams in a lofty 3rd out of 55 but it was the BHR veteran ladies team of Emma Buckland, Cath Beckett, Catherine Kempton and Jo Bryce (fastest veteran lady overall) who went away with a prize for topping their age/gender category.
On Saturday, at the other end of running extremes, a handful of BHR took on the 2015 South Downs Marathon which, unfortunately for the runners, took in many of the ‘undulations’ of the South Downs. Mark Nicholls led the club’s runners in with a superb time of 3:44:56 followed by excellent performances from Karen Harvey, Vicky Connolly and Jill Bennett who finished together in 5:22:16 whilst Jon Lavis completed the course in 7:06:42, very respectable given that he had forgotten he’d signed up for it!
The club now turn their attention to the Downlands Dash league race on the 27th where they hope to welcome many of the local runners to Downlands School in Hassocks.
An epic weekend for Burgess Hill Runners began with the almost inconceivably long "South Downs Way 100", a 100 mile race from Winchester to Eastbourne. This week the 3 Burgess Hill Runners who took part in the run weren't given the relief of being part of a relay team and had to combat the entire mammoth task. They weren't entirely alone though and Jan Lavis, Philippe Ecaille and Darren Chilcott were well supported by fellow club mates who ran portions of the run with them. Not only that, several excitable club members staffed one of the aid stations up at the Clayton windmills and made every effort to ensure all runners were refreshed and cheered up as they headed for the final third of their journey. Presented with a special buckle for completing this within 24 hours (23:43:31) was the ever impressive Jan Lavis. Darren Chilcott did fantastically to complete 70 gruelling miles before sadly, but sensibly, having to pull out after experiencing dizzy spells in the humid conditions. Philippe was delighted to complete the race within the 30 hour cut off with a superb time of 28:40:57. All three runners won the respect of their club mates for their awesome efforts.
Club members Sheryl Caldecourt, Nina Ecroyd, Linda Russell, Leanne Cleavely and Helen Pratt no doubt brightened up Liverpool on Sunday as they took on the 'Rock n Roll' marathon and half-marathon which included a trip down Penny Lane and several other famous Liverpool landmarks. Despite the hilly course, in form Linda Russell was able to shave around 14 minutes off her PB with a time of 4:23:44 followed by Helen Pratt in 5:12:45. On the half marathon course Sheryl led the way with a time of 2:08:06 followed by Nina in 2:13:14 and Leanne Cleavely in 2:52.
On Sunday several BHR took on the shortest of the West Sussex Fun Run League races, the Hove Park 5k. Gary Woolven marched the blue army home in a magnificent 17:51, followed by Steve Bird (18:41) and James Sorbie (18:52). Leading the ladies was Fay Roberts in another cracking time of 21:46 followed by Annette Maynard (22:43) and Cath Beckett (22:48). The club was also proud of its Junior runners. Cameron Cooper represented the club in the boys U13 1500m with a time of 8:40 whilst Amy Mills clocked 6:23 and Issy Cooper 7:07 in the girls U11 1500m. Laura Cooper, Lily Craigs and Lois Roberts completed the girls U9 800m in 3:29, 4:24 and 4:36 respectively and Reece Roberts finished in 6:04 in the boys U9 800m.
The next league race “The Downland Dash” will be hosted by Burgess Hill Runners on Saturday 27th of June. Information can be found on the club website.
Darren, Jan and Philippe ready to take on 100 miles (courtesy - Jon Lavis)
The Rock ’n’ Roll Liverpool girls (courtesy - Helen Pratt)
This Saturday Burgess Hill Runners were delighted to have three teams take part in the prestigious, invite only “South Downs Way Relay”. This 100 mile trail event starting from Beachy Head in the early hours of the morning and finishing near Winchester after a long day of running, attracts many of the running clubs in the South with usually only around 50 teams that are allowed to take part. Burgess Hill entered a ladies team and two mixed teams, each with 6 runners who have to negotiate the beautiful South Downs Way for a total of three legs totalling between 15-20 miles per runner. The club were enormously proud that all three teams managed to complete the event with the assistance of some fantastic behind the scenes organisation from fellow club members and some excellent support crews and drivers. They will no doubt be hoping to be able to provide three teams again next year.
On Sunday several BHR ventured to Worthing for their re-vamped 10k race. After several years of this taking place on a week night it was moved to a weekend this year and the promise of a great PB potential attracted runners in their numbers. Indeed, despite the early morning heat, several of the club’s runners did indeed manage a personal best. James Collins was the first BHR to finish in a superb time of 36:04 (14th place), although not quite a PB for him. He was followed by Gary Woolven (37:57 - PB), Steve Bird (39:46 - PB), James Sorbie (39:59 - PB), Leigh Smith (42:26 - PB), Dave Oldfield (45:03), Annette Maynard (47:50 - PB), Mark Craigs (48:31), Lara Maynard (49:13 - PB), Marie Carey (51:19 - PB), Paul Russell (51:37 - PB), Andy Carr (52:20), Linda Russell (52:51), Carole Mills (54:49 - PB), Kay McMenamin (54:32), Theresa Chalk (56:42 - PB), John Carey (57:18), Malcolm Slater (1:01:06), Helen Pratt (1:02:15), Helen Carr (1:05:30) and Hugh Stevenage (1:10:06).
Cath Beckett hands over to Neil Grigg at the SDWR (courtesy - Caz Wadey)
Burgess Hill Runners at the Worthing 10k (courtesy - Mark Craigs)
The Burgess Hill Runners week started with triumph as they scored maximum points at the Trundle Hill league race on Wednesday to finish in 1st place for the evening. 37 of the famous blue shirts turned out for the aptly named 10k and maximum points were reaped by Paul Sargent (39:04 - 3rd place overall), Gary Woolven (41:35), Jon Boxall (41:48), Jason Collett (42:06), Steve Bird (43:13) and Fay Roberts (51:29).
