All Press Releases are by our PR Officer Darren Chilcott unless otherwise stated.
On Saturday 21st December 65 runners braved the wet and blustery conditions to take part in the 23rd parkrun in Clair Park in Haywards Heath. This free, weekly 5km run was brightened up this week as many of the runners arrived in fancy dress to begin the Christmas celebrations. The runners included 11 Burgess Hill Runners, 13 Haywards Heath Harriers and 4 members of the Mid Sussex Tri Club.
First over the line was Russ Mullen of Haywards Heath Harriers in a time of 19 minutes 9 seconds, which is an impressive result given the challenging course and the fact that he wore a full Santa suit. It was great to see Darryl Webb of Burgess Hill Runners cross the line in 19.22 as he continues his return to fitness following long term injury. Third over the line was Paul Tomlinson in a time of 19.49.
The first lady home was Marguerite Lazell of Haywards Heath Harriers in a time of 21.36. This was the 4th consecutive week that she has led the ladies home. Second lady was Kim Lo, also of the Harriers, in 23.39. Janet Clapton of Burgess Hill Runners followed her home in a time of 23.45.
There was an excellent turnout in the junior ranks. Lewis and Orson Barrett-Berry both recorded personal bests. The Burgess Hill Runners Junior Academy was represented by Natalia Atherley and Charlotte Donnelly, the latter taking over 20 seconds off her previous best time. Recently, the benefits of running with the Academy were seen in the Junior Schools cross country event at Warden Park School. Out of 131 girls running, Charlotte came 2nd, Francesca came 4th & Natalia came 11th. Their school (St Joseph's) won the trophy for coming first out of 22 schools (girls). In the boys race Reece Willie came 7th and as they all finished in the top 25 they will go on to race at Borde Hill on 15th January.
If you would like further information on the Clair parkrun, more details are available at http://www.parkrun.org.uk/clair/.
Pictures attached – some of the runners in their fancy dress outfits
BHR sent ladies and mens teams to the third round of the Brooks Cross Country League held at Lancing College on Saturday afternoon. The ladies came 7th in Division 2 and moved up to 9th place out of the 23 teams. Competing were Sharona Harrington, 44th in 22 mins 42 seconds, Janet Clapton (48th, 23.02) and Emma Buckland (77th, 25.26). The men also had a good day, taking third place overall in Division 2 and consolidating their fourth place in the Division. 171 runners took part in the mens event with Paul Sargent leading the team home in 34th place in 30.52. Darryl Webb (recovering form on return from injury) was 70th in 33.33, followed by Jason Collett (72nd, 33.47), Neil Grigg (80th, 34.17), Trevor Symes (140th, 39.03), Stuart Condie (142nd, 39.11) and John Palmer (165th, 44.09). Sunday saw the ever popular ‘Mince Pie 10’ ten mile race organised by Seaford Striders. The race, which was sold out weeks in advance, saw 500 entrants take on the hilly downland course in cool and breezy conditions. Darryl Webb had another good run finishing 11th in 1.07.12, followed by James Sorbie (1.18.10), Sharona Harrington (1.19.25), Hannah Watkins (1.59.36), Caz Wadey (2.02.27) and Jason Wadey (2.02.27)
Pictured – (left to right) Caz Wadey, Hannah Watkins, James Sorbie, Sharona Harrington and Jason Wadey at Sunday’s Mince Pie 10 race
December is typically a quiet time for running events but some BHR members were out at the weekend in what were great running conditions. The Downland Devil 9 is a tough 9 mile cross country event held on the South Downs at Coombes organised by Worthing Striders and Darryl Webb was the first clubmember home in 17th place overall in 1 hour 4 mins and 51 secs, followed Jon Boxall (1.08.50), Sharona Harrington (1.14.47) and Janet Clapton (1.15.37). Meanwhile 366 runners took on the Crowborough Runners 10k event, also on Sunday morning which saw a welcome return after injury for Stuart Condie (151st in 47.42) and a good performance from Caz Wadey (353rd in 1.07.00)
Pictured – 1. Stuart Condie during the Crowborough 10k. 2. Stuart and Caz at the Crowborough 10k
Burgess Hill Runners turned their attention to the second round of the Brooks Sussex Cross Country League this weekend and Saturday’s event at a muddy Plumpton racecourse. The ladies team finished in a creditable 10thplace on the day and are 7th in a very competitive Division two and were represented by Sharona Harrington (51st of the 117 competitors in 24 mins 23 seconds), Janet Clapton (60th, 25.13), Emma Buckland (80th, 26.40) and Liz Carter (98th, 28.05). The increasingly strong mean’s team came 4th on the day and consolidated their 4th position in Division Two with good performances in the field of 191 runners from Paul Sargent (27th, 30.06), Neil Grigg (69th, 32.26), Mark Nicholls (72nd, 32.41), Jason Collett (73rd, 32.43), Trevor ‘Barefoot’ Symes (134th, 35.40) and Stuart Condie (165th, 37.58).
