Press Releases 2014

All Press Releases are by our PR Officer Darren Chilcott unless otherwise stated.


By Jon Lavis

Sunday saw nine Burgess Hill Runners travel to Greenwich to take part in the Greenwich Christmas 10k. Linda Russell led the BHR team home in a very respectable time of (00:54:48) closely followed by Marie Carey (00:55:13), Gill Berglund (00:56:26), Victoria Newman (00:57:00), Carole Mills (00:58:34), John Carey (0059:16), Kjell Bergland (01:02:22), Claire Giles (01:02:45), Helen Pratt (01:06:00)

Meanwhile two Burgess Hill Runners competed in the Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon, an out and back course between Southsea and Hayling Island, held to raise money for the Portsmouth RNLI, Paul Sargent completed his 12th Marathon of 2014 in 3:15:32, followed closely by Jon Boxall in a fantastic 03:33.32

Pictured - Gill Bergland at the Greenwich Christmas 10k - Photo: Carole Mills


Saturday saw the third round (of four) of the West Sussex Cross Country league held at a chilly Lancing. With a number of clubmembers away this week taking part in their own Downslink Relay social running event, the number of participants was down but the team still put in strong performances and maintained their best-ever league positions. The ladies finished 13th out of 24 Division 2 teams on the day, and are now in 11th place. Sharona Harrington once again was first BHR lady home, covering the 3 mile course in 23.35, supported by Emma Leeson (24.58), Emma Buckland (25.42) and Liz Carter (25.54). In what was a top-class field, the Men’s A team did well to finish 4th in Division 2 and are now 3rd overall, and whilst the B team was short of runners they remain 16th in Division 3. Runners on the day over the 5 mile course were James Collins (31.18), Paul Sargent (32.26), Jason Collett (33.52), Jon Boxall (34.27), James Sorbie (36.309) and Stuart Condie (39.24). On Sunday, almsot 300 runners took part in the Downland Devil, a (roughly) 9 mile offroad course at Church Farm at Coombes and organised by Worthing Striders. Although the weather was kind, the course is tough with a number of hills but again there were some excellent performances, including from several of those who ran the previous day’s cross country event. Jon Boxall took the club honours with a time of 1 hour 5 mins and 31 seconds, some way ahead of Jonathan Lelliott (1.11.18), James Sorbie (1.15.45), Dan Foord (1.18.52), Sharona Harrington (1.29.59), Nick Dawson (1.33.54), Neil Dawson (1.33.57), Philippe Ecaille (1.42.22), Hannah Watkins (1.46.10) and Caz Wadey (1.52.56).


Following completion of the West Sussex Fun Run League for 2014, the club’s main competitive focus has turned to the altogether tougher Brooks Sussex Cross Country league. The club’s performance here too has been improving in recent years including an increasing number of club participants prepared to test themselves against the county’s best runners. Saturday saw the second meeting of the season at Plumpton College and there were some great performances in the extremely wet and muddy conditions around the course (5 miles for men and 3 miles for women). The senior men’s ‘A’ team finished a creditable third on the day in Division 2, holding on to third spot overall in the league, with the B team finishing above half way in Division 3. Individual performances were led by Darryl Webb (32.05) supported by Paul Sargent (33.12), Neil Grigg (35.01), James Sorbie (37.16), Andy Sayers (38.28), Alan Fry (39.22), Stuart Condie (40.04) and John Palmer (47.20). The senior ladies team finished a creditable 10th in Division 2 and are now 12th (out of 29) and were represented by Sharona Harrington (25.18), Emma Leeson (29.01) and Liz Carter (29.57). Continuing the success of the Junior Academy, Laura Wickers (9.12) and Amy Mills (9.22) made their cross country debuts in the Under 11s race. Away from racing, the club was represented at a gala dinner at the Grand Hotel in Brighton last week for the Sussex Sports Awards by Chairman Mark Craigs, Head Coach Liz Cooper, Welfare Officer Nina Ecroyd and the driving force behind the achievement, Sue Baillie where formal recognition of the achievement of Clubmark status was recognised and a certificate presented. The club was the first running club in the South East to achieve this accreditation.

Pictured -

1 - BHR Representatives Nina Ecroyd, Sue Baillie and Liz Cooper at the Sussex Sports Awards with swimming legend Mark Foster (picture courtesy Mark Craigs)

2 - Alan Fry ploughing through the mud at the Brooks Sussex Cross Country League race (picture courtesy Caz Wadey)


Sunday saw the convergence of over 4,000 runners on Madeira Drive in Brighton for the annual Brooks Brighton 10k race. In perfect conditions there were some superb performances in the huge club contingent of over 50 runners that took part, with around 20 achieving new personal bests for the distance. This race forms part of the BHR Club Championship which adds some spice to the event, and near the head of the field there was a real battle for club honours with Paul Sargent (37 mins 14 secs), Neil Grigg (37.17) and James Collins (37.19) finishing within three seconds of each other. Other notable performances amongst the plethora of personal bests included a superb return to competitive running after a long injury lay-off for Jonathan Lelliott, finishing in 15th place in the M50 category in 38.50, Jan Lavis securing 16th place in the F45 category and a huge PB in 42.27, the ever-improving Martin Skeats taking 18th place in the M60 category, also in a new PB of 44.53 and Gill Berglund finishing 19th in the F55 category with 53.59. There were also big PBs for Jason Wadey (almost 4 mins in 46.48), Victoria Newman (also 4 minutes in 50.38), Claire Tucknott (an enormous 9 minutes in 51.40), Marie Carey (4 minutes in 52.06) and Jenny Nicholl (over 6 mins in 59.50). As the club goes from strength to strength, new members are always welcome with all abilities catered for including complete beginners. Go to for details.

Picture below - Jonathan Lelliott enjoying a successful return to racing (picture courtesy Caz Wadey)

The full list of finishers, including PBs :


Saturday before Remembrance Sunday saw the 7th running of the popular Poppy Half marathon on Bexhill seafront with almost 1,000 runners taking part and raising money for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. Whilst the weather stayed dry, it was very windy but this didn’t prevent some excellent performances from Burgess Hill Runners. Most notably it was a great day for the BHR coaching team with Assistant Head Coach Jan Lavis achieving first place in the FV4 category with a Personal best of 1hr 37mins 39 seconds, which was almost matched by Coach Martin Skeats who came second in the MV5 category with a superb 1.43.36. Jon Boxall was the first club member home, also in a new PB of 1.30.20 and 35th place overall, closely followed by Mark Nicholls in 1.31.38. There were also PBs for Leigh Smith (1.42.42) Neil Dawson (1.47.21) Claire Tucknott (1.57.12) ) Linda Russell (1.58.50) and Hannah Brett (2.08.32)

Pictured : Some of BHR before the Poppy Half Marathon at Bexhill


The Beachy Head Marathon, known as one of the toughest in the UK, has become something of an iconic event for Burgess Hill Runners, with increasing numbers being inspired to take on the approx 26 mile route each year. The course loops from St Bede’s School on the seafront at Eastbourne and has a particularly brutal last 6 miles Eastwards over the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head to the finish. Mark Nicholls was the first clubmember home this year in a superb 3hrs 48 mins 53 seconds, with Neil Grigg close behind in 3.53.54, and then Jon Boxall 4.10.51, Sharona Harrington 4.31.11, James Sorbie 4.43.48, Alan Fry 4.52.05, Andy Sayers 4.52.20, Martin Skeats 4.54.37, Debbie Saint 5.05.01, Mark Craigs 5.14.58, Sue Ballie along with husband Andrew 5.27.31, Nick Dawson, Cath Beckett, Jason Wadey and Linda Russell running together in 5.38.06, Sheryl Caldecourt 5.51.26, Steph Harding 5.52.25, Jenny Nicoll 5.53.36, Karen Harvey 5.55.03, Vicky Connolly 5.55.41, John Palmer 5.55.59, Lee Crow 6.05.51, Dave Woodhouse 6.06.01, Nina Ecroydand and Elaine Sugg 6.23.26, Kevin Walker 6.32.39, Helen Pratt, Leanne Cleaveley and Marie Carey 6.42.27, Caz Wadey, Hannah Watkins and Tony Radmall 6.44.53, Nikki Roberts and Steve Gray 6.53.05, Paula and Richard Ridley 6.55.21 and Jon Lavis 6.59.06. On Sunday, some club members made the trip to Portsmouth for the popular Great South Run. Catherine Kempton completed the 10 mile race in an excellent 1.25.38, along with Dave Risby (1.32.37), Claire Giles (1.47.11), Naomi Gollow (1.54.03) and Philippe Ecaille (1.54.04). The West Sussex fun Run league finished last year for the season with BHR finishing in third place overall. The league made a special presentation to James Sorbie and Hannah Watkins as both completed all 17 races in the series throughout 2014 - a fabulous achievement.

