Press Releases 2012

All Press Releases are by Darren Chilcott unless otherwise stated.


A healthy contingent of 20 Burgess Hill Runners were in Brighton on Sunday for the Brooks Brighton 10k, a pancake-flat run along the seafront from Madeira Drive to Hove Lagoon and back. In perfect conditions for running there were some good performances including from first club member home James Sorbie (pictured pushing for the finish line) who took more than a minute off his personal best finishing in 43.17. Dan Foord was delighted with 45.32, closely followed by Benny Coxhill in 46.10, Owain Powell in 47.24 and first female Naomi Trowbridge in 48.47. Amongst the others, Catherine Kempton PB'd in 49.06, John White completed his first ever race in an excellent 50.10 and finished 25th in the 60+ Category, Sheryl Caldecourt was over the moon with a time of 50.34, Karen Sargent improved her PB by a colossal 14 minutes (58.27) and Kjell Berglund finished in a remarkable 58.52 after battling injury problems. Lesley Vangelova was another first-time racer and finished in a very creditable 1.02.35



Six hardy runners from Burgess Hill made the trip to Eastbourne on Saturday for the Beachy Head marathon. Known as one of the toughest (but most popular) marathons in the UK and containing almost 4,000ft of elevation, the 26 mile route begins and ends at St Bede's School at the foot of Beachy Head and starts with a very steep climb to the top of the cliffs before looping offroad and through several local villages before finishing with a brutal last six miles along the Seven Sisters and up and over Beachy Head. There were some spectacular views on a clear day, although a biting Northerly wind made life difficult for the competitors at times, particularly during some freezing heavy showers later in the day. First home for the club, and a fantastic seventh overall in only his second marathon was Paul Sargent (pictured storming towards the finish at St Bede's) in 3 hrs 20 mins 29 seconds. Andrew Bishop was next home in 4.04 in a great first attempt at this event, followed by Darren Chilcott and Andrew Baillie both in 5.12. Jan Lavis left husband Jon behind to finish in 5.24, with Jon himself being delighted to finish in 6.39 after almost no training recently due to injury. Special mention also must go to 14 year old Jon Baillie, son of Andrew and BHR Coach Sue, who set off 30 mins before the formal race start to walk the course on his own and remarkably finished in around 7 hours.

Meanwhile, Jon Lelliott made the trip to Portsmouth on Sunday for the Great South Run, and after recent battles with recurring injuries will have been over the moon with his excellent 1hr 6 mins 48 sec time for the 10 mile course.


The 16th and penultimate race of the West Sussex Fun Run league saw 27 club members make the short trip to Hickstead for the Haywards Heath Harriers organised Hickstead Gallop. The organisers had to make some late changes to the course to avoid the worst of the very wet conditions, but most competitors still found the 5m approx course very slippery in places. First home for the club, as usual, was Darryl Webb, 6th overall in a strong field in an excellent time of 30 minutes and 10 seconds. Next was Andy Sayers (35.12), followed by James Sorbie who was delighted with an excellent 35.21, just ahead of Stuart Condie (35.36) and Dan Foord (36.11). The decent turnout left the club 4th on the day on 75 points (from a maximum 85). Meanwhile, Paul Sargent achieved a superb third place in the Jog Shop Jog (just behind former club member Paul Prosser who was second), a 20 mile race that starts and finished at Brighton Marina and takes in some of the toughest stretches of the South Downs including sections nicknamed 'The North Face', 'The Snake' and 'The Big W'. This race is used by many as preparation for the upcoming Beachy Head marathon in a couple of weeks and Paul will be hoping to carry his form through to that event.


Burgess Hill Runners flooded the Barns Green half marathon on Sunday with 30 runners as the club continues to go from strength to strength, in particular in developing newcomers to the sport. In near-perfect conditions there were some very good times including a number of personal bests and some fine performances from those attempting their first half marathon. First home for the club and 39th overall was Paul Sargent in 1hr 25m 21s. Andrew Bishop was delighted to sneak inside the top 100 with 1.32.11, just ahead of Andy Sayers (1.34.42) and Scott Percy (1.34.45). James Sorbie was also very pleased to set a new PB of 1.41.00, as was Owain Powell who took a massive 48 mins off his previous best (1.48.21). Amongst the rest, Martin Skeats joined the club in January and completed his first half marathon for 27 years in a superb 1.49.58, alongside Alison Dunks (same time) whose performance was also notable given her previous longest race was 4 miles and during which she needed medical attention . Other proud club members completing their first event at this distance or returning after a break were paced and encouraged round the course by Coach Liz Cooper and included Karen Sargent (2.22.21), Paula Ridley (2.22.30), Sally Hickman (2.27.02), Kate McLean (2.27.58) and Debbie Beckett (2.32.30).