Jon Boxall’s superb racing week wasn’t over and on Saturday he showcased his rise in form at the Discovery Run Half Marathon held in Petworth Park. Jon finished in 1:32:46 which put him in 9th place. Lee Crow followed in 1:56:49 and John Palmer in 2:03:13. Marie and John Carey also turned out for the 10k event and finished in a brilliant 57:50 and 1:03:35 respectively.
Club members Matthew Cawthra and Carole Mills collected their ‘Womble’ medals at the Wimbledon Half Marathon on Sunday finishing in 1:52:20 and 2:11:21 respectively.
The club were also represented at the Edinburgh Marathon. Emma Buckland completed it in a speedy 3:56:01 and Cath Beckett completed the Half Marathon in a superb 1:46:50.
Jon, Lee and John at the Discovery Half (courtesy - Marie Carey)
The racing week started early for the Burgess Hill Runners with the Littlehampton Beach Run in the West Sussex Fun Run League. Perhaps it was the lure of running in such a unique race, the promise of good weather or the potential visit to the chip shop after the race that encouraged 49 club members to turn out for this 5 mile run along the sand. The club often do well at this race and were pleased to finish 4th for the day, only a 3 of points short of maximum. Paul Sargent finished in 6th place with a superb time of 28:50. Jon Boxall continued his seemingly limitless rise in form finishing with a time of 30:26 after a close race with Jason Collett (30:45). Catherine Kempton was pleased to lead the ladies home with a fantastic time of 39:04 with Emma Buckland not far behind in 39:14.
On Saturday several club members took on the London to Brighton trail run. An ultra marathon consisting of 100km, an epic undertaking. Mark Nicholls was the first BHR to finish with a cracking time of 11:05:53 and 7th place overall. Susan Lyle and Simon Thompson also completed it in brilliant times of 13:29:43 and 21:35:33 respectively.
On Sunday the ultra-marathon fun continued as Jay Wadey was pleased to complete his first ultra marathon, the 50km ‘Weald Challenge’ in 7:35:45. Regular long distance runners Sharona Harrington (5:31:41), Andrew Murrell,(5:34:02), Jan Lavis (5:34:50), Nick Dawson (6:45:29) and Neil Dawson (6:49:72) also completed the distance. Jon Boxall completed the corresponding Half Marathon in 1:58:24 (despite a significant accidental detour) along with Dan Foord in 2:02:54 and Jon Herbet in 2:07:19
For fans of a shorter, faster distance there was the Westminster Mile in London this weekend. A rare chance to push the pace to the limit and this appealed to Dave Oldfield who clocked a speedy 6:11 and Steve Bird who did the family race with his daughter in 11:36.
Finally, on Monday BHR were represented at the Lindfield Village 5k and 10k. Dave Oldfield opted for the 5k whilst Leigh Smith, Hannah Watkins, Annette Maynard, Kelly Tomsett and James Sorbie completed the 10k.
Jay Wadey battles the Weald Challenge (courtesy - Jon Lavis)
BHR sharing a bit of camaraderie before the Beach Run (courtesy - Caz Wadey)
Mark Nicholls still in good spirits as Dan Foord joins him to complete the 100k (courtesy - Andrew Baillie)
The Green Belt Relay dominated the Burgess Hill Runners calendar this weekend. A 22 stage relay around 220 miles of the London Green Belt over two days. Burgess Hill Runners took two teams this year, comprised of Steve Bird, Mark Craigs, Nick Dawson, Philippe Ecaille, Lee Crow, John Palmer, Jon Boxall, Andy Sayers, Jonathan Lelliot, Joe Carey, Steph Harding, Karen Harvey, Linda Russell, Catherine Kempton, Jason Wadey, Neil Dawson, Gary Foley, Helen Pratt, Paul Russell, Kevin Walker, Steve Gray and Kim Gow. Team captains Neil Dawson and Jay Wadey were proud to accept the award for 'Most Supportive Club' on behalf of their respective teams, something the club are often noticed for.
The relay wasn't the only big race this weekend. Four BHR took part in the Arun River Marathon. Darren Chilcott was the first Burgess Hill Runner to finish, with a fantastic time of 4:32:59. Jan Lavis finished second female as she continued to apply her distance running expertise with some amazing achievements, her time was 4:36:11. Husband and wife runners, Trevor and Sally Symes ran together and completed the course in 5:57:41.
Meanwhile, a couple of local 10k races hosted members of the 'blue army'. Stuart Condie was the only club member at the Horsham 10k and clocked up a nippy 44:54, whilst Marie Carey led the club home at the Bognor Prom 10k with a time of 55:23, followed by Gill Berglund (55:18), John Carey (58:18), Dave Oldfield (1:01:11) and Kjell Berglund (1:01:49).
The Team at the Green Belt Relay (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Lelliott)
Jan Lavis, second lady at the Arun River Marathon (Photo courtesy of Jon Lavis)
It was a day for BHR newcomers at the Portslade Hedgehoppers 5 mile race. Gary Woolven led the 32 Burgess Hill Runners home in an impressive 9th place overall with a time of 32:46. He was followed by another relative newcomer to the club, Steve Bird who clocked 34:51 and narrowly missed out on maximum points. Leading the ladies home was in-form Fay Roberts, 11th female overall with a superb time of 41:25.
In Oxford, James Collins continued to chip away at his 10k PB at the "Town and Gown 10k" where he recorded a staggering time of 35:29.