Pictured :

1. James Sorbie and Hannah watkins, WSFRL ever-presents in 2014 (picture courtsey Caz Wadey)

2. Andy Sayers and Alan Fry demonstrate true BHR and Beachy Head camaraderie by holing hands through the 20 mile mark at Exceat on the Beachy Head marathon (picture courtesy Neil Dawson)


By James Sorbie

Burgess Hill Runners were well represented around the South again this weekend. On Saturday the club managed a good turnout at Goodwood for the Sussex Cross Country League with a full ladies team and both an ‘A’ and ‘B’ mens team which is something they’ve not always been able to fulfil. Unfortunately official results hadn’t been published in time for this report, however, Sharona Harrington led the ladies in on the 3 mile course in approximately 22 minutes followed by Janet Clapton, Emma Leeson and Naomi Gollow. Darryl Webb led the men’s A Team home on the 5 mile course in 34th place followed by Paul Sargent, Neil Grigg and Jason Collett whilst Ian Jones led the B Team home followed by James Sorbie, Stuart Condie and John Palmer. Also on Saturday, the ever speedy James Collins took part in the first Parkrun at Harcout Hill in Oxford and made his mark with a time of 18:08 and Steve Roberts was manning an aid station at the Winter 100 mile race and, whilst not running, spent 16 hours helping the runners - an endurance effort in itself!

On Sunday the club turned out in force for the last WSFRL race of the season at Lancing, the aptly named “Steepdown Challenge”. Going into the last race the BHR ladies league title was still neck and neck between running buddies Katia Hannah and Emma Fernandez. In order to share their great achievements they opted to sportingly cross the line together and were presented with the league trophy to share. Leading the men home and continuing his great running form was Alan Fry in 33:56. The women were led home by Liz Carter (40:23) who has also been putting in fantastic league performances. The club finished 9th on the day and have provisionally finished in an excellent 3rd place for the season. Meanwhile, intrepid long distance runner Jan Lavis was pleased with a superb time of 3:37:13 at the Abingdon Marathon, just short of a marathon PB but finishing an excellent 2nd place in the veteran ladies 45-55 category.


Jan Lavis completing the Abingdon Marathon. (Photo: Jon Lavis)

Katia Hannah and Emma Fernandez sharing the ladies title. (Photo: Caz Wadey)


Another busy weekend for Burgess Hill Runners saw 27 members make the short trip to Hickstead for the 5 mile Hickstead Gallop, the latest round of the West Sussex Fun Run League organised by Haywards Heath Harriers. Continuing his excellent recent form, Darryl Webb secured 3rd place in a rapid 28 mins 59 seconds and was well supported in the point-scoring stakes by Mark Nichols (31.44), Jonathan Lelliott (33.26), James Sorbie (33.47) and Alan Fry (34.45). The ladies were led home by Fay Roberts (38.07), Janet Clapton (38.42), Cath Beckett (39.04) and Liz Carter (41.22). With the club securing maximum participation points yet again, the team finished in 3rd place on the day with 81 out of a maximum 85 points and remain in 4th place out of the 18 clubs in the league. The club has invested heavily in it’s Academy for juniors and was well represented in the junior races which bodes well for the future. Further afield, the club sent a decent contingent to the popular Wimbledon Common Half Marathon where Marie Carey finished in 2.07.20, Kevin Walker 2.24.37, Lindsey Woods 2.25.04, Caz Wadey a new PB 2.26.51 and Theresa Chalk 2.30.59

Pictured : Burgess Hill Runners before the Hickstead Gallop, including some of the Junior Academy with their medals (Picture - Jay Wadey)


The main focus of BHR activity this week was on longer distance racing, with the second running of the well-organised Sussex Trail Events Downs Link Ultra. Starting in perfect weather at St Martha’s Hill near Guildford on the North Downs, the route followed the mostly flat Downs Link trail for it’s full 38 miles approx, finishing at Shoreham Harbour. The growth in popularity of long distance running in the club was much in evidence, with a remarkable seven club members arriving at the start line for this ‘marathon and an half’, and a number of club members, led by Jon Lavis, manning an aid station en-route at Henfield. Despite running with an injury, Paul Sargent followed up his second place last year with joint 3rd this year in 5hrs 23 mins 45 seconds. Of the other BHR entrants, all were attempting their first ultra events apart from Neil Dawson. Mark Nicholls was just behind Paul in 5th place in 5.29.44, Sharona Harrington had a superb run and was third in the ladies race in 5.58.46 , Jon Boxall finished in 6.10.44, Neil Dawson 6.54.51, Andrew Baillie 7.18.46 and Philippe Ecaille 8.03.13. Meanwhile, Michelle Fraser was in Bournemouth attempting her first marathon and did fabulously well, finishing the 26.2 miles in 4hrs 55 mins.

Pictured -

1 - Team BHR at the top of St Martha’s Hill at the start of the 38 mile Downs Link ultramarathon (left to right - Paul Sargent, Neil Dawson, Mark Nicholls, Sharona Harrington, Jon Boxall, Andrew Baillie, Philippe Ecaille) - picture courtesy of Caz Wadey

2 - Michelle Fraser looking good at 18 miles into the Bournemouth Marathon


Sunday saw the ever-popular Barns Green Half marathon take place, and as usual a large group of 34 BHR members made the trip. In unseasonably hot conditions that made the race hard work for many, Neil Grigg ran superbly to lead the club home in 51st place overall in an excellent 1hr 28 mins, closely followed by Mark Nicholls (1.31.04), Jon Boxall (1.33.11) and Joe Carey (1.37.51). Sharona Harrington was first BHR lady to finish in 1.45.43, backed up by Jan Lavis (1.47.12), Emma Buckland (1.54.34) and Liz Carter (1.54.35). The full list of BHR finishers is below. Much further afield, Jenny Nicoll flew the flag for BHR in Korea, completing in the DMZ International Peace half Marathon and was delighted with the 3kg bag of rice given to all race entrants ! On Saturday night, Helen Pratt completed the Shine Night Walk, a marathon distance walk around London for Cancer Research. Away from racing the club is delighted to have learned that Burgess Hill Runners junior academy won the Best Sports Provider award in the Kallikids 2014 awards voted for by parents, coming first out of over 300 other providers, and were also awarded 2nd place for best school age provider. Academy Coach Bryony Monnery said ‘I knew we were finalists but never expected to win. What an amazing club Burgess Hill Runners are from coaches, volunteers to its members. Look out club mark here we come with our juniors section! Well done all those involved including those who support the work the junior academy are doing’. This is a fantastic achievement and is just reward for all the work Bryony and others have done in setting up the BHR Junior Academy - full details of which are at

Place Name Number Chip Time

51 Neil Grigg 53 01:28:00

74 Mark Nicholls 657 01:31:04

92 Jon Boxall 54 01:33:11

149 Joe Carey 1199 01:37:51

174 Alan Fry 989 01:39:18

207 James Sorbie 56 01:41:32

267 Andy Sayers 924 01:44:25

289 Sharona Harrington 128 01:45:43

316 Jan Lavis 774 01:47:12

337 Martin Skeats 375 01:47:43

411 Dan Foord 115 01:51:14

494 Emma Buckland 806 01:54:34

495 Liz Carter 810 01:54:35

521 Mark Craigs 299 01:56:37

535 Lee Crow 271 01:57:09

590 Cath Beckett 785 01:59:17

724 Linda Russell 890 02:05:19

736 Victoria Newman 58 02:04:26

774 Oliver Dewdney 6 02:07:55

808 Katia Hannah 124 02:09:20

837 Jason Wadey 50 02:10:24

838 Caroline Wadey 51 02:10:25

914 Hugh Stevenage 160 02:14:13

950 Carole Mills 361 02:16:02

954 Owain Powell 57 02:18:05

959 Emma Fernandez 126 02:18:17

971 Paula Ridley 1249 02:17:45

973 Stephanie Harding 211 02:18:00

992 Steven Gray 1448 02:20:39

1011 Paul Russell 905 02:21:47

1035 Lindsey Woods 829 02:22:34

1047 Marie Carey 1431 02:24:36

1048 Hannah Watkins 55 02:24:37

1176 Theresa Chalk 836 02:41:34

Pictured - Neil Grigg looking very comfortable running at Barns Green (picture courtesy of Jon Lavis)


Another very busy weekend for Burgess Hill Runners saw members taking part in events all over the South East. The Farnham Pilgrim Marathon and Half Marathon, organised by the Rotary Club of Farnham Weyside takes place over the North Downs and Pilgrims way and is mostly offroad and quite hilly, but always brilliantly organised and the route is very scenic. Paul Sargent came an excellent 8th place in a very strong field in the full 26.2 mile event in 3hrs 18min 08sec and also secured a nice prize for being second in his age category, and was supported by Jon Boxall (4.09.23), Jon Herbert (4.27.01), Karen Harvey (5.01.14), Nick Dawson (5.10.16), Hannah Brett (5.22.57) and Jon Lavis (6.32.57). Completing the half marathon were Neil Dawson (2.01.48) and Caz Wadey (2.41.20). Over 2,500 runners took part in the inaugural Reigate Half Marathon, and Burgess Hill Runners were well represented with Lee Crow finishing in 1hr 53 min 26 seconds, Marie Carey 2.08.52, Carole Mills an excellent PB in 2.10.09 and Jacqueline Longbone 2.41.45. James Sorbie had a superb run in the East Grinstead 10k trail race organised by East Grinstead Athletic Club, securing 12thplace in 42.29, along with Hannah Watkins who was delighted with her time of 59.00. Finally, Oliver Dewdney competed in the Richmond Half marathon, finishing in an excellent 1.59.24. For details of the club and it's training sessions (to suit all abilities) visit

Pictured (courtesy Neil Dawson) - Burgess Hill Runners at the Sands Recreation Ground before the Farnham Pilgrim events


With no West Sussex Fun Run League event last weekend it was left to club members to seek out some lower profile, but no less demanding races. There were some good performances in the Hellingly 10k, Darryl Webb securing 9th place in a high quality field with a fast 36 mins 29 seconds, followed by Neil Grigg (28th, 39.46), Neil Dawson (49.27) and Nick Dawson (55.35). Further afield, Jon Boxall took the opportunity of racing the exceptionally hilly Truro Half Marathon whilst in Cornwall, finishing in an excellent 1.37.12. Finally, a couple of members made their way over to Firle for the Raw Energy Pursuits series of races, Ross Wiggins completing the half marathon in 1.45.31, and Stuart Anderson the 10km event in 51.47.

