All posts by Simon Holmes

HJ Newsletter October – November

The October/November 2023 newsletter is now available. Two months of races and events crammed into one newsletter up to the end of November, though we have some sad news to share to start with.

Erich Winter (1932-2023)

We were saddened to hear of the passing of Erich Winter from TG Lage, our twin running club in Germany. Erich was the former Chairman of TG Lage (his son is the current Chairman), and long-standing members will remember Erich fondly. Without Erich, we would not be twinned with TG Lage, and in the 35 years since the bond has been made there have been many events and moments shared by both clubs, many of which were orchestrated by him.

Here is a full obituary for Erich.

Music Must Change

I wonder – as a percentage – how many HJ’ers listen to music when we run? I see lots of HJ’ers listening to music as they pound the streets, but I’ve personally never quite got on with it despite my love of tunes.

Now, this may stem from the old days of the Sony Walkman and trying to clip it to my running gear, the weight of the device and enclosed cassette tape clearly too much for the light-weighted but multi-coloured Bermuda shorts I used to wear. Finding myself hastily attempting to stop them falling down whilst Duran Duran’s ‘Come Undone’ is playing at the same time could feel like a deliberate attempt by Sony, long before George Michael took them to court.

I also remember that with each jarring movement the range and quality of the song I was listening to would pitch either higher or lower, the bass button on the Walkman inconsistently jolting with every step. On occasion, it would make Bronski Beat’s ‘Smalltown Boy’ sound more like Barry White after a bottle of wine.

It’s not like earphones are my friend either. They often seem unable to stay in the right place, flying out at the most awkward of locations. Purchasing new pairs doesn’t seem to help either… I still can’t hear the difference. My namesake Dan Holmes encountered similar issues the other week, his earpiece departing unexpectedly in the dark, the headphones never to be seen again amongst the overgrowth of autumnal Billingshurst.

So, all you HJ’ers who listen to music must have some tips on what you do? And what sort of tunes do you listen to as you run? Punk? Hip-Hop? Glam-rock? It’d be interesting to know as I think we’re quite a diverse bunch in terms of personality and age, but also very similar in other ways too. If I could find a pair which work for me and let me listen to ‘Quadrophenia’ – or perhaps allow me to concentrate on AC/DC rather than ADHD – without worry of them potentially flying off into the path of an inquisitive Labrador or Sausage Dog – then that really would be music to my ears.

Unsung Heroes

The unsung hero for this edition of the newsletter is Mark Alger. Not only is Mark a regular volunteer, but more than that he has done a lot of work behind the scenes helping the Committee with various tasks, including assisting putting up some shelving at the club’s storage unit, which certainly helped when a few Committee members needed to locate various items ahead of the recent WSFRL Gunpowder Trot. Thanks for your help, Mark – there’s a picture of you later in the Newsletter!

Races and Runs (and the WSFRL!)

Talking of the Gunpowder Trot, let’s have a look at some recent events and races which have taken place over the past couple of months including this incredible news……..

West Sussex Fun Run League (WSFRL) – CHAMPIONS OF WEST SUSSEX!!!!!!

Since the last newsletter, the final four WSRFL runs have been completed and the overall Champions of 2023 are the amazing Horsham Joggers!

The Great Walstead 5 (which sounds a little like a group of 1970s criminals, sent down and then reprieved years later) took place on 8th October, and Michael Daly won this event with Simon Perkins 3rd. Melissa Galea again scored top points for the women, taking home 5th place in the category. As well as being an ever-present at WSFRL races this year, Melissa has also returned a fantastic number of points for the club this year, top scoring each time.

Following that was Windlesham House on 22nd October where again we scored well, the Steepdown Challenge took place on 29th October and then finally our very own Gunpowder Trot on 5th November. You can check on our FB page for the results of each event, but as ever the HJ’ers scored tremendously well with several high point-scoring individuals.

To win this trophy is no mean feat. Last year we finished 9th. In other years we have competed in the runs but as far as points are concerned, we haven’t brought the trophy home since the 1990s. This year was different. We embraced the races, we picked up momentum, we suddenly realised we were in with a chance of taking the title. And that’s exactly what happened.