On Saturday 9th May, Parkrun was held in Clair Park, Haywards Heath for the 95th time. Since the inaugural event in July 2013, Clair Parkrun has gone from strength to strength, regularly attracting well over 100 participants for this free 5km timed run. The event holds close ties with Burgess Hill Runners and Haywards Heath Harriers, many of whose members are part of the core team.
With the second anniversary now approaching rapidly, the event celebrated a fantastic milestone this week. Waheeda Mujahid, one of the regular junior runners was the 10,000th person to finish the event.
This community event attracts a huge range of abilities, from accomplished club runners to joggers who are looking to improve their fitness. Parkrun guarantees a warm welcome, lots of encouragement and everyone will be clapped over the finish line.
Neil Dawson, who is the Event Director was particularly happy with the event this week:
‘Every Saturday morning at Clair Parkrun is special, but seeing our 10,000th finisher cross the line was fantastic. In addition to this, we set a new record attendance of 157 runners. Parkrun has become a great way to start the weekend for me and many other people in Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill and the surrounding area. It is great to be part of a successful volunteer led community event that is helping people get active.’
Clare Jones and her family are regular runners and volunteers at Clair Parkrun ‘I look forward to our run as a family every week. Our Saturday's wouldn't be the same without it. The atmosphere is so friendly and supportive and I like teaching my kids healthy habits by running together which we all really enjoy. Clair Parkrun has a really positive effect on our lives that I wouldn't want to be without it.’
If you are interested in taking part in Clair Parkrun, just visit http://www.parkrun.org.uk/clair for further information on how to register.
BHR at Portslade (Courtesy of Jill Chalk-Craigs)
Waheeda Mujahid - 10,000th Parkrunner (Courtesy Neil Dawson)
The Jones family enjoying Parkrun (Courtesy Neil Dawson)
It’s reasonable to think that running a marathon involves running 26.2 miles all on one day, but there were events this weekend that added little twists to the marathon premise and as usual Burgess Hill’s runners didn’t need a lot of arm twisting to convince them to take part. On Saturday Jamie Goodhead, who is in the process of joining BHR, completed a 100 mile race - the “Thames Path 100”. This ultra-marathon was the first of the marathon variants this weekend and Jamie clocked a superb time of 20:28:50 for this race (almost 4 marathons back to back!).
The second unusual marathon of the weekend was the increasingly popular “Sussex Living Marathon”, a total of 26.2 miles but split over 3 days including a 10 mile race in East Grinstead on Saturday, 10 miles in Haywards Heath on Sunday and 10k in Burgess Hillon Monday. Runners can take on one, two or all of the events for a special medal set to commemorate their huge achievement. Completing all three events were: Joe Carey (1:11:54 15th place, 1:15:17 and 1:08:31 respectively), Annette Maynard (1:27:22,1:26:14, 53:37), Lee Crow (1:27:44, 1:26:19, 51:23), Mark Craigs (1:31:53, 1:31:08, 55:12), Andy Carr (1:34:49, 1:40:00, 1:01:13), John Carey (1:41:12, 1:39:18, 1:03:43), Gary Foley (1:43:59, 1:47:49, 1:06:17), Claire Giles (1:52:14, 1:53:17, 1:09:50) and Helen Carr (2:01:02, 1:59:34, 1:14:38). Other BHR at East Grinstead were: Nigel Cruttenden (1:27:43), Julie Green (2:01:17) and Angie Bower (2:04:48). At Haywards Heath: Nigel Cruttenden (1:29:34), Simon Thompson (1:23:01) and Kelly Tomsett (1:55:54). At Burgess Hill: Jonathan Lelliott (43:44 19th place), Leigh Smith (45:32), Ross Wiggins (47:12), Matthew Cawthra (51:20), Mushtak Miah (55:46), Linda Russell (55:57), Claire Tucknott (59:12), Carole Mills (59:36), Clare Payne (1:02:49), Angie Bower (1:04:18), Malcolm Slater (1:06:08), Hannah Watkins (1:10:47) and Tracy Brownings (result not available). The ever popular Junior Academy were also in action over the weekend and were well represented at the 1 mile Junior race before the BH10k. Whilst results weren’t available, the club were proud to see many of their youngsters perform so well.
Finally, on Sunday the Three Forts Marathon took place in wet and windy conditions around three of the more challenging local hills on the South Downs. The sting in the tail of this one, if the multiple hill climbs weren’t enough, was that this ‘marathon’ actually totals 27 miles which many would say qualifies as a foray into ultra-marathon running. Mark Nicholls was the first plucky club member to finish with a fantastic time of 4:01:21 in 29th place overall. He was followed by Sharona Harrington (4:39:42), Steve Matthews (4:41:26), Darren Chilcott (4:54:44), Neil Dawson (5:05:35), Cath Beckett (5:27:29), Vicky Connolly (5:27:29), Nick Dawson (5:27:29), Philippe Ecaille (5:32:51) and Diane Delderfield (5:32:51). There was also a half marathon offering and BHR weren’t short of participants in this challenging race. Leading the club to the finish was James Sorbie (1:55:32) who was followed by Oliver Dewdney (2:14:47), Talya Caldecourt (completing her first ever half marathon aged 19 to raise money for an orphanage in Tanzania, with a time of 2:39:38), Sheryl Caldecourt (2:39:38), Hannah Watkins (2:55:08), Nina Ecroyd (2:57:38) and Helen Pratt (2:57:39).
Outside of the weird and wonderful world of marathon running, taking the famous blue colours on tour, Keith Brown completed the Shinfield 10k near Reading. Keith was pleased to complete the race in a brilliant new PB of 50:27.