Pictured - Jon Boxall on the Cornish coast after completing the Truro half marathon


Another busy weekend for Burgess Hill Runners saw members taking part in a variety of events across the country. Thirteen members took part in the latest West Sussex Fun Run league event organised by Fittleworth Flyers, the club's usual high attendance reduced due to the other events taking place. James Sorbie continued his recent good form finishing the approx 5 mile offroad race in 26th place in 34 mins 10 secs, followed by Alan Fry (35.18), Leigh Smith (35.58), Trevor Symes (time unconfirmed), Mark Craigs (40.42) and Simon Alexander (42.14). Liz Carter led the ladies contingent in 42.07, supported by Cath Beckett (43.12), Emma Fernandez (46.36), Katia Hannah (46.38), Hannah Watkins (49.51), Elaine Scott (51.59) and Sacihko Barry (54.00). Also on Sunday, the club entered three teams in the River Relay organised by the Stragglers. running club This involved a scenic 26.2 mile route along the banks of the River Thames from Virginia Water split into 5 legs. Organiser Kevin Walker balanced the teams well meaning all finished strongly, with the C team completing the course in 3 hours 30 mins 48 seconds (31st place overall), the A team 3.49.21 (40th) and the B team 3.52.38 (41st). Finally, clubmembers Caz and Jay Wadey ventured North to Newcastle to take part in the Great North Run, known as the World's greatest half marathon. Caz and Jay ran together and thoroughly enjoyed the event, finishing in 2hrs 30 mins....& Fay Roberts & Dave Oldfield both put in efforts at the annual Chestnut Tree House 10k in Littlehampton. Fay came in as 16th womens place overall in 47:39 & Dave Oldfield dipped in under the 50 minute mark!

Pictured : BHR teams at Fittleworth and the Stragglers River Relay, and Caz and Jay Wadey at the GNR


Sixteen Burgess Hill Runners made their way to Waterhall on Sunday morning for the inaugural 'Stinger' race organised by Hove Hornets, the latest round of the West sussex Fun Run League. Several WSFRL veterans found this to be one of the hardest events on the calendar, with a number of significant climbs over the Downs on the 6 mile approx route. James Sorbie was the first BHR runner home of the 213 entrants in 16th place in (unconfirmed) 42 mins 19 secs, and was followed by Leigh Smith (44.08), Alan Fry (44.33),John Carey (50.25), Mark Craigs (52.05), Liz Carter (52.25), Dave Woodhouse (52.53), John Palmer (54.29), Karen Harvey (56.53), Kul Verma (57.09), Marie Carey (57.17), Jill Bennett (59.12), Jon Lavis (1.00.27), Caz Wadey (1.01.29), Hannah Watkins (1.05.32), Helen Pratt (1.06.51) and Theresa Chalk (1.08.54). Last Saturday, club members Paul Sargent and Neil Dawson took part in the Sussex Trail Events Lemmings Marathon, and physically and mentally challenging race of marathon distance consisting of 106 laps of a grass 400 metre track. Another excellent performance from Paul saw him leading at half way and whilst he faded slightly in the second half of the race, he finished in a superb second place, in 3 hrs 14mins 4 seconds beaten only by James Elson, one of the UK's top distance runners who finished in 3.03.23. Neil also ran an excellent race and finished in 4.36.59.

Pictured - Burgess Hill Runners at the Hove Hornets Stinger (photograph courtesy of Jason Wadey), and Paul Sargent celebrating second place at the Lemmings track marathon.


Yet another marvellous BHR turnout of 30 runners at the latest West Sussex Fun Run League on Wednesday last week saw the club take 3rd place out of the 18 competing clubs, with 83 points out of a possible 85. The race, the Highdown Hike, a very hilly 4 miles or so over the Downs organised by Worthing Striders, attracted well over 400 runners and of those racing in the league James Collins just pipped clubmate Darryl Webb, coming a superb 2nd and 3rd in 25.23 and 25.48 respectively. Jason Collett also secured (10) maximum points, finishing 19th in 27.28, with Mark Nicholls (36th, 28.56) and James Sorbie (29.50) scoring 9 points each. Emma Buckland ran a superb race led the BHR ladies home and secured her first 10 point score, finishing 148th in 35.24, and was well supported by Cath Beckett (37.55), the ever-improving Linda Russell (38.10), Katia Hannah (38.52), Emma Fernandez (38.57) and Karen Harvey (39.49). Special mention too to Faye Roberts and Claire Tucknott who both completed their first official race in BHR colours. On Sunday, Jan Lavis competed in the Centurion Running North Downs Way 100 mile event. This race is particularly hard, encompassing several difficult climbs in including the notorious Box Hill and a large proportion of the field dropped out, particularly in the latter stages at night as the weather worsened. After several months hard training, Jan was going exceptionally well, but unfortunately got her foot caught in a rabbit hole at around 48 miles leading to a sprained ankle that meant continuing to the finish would have risked serious injury.

Pictured :

1. Jan Lavis during the North Downs Way 100

2. Trevor Symes, Keith Delderfield and Dave Woodhouse attack the hills at the Highdown Hike

Full BHR Highdown Hike results :

2 25:23 133 James Collins M 2 10

3 25:48 147 Darryl Webb M 3 10

19 27:28 132 Jason Collett M 19 10

36 28:56 139 Mark Nicholls M 35 9

49 29:50 143 James Sorbie M 48 9

51 29:56 142 Leigh Smith M 50 8

67 31:21 134 Stuart Condie M 66 8

77 31:42 137 Alan Fry M 76 7

92 32:22 141 Andy Sayers M 91 7

124 33:56 135 Neil Dawson M 117 6

131 34:29 130 Simon Alexander M 123 5

144 35:15 145 Trevor Symes M 135 5

148 35:24 278 Emma Buckland F 10 10

161 36:01 140 John Palmer M 146 4

169 36:16 148 Dave Woodhouse M 152 4

184 36:57 136 Keith Delderfield M 161 4

201 37:55 279 Cath Beckett F 28 8

207 38:10 276 Di Delderfield F 31 8

213 38:29 271 Linda Russell F 35 8

223 38:52 274 Katia Hannah F 41 7

226 38:57 275 Emma Fernandez F 43 7

243 39:49 273 Karen Harvey F 50 7

279 42:23 270 Elaine Scott F 71 5

286 42:49 269 Claire Tucknott F 75 5

287 42:49 138 Jon Lavis M 212 2

295 43:25 268 Hannah Watkins F 80 5

296 43:27 131 Andrew Cobham M 216 2

315 45:12 277 Nicky Dawson F 93 4

332 47:06 272 Helen Pratt F 105 3


Almost 30 BHR members made the short trip to Henfield for Henfield Joggers 4 miles 'Seven Stiles' race on Sunday morning, the latest round of the West Sussex Fun Run League and some solid performances saw the club secure 79 points out of a possible 85 and fourth place overall. James Collins, returning for the summer, showed he lost none of his ability and finished in a superb 2nd place of the 365 runners in 24 mins 32 seconds, only 15 seconds behind the winner. Behind James, further good performances saw Alan Fry just pip James Sorbie, finishing in 46th (28.32) and 49th (28.39) respectively, followed by Leigh Smith (28.50), Andy Sayers (29.45), Gordon Skeats (29.50) and Stuart Condie (29.58). Sharona Harrington secured maximum points in leading the BHR ladies home in 30.31, followed by Emma Buckland (33.14), Liz Carter (33.39), Nick Dawson (38.09), Victoria Newman (38.12) and Elaine Scott (38.33). At the same time, largely in pursuit of the particularly nice medal or 'race bling', a number of club members made the longer trip to Wimbledon Common for the Wimbledon half marathon. Times recorded included John Palmer 1.59.45, Karen Harvey 2.10.23, Vicky Connolly 2.12.22, Stephanie Harding 2.17.24, Kevin Walker 2.19.54, Steve Gray 2.20.32, Jenny Nicoll 2.22.55, Helen Pratt 2.23.03, Jon Lavis 2.24.22, Caz Wadey 2.32.26, Anne Savidge 2.36.26 and Theresa Chalk 2.41.24. Finally, several thousand miles away the Carey family took on the San Francisco marathon including the iconic section over the Golden Gate Bridge. Son Jo led the group home in 4.39.22 with sister Hannah (5.26.53) and parents John (5.27.16) and Marie (5.27.14) all having a fantastic experience.