Meanwhile, Steve Roberts successfully completed the Extreme Running London to Brighton run on Sunday. The tough, self-navigated route is mainly off-road and starts in Blackheath and is officially around 56 miles, although Steve did suffer from some suspect map-reading at one point that extended an already immense effort. Steve is pictured at the finish near Brighton Marina.


25 Burgess Hill runners made the short trip to Henfield on Saturday for the popular Henfield Joggers organised 4 mile long 'Seven Stiles' race within the West Sussex Fun Run League, and in what may be a first for the club took both first and second places overall. In the provisional results, Paul Leak broke the tape in 24.04, closely followed by Darryl Webb in 24.19. There were a number of other excellent performances including 14 year old Alfie Kempton (44th) in 29.44, the same time as Owain Powell, both just ahead of chief coach Stuart Condie (29.51) and Penny Herbert 8th overall in the ladies race in 31.44. The club finished second on the day of the 17 clubs represented on 79 points behind Arunners who finished on 84. On Sunday, Darren Chilcott completed the Farnham Pilgrim marathon in 4hrs 29 minutes, which follows a scenic, largely cross country route around the Farnham/Guildford area, including St Martha's Hill which ironically is the starting point for a large contingent from the club who are next Saturday taking part in a multi-team relay along the Downs Link, with teams of six looking to complete the 37 mile route that links the North Downs Way with the South Downs Way near Steyning.


On a relatively quiet week for racing, Burgess Hill Runners' Darryl Webb still managed to continue his excellent form, taking third place in 48.33 in the 'Dewpond 7' 7 mile even organised by Haywards Heath Harriers as part of their Downland Running Festival. Jonathan Herbert (1.04.58) and Jon Lavis (1.21.17) also completed the hilly course which started and finished at Clayton Playing Fields and commenced with a sharp climb up past the Jack and Jill Windmills. HHH also have a 30 mile ultra event as part of the festival, following an out and back route along the South Downs Way from Clayton through to Itford Farm at Rodmell. The warmest day for some time made conditions difficult for many, but Steve Roberts was delighted to finish in 5hrs 51, closely followed by Darren Chilcott in 6hrs. Pictured are Steve (right) and Darren at the finish.


Burgess Hill Runners staged their now traditional 'Wivelsfield Woodland Wobble' on Sunday, a 4.5 mile route starting and finishing at Wivelsfield Rec that forms part of the West Sussex Fun Run League series of events. Exceptionally heavy overnight rain saw an already muddy course turned in a quagmire in parts, but entries were boosted by a number of latecomers arriving from other events across the region that were cancelled. Over 300 runners completed the course which includes (as you'd expect) woodland trails, a short stretch of road and the main bridleway through Ditchling Common. Winner on the day, in an exceptional time given the conditions of 28.09 was Chris Bannon of Portslade Hedgehoppers, closely followed by early leader Haywards Heath's Russ Mullen in 28.37. Third was Charlton Rudwick from Arena 80 AC in 29.20. In the ladies category, Rebecca Moore from Worthing Striders was streets ahead of her nearest rival, finishing 4th overall in 29.41, over three minutes clear of Angela Carpenter from Chichester. As well as the adults race, there was an 800m approx event for toddlers which was enjoyed by the many participants, and a junior race for the U16s of approx 1 mile - boys winner was Sam Rogers from Lewes AC and girls winner was Brittany Croydon-Kempster from host club Burgess Hill Runners. Despite the weather conditions, feedback from many of the participants and their clubs indicate the event was a huge success, and massive thanks must go to Race Director Sue Baillie and her team of willing volunteers from BHR who worked so hard to make sure everything went to plan.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, another strong contingent of 28 BHR members made their way to Steyning for the Roundhill Romp, a tough 6 mile race that includes a long and steep climb and a fast but treacherous descent through woodland. True to form, Darryl Webb was first member home, in 6th place overall, in 39.15 with Andrew Bishop next, 41st in 45.04. Liz Carter led the BHR ladies home in 54.29, the same time recorded by Emma Buckland.