Attached pics – Jason Collett, Neil Grigg and Mark Nicholls dig deep, and Trevor Symes finds a novel way to keep his running shoes clean. Pictures courtesy of Caz Wadey
Burgess Hill Runners last main race in the calendar for 2013 was Sunday morning’s Brooks Brighton 10k and another incredible turnout saw more than 40 members make the short trip to the seafront for the flat and fast race that starts and finishes on Madeira Drive. The race was also the last qualifying event for the club championships and it was no surprise that Paul Sargent was confirmed as the men’s champion, knocking 2 minutes off his personal best finishing in 35 minutes 11 seconds capping a superb season. The ladies champion was deservedly confirmed as Sharona Harrington who finished in 44.29. Both Paul and Sharona finished the championship on maximum points, meaning they were the first club members home in each of the qualifying events they entered. Meanwhile, there were a multitude of other fine performances on Sunday with numerous personal bests for both new and experienced runners and some excellent efforts by first timers. The full list of finishers included Paul Sargent 35:11 (PB by 2 mins), James Collins 36:32 (PB), Mark Nicholls 37:30, Neil Grigg 39:08, Jon Boxall 40:56 (First timer), Andy Sayers 42:16, James Sorbie 42:52 (PB), Simon Alexander 43:23, Neil Phillpot 44:05, Alan Fry 44:18 (PB), Sharona Harrington 44:29, Mark Craigs 46:48 PB, Lee Crow 46:55 (PB), Martin Skeats 47:07 (PB), Jonathan Leak 47:41 (PB), Bryony Monnery 48:44, Emma Buckland 49:10, Susan Lyle 49:58, Emma Leeson 50:36 (PB), Dave Woodhouse 50:36, Luke Phillpot 51:05, Sally Symes 51:14, Jean Leak 53:37 (PB), Vicky Connolly 54:05 (PB), Elaine Scott 55:04, Kim Gow 55:40, Linda Dalgleish 55:48, Stephanie Harding 56:04 (PB), Jill Bennett 56:04, Paula Ridley 56:42 (PB), Melanie Acres 56:22, Debbie Beckett 56:39, Dawn Duffy 57:28 (First timer), Jon Lavis 58:23, Sarah Hellier 58:58, Lucy Tyrrell 59:25 PB (by 6 mins), Helen Pratt 1:01:17, Christopher Spencer 1:02:59, Jason Wadey 1:03:16, Caz Wadey 1:03:17, Hannah Watkins 1:06:52 and Emma Morris 1:10:12. On Saturday, several of the BHR Academy juniors, led by coaches Bryony Monnery and Dave Oldfield, took part in their first event and all were delighted to complete the Clair Parkrun 5k event in Haywards Heath. The club would also like to congratulate coach Jan Lavis who on Sunday passed her Coaching in Running Fitness (CIRF) exam after several months of study.
Pictured – some of the BHR contingent celebrate with their medals at the Brooks Brighton 10k
Burgess Hill Runners are celebrating their 20th Anniversary over the coming months and to mark this they are planning 20 separate celebratory events over the course of the next year. The first of these was the Clair parkrun in Haywards Heath on a chilly Saturday morning where around 50 BHR members swelled the usual numbers to over 130 around the hilly and testing 5k course. Unfortunately the club was unable to provide the winner on the day, as unattached Sean Hubbard smashed the course record finishing in 17 mins 12 seconds, well ahead of second placed Tom Mullen from Haywards Heath Harriers in 18.04 with James Collins from BHR third in 18.28. There were, however, a multitude of personal bests set by BHR members, including Mark Nicholls (19.32), Andy Sayers (21.24), Janet Clapton (22.36), Mark Craigs (23.08), Lee Crow (23.55), Bryony Monnery (25.21), Dave Woodhouse (25.52), Stephanie Harding (28.46) and Kim Gow (30.58). On Sunday a number of club members made their way to Bexhill for the Poppy half marathon which is organised to raise funds for the Royal British Legion and starts at 12.30pm to allow people to attend commemoration events. Cath Beckett was delighted to achieve a new personal best for the distance, finishing in 1 hour 48 mins 23 seconds, followed by Helen Slater who was equally pleased to dip under the 2 hour barrier in 1.59.05. Nick Dawson also did well to set a new PB but just missed the 2 hr milestone with 2.00.06. Other club finishers included Carole Mills (2.15.42), Lucy Tyrrell (2.27.01), Steven Gray (2.30.25), Angie Bower (2.36.16) and Julie Green (2.36.17). Next week sees the Reebok Brighton 10k which is the last race in the club’s own championship series.