Pictured :

Burgess Hill Runners at Henfield for the Seven Stiles race

Burgess Hill Runners after the Wimbledon Half Marathon

The Carey Family after the San Francisco marathon

The sought after Womble medal for the Wimbledon half


Last Wednesday (16th) evening saw yet another mass of BHR members make a rewarding trip to Littlehampton for the latest West Sussex Fun Run League meeting, the 5 mile ‘Beach Run’ organised by Arunners along the seafront and which includes some energy sapping sections on the shingle at low tide. The Club finished an excellent 4th on the night of the 17 member clubs, with its 38 entrants securing 82 points from a maximum 85. Individually, Paul Sargent ran a cracking race, tracking the leader throughout before choosing his moment to take the lead and winning overall in 28 mins 58 seconds. Jason Collett also secured maximum points, finishing 18th in 31.45, followed by James Sorbie (33.20), Andy Bradford (34.08), Andy Sayers (34.16), Leigh Smith (34.18) and Alan Fry (34.23). Sharona Harrington was the club’s first female finisher and also scored maximum points (36.34), and was supported by Cath Beckett (40.09), Emma Buckland (40.31), Catherine Kempton (40.59) and Liz Carter (41.49). On the same evening, Darryl Webb raced in the Brighton Phoenix 10k event and finished in a superb 37.07 and 27th place in a very high quality field. The weekend was a relatively quite one for racing, but there were many BHR members present at the Clair Park parkrun in Haywards heath on Saturday morning where fancy dress was the order of the day to celebrate the events hugely successful first year. On Sunday, Jon and Jan Lavis travelled to Buckinghamshire for the Chiltern Challenge 50km ultrarunning event. In the sultry weather and over the very hilly offroad route, Jan finished in a superb 6hrs 42 mins and Jon also did well, finishing in 9hrs 28 mins in what he described as the hardest event he’d ever done.

Pictured :

BHR at the Beach Run

BHR members Jason Wadey (left) and Alan Fry get into the birthday spirit at Clair parkrun

Jan and Jon Lavis enjoying the heat and hills at the Chiltern Challenge 50k event


By James Sorbie:

This week it was mainly the Burgess Hill ladies that took up the headlines for the club, starting last weekend with the St Lawrence Fair Fun Run, a 5 mile course taking in the notorious Wolstonbury Hill and organised by the club’s very own Benny Coxhill. Fay Roberts was pleased with her time of 46:07 which made her the first place lady and came with a nice big shield for her achievement. Catherine Kempton, also from Burgess Hill Runners was second placed lady with a time of 49:02. James Collins will also be pleased, representing Burgess Hill’s men finishing in second place overall with a time of 34:43, followed by Archie Kempton with a time of 40:44 continuing his recent fine form. Ex Burgess Hill members faired well with Jonathan Cawthra finishing 8th and Paul Prosser finishing 33rd accompanying his son, George. There was also a shorter course of 1.5 miles for the youngsters and BHR were pleased to boast second and third places courtesy of Ben Herbert (13:39) and Jonny Hill (14:36). This weekend Carole Mills represented the club in the British 10k London Run and finished in a super time of 58:35 whilst Jan Lavis took part in the scenic Surrey Badger Half Marathon, something of a short distance considering her usual exploits. She finished in 2:00:09 knocking a pleasing 10 minutes off her time from last year. On Sunday the club sent 8 members on the LiRF course and congratulates Neil Dawson, Nick Dawson, Hannah Brett, Allie Wood, Peter Crowley, Linda Russell, Liz Carter and Andrew Baillie who are now newly qualified members of the club’s successful coaching team.

Photo 1 - Carole Mills with her 10k medal

Photo 2 - Fay Roberts celebrates her victory


By James Sorbie:

Another busy week for Burgess Hill Runners kicked off in style as 32 runners took part in the aptly named Steyning Roundhill Romp league race. Darryl Webb lead the team home finishing in 3rd place overall with a fantastic time of 34:42 for the tricky 5.5 mile course. He was backed up by Jason Collett (37:14), Mark Nicholls (38:00) and Joe Carey (40:39) who finished 13th, 16th and 41st respectively. Leading the ladies home was Sharona Harrington in 45:49 (14th female) with Emma Buckland (49:52) and Liz Carter (50:36) not far behind. These fantastic performances and turnout meant BHR finished joint first for the day, along with two other well represented running clubs. On Saturday morning, several keen Burgess Hill Runners ventured to the local 5k Parkrun events and PBs were set by Alan Fry (course PB of 21:50 at Clair Park), Lindsey Woods (31:12 at Clair Park), Leigh Smith (course PB of 21:04 at Hove), Hannah Watkins (27:18 at Hove) and Carole Mills (27:06 at Tilgate). On Sunday 7 club members headed off for the Bewl 15 mile race near the Sussex/Kent boarder, organised by Wadhurst Runners & Nice Work. The race circles the scenic Bewl Water Country Park and after an undulating, mixed terrain 10 miles runners are treated to three very difficult hills as they head towards the finish. First in for Burgess Hill was Paul Sargent in 1:35:39, followed by James Sorbie (1:56:57), Stuart Anderson (2:10:29), Jan Lavis (2:22:16), Jon Lavis (2:35:09 knocking roughly 45 minutes off his previous course PB), Hannah Watkins (3:08:34) and Caz Wadey (3:08:36).

Photo - Burgess Hill Runners at the Bewl 15, courtesy of Caz Wadey.


By James Sorbie:

On Saturday Burgess Hill Runners hosted their annual league race, the Downlands Dash which also forms part of the Downlands Community School Summer Fayre in Hassocks. The scenic 5.5 mile race starts in the Downlands playing fields and then goes off through a mixed terrain of fields and wooded areas. After the bad weather that struck the local area early on, the clouds parted just in time for the race and glorious sunshine greeted the 286 adults and 48 juniors who hadn’t been deterred by the earlier rain. The adult race was won by a local man, Matt Bristow, who had once trained with Burgess Hill Runners. He clocked a fantastic time of 33:27 and was followed shortly behind by Paul Cousins of Haywards Heath Harriers in 34:05 and Rob Watts, also of Haywards Heath Harriers, in 34:32. Leading the ladies home in 21st place overall was Emma Rollings of Arena 80 AC. She was followed by Kelly Clark in 46th overall, 40:29 and Deborah Cawdery in 48th, 40:33.In the 1 mile Juniors race Alex Halfacree of Arunners came in first with an amazing time of 5:38 and first girls were Sophie Hooper of Haywards Heath Harriers and Ella Tourle crossing the line together in 6:18. From BHR Jonathan Beckett was first home in 16th place (7:05) followed by Rosie Beckett (7:24), Bethany Tyrrell (8:14), Jack Turner (8:15), Laura Cooper (8:40), Lola Monnery (8:59) and Lois Roberts (10:30). As hosts of this event Burgess Hill Runners were mostly on duty as volunteers for the day and under the supervision of the enthusiastic Race Director, Steve Roberts, were pleased with their successful organisation of the event which they were subsequently heavily praised for by other clubs. However, a few of the club’s runners couldn’t resist sampling the event for themselves and were lead home by James Collins in a superb 36:02, 11th place. He was followed by Andy Bradford (40:15), Stuart Condie (42:22), Dougie Cooper (43:20), Buster Roberts (45:44). barefooted Trevor Symes (46:48), Emma Buckland (47:29), Suzie Sturgeon (55:37) and Clare Collins (55:38). There was also success on Saturday at the weekly 5k Parkrun event at Clair Park. As many Burgess Hill Runners braved the elements Linda Russell was delighted to continue her fine form with a new PB of 25:41.