This is a fantastic achievement for the club. And whilst we know this is a ‘Fun Run’ league it is without doubt lovely to put our name on the trophy.

The biggest thanks go to everyone who organised these events. Julie Jochimsen put in a lot of hard work for this behind the scenes, along with several others within the club. Without their organisation and enthusiasm sorting out the races, the point scoring and the overall work which takes place in sorting these runs for the enjoyment of others cannot be underestimated. The collaboration behind the scenes to make our own Gunpowder Trot go ahead – particularly given the weather in the days leading up to the race – was tremendous.  And of course, well done to all who participated. Your free HJ badge is available for pick up!

Julie Jochimsen holds aloft the trophy
Julie Jochimsen holds aloft the trophy

Loch Ness Marathon and 10K – 1st October

The start of October saw a few HJ’ers embark on Loch Ness, not only to attempt to locate the infamous Monster, but also to conquer the Marathon and 10k races which took place.

The Marathon saw David Malins, Mark Adams (despite a brief tumble), Brian Frost and Alan Pettitt complete the race.

The 10k saw Sally Malins and Tess Adams finish the run, who perhaps more impressively then managed to be back at the airport whilst David and Mark were still in the middle of running the Marathon. Not waiting to travel home with their respective husbands might be considered a little un-nessie-sary by some.

It also appears everyone seemed to do their best to locate the Loch Ness Monster too. The photos seem to suggest there is more than one monster in Loch Ness, and even more worrying is that nobody appears concerned the Monsters were standing right behind them. Us HJ’ers really are unfazed by anyone or anything.

Two runners and three people dressed as Loch Ness monsters and a tin of soup
Four people in front of a Loch Ness monster mascot
Loch Ness monsters, Horsham Joggers… and a tin of soup.

Downs Link Ultra – 1st October

James Tombs and Tim Hampson ran the Downs Link Ultra on 1st October. This was a 63km race, with James coming home in an exceptional 4th place overall in 6 hours 17 minutes.

Tim wasn’t too far behind, completing the run in just over 8 hours.

Heron Way 10K – 1st October

Michael Daly stormed home in the local Heron Way 10k trail race. As ever speedy and strong during the latter stages of a run, Michael kicked on and took the pole position in a time of 37.36.

Looking at the results there were bizarrely a lot of runners competing in this event using just their first names, such as ‘Arnie’, ‘Sharon’ and ‘Sonia’ (not sure if it is the one and only Sonia though). However, it was certainly a case of better the devil you know as there were several HJ’ers who took part using their full names and ran some great times, which included Brian Stone (49.01), Dave Dawson (51.55), Jo Stone (53.21), Dawn Whamond (1.04.55) and Steph Charman (1.08.05) to name but a few who took part. Well done all.

Chicago Marathon – 8th October

Tony Mason and Liz Giannopoulos travelled far to compete in the Chicago Marathon. And both runners are certainly an inspiration to us all, by achieving times of 5 hrs 29 minutes and 4 hrs 39 minutes respectively. Congratulations to both for completing this historic event.

A runner in front of Chicago Marathon banner
A runner in front of Chicago skyline
Liz Giannopoulous and Tony Mason in Chicago. Liz making it clear which Marathon she’d turned up to (she does quite a few!)

Royal Parks Half Marathon – 8th October

Amy and David Capsey, together with Amy Devaney competed in the Royal Parks Half Marathon.

Amy Capsey ran a terrific 1.50.29, with husband David remaining in fine form running an equally excellent 1.25.13. A special shout out to Amy Devaney though, who came home in 2.24.50, another great effort particularly as this was her first half marathon since giving birth last December.