Pictured- Burgess Hill Runners members before the Clair parkrun on Saturday morning
A bright and breezy Saturday morning saw a huge group of 22 Burgess Hill Runners descend on Eastbourne for the start of the Beachy Head Marathon. This unique race, one of the toughest long distance trail events in the UK, starts at the Western end of the seafront with a long, steep climb up Beachy Head before winding mostly offroad through the Sussex countryside via Alfriston, Littlington and Exceat before brutally taking the runners Eastwards over all of the Seven Sisters including Beachy Head for the final 6 miles or so to the finish. Although the threatened showers never materialised, a warm and humid day, coupled with increasingly strong winds, especially on the exposed hilltops, made for tricky running conditions, but this ddn't prevent some excellent performances. As expected Paul Sargent was first home in 3hrs 37 min 21 seconds, closely followed by Mark Nicholls in a fabulous 3.41.27 in his first attempt at this race. There was quite a gap to the next clubmember, Jon Boxall (4.33.03) and then first female Sharona Harrington in an excellent 4.35.35. All those clubmembers who started made it to the finish, including Stuart Anderson (4.50.57), Debbie Saint (5.03.11), Andrew Baillie (5.13.10), Darren Chilcott (5.24.34), Nick Dawson (6.36.33), Steve Roberts (6.36.35), Kevin Walker (6.36.36), Jayne White (7.01.48), Kim Gow (7.01.49), Karen Harvey (7.10.35), Diane Delderfield (7.10.37), Linda Russell (7.11.30), Jon Lavis (7.11.32), Helen Pratt (7.17.44), Paula Ridley (7.17.46), Niki Roberts (7.17.44), Nina Ecroyd (7.23.28) and Leanne Cleaveley (7.23.35). Meanwhile, James Sorbie was delighted to put in an excellent run at the Hove Park 5k parkrun on Saturday morning managing to just dip under the elusive 20 minute barrier, finishing in 19.59. On Sunday, four Burgess Hill Runners braved the further increasing winds on the coast to take part in the 10 mile Great South Run. Tim Coxhill was first over the line in 1hr 21mins 18 seconds, just ahead of dad Benny (1.22.09), with Sue Lyle (1.27.44) and Stephanie Harding (1.40.22) also putting in great performances.
Pictured - several of the BHR crew with their finishing medals
Another excellent turnout of 32 runners, and some fine individual performances saw Burgess Hill Runners win the latest West Sussex Fun Run league event on Sunday, the Hickstead Gallop, organised by Haywards Heath Harriers. The 5 mile race is based at the Showground and the increasingly heavy rain on Sunday morning made for a particularly muddy run. James Collins led the club contingent home in 6th place overall (and in first place of those competing in the WSFRL)in a fine 30 mins dead ( a new course club record for a Burgess Hill Runner), and was well supported by Paul Leak (31.12) and Mark Nicholls (31.15) who also scored maximum points on the day. Trevor Symes finished in an excellent 33.39 followed by Alan Fry (37.02), Jon Herbert (37.28) and Neil Philpot (37.37). Janet Clapton again scored maximum points in the ladies race (37.45) and was backed up by Bryonny Monnery (41.14), Sally Symes (42.17) and Jean Leak (43.40). Meanwhile a small group of club members made their way to Chichester for the Chichester half marathon, a tough event that includes the notorious Trundle Hill and James Sorbie (1hr 41min 4 seconds), Emma Buckland (1.53.39), Liz Carter (1.55.42) and Hannah Watkins (2.34.26) can all be very pleased with their efforts. Finally, Jan Lavis (seemingly coming out of retirement from long distance racing to no-one’s surprise) braved the Jog Shop Jog 20 mile race. This is one of the toughest 20 mile races on the calendar, starting and finishing in Brighton Marina and taking in several climbs of the Downs in what became pretty awful conditions. Finish times were not confirmed at the time of writing.