Photos (all courtesy of Caz Wadey) -

Photo 1: The race gets underway

Photo 2: Paula Ridley tests the finish funnel for race director Steve Roberts

Photo 3: Race winner Matt Bristow approaches the finish


Burgess Hill Runners gathered in perfect conditions at Ditchling Beacon on Wednesday evening for their annual Black Cap Handicap Race. The race, which is over some five and a quarter miles from the car park to the Black Cap trig point and back, sees runners set off in reverse order with handicaps based on previous race times, the aim being that all runners finish more or less together. Race Director James Sorbie put an immense amount of work into calculating expected finishing times of the 57 runners that took part and did a superb job, as around 40 of the 57 finished within 2 mins of their predicted time. Winner on the night was Jenny Nicholl, 4mins 34s inside her predicted time (actual time 50m 56s), 2nd was Jan Lavis 4.23 inside (actual time 39.22) and third Joe Carey 3.09 (actual time 34.06). The evening was also notable for yet another club record for Paul Sargent, who finished in 30.16, and just a single second off his predicted time. After the event, club members went to the pub to celebrate and also to make a special presentation to Stuart Condie. Stuart, whilst remaining extensively involved in the club, recently stood down after 10 years as head coach and was presented with a tankard, some beer and a cake as a mark of appreciation. Prior to the Black Cap Race, several club members made the short trip to Whiteman’s Green on Tuesday evening for the Summer Relays organised by Haywards Heath Harriers. These races consist of a lap of the Whitemans Green field, around 1.25 miles for each of a team of four in various age groups. Full results were still awaited at the time of going to press but it was another successful evening for BHR with both the Mens Vets and Ladies Vets teams winning their age groups, and Jason Collett and Cath Beckett running fastest laps in those categories. On Sunday, in swelteringly hot and humid conditions not at all conducive to long distance running, husband and wife team Jon and Jan Lavis took part in the North Downs Run 30k event organised by Istead and Ifield Harriers which started and finished in Gravesend and consisted of a very hilly, mostly off road route. Jan was delighted with an excellent time of 3 hours 18 mins 32 seconds, and Jon too with his 4.12.53.

Pictured – Jenny Nicholl, winner of this year’s Black Cap handicap race and former Head Coach Stuart Condie after receiving his gifts


The first Saturday in June sees teams of runners from across the South compete in the South Downs Way 100 Mile Relay. Approx 50 teams start in small groups every 30 mins, the aim being to complete the full SDW trail in under 14 hours, each of the six runners completing three legs throughout the day. Burgess Hill Runners entered two teams and after a very early start for the mini bus, both met their scheduled start time at 6.30am at Beachy Head car park. Weather conditions on the day were variable, with some heavy rain and thunderstorms making like difficult for some of the early runners, and then replaced with hot and humid conditions for runners later on, particularly on the mid-afternoon legs. Despite this, both teams did brilliantly to finish comfortably within the cut-off time. Having started together, the two teams exchanged positions throughout the day, but the unique BHR club spirit prevailed and Catherine Kempton and Alan Fry decided to finish the final leg together to complete another excellent day for one of the most popular running events on the calendar. Sunday saw the latest West Sussex Fun Run League event, the Hove Park 5k. With the SDWR the previous day, and the Mid Sussex Sprint triathlon directly clashing, the club did well to still send 20 runners, a number of whom managed PBs for the distance over the course which is known to be faster than the usual Clair Park haunt of most members. Andy Bradford led the contingent home in an excellent 20 mins 11s and was well supported by Leigh Smith (20.40 - PB), Mark Craigs (22.38 - PB), Neil Dawson (22.48) and Simon Alexander (23.10). Cath Beckett was pleased with her time of 22.38 and was followed by Sheryl Caldecourt (25.28), Carole Mills (27.24) and Hannah Watkins (27.42). The next event in the series if the Downland Dash, organised by BHR, on Saturday June 18th at Downlands School. Entry forms are available at

Pictured :

1. BHR Team at the Hove Park 5k on Sunday

2. A somewhat bedraggled James Sorbie completes leg 5 of the SDWR after being caught in a thunderstorm on Ditchling Beacon

3. Catherine Kempton and Alan Fry bringing the two BHR SDW Relay teams home at the end of the final leg


In the absence of any West Sussex Fun Run League action this weekend, Burgess Hill Runners members still managed to find some racing. Several runners made their way to Worthing for the Worthing 10k on Sunday morning, and despite the warm and humid conditions there were some excellent performances, with several runners taking large chunks out of their previous personal bests on the flat, fast course. Darryl Webb was 23rdoverall in a superb 36 mins 43 seconds, but equally delighted with their performances were James Sorbie (42.02, new PB), the fast-improving Leigh Smith who took almost 3 minutes of his previous best for the distance (43.40), Mark Craigs (48.54), Carole Mills (56.15, PB), Hannah Watkins who has been trying to break the hour for a long time and managed to smash this with another 3 minute PB (57.36), Ann Savidge (1.02.33, PB), Hugh Stevenage (1.03.51) and Theresa Chalk (1.07.13, PB). Meanwhile, on Saturday morning Sussex Trail Events held their Arun River Marathon, an event not dissimilar to one they held in awful conditions in January. Despite the heat and humidity, it was no surprise that the result was the same, Paul Sargent again romping home in 1st place in 3hrs 43mins 17s, some 4 mins ahead of the second placed runner despite some struggles with the conditions.

Pictured – BHR members at the Worthing 10k with their commemorative mugs, and Paul Sargent racing the Arun River Marathon


Last Wednesday Burgess Hill Runners again achieved maximum participation points the 7th West Sussex Fun Run League event, sending a team of 25 to Trundle Hill at Lavant for the tough hilly event. Paul Sargent, taking a break from his long distance efforts, finished 3rd overall of the league entrants in 39m 58s, and was ably supported by Jason Collett (10th, 42.42) and Mark Nicholls (13th, 43.17) in scoring maximum league points. James Sorbie (46.36), Andy Bradford (47.22) and Trevor Symes (48.14) also scored well. The ladies were led home by Elona Smith (57.41), Katia Hannah (59.20) and Emma Fernandez (60.59) leaving the club in a superb second place on the night. The bank holiday weekend saw club members focusing mainly on longer distance races. The Weald Challenge is a new event with largely offroad half, marathon and 50k races starting in Chiddingly and taking in the paths of the Wealdway and Vanguard Way, and four BHR members decided to attack the full marathon distance. Jon Lavis and Hannah Brett completed the course together in 6hrs 43 mins 27 seconds, closely followed by husband and wife team Jason and Caz Wadey, who chose this as their first marathon and finished in 6.45.54. Further north, Sunday saw the ever popular Edinburgh Marathon Festival and a number of members travelled up and put in some excellent performances. In the full marathon, there was a superb personal bests for Cath Beckett (3.58) and Lee Crow completed the course in 4.38. In the half marathon there were great performances from Helen Slater with a new personal best of 1hr 58min, Claire Trotter 2hr 10min and Sally Hickman also with a new PB of 2hr 19 min. To complete the weekend, Liz Carter completed a very muddy Lindfield Village 10k. Burgess Hill Runners are now making preparation for their annual Race, The Downlands Dash on June 28th held in conjunction with Downlands School as part of their summer fayre. The event includes a multi terrain course of just under 5 miles suitable for all abilities (min age 14), plus a 1 mile children's race, with medals for junior race finishers. Full details and an entry form can be found at

Pictured (left to right) - Jason Wadey, Caz Wadey, Hannah Brett and Jon Lavis at the Weald Challenge Trail Marathon


It was a busy weekend for Burgess Hill Runners, with a wide variety of events taking place across the South. A team of 11 runners (plus support crew) spent the hottest weekend of the year so far completing the Green Belt Relay. Starting on Saturday morning at Hampton Court, the 220 mile route takes in most of the Green Belt way that circles London, finishing in nearby Kingston-Upon-Thames and is broken into 22 legs varying from 6 miles up to 13.5 miles, each runner completing one leg on Saturday and one leg on Sunday. The team, captained by Neil Dawson who along with Steve Roberts got the club into this race and organised things brilliantly, did superbly finishing the race in 36 hours 31 mins and 20 seconds and in 31st place overall. All those who took part had a fabulous time and the event looks set to feature on the BHR calendar in the coming years. On Saturday, Jan Lavis had another excellent run in the Centurion Running North Downs Way 50, a very tough 50 mile race that includes the notorious Box Hill, finishing in 11 hours 11 mins 20 secs. On Sunday, a small group of BHR members tackled the popular Horsham 10k and put in some great performances considering the hot conditions and challenging course. Darryl Webb finished 14th in 37.23, James Sorbie was just a few seconds outside of his personal best in 43.06, Leigh Smith knocked a whole minute off his previous best for the distance (46.31) and there were good times also posted by Mark Craigs (49.36) and Hannah Watkins who also achieved a PB with a time of 1.01.07

Pictured – the BHR Green Belt Relay team, plus Jan Lavis at the end of the NDW50


Another excellent turnout saw 30 Burgess Hill Runners take part in the latest West Sussex Fun Run League event, the Hedgehoppers 5 hosted by Portslade Hedgehoppers. James Sorbie continued his strong recent form, heading the club's runners in 37th place overall in a time of 36 mins 42 seconds. He was supported by Alan Fry (53rd in 38.06), Andy Sayers (58th, 38.20), Trevor Symes (59th, 38.21), Stuart Condie (66th, 39.33), and Andy Bradford (82nd, 40.35). Hannah Katia was the club's first lady finisher in 47.30 (178th), closely followed by Sheryl Caldecourt (181st, 47.46), Emma Fernandez (187th, 48.00) and Di Delderfield (207th, 50.19).