Smiling Horsham Joggers after completing the Royal Parks Half
Smiling Horsham Joggers after completing the Royal Parks Half

Spartan Half – 8th October

Rob Shapland, Gary Tomlinson and Matt Elnaugh completed the Spartan Half Marathon, which is a slightly different event to your normal running race. The Spartan includes tackling 30 obstacles along the way, quite a varied run and although we know Rob is used to these events I’m not sure Gary or Matt often take on these challenges… but all did so with suitable aplomb on this occasion.

Run the Seasons 10 miler – 14th October

Lee Walker bounced back from his Cheesegrater disappointment (see last Newsletter) to run this extremely difficult course. Lee finished an excellent 9th position overall in 1 hour 31 minutes… almost too-Gouda be true.

Baltimore Half Marathon – 14th October

Roger Johnson continued the transatlantic trend of HJ’ers by taking on and successfully completing the Baltimore Half Marathon in a time of 2 hours 5 minutes.   

Cabbage Patch 10 miler – 15th October

Amy Devaney was back running again only a few days after her outing at the Royal Parks, as her and Matt Mason ran the Cabbage Patch 10 miler, Matt setting an outstanding new PB of 58.50 over the course.

Great South Run 10 miler – 15th October

A whopping 36 HJ’ers took part in the annual Great South Run event, and there were some notable times set by a number of club members who took advantage of favourable conditions to set some tremendous personal PBs. In particular, Rob Brundish was 30th overall in an incredible time of 52.54. First female HJ home was Rebecca Ramsey in a super 1.18.35. On top of this, and there are too many great performances to name them all, particular well dones must go to both Victoria and Andy Robins, both squeezing under the 1 hour 20 minute mark, Josh Weller 1.19.28, Kath Barnes with her fabulous 1.39.33, Emma Chapman 1.43.17, Sue Zanin 1.43.23, Barnaby Smith 1.49.45, Megan Noble 1.52.33 and Geoff Noble 1.52.45.

Beachy Head Marathon (21st October), Half Marathon (22nd October) and 10k

Two contrasting days of weather firmly took hold across this weekend. On the Saturday (21st) there was so much torrential rain coming in from the sea that the runners almost had a beachy head themselves, however that didn’t stop Brian Frost (4.55.39) and Alan Pettitt (4.56.40) from completing the course.

The following day and the weather was more favourable, with some top HJ performances of note. Natalie Wettler, a HJ’er but competing under the Horsham Amphibians for this run finished an exceptional third place in 1.49.07.

Other performances were Erika Hall (2.30.09), Colette Hall (2.30.10) and Julie Gallagher (2.31.15).

In the 10k, Clive Walker came home in 1.05.53 and Steve Hook ran 1.23.19.

Well done to everyone across both days.

Valencia Half Marathon – 22nd October

Luke Minogue, Hadley O’Dwyer and the returning Lee Jestico ran the Valencia Half.

Luke ran a PB with a tremendous 1 hour 25, Hadley was not far behind in 1 hour 27, and Lee showed that he’s coming right back into shape with 1 hour 24 minutes.

At the end of the race the lads were provided with a goodie bag full of treats, including some random vegetables… including Broccoli!! 

Horsham Joggers ‘steaming’ home in Valencia
Horsham Joggers ‘steaming’ home in Valencia

Worthing Seafront 10k – 22nd October

On the same day as the Valencia Half, a few HJ’ers took on the Worthing 10k Seafront Run.

Congratulations to everyone who took part in this, including Jon Fengaras who was 25th overall in 43.17, Lilian Tse who was a superb 5th female home and 38th  overall in 45.22, Daniel Price 47.32, Richard Shergold 51.30, Sophie Betts 58.56, Gary Betts 58.58, Ian Michaelwaite 1.01.40, Claire Gray 1.07.40, Tracey Martin 1.07.54, Michelle Worsey 1.11.09, Jackie Garner 1.11.47, and Pat Radley 1.14.30.  Well done to any other HJ’ers who also took part.

New York Marathon – 5th November

Lilian Tse and Liz Giannopoulos both took part in the New York Marathon.

Liz ran a fabulous PB in 4 hrs 34 minutes, a brilliant achievement.