Pictured – James ‘Bin Bag’ Sorbie modelling the latest in hi-tec winter running gear (with integrated hood) as he prepares for the Chichester Half Marathon
Sunday saw a small group of Burgess Hill Runners make their way to St Martha’s Hill near Guildford for the inaugural Downslink Ultramarathon. This new event, well organised by Sussex Trail Events, followed the entire 38 mile length of the Downslink trail, the disused railway that connects the North Downs to the South Downs. The largely flat route and lack of scenery, plus the warm and humid conditions made for a surprisingly hard race, but this did not seem to affect Paul Sargent who maintained his remarkable run of form in his first attempt at a race above marathon distance, reaching the finish line at Shoreham Harbour in second place in an incredible 4hrs 37 minutes behind winner Centurion team runner Paul Navesey (4.28). Scott Percy also completed his first ultra in an excellent 6 hours 12 minutes, Darren Chilcott completed in 7hrs 14mins and Jon Lavis was delighted with his perfectly paced race finishing inside the cut-off time in 9hrs 55mins. Meanwhile, Jonathan and Jean Leak were in Bournemouth for the half marathon, and both were delighted to achieve personal bests for the distance, Jonathon finishing in 1hr 50min 36s and Jean in 1hr 56m 12s
Pictured – Jon Lavis making the most of the one of the feeding stations
It was another busy weekend for Burgess Hill Runners, with an incredible 40 members taking part in the Barns Green half marathon on Sunday. There were some spectacular performances around the scenic 13.1 mile course that includes the grounds of Christs Hospital School including a superb 8th place overall out of the 1,240 runners and a new club record for this event by Paul Sargent who finished in 1 hr 19 mins 24 seconds. Mark Nicholls was 36th in a new PB by 4 minutes of 1.25.44, Neil Grigg 112th in 1.33.19, James Sorbie 176th in 1.37.35 and Trevor Symes 246th in 1.41.07. Top ladies were Sharona Harrington in 1.44.17, Alison Dunks (1.43.57), Liz Carter (1.50.45), Cath Beckett a new PB in 1.52.333 and Emma Buckland 1.54.39. There were also PBs for Alan Fry (1.42.25) and Karen Harvey (2.11.03). Pictured – some of the BHR contingent at prior to the start (photo – Jon Lavis).
It was a mammoth weekend for Burgess Hill Runners, with a vast number of members involved in a great variety of races, with some excellent results too. Kicking off the weekend at the Clair parkrun 5km race in Haywards Heath on Saturday morning were notable performances from Cath Beckett (24 mins 22 s) and Wendy Spicer (35.15), both setting new PBs for the distance.
Later on Saturday afternoon a strong contingent of 35 BHR members made the short trip to Henfield for the 4 mile ‘Steven Stiles’ race, the latest in the West Sussex Fun Run league series, with Paul Sargent leading the club home in third place overall in an excellent 23.55, just pipping clubmate James Collins who was fourth in 24.15. Jason Collett was an excellent 16th in the field of almost 300 in 26.24, Simon Alexander 42nd in 28.20 and Andy Sayers 43rd in 28.28. In the ladies race, Sharona Harrington was delighted to score her first maximum league points, finishing 11th in 31.30, with Bryonny Monnery 17th in 32.36, Sally Symes 20th in 33.03 and Jean Leak 27th in 33.57. A special mention also goes to Sally Bliss (usually found behind a camera photographing runners for Sussex Sport Photography) who completed her first race in club colours in a very creditable in 44.16 and to Junior Ben Herbert who was an excellent third in the junior one mile race in 6min 43s.
Sunday was almost as busy for club members. Mark Craigs and Helen Pratt made the long trip North and braved the rain and gales to take part in the Great North Run (half marathon), with all the recent hard work he has put in Mark was delighted to achieve a new personal best for the distance of 1hr 48 mins 10s and Helen was also pleased with her time of 2hrs 20m 6s. Whilst Helen and Mark ran in a field of over 50,000 people, Paul Sargent, Darren Chilcott and Jon Lavis has an altogether different experience at the Farnham Pilgrim Marathon in mostly perfect weather for long distance running. This is a wonderfully scenic offroad event over the North Downs around Farnham and Guildford and attracts around 300 trail running enthusiasts. Paul showed little sign of his previous day’s exertions at Henfield by finishing a magnificent third over the tough hilly course in a remarkable 3hrs 10 mins. Darren (4hrs 33) and Jon (6hrs 04) were some way behind but thoroughly enjoyed this superbly organised event which they entered primarily as a training run for the upcoming Downslink Ultra.
More locally, Jason and Caz Wadey took part in the Crawley K2 10k race on Sunday with Caz knocking a stunning 6 minutes off her personal best for the distance with a finish time of just under 1hr 10 mins. Last but by no means least Fabienne Rangeard completed the very hilly Firle 10k race on Sunday morning in a superb 1hr and 3 seconds.
The club have had huge success with its various groups that cater for absolutely all levels of ability, and now have capacity to take on additional runners in the beginners group. This meets at 6.30pm on a Wednesday evening at Burgess Hill School for Girls and is aimed at complete beginners - potential members can try the club for four weeks completely free of charge before deciding whether to join. Full details on www.bhrunners.co.uk/beginner-group
Burgess Hill Runners again scored maximum participation points in the latest West Sussex Fun Run League event, sending 25 runners to the ‘Fittleworth Five’ 5 mile race on Sunday organised by Fittleworth Flyers. Most notable performance on the day was by James Collins, who in coming a superb 3rd overall in 30 mins 19 seconds set a new BHR club record for the event (results provisional). Andy Sayers also scored well, finishing in 32nd place in 35.33, followed by Trevor Symes in 37.24, Howard Griffin in 37.48 and the fast-improving Mark Craigs in 39.13. For the ladies squad, Janet Clapton again secured maximum points finishing 11thin 37.55 and was well supported by Cath Beckett (41.30), Sally Symes (43.06) and Sheryl Caldecourt (43.06).