The Juniors at the Burgess Hill 1 Mile (Courtesy: Bryony Monnery)
Mark Nicholls at the Thee Forts Marathon (Courtesty: Jon Lavis)
Claire Giles completing the Living Marathon (Courtesy: Jon Lavis)
This week’s showcase race was the famous London Marathon and many Burgess Hill Runners who were lucky enough to have been accepted in the ballot ventured to the nation’s capital for some of the action. Paul 'The Machine' Sargent was the first Burgess Hill Runner to finish, in a magnificent new PB of 2:47:17, knocking 8 minutes off his time last year. Neil Grigg was the next in for Burgess Hill in 3:12:06, followed by Martin Skeats in 3:35:04 (PB) who deserves a special mention for finishing in a lofty 73rd place in his age category. Also notching up impressive times were: Mark Craigs (4:38:45), Jill Bennett (4:42:02), Karen Harvey (4:47:36), Jon Lavis (5:01:01), Steve Gray (5:12:31, PB) and Ann Savidge (5:48:58).
London wasn’t the only major city Marathon taking part this week and it was club member Susan Lyle who ventured over to Boston, USA to sample their event on Monday and finished in a superb 3:52:14.
Amongst other events taking place on Sunday Stephanie Harding was representing the club at the Southampton Half Marathon and ran an excellent new PB of 2:04:12. Dan Foord led the way on Sunday at the Angmering Bluebell 10 mile trail event which is becoming increasingly popular for its picturesque scenery. He finished in 1:18:47 (PB) and was followed by Neil Dawson (1:24:13), Keith Delderfield (1:30:46), Nick Dawson (1:33:33, PB), Gill Berglund (1:41:43), Kjell Berglund (1:48:34) and Alison Paine (1:50:45). Di Delderfield and Janet Sanders took part in the 10k version of the Angmering Bluebell race and finished together in 1:03:50 and 1:03:51 respectively.
Paul Sargent with his VLM medal (Photo courtesy of Emily Fowler)
Steph Harding with her Southampton medal
The BHR 10 milers at Angmering
In the lull between the Brighton and London Marathons it was a somewhat quieter weekend for Burgess Hill Runners but not without some superb achievements.
Demonstrating a repertoire of skills beyond running, Janet Clapton, Tracy Brownings and David Woodhouse completed the Haywards Heath Supersprint Triathlon. An early start to the day didn't deter these plucky individuals who quickly polished off a 192m swim, 14km cycle and 1.7km run. Janet finished in a superb 4th place with a total time of 51:47, followed by Tracy in 9th (57:19) and David in 15th (1:00:33).
Meanwhile, Helen and Andy Carr traveled up to Suffolk for the Black Dog Festival of running. Wearing their club colours with pride, Andy beat his 10k PB with a superb time of 52:25 whilst Helen completed the Half Marathon in 2:25:54, a fantastic effort considering her recent return to running from a broken ankle.
David and Janet at the triathlon.
The 6th annual Brighton Marathon took place this Sunday and as usual attracted large numbers of runners for the fast, flat course. As always, Burgess Hill Runners provided their fair share of determined entrants, dotting the famous sky and royal blue shirts amongst the masses. Paul Sargent was the first Burgess Hill Runner to finish in an astounding time considering he only recently returned to running, of 3:00:49. Jason Collett was not far behind with an impressive new PB of 3:05:52, Neil Grigg (3:13:46), Gary Woolven (3:17:30, first time), Mark Nicholls (3:19:09), Andrew Bishop (3:21:08), Jon Boxall (3:33:36), James Sorbie (3:35:26, PB), Glyn Merritt (3:37:30, PB), Benny Coxhill (3:49:55, PB), Darren Chilcott (3:53:02), Simon Thompson (3:59:05, first time), Andrew Murrell (4:01:43), Jonathan Herbert (4:03:09), Jackie Osborne (4:08:49, PB and first BHR lady), Lee Crow (4:13:13, PB), Andrew Gasson (4:13:15, first time), Mark Lavis (4:17:41), Tim Coxhill (4:22:29), Vicky Connolly (4:23:10), Katia Hannah (4:23:40, first time), Helen Slater (4:24:32, PB), Mark Craigs (4:24:44, PB), Catherine Kempton (4:26:11), Emma Leeson (4:47:41, first time), Claire Tucknott (4:47:46), Sally Symes (4:50:54), Olivia Lourens (4:51:03), Jay Wadey (4:51:44, PB), Alan Fry (4:52:15), Philippe Ecaille (4:52:15), Melanie Acres (4:52:36), Carole Mills (4:52:50, PB), Hannah Brett (4:56:58), Jen Crowley (5:05:34, first time), Nina Ecroyd (5:07:42, PB), Claire Trotter (5:07:44, first time), Claire Giles (5:30:51, first time) and Hannah Watkins (5:30:54, PB).
The Marathon now includes a 10k as part of the weekend for people that want to run faster or a shorter distance. Speedy newcomer to the club, Steve Bird, ran a new PB with a spectacular time of 40:55.
Meanwhile, across the English channel, Theresa Chalk and Helen Pratt ensured the Paris Marathon wasn’t without a bit of Burgess Hill glamour. Theresa shattered her Marathon PB with a très bien time of 4:59:16, Helen finished in 5:17:56.
Philippe, Alan and Jay, the Three Amigos at Brighton Marathon (Photo courtesy of Ann Savidge)
Helen and Theresa after the Paris Marathon.