Lilian, fresh from her terrific run at Worthing Seafront (and Worthing parkrun PB the following week), then made it three consecutive weekends of running different distances by completing the Marathon in a time of 4 hrs 14 mins, astounding given the two previous weeks efforts.

Brighton 10k – 19th November

The fast and flat Brighton 10k had the complication of a very strong headwind on the return part of the course. This didn’t stop a number of HJ’ers running PBs amongst a total field of over 2,000 runners.

Rob Brundish continued his fantastic year and was first HJ’er home in an outstanding 32.40 (and a very impressive 23rd overall).

Of note amongst the other HJ finishers, Kerry Short knocked an amazing 3 minutes off her PB with a finishing time of 53.40, despite doubting herself in the week leading up to the race. Self-doubt amongst us runners is common, so it’s always nice to hear of success stories.

Other finishing times of note (sorry I can’t include you all) were:- Lewis Reeves (35.59), Simon Perkins (36.29), Matt Mason (37.09), Luke Minogue (38.31), Simon Lockwood (41.03), Daniel Price (46.48), Phyl Weston (47.59), Jo Stone (50.10), Geoff Fisher (54.08), Richard Barron (54.47), Graham Lunn (57.08), Julia Johnson (57.57), Nigel Best (1.00.42), Ian Hines (1.19.59), Sally Arnold (1.06.09), Ian Hines (1.19.59), Mick Duplock (1.26.50), Crispin Scott (Mick’s guide – 1.26.50)

Crowborough 10k – 19th November

Mal Thornton, Brian Frost and Tim Hampson ran the Crowborough 10k, which was the final race of the Sussex Grand Prix.

The course is not straightforward but makes for a fabulous challenge.

It would also be amazing to see more HJ’ers taking part in the respective Sussex Grand Prix events in 2024. It starts with the Hastings Half Marathon in March.

Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge

Squeezing in ahead of the cut-off for the newsletter, Robert Swan took on and conquered the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. In all, Robert did the 25 miles with an elevation gain of 1,633m. He completed this in just over 7 hours. A frankly terrific effort given the icy conditions he experienced.

Winter Handicap and Awards Night – 28th November

The Winter Handicap took place two weeks later than scheduled on 28th November, delayed thanks to an FA Cup match involving Horsham FC being re-arranged, thus ruining our original plans.

However, it appears some HJ’ers took this delay of a fortnight by the scruff of the neck, with some fine individual performances on the night. Viv Underhill – following up her victory at the Summer Handicap – took third place. Second place went to Alan Pettitt, and the overall winner of the Winter Handicap was Helena Jordan. Congratulations to Helena on this terrific result.

Following the run, the Annual Awards Night was held and it was a terrific way to celebrate the achievements of our club runners. Approximately 75 awards and trophies were handed out, to various HJ’ers for their achievements across a variety of races this year.

There was also the ‘big reveal’ of the winning design for the 40th anniversary t-shirt. Mark Alger proved he is not only an unsung hero but also decent at designing and even strutting the catwalk, as he was the winner in a closely fought contest against some fabulous entries. The commemorative t-shirts are now available for purchase.

Unfortunately, Matt Horne’s ‘stick man’ attempt didn’t win but we appreciated the effort. Maybe next time, Matt.

A man wearing blue running shirt with back to camera
A stick man drawing of a person running
Mark Alger’s cat-walking his winning design, and Matt Horne’s brave attempt!

Other Events

‘Slaying the Dragon’ talk at the Bridge – 19th October 2023

It was a packed-out room at The Bridge which heard Michael Dargue and Gary Tomlinson give an in-depth review of their stunning 6-day adventure across the Welsh mountainside in September (see last Newsletter for more details). The one-hour presentation featured a day-by-day breakdown of the event, with a projector used to highlight both the training they undertook and photos of various parts of the course.

Unfortunately, everyone in the room was so engrossed with the talk that no pictures were taken, but all the HJ’ers who attended were very impressed and learnt much about the event. Following the presentation, cake and drinks were consumed in the café area as the discussions continued, with both Michael and Gary very happy to talk about their respective experiences of the event.