Attached - pictures of the main race start, the junior start and a typical mud-covered finisher


Burgess Hill Runners coach Jan Lavis completed the Centurion 100 Mile South Downs Way ultra race on Saturday & Sunday. Starting at a cool and very windy Chilcomb near Winchester at 6am on Saturday morning, approx 200 runners started the long haul East to Eastbourne, aiming to finish within the 30 hour cut-off. The event is very well organised, with checkpoints every 5-10 miles, some of which provide runners with the opportunity to grab some hot food and drink. Despite the windy (and wet at the start) conditions, Jan was ahead of schedule from the start (at least the strong prevailing wind was favourable), reaching the 70 mile checkpoint at local Jack and Jill Windmills at Clayton just as the light faded around 10pm and reaching the Eastbourne finish in a magnificent 25 hours and 32 minutes around 7.30 on Sunday morning. Jan was supported throughout by dutiful husband Jon who completed his own endurance event by car dashing from checkpoint to checkpoint with critical supplies, and had her spirits lifted in the second half of the race by various club members who either ran along with her or cheered her on at various points. Jan is pictured approx 45 miles in to the race near Amberley.


More than 60 senior runners turned out for the Downlands Fayre 5, a five mile run organised by Burgess Hill Runners as part of the Downlands School Summer Fayre. The offroad course takes in fields, woodland and assorted pathways starting and finishing from the school playing field and has become a main feature of the scoool's Fayre. Overall winner was veteran Matt Bristow from Brighton and Hove in a time of 27 minutes 31 seconds, followed by Timmy Gedin from Arena 80 AC in 28.22 with Burgess Hill Runners' Darryl Webb third in 29.39. In the senior ladies category, Jenny Hughes was first home in 37.55, closely followed by Penny Herbert from Burgess Hill Runners in 38.11 with Claire Bulger from Seaford Striders third in 39.05. The team prize, awarded on the basis of the best four runners from any category, went to Arena 80 AC (Timmy Gedin, Malcolm Roweth, Mark O'Gara and Jenny Hughes), with Burgess Hill Runners (Darryl Webb, Jonathan Cawthra, Rainer Hirt and Penny Herbert) second. The junior race, held over approx one mile, was won by Jasper Baker from Lewes AC in 5.46, with Harry Shesby-Wignall second and Peter Bullivant third. For the junior girls, Sylvie Withycombe won in 6.14, followed by Josie Townsend and Briony Lawrie. Pictured are competitors awaiting the start of the senior race.


Burgess Hill Runners held their annual club handicap race at a breezy Ditchling Beacon on Wednesday. The race, which has been going for many years, is open to all club members and follows a 5.1 mile route from the Beacon car park to Black Cap, around the trig point and back again. Runners set off in reverse order based on their estimated finishing time, and if the handicapper gets it right and everyone runs to form all runners will finish together. This never happens of course, although approx 80% of the 56 runners finished within 2 minutes of their time estimated by Keith Delderfield. Winner on the night was Sarah Hellier, 2mins 17 ahead of handicap, closely followed by Geraldine Tyler (2.12) and the rapidly improving James Sorbie (2.00). Special mention also to Liz Carter, who managed to run exactly to her predicted time.Fastest over the course on the night was Darryl Webb in 31.24, followed by Paul Sargent (33.19).

(Webmaster's note: Full results available from the Downloads section)


22 Burgess Hill Runners made the short trip to Hove Park on Sunday (10th) for the 5k West Sussex Fun Run league event. Darryl Webb continued his excellent run of form, storming home in 17 mins 17 seconds and fourth place overall in a very strong field. Andrew Bishop did well to dip under 20 minutes, taking 35th place in 19.23, closely followed by Scott Percy in 20.05. Other results as follows :

Meanwhile, on Saturday (9th) saw the South Downs marathon take place, following a very hilly, rugged but beautiful point to point route mostly along the South Downs Way from Slindon College near Chichester to the Queen Elizabeth Park nr Petersfield. Darren Chilcott was delighted with his time of 4hrs 10 mins, closely followed by Jan Lavis (4.24) who used the event as part of her training for the upcoming South Downs Way 100 mile race. The organisers added a half marathon to the event this year on a route which included the notorious Butser Hill, and Jon Lavis finished this in an excellent 2hrs 22mins