Pictured - several of the BHR team prepare for the Hedgehoppers 5


It was a quite monumental weekend for Burgess Hill Runners, with an enormous number of members involved in a variety of races, both as competitors and in helping the smooth running of the Burgess Hill 10K and junior mile on Monday. Sunday saw the increasingly popular Three Forts Challenge event which includes very tough events of 27 and 13.1 miles that both include steep downland climbs. In near-perfect conditions for long distance running, Jo Brice ran an exceptional race to win the ladies full marathon (and a bit) event in 3 hrs 42 mins 44s. Last year's men's winner Paul Sargent found himself up against some elite competition but still managed a superb 6th place in 3.25.26. Neil Grigg was competing in his first long-distance trail event and finished in 135th place in a creditable 4.36.21, Susan Lyle did brilliantly to secure 3rd place in the F50 category in 4.46.58 followed by Jan Lavis (4.58.24), Neil Dawson (5.13.05), Karen Harvey (5.23.48), Diane Delderfield (5.28.30), Kevin Walker (5.47.44) and Jon Lavis (6.00.23). In the half marathon, Darryl Webb grabbed an excellent third place with 1.28.06, supported by Sheryl Caldecourt (2.23.59), Linda Russell (2.24.50), Hannah Brett (2.27.27), Steph Harding (2.30.59), Paula Ridley (2.33.07), Elaine Sugg (2.33.12), Allie Wood (2.35.19), Jenny Nicoll (2.36.20), Niki Roberts (2.39.54), Nina Ecroyd (2.39.59), Helen Pratt (2.46.21) and Leanne Cleaveley (2.46.29). The Mid Sussex Marathon Weekend is becoming something of a fixture ion the local running calendar, with three races over the three days of the bank holiday weekend making up the traditional 26.2 miles of the marathon with 10 mile races in East Grinstead on Saturday and Haywards Heath on Sunday followed by a 10k (6.2 mile) race in Burgess Hill on Monday, plus a one mile children's race. Official results were still awaited at the time of going to press, but several BHR members completed all three events including Hannah Watkins, Leigh Smith, Jason Wadey, Mark Craigs, Marie Carey and Dave Risby. In the one mile event, the club were very well represented by members of it's flourishing Junior Academy.

Pictured :

Jo Brice, Winner of the Three Forts Challenge 27 mile race

Members of the Burgess Hill Runners Junior Academy

Burgess Hill Runners Three Forts Half Marathon competitors with their medals


Although it was a quieter week for racing, BHR members still managed to find a couple of local events to attack. The annual Angmering Bluebell 10 mile trail run takes in a very scenic route through the Angmering Park Estate and is always popular. This year 275 runners took part and for BHR Jon Boxall did well to finish in 20th place in a speedy 1hr 11mins 49 seconds. Lisa Matthews finished in 1.45.24, followed by Lynsey Alty (1.47.49), Kay McMenamin (1.49.27) and Caz Wadey (1.55.22). Meanwhile, club coach Jan Lavis and Nick Dawson completed the LDWA South Downs Marathon, a tough 28 mile event over the South Downs that started and finished at East Dean Village Hall. Nick was particularly pleased as it was her first event over the marathon distance and is testament to the remarkable progress she has made, having only taken up running around two and a half years ago.

Pictured – Nick Dawson (left) and Jan Lavis during the South Downs Marathon


Monday saw the fifth round of the West Sussex Fun Run League, the Lewes 10k. Starting and finishing with a lap of the track at the leisure centre, the rest of the route has a mix of terrain and a few small hills to keep things interesting. Fresh from multiple recent successes in various longer distance events and a ‘feelgood factor’ that has extended way beyond those that took part in those, the club sent over 50 runners out of a total field of 675 to the event. The provisional results show Darryl Webb led the contingent home in 38 mins 10 secs for an excellent 8th place in a high quality field, followed by an injured Paul Sargent (42.03), James Sorbie (45.15), Andy Sayers (46.35) and Trevor Symes (46.45). The BHR ladies were headed by Cath Beckett (51.49), Emma Buckland (52.02), Susan Lyle (53.06), Liz Carter (54.30) and Emma Fernandez (57.47). The club has now embarked on its ever-expanding series of Friday evening summer ‘pub runs’ which are very social and run at a very relaxed pace and are an ideal way for new members to meet existing runners – full details are on the club website

Pictured – the enormous BHR Group at the start of the Lewes 10k on Monday


There were some sparkling performances by Burgess Hill Runners members at Sunday’s Virgin Money London Marathon which was held in near-perfect conditions for both runners and spectators. The runners were supported by a large number of club members who travelled up on the day to cheer on their clubmates from various vantage points around the 26.2 mile course. Seemingly completely recovered from his tough 50 mile race over the South Downs last weekend, Paul Sargent somehow managed to deliver yet another personal best, finishing in a quite exceptional 2 hrs 55 mins 20 seconds. Mark Nicholls was on track for an intended sub-3hr time at half way and whilst this proved a bit ambitious he still finished in an excellent 3.23.30. Susan Lyle achieved a remarkable 117th in her age category (3.52.44) and there were big personal bests for Linda Russell (by 20 minutes in 4.37.09), Jackie Osborne (by an enormous 37 mins in 4.44.45), Jon Lavis (by 10 mins in 4.49.08) and Kevin Walker (almost half an hour in 5.04.36). Helen Pratt did fabulously well to finish in 5.11.59 after completing the Brighton marathon last week, Steve Osborne finished in 5.21.47 and special mention too to Elona Smith (5.31.09), the clubs’ youngest marathon runner at just 18. Linda Russell summed up both the club ethos and the London Marathon by saying ‘Impossible to put into words what it felt to be out there today taking part in the London Marathon and thank you BHR for giving me that opportunity’.

Pictured - (left to right) Linda Russell, Kevin Walker, Helen Pratt and Jon Lavis with their London marathon Medals in St James park


By James Sorbie

It was a highly successful weekend of running for Burgess Hill Runners this week with a large number of club members in action at the 5th annual Brighton Marathon on Sunday, including some fantastic performances and first timers at this distance. Leading Burgess Hill home in a superb time of 3:04:31 was Neil Grigg who set himself a new PB in the process. He was followed by great performances from: Jon Boxall (3:30:54 - PB by 25 minutes), Alan Fry (3:38:41), Martin Skeats (3:43:41 - PB/first time), Joe Carey (3:46:08 - PB/first time), Sharona Harrington (3:51:09 - PB, first BHR lady), Emma Buckland (3:56:30, 2:30 faster than her previous PB), Scott Percy (3:59:31), Cath Beckett (3:59:32 - PB), Liz Carter (4:01:12), Catherine Kempton (4:04:50 - PB/first time), Neil Dawson (4:09:12 - PB) Oliver Dewdney (4:12:19), John Palmer (4:14:50), Mark Kenward (4:15:36), Tim Coxhill (4:18:07), David Risby (4:19:12, knocking a huge 25 minutes off his previous best), Leigh Smith (4:19:50 - PB/first time), Nicola Dawson (4:23:42 - reducing her PB by 16 minutes), Vicky Connolly (4:28:23 - PB/first time), Mark Craigs (4:30:00 - PB), Katie Ainscow (4:34:46), Karen Harvey (4:35:45 - PB), Stephanie Harding (4:40:55 - PB), Marie Carey (4:42:30 - PB), John Carey (4:42:31 - PB), Jill Bennett (4:42:49 - PB/first time), Hannah Brett (4:51:40 - PB/first time), Allie Wood (4:51:45 - PB), Jenny Nicoll (4:59:12 - PB), Helen Pratt (4:59:38 - course PB), Gemma Mack (5:19:25), Carole Mills (5:31:11 - PB) and Steven Gray (5:37:07).

The weekend had already started with a bang on Saturday, as Paul Sargent continued to make a name for himself in the world of ultra-marathon running, taking on his first ever 50 mile race. The ‘SDW50’ covers 50 miles of hilly trail over the South Downs Way from Worthing to Eastbourne. Paul was up against some serious, experienced competition but managed to get himself over the line in 7:00:35, which put him in an incredible 5th position overall.

Meanwhile, it was PB galore for Burgess Hill Runners taking part in Parkrun events around the country on Saturday morning. New personal bests at Clair Park for David Woodhouse (24:51) and Wendy Spicer (33:03). At Tilgate Park Karl Richards recorded a new PB of 33:16. Finally, at Hove Park PBs for James Sorbie (19:57), Lucy Tyrrell (27:34) and Hannah Watkins (27:45).


Neil Grigg powering through the half way point of the Brighton Marathon (photo by Jon Lavis)

Paul Sargent lapping up the 50 mile SDW50 course (photo by Caz Wadey)

Karen Harvey, Allie Wood, Hannah Brett, Stephanie Harding, Jill Bennett, Vicky Connolly and Helen Pratt before the race (photo by Helen Pratt)


This weekend was a very quiet one for Burgess Hill Runners, with many members now in full taper mode for the upcoming Brighton (April 6th) and London (April 13th) marathons. However, there are always races to be found and three members took part in the Mel's Milers 10k on Sunday. Darryl Webb stormed round in 36.26 for an excellent third place and was joined by Gill Berglund (57.03) and husband Kjell (1.01.41). Darryl also put in a great performance on Saturday, again finishing 3rd in the Preston Park 5k parkrun in 18.04. Avid parkrunner James Sorbie attempted the Banstead Woods version of this hugely popular series finishing 26th in 21.36, and was joined by Hannah Watkins who achieved a new PB of 29.46. Good luck to everyone at Brighton next week.