Meanwhile, Hannah Watkins continued her rapid progress, completing her first 10 mile event at the very challenging and hilly ‘Dry Hill 10’ organised by Lingfield Running Club in an excellent 2hrs 3mins. Pictured – Hannah Watkins with her Dry Hill 10 medal.
The club has changed the start time of it’s Tuesday morning Running Group – this will now start at 9.30am on 10th September.
Finally, this week also sees the start of the Autumn/Winter term of the BHR Junior Athletics Academy, designed for children aged from 8 – 13 years. This is a great opportunity for budding athletes to develop key skills, and also helps with building confidence and social/communication skills. Sessions start on 5th September at the Triangle and run from 17:00 to 18:00, with the first session free for new members.
For details of this and all the club’s activities visit www.bhrunners.co.uk
The bank holiday weekend was a quiet one for Burgess Hill Runners, but there were some great performances from the handful of runners that took part in the Newick Will Page 10k race, which is run on undulating roads around the village. Darryl Webb continued his recent good form, securing 9th place overall in the field of well over 200 runners in an excellent 37 minutes 47 seconds, less than 2 minutes behind winner Louis Taub of Brighton and Hove AC. Mark Nicholls finished a superb 15th in 38.32, Head Coach Stuart Condie was 87th in 45.51, Dan Foord 109th in 47.56 and Neil Dawson 139th in 50.50.
Another busy weekend for Burgess Hill Runners saw decent turnouts at both local events this weekend. The Henfield half marathon is a good, low key scenic event that starts and finishes at the Henfield Leisure Centre, and is almost entirely off road, and includes some clambering over stiles and this year attracted 266 starters. Sharona Harrington led the BHR contingent home in an excellent 1 hr 49 mins 46 seconds, followed by Debbie Saint (1.53.11), Mark Kenward (1.53.17), Neil Dawson (1.55.26), Sheryl Caldecourt (2.01.35), Neil’s wife Nick Dawson (2.07.50), Paula Ridley (2.22.55 – and continuing couples theme accompanied by husband Richard), Jon Lavis (2.29.17), Kevin Walker (2.29.35) and Lucy Tyrrell who, also accompanied by her husband David, was delighted to complete her first event at this distance in 2.32.21. At the time of writing, provisional result for the Tilgate Forest 5 mile race, part of the West Sussex Fun Run League also on Sunday, were awaited, but James Collins secured a superb 4th place, closely followed by Darryl Webb in 6th, continuing the club’s excellent recent run of placings in these races.
Joint Press Release on behalf of Clair parkrun, Burgess Hill Runners & Haywards Heath Harriers by Marguerite Lazell
Over 100 runners congregated in Clair Park, Haywards Heath on Saturday morning for the inaugural Clair Park parkrun. The new 5K event, organised jointly by the Haywards Heath Harriers and Burgess Hill Runners, attracted entrants from all over Sussex and as far afield as Gloucestershire, a third of whom were taking part in their first ever ‘parkrun’ event. While not a race, the event is timed, so all runners get a result which they can try and improve on in subsequent attempts. First home on the undulating course was Martin Rutter (Clapham Chasers) in 18:08, followed by Daryl Webb (Burgess Hill Runners) in 18:34 and Danny Norman (26.2 RRC) in 18:36. The fastest woman was Libby Marchant (26.2 RRC) in 21:41, with Janet Clapton (Burgess Hill Runners) second in 24:01 and Kat Barrett (Haywards Heath Harriers) third in 24:09. The event, which took nine months to plan, will now be held every Saturday morning at 9am. It is the fifth parkrun event to be hosted in Sussex, joining Hove Park, Tilgate Park, Preston Park and Eastbourne. All parkruns are free to enter - simply register online at www.parkrun.org.uk by the Friday before you wish to run. The organisers described the run as “a very successful launch”, and were particularly happy to have attracted a wide age-range of participants. Neil Dawson, a member of Burgess Hill runners and one of the organisers, said: “It was great to see so many juniors taking part in our first event. We reckon the age span of those taking part was in the region of 65 years! It was also so nice to see so many children and partners in the finishing arena supporting the Mums and Dads running. Parkrun is truly an all-inclusive event.” The first three juniors were Jacob Oliver Hamilton, Alfie Ledger and Patrick Nolan. Dawson added: “We would like to extend a big thank you to all of the volunteers. Without them, the event does not take place. And we would like to say a big thank you to Julie and James from Tilgate parkrun for helping us yesterday. The whole team at Tilgate has been incredibly helpful and encouraging over the past six months
"Runners gather at the Start"