Burgess Hill Runners congregated again this week as 74 adult club members and 15 juniors, a club record in total, made their way to the Lewes 10k which forms part of the West Sussex Fun Run League and the club’s chosen Championship races. After a close race between James Collins and Paul Sargent, returning from injury, James narrowly finished ahead in 7th with a time of 37:09 Paul, 8th in 37:20. The ladies were led home by Liz Carter in a time of 51:18. The juniors were led home with an in-form Amy Mills who finished in 15th with a time of 5:48 for the one mile event.
Previously, on Saturday, Darren Chilcott, Philippe Ecaille, Andrew Baillie and Jan Lavis made their way to the South Downs Way 50 Miler which runs from Worthing to Eastbourne. It starts with 6 miles of chalky footpaths and bridleways climbing up to the South Downs Way. It then follows 44 miles of the popular South Downs Way 100 and ends on the track at Eastbourne. Darren was delighted to finish inside the cut off with 9:51:18 and Philipe in 11:45:05. Due to injury and illness Andrew and Jan weren’t able to complete the distance, highlighting just how difficult it is but should still be proud of their efforts.
The huge turnout at Lewes (photo courtesy of Caz Wadey)
Darren Chilcott part way through the SDW50 (photo courtesy of Jon Lavis)
The South East was brimming over with interesting races this weekend and it was no surprise that several plucky Burgess Hill Runners chose to swap a nice Sunday lie-in for one of the many wet and windy events on offer.
James Collins set himself an incomprehensibly fast 10k PB of 36:10 at the Mel’s Milers event that took place near Christ’s Hospital and finished in a lofty 4th place. He was followed by great performances from: Neil Dawson (47:30, PB), Gill Berglund (56:28) and Kjell Berglund (1:03:24).
Jon Boxall led the Burgess Hill Runners home with another in a long line of personal bests at the popular ‘Spitfire 20’ with a time of 2:25:43. The event takes place on the Dunsfold Aerodrome, famous as the setting for the Top Gear race track. However, on Sunday the runners were a little bit more sensible with their speed whilst taking on the Spitfire 20 Mile event and the Tempest 10 Mile variant for those not wishing to tackle the undulating lap twice. In the 20 mile race Jon was followed by James Sorbie (2:35:32, PB), Glyn Merritt (2:50:48, PB), Mark Craigs (3:05:10, PB), Helen Slater (3:12:22), Jay Wadey (3:16:17), Jill Bennett (3:20:26, PB), Vicky Connolly (3:20:27, PB), Nick Dawson (3:29:14) and Hannah Watkins (3:53:16, PB). Katia Hannah completed the 10 mile event and finished in 1:28:48 and Carole Mills followed shortly behind with a new PB of 1:32:29.
Jon Lavis was the sole BHR representative in the Paddock Wood Half Marathon and did himself proud with a time of 2:03:46.
In London, runners were treated to a visit from Henry VIII at the Hampton Court Palace Half Marathon. Whilst none of them managed to negotiate a royal wedding, there were some superb times starting with Leigh Smith just short of a PB with 1:39:30. Eleanor Gillespie was next with 1:58:30, Marie Carey (2:00:43), Theresa Chalk (2:03:14), Tracey Harwood (2:07:13), Stephanie Harding (2:07:52), John Carey (2:09:54) and Helen Pratt (2:45:26).
Meanwhile, just down the road from the Spitfire 20, the popular Cranleigh 15 Miles was taking place and Sharona Harrington flew the flag for the club with a superb time of 1 hour 56.
Leigh Smith after the Hampton Court race.
James Collins storms the Mel's Milers 10k.
BHR brave the damp at Spitfire 20/Tempest 10 (photo courtesy of Caz Wadey)
By Darren Chilcott
Burgess Hill Runners met at the Hassocks Hotel on Thursday evening to celebrate members achievements over the past year. The meeting, which incorporated the club’s AGM and was followed by an excellent curry, was very well attended and a wide range of awards were presented. The full list of Award Winners was as follows :
Best Performance Florence Whaley
Most Improved Amy Mills
Coaches Award Mark Jellett
BlackCap Handicap Winner Jenny Nicoll
Back Caalf Trophy The Wadey Family
Social Award Kim Gow / Leanne Cleaveley
Committee Award Jan Lavis
Chairman's Award Kim Gow
WSFRL Champion Male James Sorbie
WSFRL Champion Female Emma Fernandez/Katia Hannah
Daytime Group - Most Improved Vivien Smith
Daytime Group - Coaches' Award Vicky Connolly
Hazel Holmes Award Theresa Chalk
Beginners/Improvers - Coaches' Award Linda Hulley
Coaches' Award - Most Improved Linda Russell
Coaches' Award – Performance Jason Wadey/ Alan Fry
Club Championship Male Joe Carey
Club Championship Female Sharona Harrington
Male Senior Joe Carey
Male Vet 1 Mark Craigs
Male Vet 2 Alan Fry
Male Vet 3 Andy Sayers
Male Vet 4 Trevor Symes
Male Vet 5 Stuart Condie
Male Vet 6 Martin Skeats
Male Vet 7 Kjell Berglund
Female Senior Hannah Watkins
Female Vet 1 Sharona Harrington
Female Vet 2 Emma Buckland
Female Vet 3 Linda Russell
Female Vet 4 Sue Lyle
Female Vet 5 Gill Berglund
Meanwhile, on the racing front, the ever-popular Reading Half Marathon attracted a few keen runners, and there were excellent PBs for Marie Carey who finished in 1hr 54 mins 22 second and Linda Russell (1.57.57), along with John Carey who completed in 2.08.08 and Helen Pratt (2.26.47). Closer to home, the well supported Hastings Half Marathon, now in it’s 31st year, also attracted a few members, Susan Lyle leading the way in 1.49.34 followed by Steve Gray (2.16.44), Karen Sargent and Liz Cooper (both 2.18.33) and Ann Savidge (2.21.05)
Pictured - Burgess Hill Runners at the Hassocks Hotel for their Annual Awards evening and AGM (picture courtesy Caz Wadey)
By Darren Chilcott
Several club members were involved in marathon action this weekend. Nearby, after last year’s successful test event, the first official running of the Moyleman Marathon took place, starting in Lewes and following a very hilly Downland course including climbs up and over Black Cap, Castle Hill, Firle Beacon and then the somewhat brutal ascent and descent of Mount Caburn at 24 miles. The race was organised by friends of the late Chris Moyle who was a keen Downland runner and proved a real hit with those who took part, perhaps influenced by the finish line at Harvey’s Brewery in Lewes where a free beer was waiting for the finishers. Darren Chilcott completed the course in 4 hours 48 mins, closely followed by Neil Dawson (4.50) and then Nick Dawson and Philippe Ecaille (5.18). Meanwhile, the Lavis family descended en masse to the Barcelona Marathon and came a way with some fabulous performances. Despite a trip, Jan Lavis finished in a quite superb 3.32.11 and a new PB. Daughter Claire Tucknott was next home in 4.19.26 in her first attempt at the distance, son Mark in 4.28.08, husband Jon also managed a massive new PB finishing in 4.29.35 with Hannah Brett claiming an excellent new PB too by 21 minutes in 4.29.35. Other notable performances at the weekend saw James Sorbie and Hannah Watkins complete their 50th parkrun at Clair Park in Haywards Heath.