Another busy weekend in the local running calendar saw BHR members take in a variety of events across the county. At the longer end of the scale on Saturday Jan Lavis completed the CTS Endurancelife ultramarathon. This is a tough event, covering 33.7 miles of the South Downs and including a double crossing of the Seven Sisters. Jan was pleased with her overall time of 7hrs 15 minutes. Dropping down the distances, a large contingent made the journey to Hastings and joined almost 3,500 runners for the ever-popular Hastings Half Marathon, many using this as their last long run-out before the upcoming Brighton and London marathons. Paul Sargent, who is attempting the South Downs Way 50 mile race in 2 weeks again ran a brilliant race, finishing in 13th place overall over the testing, hilly course in an excellent 1hr 17m 10s. There were also good performances from Neil Grigg (1.25.07), Jon Boxall (1.37.34), Neil Philpot (1.44.09), Stuart Anderson (1.45.19), Jason Wadey (a new PB in 1.48.15), Sharona Harrington (1.49.40), Susan Lyle (1.53.58), Lee Crow (1.56.23), Linda Russell (2.11.24), Helen Pratt (2.11.51), Kevin Walker (2.16.48) and Steve Gray (2.31.07). Finally, the club sent a number of runners to the latest West Sussex Fun Run League event on Sunday, the Hangover 5 organised by Goring Road Runners which was in fact ‘hungover’, having been cancelled due to flooding in January. Results awaited at the time of going to press.

Pictured – BHR members prepare to race the Hastings Half Marathon on Sunday - left to right Neil Grigg, Neil Philpot, Jason Wadey, Paul Sargent, Jon Boxall


Burgess Hill Runners held their Annual Awards Night and AGM at the Hassocks Hotel on Wednesday evening. A superb turnout of almost 100 members saw cups and shields being presented for a variety of achievements and where the standards were higher than ever. The Mens and Ladies Championships, awarded for the best performances against other club members over a specified range of races throughout the year went to Paul Sargent and Sharona Harrington respectively and were well deserved. The full list of winners :

Veteran 1 - Men – Mark Craigs, Ladies – Bryony Monnery

Veteran 2 – Neil Dawson

Veteran 3 – Andy Sayers/Alison Bareham

Veteran 4 - Trevor Symes/Susan Lyle

Veteran 5 – Stuart Condie/Diane Delderfield

Veteran 6 – Martin Skeats

Veteran 7 – Kjell Berglund

Coaches Cup – shared between Mark Craigs and Sharona Harrington

Hazel Holmes Award – Wendy Spicer

Back Caalf Cup - Herbert Family

Committee Award – Bryony Monnery

Social Award – Neil Dawson

Chairman’s Award – Sue Baillie

Mens Fun Run League Champion - Trevor Symes

Ladies Fun Run League Champion – Sally Symes

Black Cap Handicap - Elona Smith

Beginners Group - Most Improved – Jill Bennett

Beginners Group – Effort – Anne Savidge

Sunday was a busy day from a racing perspective. 23 Runners made their way to Shoreham for the ’Foxes 5’, the latest race in the West Sussex Fun Run League and in amongst another good set of results for the club was a fabulous first race win for James Collins in 27 mins 23 seconds. James was backed up by Darryl Webb (5th, 28.29), James Sorbie (41st, 32.37), Alan Fry (43rd, 32.42) and Stuart Condie (62nd, 34.19). Katia Hannah led the ladies home in 41.35, supported by Emma Fernandez (41.44), Marie Carey (42.59) and Gill Berglund (44.04). As we approach peak mileage weeks in the Spring Marathon training period several club members made the trip to Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey for the ‘Spitfire 20’ and ‘Tempest 10’ races run partly on the ‘Top Gear’ test track. In the 20 mile event, Mark Nicholls came 31st in a strong field in an excellent 2hrs 16 mins 42s followed by Neil Grigg (2.21.57), Jon Boxall (2.47.37), Neil Dawson (3.21.14), Nick Dawson (3.21.14), Hannah Brett (3.46.23) and Allie Wood (3.55.09). Husband and wife team Jay and Caz Wadey completed the 10 mile event in personal bests of 1.46.58. Finally, Cranleigh Runners popular 15/21 mile marathon preparation events were also held on Sunday, Angie Smith completing the 15 mile race in 2.47.11 and Elona Smith the 21 mile event in 3.59.34 . For details of all BHR events and activities visit Pictured – BHR members get ready to race the Surrey Spitfire and Surrey Tempest 20 and 10 mile races at Dunsfold Aerodrome.


It was another very busy weekend for Burgess Hill Runners. Starting on Saturday, the club sent mens and ladies teams to the final round of the Sussex Cross Country league at a very muddy Bexhill. Despite the conditions there were some excellent performances, with the mens team coming top of Division 2 on the day and third overall, easily a best-ever performance that delighted Head Coach Stuart Condie and moved them into third place overall, the clubs highest ever placing in the Cross Country League. Individually, those scoring were Paul Sargent was 9th in 30.40, James Collins 12th in 32.38, Darryl Webb 29th in 32.38 and Neil Grigg 40th in 33.48. The team was also strongly supported by Jason Collett (33.35), Andy Sayers (39.26), Stuart Condie (40.02) and John Palmer (47.51). The ladies also had an excellent day, finishing in 5th place overall, also in Division 2, of the 19 competing teams and a final placing of 9th for the season. The club were represented by Sharona Harrington (30th, 24.34), Janet Clapton (39th, 26.27) and Ali Dunks (65th, 30.05). Sunday saw even more action with two large local events being held. Firstly, the on road and popular Eastbourne half marathon was made tricky by the windy conditions around the 13.1 mile course but this did not prevent James Sorbie from finishing in an excellent 1hr 37 mins for 130th place, closely followed by Jon Boxall just 30 seconds behind. There were good performances to from Oliver Dewdney (1.48.16), John Palmer (1.58), Hugh Stevenage (2.11.27) and Kevin Walker (2.17.20). Meanwhile, personal bests were out of the question at the Steyning Stinger Marathon and half marathon with event veterans in broad agreement that the off-road, Downland course was the muddiest it has ever been. In the half marathon, Darryl Webb showed no signs of fatigue from Saturday’s cross country, finishing 4th in 1:40:21 followed by Alan Fry (2:02:52), Sharona Harrington (6th female in 2:11:39), Jason Wadey (2:28:02), Stephanie Harding (2:46:53), Jon Lavis (3:02:33), Helen Pratt (3:22:25), Paula Ridley (3:22:25) and Caz Wadey (3:22:29). Four club members braved the full energy sapping 26.2 mile full marathon course and were led home by Paul Sargent (3:26:37 and 6th place overall), Neil Dawson was delighted to break 5 hours (4:59:22) followed by wife Nick Dawson in a superb 5:10:48 and Jan Lavis (5:19:31). All Stinger participants enjoyed a full English breakfast back at Race HQ Steyning Grammar School after this wonderful event organised by Steyning AC.

Pictured – BHRs Paula Ridley fighting her way through the Steyning Stinger mud


Nine Burgess Hill Runners made the short trip to Henfield on Sunday for the Henfield Joggers 9 mile event organised in conjunction with Henfield Leisure centre. This annual event is an off road, mostly flat, trail run along the Downslink trail and the River Adur starting and finishing at the Leisure Centre. Darryl Webb led the team home in third place out of the 93 competitors in an excellent 55mins 42 secs, followed by James Sorbie (1hr 4mins 22s, 13th) and Trevor Symes (1.07.45, 22nd). Sharona Harrington completed a remarkable first race in her comeback from injury, picking up a nice prize as second female in 1.10.48. Other finishers included the fast-improving Jason Wadey (1.11.23), Janet Clapton (1.11.39), Hannah Watkins (1.38.27) and Caz Wadey (1.41.42). Meanwhile, the running machine that is Paul Sargent, fresh from his half marathon PB at Brighton last week competed in the aptly named Heartbreaker Marathon, a mainly offroad and undulating event on trails in the New Forest around Fordingbridge and was delighted with a superb time of 3hrs 6mins 9secs for the 26.2 mile course and 8th place amongst the 165 competitors.