After the shocking weather of a couple of weeks ago caused postponement of the event, Burgess Hill Runners held their rearranged annual handicap race last Wednesday and this time in near-perfect weather. The race starts at Ditchling Beacon, and follows and out and back route of just over 5 miles along the South Downs Way to the Black Cap trig point and back with runners setting off in reverse order in relation to their expected finishing time, the aim being to have all runners finishing together. The handicapping is always contentious and the source of much pre-race banter, but organisers Keith Delderfield and James Sorbie did a superb job, avoiding all the offered bribes and brickbats and ensuring that all but a handful of the 48 runners finishing within two and a half minutes of their predicted time. Deserved winner was Elona Smith in an excellent 44m 25s, 2.35 ahead of her predicted time, only one second ahead of Emma Fernandez. Further back in the field, there was an epic race going on between the club’s faster runners which helped inspire Paul Sargent to break the club record for the event which had stood since 2000, setting a new standard of 30m 53s. Looking more to the future, the club were also represented at the Wivelsfield Village Day on Saturday to promote their junior academy and some youngsters had great fun trying out hurdles. Details on the Academy, which is aimed at children in school years 4 – 8, including Autumn term times can be found on the club’s website www.bhrunners.co.uk. Despite the hot conditions that made running extremely tough, club members still managed to find some racing at the weekend and these included Neil Dawson, who took part in the Uckfield and District Lions Club 10k around Buxted Park, finishing in a very respectable 54.40, and Jan Lavis, who completed the hilly Surrey Badger Half marathon based around Denbies Vineyard and the Mole Valley near Dorking in 2.09.50
Pictured (1) – Darryl Webb, Paul Sargent and James Collins storming towards Ditchling Beacon (great pic showing the Downs at their best on a sunny evening)
Pictured (2) – Burgess Hill Runners representatives Sue Baillie, Bryony Monnery and Dave Oldfield at the Wivelsfield Village Day
For the second race in a row, Burgess Hill Runners were easily the best-represented club at the West Sussex Fun Run League last Wednesday, this time at Steyning AC’s Roundhill Romp, another tough & hilly Downland event of approx 6 miles. Although they couldn’t quite repeat the 1-2-3 of the previous week’s event at Littlehampton, the club provided 41 out of the 465 runners and there were a number of good performances ensuring almost maximum team points for the club. Paul Sargent again led the men’s contingent home, finishing 9th overall in 35 min 17s, with Darryl Webb close behind, 11th in 35.47. Jason Collett was 22nd in 37.34, just ahead of Mark Nicholls (23rd in 37.38) and then there was a longer gap to Andy Sayers (70th in 41.27) and Trevor Symes (86th in 42.17). Janet Clapton continued her good form, leading the BHR ladies home and 9th female in 45.29, with a clutch of BHR runners following soon after including Sally Symes 36th in 50.17, Liz Carter 38th in 50.40, Emma Buckland 39th in 50.48 and Bryony Monnery 42nd in 51.01. Meanwhile on Saturday Darryl Webb was delighted to narrowly win the St Lawrence Fair Fun run, a 5 mile mainly offroad race that takes in Danny House and a tough ascent of Wolstonbury Hill. Finally, James Sorbie did well to record 21m 40s in the 5km Hove parkrun on Saturday morning in such hot conditions. Pictured : BHR Race Secretary Trevor Symes at Steyning doing a fabulous job of coping with issuing numbers to the vast contingent of BHR members now turning up for the WSFRL events.
Burgess Hill Runners completely dominated the latest West Sussex Fun Run league event held on Wednesday evening (26th) at Littlehampton. The event, hosted by Arunners, is an out and back 5 mile run along the seafront and is held at low tide as it includes large sections on the beach. For the first time in the club’s history, BHR rapidly improving team made a clean sweep of the mens race with Paul Sargent winning in 30 mins 27 seconds, just ahead of James Collins (30.32) with Darryl Webb in third (30.41), all three club members being a comfortable 30 seconds clear of the fourth placed runner. There were also fine back-up performances from Mark Nicholls (12th in 31.44) and Jason Collett (15th in 32.02). Janet Clapton led the ladies contingent home in 39.37, followed by Bryony Monnery (40.35) and Catherine Kempton (40.44). As well as filling the mens podium, the club also provided a remarkable 47 of the 268 competitors, easily the best represented and overall this secured the club maximum points on the night, significantly improving their league position. The club will be hoping for a similar result this week (3rd) at the Steyning AC ‘Roundhill Romp’.