1- Philippe Ecaille, Nick and Neil dawson and Darren Chilcott at the start of the Moyleman Marathon
2 - The Lavis Clan having completed the Barcelona Marathon
By James Sorbie
With a lack of high profile running events this weekend, a handful of keen Burgess Hill Runners managed to hunt down some lower key events to keep their race diaries interesting. The weekend was started off with the super-quick James Collins setting an amazing new 5k PB of 17:25 at the Oxford Parkrun. On Sunday several BHR traveled to Henfield for their difficult, annual 9-mile event which runs along the old railway line and along the side of the Adur. Trevor Symes led the blue shirted runners home in 1:09:40 followed by Janet Clapton (1:22:13), Sally Symes (1:24:13), Sheryl Caldecourt (1:26:10) and Emma James (1:32:53). Meanwhile, Jon Boxall and Carole Mills were busy setting personal bests at the Surrey Half Marathon with fantastic times of 1:24:39 and 2:00:50 respectively. Neil Grigg was pleased with a time of 2:17:12 at the Milton Keynes 20 mile event (part of the MK Festival of Running) following his recent great form in longer distance events. Club coach Ian Jones was at the 15 mile 'Big Cheese' trail run in Cheddar, Somerset which is classed as a category B fell race. Finally, Philippe Ecaille traded his running shoes for his bicycle and took part 'Le Puncheur', a 65 mile cyclosportive event from Ditchling Beacon taking in approximately 1,700m of climb.
Jon and Carole at the Surrey Half (courtesy of Amy Mills)
By Darren Chilcott
Longer distances occupied club members this weekend with two much-loved local events dominating the calendar. The 14th ‘Steyning Stinger’, organised by Steyning AC, proved popular with members (forming part of the Club’s Championship series of races), offering both full and half marathon distances over the Downs. Although weather conditions were fine, if a little breezy, on the day, due to the heavy rain on Saturday underfoot conditions were horrendous in parts, with ankle deep mud commonplace. This naturally affected times and several runners established course and/or distance ‘personal worsts’. Despite this, the event was, as always very well organised and hugely enjoyable. Completing the full marathon were Mark Nicholls (4hrs 16 mins 28 seconds), Darren Chilcott (4.49.20), Steve Matthews (4.50.04) and Alan Fry. In the half marathon, James Sorbie led the team home in 2.09.56, followed by Emma Buckland (2.14.26), Dan Foord (2.15.20), Liz Carter (2.15.25), Trevor Symes (2.17.20), Paul Russell (2.48.02), Diane Delderfield (2.56.51), Gill and Kjell Berglund (3.08.04), Linda Russell and Marie Carey (3.10.40), Hannah Watkins (3.11.06) and Anne Savidge (3.20.27). meanwhile, some club members avoided the mud and headed to Eastbourne for the popular half marathon. There was a welcome return to racing for Dougie Cooper who finished in an excellent 1.44.37, Lee Crow completed in 1.54.08, Jon Lavis was delighted to set a new PB in 1.59.34 followed by Claire Tucknott 1.59.45, Lisa Matthews 2.15.03 and Theresa Chalk 2.34.20. (Eastbourne times are "Gun")
Pictured - Linda Russell, Hannah Watkins and Marie Carey enjoying muddy section of the Steyning Stinger half marathon with Anne Savidge in the background. Picture courtesy of Sussex Sport Photography
By James Sorbie
Burgess Hill Runners were out doing what they do best this weekend, smashing their personal bests at the annual Brighton Half Marathon for the 25th anniversary of the popular event. Although breezy and cold, conditions were great for setting fast times along with it being one of the flattest terrains in the Half Marathon calendar. Over 40 Burgess Hill Runners took part and were led home by a seemingly flying Neil Grigg in 1:23:02 followed by Jon Boxall in 1:25:37, which was a new PB he was over the moon with. The ladies were led home with another fine run from Sharona Harrington in 1:37:24, which was a fantastic PB for her as well. Amongst the other runners, it was testimony to the great coaching that the club provides that there were new personal bests for: Joe Carey (1:33:35), Leigh Smith (1:39:04), Trevor Symes (1:39:08), Simon Thompson (1:44:10), Mark Craigs (1:46:41), Catherine Kempton (1:46:17), Lee Crow (1:46:18), Mark Lavis (1:49:18), Jackie Osborne (1:51:19), Jason Wadey (1:51:29), Vicky Connolly (1:53:38), Jill Bennett (1:54:41), Nick Dawson (1:55), Helen Slater (1:55), Katia Hannah (1:55:32), Paul Russell (1:58:44), Karen Harvey (1:59), Carole Mills (2:02:35). Nina Ecroyd (2:04:54), Hannah Watkins (2:09:16), Ann Savidge (2:15:55) and Claire Giles (2:16:50). There was also 5 first timers at the 13.1 mile distance: Andrew Pullen (1:54:18), Laura Fowles (2:00:02), Tracy Evans (2:08:21), Melanie Acres (2:10:20) and Jennifer Crowley (2:17:48) should all be proud of their excellent achievements.