Burgess Hill Runners sent a healthy contingent of 33 runners to The Portslade Hedgehoppers West Sussex Fun Run League event over approx 5 miles. First home, and third overall out of the near-300 field was Darryl Webb in an excellent 31.46 but the club performance of the day was down to 13 year old Archie Kempton who was second club member to finish and 32nd overall in 36.30. Penny Herbert led the ladies home, and was 7th in the female category in 41.13 followed by Catherine Kempton in 16th at 43.22. Archie's twin brother Alfie also ran exceptionally well, beating most of his senior clubmates in finishing 54th in 38.53. BHR finished 4th overall on the day with 79 points out of a possible 85 (full list of finishers and times below)

Meanwhile, on Saturday Jon Lavis completed the 20 mile Marlborough Downs challenge, a mostly off-road event with a number of steep climbs set in the Wiltshire countryside and was very happy with his time of 3hrs 38 mins. Overnight on Saturday, Helen Pratt completed the London Moonwalk, a marathon-distance walk through the city to raise breast cancer awareness. Helen power-walked her way to the finish in a remarkable 5hrs 50mins (running was not allowed)

Picture of Helen


Burgess Hill Runners were out in force over the weekend taking part in a variety of events. The Sussex Living Marathon weekend was a series of three local events held over the long weekend totalling 26.2 miles. The first race of 10m was staged in and around East Grinstead on Saturday and first club member home and fourth overall was Darryl Webb in an excellent 1hr 8mins and 6 seconds. Others completing the race were Jon Cawthra 1.25.22, Keith Delderfield 1.27.23, Stuart Anderson 1.27.33, Catherine Kempton 1.31.29, Liz Carter 1.45.37, Janet Sanders 1.49.15, Diane Delderfield 1.50.07 and Helen Pratt 2.00.59

Sunday saw the event move to Haywards Heath for another 10-miler, Head... Coach Stuart Condie being first club member home in 1.16.00. Others finishing the faster (less muddy) course were Stuart Anderson 1.19.12, Keith Delderfield 1.21.59, Jon Cawthra 1.22.48, Catherine Kempton 1.24.46, Janet Sanders 1.36.15, Liz Carter 1.38.38, Diane Delderfield 1.38.55, Helen Pratt 1.48.21 and Sarah Packer 1.54.55

The planned 10k race on Monday was shortened as the route had to be changed due to the heavy rainfall, and was set around the Bedelands Nature reserve. As expected the three lap race had a high contingent of BHR members, Darryl Webb again taking fourth place overall in an excellent 37.55. Others to finish were Andrew Bishop 44.10, Stuart Anderson 46.31, James Sorbie 46.46, Howard Griffin 47.28, Janet Clapton 49.21, Jon Cawthra 49.29, Paul Eggleton 50.03, Colin Rowland 50.21, Catherine Kempton 51.24, Emma Buckland 52.03, Sarah Middle 53.48, Keith Delderfield 54.19, Janet Sanders 56.04, Sheryl Caldecourt 56.24, Dave Woodhouse 56.40, Carol Eggleton 57.02, Diane Delderfield 57.47, Geraldine Tyler 58.50, Sarah Hellier 1.02.05, Liz Carter 1.02.43, Stephanie Harding 1.03.01, Karen Harvey 1.03.14, Cath Beckett 1.03.20, Richard and Paula Ridley both 1.04.12, Hugh Stevenage 1.05.08, Bryony Monnery 1.05.37, Helen Pratt 1.06.06, Clare Bradford 1.06.48, Gethyn Lewis 1.07.29, Sally Hickman 1.12.43, Karen Sargent 1.12.43 and Debbie Beckett 1.12.44.

Meanwhile on Sunday the Three Forts Challenge Marathon and Half Marathon was held in difficult conditions starting at Hill Barn in Worthing and taking in hills such as Cissbury (twice), Chanctonbury, Truleigh and Devils Dyke, the rain turning the mostly offroad course into a sticky quagmire in parts. In the long event Darren Chilcott completed the 27mile+ course in 4hrs 50 mins and Jan Lavis in 5.16. In the half marathon over similar terrain, Steve Roberts finished in 2.07.59, Jayne White in 2.23.41 and Jon Lavis 2.26.37