Burgess Hill Runners hosted the Downlands Dash on Saturday and have received several messages from participating clubs and runners praising the organisation which was not without difficulty due to a late change of route. The race has been a feature of the Downlands School Summer Fayre for several years now, but in conjunction with the School, Burgess Hill Runners decided to make this event their contribution to the West Sussex Fun Run League. This meant an increase in participants, with over 250 contesting this year’s adult race that starts and finishes on the school sports field and follows an off-road route of approx 4.8 miles. Results were provisions at the time of going to print, but overall winner was Timmy Gedin from Arena 80 AC in 29 minutes 16 seconds, more than a minute ahead of Louis Taub in 30.25 with Tom Mullen from Haywards Heath Harriers was third in 30.44. In the ladies race, Angela Carpenter from Chichester Runners won in 33.47, followed by Camilla Bishop (Steyning AC) in 34.25 and Deborah Cawdery (Worthing Harriers) 36.42 third. Many Burgess Hill Runners were involved in the organisation of the event and marshalling of the course, but some were kindly ‘released’ by hard working race Director Stuart Condie, including Darryl Webb who was 6thoverall in 31.36. There was also a junior race of approx 1 mile in which there were 66 participants, Simeon Cousins from Haywards Heath Harriers breaking the tape first in a rapid 5.42, closely followed by Dominic Pay (5.59) and Jansen Lee (6.09). First of the girls was Alessa Manco from Lewes AC (6.28), with Sophie Hooper (Haywards Heath Harriers) 2nd in 6.39 and Lydia Hollingdale 3rd in 6.42. the club would like to express it’s thanks to generous sponsors of the race including Trevor Symes Tree Surgery, Clifford Dann and Budgens, plus the local landowners who allow the race to take place.
Wednesday evening saw Burgess Hill Runners stage their annual club handicap race at Ditchling Beacon. Hopes were high of a great event, with experienced handicapper Keith Delderfield, supported by his apprentice James Sorbie learning the ropes having carefully allocated expected finishing times for the record 90 entrants who were to race over the hills from the Beacon to the trig point at Black Cap and back, a distance of five and a quarter miles. Unfortunately the hoped-for nice summers evening was replaced with exceptionally heavy rain and strong winds, reducing visibility to almost nothing and making the race too dangerous to start. Chairman Andrew Baillie reluctantly, but to a great cheer, announced the postponement just before the first runners were about to start . The picture below gives some idea of the conditions, and the mood of some the participants. The club is hoping for better weather this week when it stages it’s West Sussex Fun Run league event, the ‘Downlands Dash’. The event, which forms part of the Downlands School Summer Fayre, consists of a 1 mile junior race at 12:00, followed by the main event, a 4.8 mile scenic offroad run starting at 12:30 for those aged 14 and over. The race is open to all (and all abilities) and entry is available on the day costing £1 for the junior race and £5 for the main race. There will be medals for junior race finishers and participants will be able to enjoy the rest of the school fayre. Further details can be found at www.bhrunners.co.uk/downlands-dash
Burgess Hill Runners were out and about in a variety of events at the weekend. Firstly, half a dozen members took part in the First Anniversary Tilgate parkrun at Crawley where a number of competitors donned onesies for the occasion. parkruns are becoming increasingly popular events, being relatively short at 5km, safe, local, truly catering for all abilities from elite athletes to complete beginners and free to enter (all you need to do is register at www.parkrun.org.uk where there are full instructions). Of those participating at Tilgate, Neil Dawson, who is heavily involved in the establishment of a new parkrun for Mid Sussex which will start soon at Clair Park, Haywards Heath, set a new PB of 24:11 and Julie Green recorded a first-time 34:58. Saturday also saw the London South Tough Mudder event, a hardcore 12 mile-long obstacle course designed by the Special Forces to test all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie completed by Paul Sargent and Leanne Cleaveley. Sunday saw the Mid Sussex triathlon, with again a good BHR presence. Paul Sargent was delighted with 12th place overall in his first attempt at the event in 1hr 14 mins 29 seconds. Also competing were Benny Coxhill (98th) 1:28:55, Sally Symes (25th Female) 1:32:41, Jane Faulkner (55th female) 1:41:14 (coming back from injury) and Hugh Stevenage (141st) 1:43:53. Finally, Sunday saw the latest West Sussex Fun Run League event in Hove, a 5k race around Hove Park organised by Arena 80 AC. James Collins continued his recent good form, coming 6th overall in a superb 17mins 34 seconds but performance of the day came from Alan Fry who continues to make rapid improvements to his running and who finished in 20.36, just ahead of club Head Coach Stuart Condie in 20.46. Helen Frost led the club’s female contingent home in 23.20, ahead of Fabienne Rangeard (24.30) and Sheryl Caldecourt (24.23). Special mention also to Sally Symes who raced to Hove after her morning effort in the Mid Sussex Triathlon to also complete the 5k run, finishing in an excellent 25.43.