Whether anyone has been inspired (or put off) in attempting this run next year remains to be seen.

Quiz Night – 24th November

The annual quiz night was another success. Great fun was had by the participating teams and thanks go to Florian Yeates for the questions and to Marcus Leach for his assistance too.

It was a closely fought contest, with not much separating the scores from first to last place. The winning team was ‘Cirque Du SoreLegs’, captained by Andrew Wright. Each member of his team winning a £10 Sportshoes voucher.

In last place and taking home the wooden spoon was Tess Adams’ team ‘Scrambled Legs’. Despite being well placed in the scores at the halfway point, the bar was unfortunately also a little too well placed for this team, with a couple of team members seemingly spending most of the second part of the night ordering drinks rather than answering questions. This is the second year running Tess’ team has propped up the points table, let alone the bar.

Naked Run – December 2023 Runners World Edition

Those of you who took part in the Naked Run earlier in the year may already be aware, but Horsham Joggers made it into the December 2023 edition of Runners World. A few HJ’ers were also named in the article, and there was a large photo of the group at the starting point by the Rec Rooms.  

A photo of Runners World article
Runners World 2023 edition, which includes the Naked Run. No nudity I promise!

Family members with children

Just a reminder that family members with children need to sign the code of conduct for parents prior to their children competing in any events or attending any club nights. Hopefully you have received an email asking for this form to be completed, but if not please message info@horshamjoggers.co.uk where we can re-send you another one.

Safeguarding and Welfare Officers

It should be noted that Horsham Joggers now has two Welfare Officers.

Julie Gallagher has been the club’s single long-standing Welfare Officer for many years. She has been a HJ member since 1986. Julie is the club’s Primary Welfare Officer.

However, a second appointment was required to include a Committee member and Simon Holmes has therefore been appointed the club’s second Welfare Officer. I promise to do my best.

The Welfare Officers can also be contacted by any HJ members who have any concerns, queries, or issues at the following email address: Welfare@horshamjoggers.co.uk

Committee Meeting – 22nd November

The Committee meet every six weeks to discuss a variety of matters. The latest Committee Meeting was held on 22nd November, and several items were discussed including the 2024 HJ Challenge Trophy. After some input from members, we have agreed on the following:-

  • Haywards Heath 10 miler (May)
  • WSFRL Arunners Beach Run (July)
  • Barns Green Half Marathon (September)
  • Barns Green 10k (September)

Interestingly, a few people have asked why have both the Barns Green Half Marathon and the 10k. However, having two Challenge Trophies taking place at the same time makes sense as it avoids someone ‘clean sweeping’ all 4 trophies.

With the Half Marathon usually starting at around 10am and the 10k at 10.20am, surely this rules out even the likes of Mo Farah or Eliud Kipchoge from trying to win all four, not that either are current HJ members. Mind you, now both are at the end of their careers they may be looking for a nice, friendly running club to join… so you never know, we may see them on a Tuesday or Thursday night club run sometime in the future!

The Committee can be contacted at any time – details of your Committee members can be found on the Horsham Joggers website.

Tuesday night club runs

In December, a new 9-minute mile group is planned to start with Lee Walker stepping up to the challenge of taking a group out. It’s always fantastic to see members volunteering to take a group out, often partly sacrificing their own targets as a result. Well done, Lee.

As ever, please take care in the evenings at this time of year. Head or body torches/lights and bright running gear is a must and please ensure you stay within your group and make the relevant leader aware if you are struggling. If you do happen to trip over – and a few members have in recent weeks – please alert your group leader so they can ensure you are okay to carry on.

Run and Talk Tuesdays

Once a month a run and talk Tuesday takes place, whereby after the Tuesday night session people can gather in the Bridge café for a chat and a catch-up to talk about things either running or non-running related. Please keep your eyes peeled on HJ Runs and the calendar for future ones.

Track – Thursday Nights 6.30pm

Thursday’s nights at the track continue with their popularity, and with a few new coached sessions also throwing variety into the mix.