Neil Grigg and Jon Boxall still friends after a close race. (Courtesy: Jon Lavis)
Sharona Harrington ‘in the zone’. (Courtesy: Jon Lavis)
By Darren Chilcott
Saturday saw the fourth and final round of the Sussex County Cross Country League, once again held at Lancing. The club's successful season culminated in a third place finish on the day for the men's team which confirmed third
place overall in Division 2, the club's highest ever placing. In a top class field, the club was represented by James Collins who finished 17th over the 5 mile course in 31 mins 28 seconds, followed by Paul Sargent (32nd, 33.36), Neil Grigg (51st, 34.37), Jason Collett (69th, 35.54), Andrew Murrell (114th, 41.07 competing in his first event for the club) and John Palmer (133rd, 52.06). Unfortunately due to a plethora of illnesses, the club was unable to send a ladies team to the race.
The latest round of the West Sussex Fun Run league took place on Sunday, known as the Valentines Fun Run and organised by Horsham Joggers. Thirty six club members made the trip and with some excellent individual performances, this enabled the club to finish in third place out of eighteen teams on the day with 81 points from a possible 85. The ladies dominated the scoring, with
maximum 10 points secured by Emma Buckland (105th in 46.11), Fay Roberts (120th, 47.38 despite having to stop to calm a bolting horse) and 9 points for Flic Archer (48.47), Liz Carter (48.56), Sue Lyle (51.05) and Sally Symes (51.16). Top scoring gents were Alan Fry (41.24) and Trevor Symes (41.34).
The junior academy continues to flourish, and last week coach Bryony Monnery took a small group to Lancing College for a Sportshall event. Although the team didn't come away with any medals there were some great performances by the juniors which bodes well for future events.
Pictured - Alan Fry flying through the mud at the Valentines Fun Run and
the BHR men's team at the Sussex Cross Country League event at Lancing
By James Sorbie
Adventurous Burgess Hill Runners were out flying the club colours at some less conventional events this weekend. On Saturday mud lovers Neil Grigg, Helen Pratt, Linda Russell, Hannah Watkins, Alfie Kempton, Archie Kempton, Angus Kempton and Catherine Kempton ventured to Nutley for 'The Eliminator Race'. Ice cold water, mud and steep hills were the reward for their journey but these hardcore runners were all pleased to complete the difficult 5 mile course, 10 miles for Neil who fancied some extra punishment!
They weren't the only runners taking on hardcore events this weekend. Accomplished ultra-marathon runner, Philippe Ecaille took on the Thames Trot 50, a 50 mile trail ultra over energy sapping mud. Philippe did superbly to cover 42 miles but unfortunately missed the difficult cut-off by the narrowest of margins. Karen Harvey, Stephanie Harding and Nick Dawson were also in long distance action this weekend with a 30 mile ultra-marathon in Surrey, 'The Punchbowl 30', which they actually measured at 31 miles. The ladies ran together for support and were happy to complete the event in a very impressive 7 hours 40 minutes.
Back in the realms of conventional running distances, several BH Runners took on the Chichester Priory 10k. This is a flat road race lending itself to fast times and it was no surprise that running legend Jonathan Lelliott was able to clock a superb time of 39:01, leading home the club's runners in 14th place in his age category. He was followed by Sally Symes (51:34), Gill Berglund (52:36), Jon Lavis (53:18), Steve Gray (1:00:51) and Kjell Berglund (1:01:14).
FInally, Kevin Walker continued his 'down under' running adventures by completing the launch event of the Toolern Parkrun in Western Melbourne, Australia in a time of 28:49.
Jonathan Lelliott at the Chichester 10k (photo courtesy of Amy Lelliott)
Steph, Karen and Nick at the Punchbowl 30 (photo courtesy of Paula Ridley)
By James Sorbie
It was a much busier weekend this week for Burgess Hill Runners who had over 70 runners out competing in a variety of competitions. On Saturday keen Cross Country runners, James Collins and Emma Leeson travelled to Stanmer Park in Brighton to tackle the tough, hilly Cross Country Championships. Both runners put in a superb effort and James was pleased to complete the 15km course in 249th place out of 857 with a time of 1:01:12 whilst Emma completed the 8km ladies race in 44:55.
On Sunday 59 of the club’s runners headed to Worthing for the annual Worthing Lido 4 mile event in the West Sussex Fun Run League. The flat ‘out and back’ run along the promenade is always a popular one for PB hunters and as it formed part of the BHR club championship it was an even more attractive prospect this year. In form Joe Carey led the men home in an impressive time of 24:27 whilst the women were confidently led home by Fay Roberts in a fantastic 29:29. As a whole the club provisionally finished 5th for the day only a few points from the leading team. Prior to the adults event the juniors from the academy showed them how it was done and the talented young runners exploited their excellent academy coaching with Laura Cooper finishing the one mile event in 7:29, Amy Mills in 7:35 and Ryan Sargent in 7:54.