Full list of BHR Runners in the WSFRL Hove Parkrun
Burgess Hill Runners entered put two evenly matched teams into the South Downs Way 100 mile relay on Saturday. The relay, involves approx 50 teams each of 6 runners and starts at Beachy Head, with teams grouped according to ability and starting at 30 minute intervals from 6.30am, the aim being to reach the finish at Chilcomb Sports Ground near Winchester before 8pm, the whole distance following the route of the South Downs Way and each team member running three separate legs, each leg varying from around 4 to 9 miles in length. In perfect conditions for the event, both BHR teams (an ‘A’ team and a ‘Vets’ team) set off at 6.30am.
Given the distances involved, the tough terrain, the risk of getting lost (advance reccying of legs is essential) and the participation of so many runners, problems are often encountered. This year, the vets team in particular showed true resilience and courage in adversity when it became clear that Keith Delderfield would not be able to continue after his first leg due to respiratory illness. A quick re-think of leg allocation resulted in Rainer Hirt swapping to a new leg, with the new plan being that Andy Sayers and Stuart Condie would run an extra leg each. However, when Stuart fell during his third leg (another typical South Downs running incident) yet another rethink meant Simon Alexander running legs 15 and 18. Despite the problems, the team did remarkably well to make it home around only 20 minutes after their predicted time, a fantastic effort.
The A team flew into the lead from the gun and built up a sizeable lead, thanks to Darryl Webb running an awesome first leg over the Seven Sisters from Beachy Head. They held that lead for most of the day, and were not to be passed by any other team until the penultimate (and longest) leg 17 despite some much faster teams setting off in later groups. They arrived at the end in Chilcomb very comfortably within their predicted finish time. The whole team ran their hearts out: Helen Frost, Trevor Symes, Darryl Webb, and first-time SDWR'ers Scott Percy, Catherine Kempton and Benny Coxhill.
No team gets where they need to be without a driver with ‘battle bus’; big thanks and well done to Team A's driver(and captain) Steve Roberts and vets driver Kevin Walker, to Kim Gow for sourcing the two team’s transport and Nikki Roberts for coming along for the ride in the vets bus, taking photos and keeping the paperwork in order. Chairman Andrew Baillie, who ran as part of the Vets team, summed up the day by saying ‘As chairman I'm extremely proud of what both teams achieved yesterday; it is one of the most enjoyable days on the running calendar for me, and you all showed the true spirit of the club’.
Pictured – the bulk of both BHR teams at the SDW 100 Mile Relay finish (‘rehydrating’)
Another great turnout saw a total of 23 Burgess Hill Runners make their way over to Chichester for Wednesday's West Sussex Fun Run League Trundle Hill race, organised by local club Chichester Runners. The course follows downland tracks up the long climb to the top of Trundle Hill, circles the top and then there is a mad downhill dash to the finish making six and a half miles in total. First home for the club was Paul Sargent, in an excellent third place overall and first of the WSFRL competitors to finish in 40 mins 15 seconds. James Collins was also inside the top ten, finishing 7th in 41.57, with Jason Collett 13th in 43.05. Sharona Harrington led the BHR ladies home in 51.57 (125th place).
The following is by Jan Lavis:
Meanwhile, Saturday 25th May saw Burgess Hill Runner Darren Chilcott take on the London2Brighton Challenge. He completed the challenging and undulating route in 14hrs 57mins, reaching the finish at Brighton Racecourse just as the sun was setting. Starting in Richmond Upon Thames, after several picturesque miles along the Thames the route heads south into the suburbs of London, then on through the heart of Surrey and Sussex, over the South Downs at Plumpton and towards the finish line in Brighton. The route is 1/3 on roads and 2/3 off road on footpaths and bridleways - 100km and a total of 1,400 metres of ascent. Darren’s family, friends and fellow Burgess Hill Runners provided magnificent support along the way, either by running a few miles with him or popping up along the route with a friendly smile and words of encouragement. In completing the challenge, Darren raised over £3,000 for the Disabilities Trust. It was genuinely heart-warming to see the delight on the faces of his supporters from Ernest Kleinwort Court who came to the halfway point at Tulleys Farm to show their appreciation and wave Darren on his way to Brighton. Ernest Kleinwort Court is a purpose built centre in Burgess Hill providing accommodation and support for people with a range of disabilities. It forms part of the nationwide Disability Lifestyles network of support services provided by The Disabilities Trust. www.justgiving.com/darrenchilcott. Picture attached is Darren just after finishing at the Racecourse.
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.
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).
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