Just a reminder that its £2 to pay by card (or via your phone if you are savvy enough) – and please arrive at 6.15pm to pay so that everyone including the volunteers can be ready to start on the half-hour.

Thursday Night Non-Track Sessions – 6.30pm

The Thursday night non-track events hosted by Claire Butler and Karen England continue to prove a resounding success.

The same applies to Andy Robins, who has also been taking groups out on a Thursday evening.

These sessions are great fun – often a mix of hill-work, fartlek training, interval work and conditioning depending on the week. Again, keep your eyes on the HJ Runs page for upcoming sessions.

Spitting

Unfortunately, there have been some reports of runners on Tuesday night club runs, and also at track on a Thursday night, who have been seen spitting. Please do NOT do this. Spitting is disgusting at any time – the fact you are running does NOT change this. It is extremely unpleasant for other runners to witness. Horsham Joggers is an inclusive club, and nobody should be made to feel uncomfortable or feel they must change groups due to the poor hygiene and manners of others.

Other News and Dates

Vote For VOY and JOY

Please continue to get your votes in for Volunteer of the Year and Jogger of the Year. You can submit your own nominations by emailing the Committee (or individual Committee member) with the Horsham Jogger you wish to see nominated.  The closing date for this is the end of December so if you have someone you wish to nominate, please do so now.

SportsShoes Discount code

Don’t forget you can use the exclusive HJ SportsShoes code as put up in the FB private forum each month for discount on your orders and delivery.

Membership Numbers

At the latest count, we have 614 members in total, of which 211 are also affiliated members of England Athletics.

Dates for the Diary

  • 19th December – Xmas Lights Club Run
  • 30th December – HJ parkrun away day (Littlehampton)
  • 31st December – Spring Marathon Training starts
  • 1st January – West Sussex Fun Run League 1st event – Hangover 5
  • 2nd January – ‘Run and Talk’ Tuesday
  • 21st January – Farnborough Half Marathon

As ever, please keep your eye on the calendar on the HJ website for any additions/updates to the above, and of course our Facebook page too.

The next edition of the Newsletter will be early in the new year, so may I wish you all a Happy Christmas and New Year. I hope you manage to finish reading this edition by the time the first one of 2024 appears!

HJ Newsletter September

The September 2023 newsletter is now available and it is a volunteer special to commemorate and thank our amazing helpers.

This edition is for events up to and including Saturday 30th September. I’m sorry I can’t include them all, or necessarily congratulate direct individuals, but we’re a massive club and we do an equally massive load of events!

Volunteering is Contagious

They say the best things in life are free. And I’d say volunteers at HJ’ers fall into that category.

One of the things which sets us apart from other running clubs, is the sheer volume of helpers we have. People giving up their own time to help others, even relinquishing their own running goals temporarily to help others achieve theirs.

At HJ’ers we are unique, because as a ratio I can’t think of another running club that has so many volunteers helping so regularly.

Seeing others giving up their time not only inspires people, but as a result it also has the knock-on effect of more volunteers subsequently putting their hands up to help. I know this happened to myself in the past when I first joined the club, when considering whether to help at an upcoming race.

“Volunteering’s contagious” my wife told me. “It’s not going to take ages” I replied, slightly mis-hearing her Teesside accent. “No, no” she replied, “It’s contagious – you’ll get addicted to it.”

And this is exactly what happened. The kick you get out of helping others and the feel-good factor at the end of an event is up there with taking part in the actual event itself, so much so that you genuinely want to help even more, whether at individual or event level.

So, along the journey of this latest newsletter there will be the occasional nod to our volunteers.

Unsung Heroes

The unsung hero for this edition of the newsletter is Mary Klanczkowski.

Mary has been a regular (almost an ever-present) at the West Sussex Fun Run League races not only this year but in previous years too. This year has seen an unprecedented turnout of HJ’ers at these races, but Mary’s been doing these and other events representing Horsham Joggers for many years. She is an inspiration to lots of us at the club. Well done and thank you, Mary!