While this was talking place, the Dark Star River Marathon was in full swing, a muddy trail race along the side of the river Adur starting from Shoreham and picking up parts of the popular Downslink trail. At the time of this article official times hadn’t been published, however Paul Sargent finished in 3:34 knocking around 12 minutes off his 2014 time. He was followed by Jon Boxall (4:10), Sharona Harrington (4:25), Jonathan Lelliott (4:44), Neil Dawson (5:09), Darren Chilcott (5:18), Andrew Baillie and Stephanie Harding who finished together in just under 6 hours. Burgess Hill Runners were also manning aid stations in the event, which just creeps into ‘Ultra-Marathon’ territory at 28.2 miles. Jon Lavis, Steve Roberts, Helen Pratt and Paula Ridley spent the day assisting the runners with provisions and encouragement whilst seasoned long distance runner Jan Lavis acted as sweeper.
To round the weekend off, adventurer Kevin Walker, currently out in Australia, completed the Rosebud Victoria 10k in 58:14 in Burgess Hill club colours.
Burgess Hill Runners and Juniors united before the Worthing Lido 4 (lido_team_pic.jpg) photo courtesy of Caz Wadey
The runners fit and ready for the Dark Star event (darkstar_team_pic.jpg) photo courtesy of Jon Lavis
Darren Chilcott, still smiling as he tackles the 28.2 miles (darren.jpg) photo courtesy of Neil Dawson
By James Sorbie
The icy weather conditions on Saturday morning meant that the local Parkrun at Clair Park had to be cancelled but the hardcore over 45 ladies weren’t put off of taking part in the Sussex Masters Cross Country. Jan Lavis lead the team home on the hilly 4 mile course in 33:59 (21st in their category) followed by Janet Clapton in 34:33 (24th) and Sally Symes in 38:10 (33rd). The team ranked 7th out of 9 in their age category against tough opposition.
Meanwhile Phillippe Ecaille took part in the ‘Country to Capital’ Ultra, a 45 mile race on country trails and towpaths with an 11 hour cut off. Phillippe was pleased that he managed to keep to his game plan, completing this gruelling challenge in 9:31.
Burgess Hill Runners, in partnership with Mid-Sussex District Council are now offering a new ‘Learn to Run’ 10-week course from the 11th of February. The course will be aimed at absolute beginner runners and by the end of the 10 weeks they will be able to jog a whole 5k. More information can be found on the club’s website: http://www.bhrunners.co.uk/announcements/learntorun
Janet, Jan and Sally at Lancing (Photo courtesy of Jon Lavis).
By James Sorbie
With several high profile full and half marathons fast approaching runners may have found it hard to locate any races to take part in at the weekend. However, several intrepid Burgess Hill Runners managed to tour the club colours at a variety of interesting races spanning the globe. Kevin Walker, currently out in Australia, was the furthest from home taking part in the Two Bays 28km trail run from Dromana to Cape Schanck. Kevin was delighted to complete the course with a time just under 4 hours in the hot conditions and on difficult terrain (with the added obstacle of snake dodging!). Five BHR also made their way to the self-navigated ‘Winter Tanners’ events put on by the Long Distance Walkers Association in Surrey which cater for a mix of walkers and runners. Jon Lavis, Nick Dawson and Steve Roberts took on the approximately 20 mile route, whilst Susan Lyle and Jan Lavis opted to take on the extra distance and were pleased to complete approximately 30 miles. Meanwhile, running couple John and Marie Carey travelled to London to take on the Battersea Park 10k. Marie completed the event in 52:27, just short of a 10k PB, whilst John also logged a superb time of 56:15.
Pictured: John and Marie Carey at the Battersea Park 10k.
By Darren Chilcott
A busy start to the New Year saw a large number of Burgess Hill Runners members taking part in events across the county. Saturday saw the Sussex Athletics Cross Country Championships held at Bexhill.The expected ‘firm underfoot’ conditions were destroyed by 12 hours of wind and rain which continued into the races and runners faced a quagmire: shin deep puddles and an inability to gain traction for the vast majority of the course. In the men’s race there were excellent performances in a high quality field from James Collins (25th in 46 mins 19 seconds), Trevor Symes (86th, 59.15), Stuart Condie (92nd, 61.24) and Andy Bradford (94th, 62.38). Similarly hard work was done by the ladies team over their shorter course, with Sharona Harrington 33rd in 31.48 supported by Janet Clapton (55th, 37.02) and Emma Leeson (59th, 37.59). On New Year’s Day the West Sussex Fun Run League programme kicked off with the traditional ‘Hangover 5’ organised by Goring Road Runners and the club made an excellent start to the season, taking 28 runners and finishing in third place on the day. Jon Boxall ran well to finish in 11th place in his first WSFRL race in 35.30, followed by Jonathan Lelliott (37.05), Trevor Symes (39.18) and Jonathan Davidson (40.04). Janet Clapton led the ladies contingent home in 44.57 for maximum points, closely followed by Emma Buckland (45.18), Sally Symes (47.47) and Stephanie Harding (48.57). Several members made their league debuts at this event including Philippe Ecaille, Wendy Spicer, Andy Gasson, Glyn Merritt and Malcolm Slater. Finally, a number of members made the trip to Eastbourne on Sunday for the Longman 10, although final results were not available at the time of going to press there were good performances from Dan Foord, Anne Savidge and Theresa Chalk
Pictured - BHR members at the Hangover 5 race on New Year’s Day (Picture courtesy Caz Wadey)