Burgess Hill Runners sent a quite incredible 60 or so runners (from a membership of a little over 200) to join approx 7,000 others in Sunday's Brighton Half marathon which despite all the recent weather problems was run in near-perfect conditions. With such a huge contingent it's impossible to mention all the fantastic performances that were put in on the day, but in amongst the multitude of great first-time efforts (including many runners that started with the Beginners Group) and personal bests there were some quite stunning performances. Firstly, and fresh from his recent back-to-back ultra distance wins was Paul Sargent who led the club home in a remarkable personal best and new BHR club record for the distance of 1hr 16mins 26 seconds and 24th place overall. Mark Nicholls and Neil Grigg were battling it out close behind and finished in 1.22.35 and 1.22.44 for 105th and 109th places respectively followed by Jon Boxhall (1.30.57) and James Sorbie in an excellent PB of 1.31.08. Others managing to break 1.40 included Andrew Bishop (1.34.53), Alan Fry (1.35.12 PB), Andy Sayers (1.36.31) and Neil Phillpot (1.39.37). Alison Dunks led the ladies team home in a superb 1.40.14 for 40th place in her category, followed by Cath Beckett (1.46.34 - PB), Emma Buckland (1.47.15) and Susan Lyle (1.50.58). Other notable performamces on the day included Martin Skeats achieving 16th place in his age category with 1.40.20, Sheryl Caldecourt who broke the elusive 2hr barrier after years of trying in 1.57.11 and big PBs for a number of others including Vicky Connolly (1.57.28), Paula Ridley by 8 mins (2.10.24) and Stephanie Harding (2.05.24).

Pictured - several of the Burgess Hill Runners with their medals.


After his phenomenal performance in winning the Dark Star Ultramrathon at Shoreham last week you could’ve expected Paul Sargent to take it easy for a few weeks, but it’s not in his nature so Sunday found him at the start line of the new ‘Longman Ultra’, a 29 mile ultramarathon that started and finished in Falmer Village and took in a number of climbs up onto the Downs. Conditions were somewhat better than last week, although obviously still very muddy underfoot but this did not stop Paul winning his second event in a row, completing the course in a remarkable 4hrs 12 mins (unconfirmed). Also on Sunday, the second round of the West Sussex Fun Run League took place with the 4 mile (approx) Valentines Run organised by Horsham Joggers with 29 BHR members in attendance, as usual one of the best represented clubs and enabled the club to move from 9th to 5th in the overall league table. Always muddy at the best of times, this year was particularly gruesome but this did not stop club members from putting in some sparkling performances. James Collins was delighted with third place overall in 22.54, followed by Darryl Webb (23.40), James Sorbie (26.35) and Alan Fry (27.08). Sally Symes led the ladies home in 33.19 followed by Emma Fernandez (33.31), Jean Leak (34.00) and Sue Lyle (34.02). Pictured – some of the BHR members getting ready for the Valentines Run at Horsham on Sunday.


Sunday saw the inaugural Dark Star River Marathon take place along the muddy banks of the river Adur. The event, organised by Sussex Trail Events, started and finished at the Sea Scout centre in Shoreham and followed a route along the river up to Southwater, passing race sponsors Dark Star Brewery at Partridge Green before turning round and heading back. Although dry at the start, the weather quickly deteriorated, leading to horrendous conditions for the small field of 55 runners, particularly on the return leg which was into the worst of the wind and rain. This did not seem to affect BHR club member Paul Sargent, appropriately wearing race number 1, who produced a quite sensational performance in the conditions to win in 3hrs 46 mins 38 seconds, some 18 minutes ahead of the second place runner. The club was well represented on the day, with Jon Boxall 13th in 4.41.32, Neil Dawson (in his first ultra distance race) 6.03.12, just ahead of Jan Lavis 6.05.38. Also on Sunday, BHR sent an enormous contingent of 37 runners to the first race of the West Sussex Fun Run League (the League was due to start on January 1st but the planned event was cancelled due to bad weather), the 4 mile long Worthing Lido event organised by Worthing Harriers. Darryl Webb led the group home in an excellent 10th place overall in the field of almost 500 runners in 23.59, followed by James Sorbie (26.37), Alan Fry (27.22), Simon Alexander (27.27), Andy Sayers (27.33) and a returning to form Andrew Bishop (27.37). The ladies were led home by Sally Symes (32.05), Sue Lyle (33.30), Emma Fernandez (34.12), Jean Leak (34.13) and Marie Carey (34.15). It was also great to see Dave Borley make a return to racing after a very long injury-enforced break. This Sunday (2nd) sees the second race in the series, the short Valentines Race organised by Horsham Joggers.

Pictured : BHR Runners at the start of the Dark Star River Marathon (Left to right) Jon Boxall, Jan Lavis, Neil Dawson and race winner Paul Sargent


On Saturday 11th January Clair parkrun, the weekly 5km event took place in Clair Park, Haywards Heath. It was fitting that exactly 6 months after the launch date, a record attendance took part in the event. 134 runners completed the free, timed run around Clair Park. In fact there was almost certainly a record attendance across the 5 parkruns in Sussex, with 1282 finishers across the events in Tilgate, Hove, Preston Park, Eastbourne and Haywards Heath. It seems that getting fit for free has never been so popular. The numbers in Haywards Heath were swelled this week by the appearance on the ‘We Run! Hassocks’ group. The 17 members of this local fitness group sporting their red t-shirts, tackled the repeated inclines of Clair Park with real energy and determination. It was excellent to see such a friendly fitness group with a range of ages and abilities, which fits in perfectly with the parkrun ethos

Of the 134 runners this week, 21 ran their first ever parkrun and 34 people recorded new Personal Bests. First over the line was David Boyce of Brighton & Hove City AC in an excellent time of 17:53. Tom Mullen of Haywards Heath Harriers was second over the line in 18:36 and Paul Tomlinson was third in a time of 18:41.Izzy Coomber of Haywards Heath Harriers, was the first lady over the line in 19:42. Marguerite Lazell of Haywards Heath Harriers, was second lady in 21:14 and Sharona Harrington of Burgess Hill Runners, was third lady over the line in 22:05. Special mention goes to Orson Barrett-Berry, who completed his 10th parkrun and as a junior, this entitles him to a special parkrun commemorative t-shirt. For further information on Clair parkrun, please go to

Meanwhile on Sunday, Jan Lavis and Sue Lyle from Burgess Hill Runners tackled the Winter Tanners. This is a 30 mile off road event organised by the Long Distance Walkers Association but as with most LDWA events runners are welcome. The incessant deluges and river flooding in the Mole Valley made for a challenging race, and in addition to the mud and hills of the North Downs (including the notorious Box Hill) the event requires precise route directions to be followed. Jan and Sue were delighted to complete the event in 7hrs 15 minutes


Despite the terrible weather conditions in Sussex leading up to the weekend, 91 hardy souls completed the 5km parkrun in Clair Park on Saturday morning. What made the event extra special this week was the visit of 5 members of the McGaw family on vacation from Australia. While visiting relatives in Sussex, they had already completed the parkrun events in Hove and Preston Park, before heading north to Haywards Heath and the Clair parkrun. The family is heavily involved in the parkrun events in New South Wales and have completed nearly 200 parkruns between them. The benefits of a 5km run to start off the weekend are clearly spreading across the globe. Mum Karen said that ‘The Clair parkrun is without doubt the finest and most scenic parkrun in Southern England with the warm hospitality inside the pavilion topping it off.’ Meanwhile in the race, first man home this week was Haywards Heath’s Andy Guy in 19.40, and first lady, also from HHH, was Mags Lazell in 21.27. James Sorbie was the first Burgess Hill Runner with a time of 22.41 and first Junior was Lewis Barrett-Berry from HHH in 23.20.

On Sunday, Burgess Hill runners sent both mens and ladies teams to the Sussex Cross Country Championships at Bexhill. After the recent rains the course was horrendously muddy but the teams can be pleased with their 9th (Mens) and 7th (Ladies) places overall. Individually, Darryl Webb led the mens team home in 32nd place in 47 min 3 seconds, followed by Paul Sargent (43rd, 48.25), Neil Grigg (57th, 52.22), Jason Collett (58th, 52.34), John Boxhall (67th, 54.59) and Trevor Symes (76th, 57.37) who again ran the race barefoot. For the women, Sharona Harrington came in 27th place in 32.16, followed by Janet Clapton (32nd, 33.09), Jan Lavis (46th, 35.44) and Emma Buckland (49th, 36.23)

Away from racing, BHR held their traditional New Year run starting at Ardingly Reservoir and enjoyed an enormous turnout despite the difficult conditions underfoot. In keeping with their inclusive philosophy, two groups totalling approx 40 runners completed either 5 or 11 mile (approx) loops around the reservoir and surrounding countryside led by Keith Delderfield and Sue Lyle respectively. These runs were the first in the programme of progressively lengthening marathon training runs that the club will holding on most Sunday mornings between now and the Brighton/London marathons. If you are training for one of the big spring marathons and would like to train with others, visit the club website for details. New runners of any standard (including beginners) are always welcome.

Attached pictures :

1. Photograph of Neil Dawson (on the right), Clair parkrun Event Director and David McGaw, having swapped club running tops after the event. David is looking forward to wearing his Burgess Hill Runners vest the next time he runs his home parkrun in Newcastle, Australia.

2. BHR Mens Cross Country team after the race at Bexhill (left to right – Jon Boxhall, Paul Sargent, Darryl Webb, Neil Grigg, Jason Collett, Trevor Symes)