Races and Runs (and the WSFRL!)

Yet again we’ve gone through a whopping spike in HJ’ers taking part in various events. And yet again there is absolutely no way I can cover all of them, but here’s a selection of a few which have hit the headlines.

West Sussex Fun Run League (WSFRL) – Tilgate 5 Miler – 3rd September

I must start with an overview of the WSFRL, mainly because we are top but also as the momentum still remains with us for now and we need to keep it going – we are so very close to the end now.

And it was yet another whopping turn-out of HJ’ers that took part in the Tilgate 5 on 3rd September, which incurred chaotic scenes towards the end of the race.

HJ’ers ran superbly throughout, though some were so fast that the first 32 runners in the race clearly confused the marshals so much they sent them in the wrong direction, effectively meaning over a mile was missed off the course.

Although it would likely have had only minor issues in respect of final placings, it must have bemused those at the front seeing the finish line come up early, with those placed 33rd and below who have a strong finish (such as the effervescent Malcolm Footer) likely aghast at not being able to close in on the leading places like they usually do.

It was also lovely that some of our more junior members took part too. No doubt ‘Jog-raphy is their favourite subject at school (unlike the Marshal who sent everyone the wrong way, clearly!).

As noted at the beginning we remain top with not many races left. Keep it up, HJ’ers, glory is almost within touching distance. Check out the calendar on our website (and the dates at the end of this newsletter) for the remaining WSFRL dates.

Marathon des Ousscuilles –  27th August

Horsham Joggers travel far and wide to run, and this was no exception as Rosie Inman, Selina Elborough and fellow Committee member Florian Yeates travelled to this oddly sounding place which is located just to the south of Toulouse, France.

And Rosie certainly didn’t go ‘Toulouse’ as she came an impressive 2nd in the 10k with a tremendous time of 43.49. A fantastic result, and well done to the three of them.

Rosie, Selina and Florian
Rosie, Selina and Florian (with his new shoes)

Horsham Round – 28th August

The ever-popular Horsham Round took place on Bank Holiday Monday.

Wonderfully orchestrated by Roger Johnson, this terrifically fun event remains as popular as ever, even resulting in some teams getting lost along the slightly altered route. However, it subsequently came to light that some teams also got lost during parts of the route which have remained unchanged, which added to the bemusement (or amusement) of others.

The team names remain a source of comedy with wacky ones such as ‘Ploddy Hell’, and ‘Old Gits & Co’. However, the winner of the team name and arguably the winner of the most impressive run during the entire round must go to Elisabeth Scott, who ran the entire route solo, having started at 5am in the morning and under the name ‘Two Is Company’. The early start may have been partly the reason for this of course!

Well done to everyone who took part. The Committee and Roger will be working together ahead of next year’s run.

Elisabeth Scott and canine friend on her solo Horsham Round
Elisabeth Scott and canine friend on her solo Horsham Round

Parkrun Tourism

Our HJ’ers regularly turn up at various parkruns across the UK and further afield. In fact, every week there seems to be a number of us randomly turning up at remote parkrun events.

Amongst the stacks of examples, Ali Shears ran in the 3rd ever ‘Quakers Walk’ parkrun, Lisa Jestico and Kirstie Hedger ran at Uckfield (not remote but quite random), and perhaps one of the most extreme was Michael Dargue’s trip to Japan, as he came 2nd at the ‘Sunshine Beach‘ parkrun (near Kyoto), out of a total field of just 10 runners.

When asked about the event, Michael said the winner of the parkrun came over to him afterwards and was a bit shocked when Michael offered to shake his hand….and after a brief pause the pleasantries were finalised with an exchange of bows instead!

Please keep your eyes peeled to our HJ Runs Facebook page where you will see our esteemed  parkrunners turning up at various locations, including our HJ parkrun tourism which takes us to Cranleigh on 7th October and then to Lancing on 14th November.

Michael Dargue with two parkrun volunteers
Michael Dargue with the entire field of parkrun volunteers

The Dragon’s Back Race – Monday 4th September to Saturday 9th September

There can be no denying the extraordinary achievement of both Michael Dargue and the flying Gary Tomlinson at the ‘Dragons Back’ race in Wales.

With Michael fresh from his parkrun visit to Japan, and with Gary fresh from his visit to, um, Horsham Park, the pair of them took part in the 6-day Dragon’s Back across the Welsh mountains, along with regular ultra runner Matt Whyman. This was a 6-day race, 380km, 17,400m of ascent mountain ultra of epic proportions from Conwy to Cardiff Castle. To put it into perspective, that’s 9 marathons and 2 Everest ascents over 6 days.

Gary and Michael placed in 30th and 32nd place overall – fantastic given this event has experienced ultra runners from all over the world taking part. An incredible achievement, more so if we also think back to how hot it was at the start of September.

Both Gary and Michael will be holding a talk at The Bridge on Wednesday 18th October (7pm start) to discuss the run, followed by tea and cakes at 8pm.

Unfortunately, the event didn’t go quite as planned for Matt though. An integral part of the preparation and planning with Gary and Michael, Matt was forced to pull out early on following medical advice, much to his annoyance. Two years ago, Matt had similarly been unable to complete the event and ended up writing his book ‘Failure is an Option’ (a great read). The hope is this further attempt at the Dragon’s Back will again inspire a new book for Matt to start penning as a sequel…….over to you Matt, still time to get it on the shelves for Christmas!

Gary Tomlinson and Michael Dargue holding a well earned beer after the event
Gary Tomlinson and Michael Dargue holding a well earned beer after the event

Skyscraper Challenge – 9th September

As mentioned above, as an athlete when you are unable to complete an event it leaves you with a sense of disappointment and frustration.

Lee Walker took on the London Landmarks ‘Skyscraper’ Challenge. He did fantastically well running up the whopping 42 floors of the Leadenhall ‘Cheese-grater’ building…..only to be told the 200 metre abseil back down had been called off due to the extremely hot weather that day.

Despite not being allowed to complete the full event, Lee raised a huge amount of money for the terrifically important ‘Tommy’s’ charity. Well done, Lee!!

Lee Walker in front of the Cheesegrater skyscraper building
Lee Walker in front of the Cheesegrater. A building so high the shadow it caused meant Lee had to switch a light on for the photo

Great North Run (Half-Marathon) – 10th September

A splattering of HJ’ers ran the Great North Run, along with 60,000 others and there were some extraordinary biblical-type conditions experienced along the way.

With temperatures even in the North-East extraordinarily hot and humid and with a late-ish 11am start, it was a real effort to even start the Half Marathon without feeling the effects of the weather. Also, watching the locals attempting to hand out full pints of beer within the first couple of miles was a first and given the weather it was extremely tempting to take one on board. Many did.

In fact, even a plan to run the final part of the race with mouth open in the hope to digest some water coming off the North Sea home stretch was curtailed, as this left one susceptible to swallowing bits of old boat flailing in from the North Sea, as the wind began to whip up.

The weather was compounded by an extraordinary thunderstorm and flash flooding at the end which meant most finishers being stuck either in the car park, the queue for the North Shields Ferry, or the queue for the Metro for over 3 hours!

Despite this the race is a fantastic and very friendly event and I thoroughly recommend any HJ’ers to sign up to it.

Why the Great South Run is only 10 miles in length remains a mystery, however. Answers on a postcard, please.

Littlehampton 10K – 10th September

A stack of HJ’ers took part in the Littlehampton 10k, on a hot September morning along the south coast.

When talking about volunteers, I know the fantastic work done by Simon Perkins, Sue Hensman and their team to help several runners make the transition from 5k runner to 10k runner in time for this race. The feedback from the course has been glowing and has been inspirational to many hj club members too, new, and old.

There were some terrific achievements at Littlehampton and a surprisingly high number of PBs on the day given the weather. Here is a selection of just a few HJ placings from the results (out of interest several Horsham Joggers were not actually recorded as HJ’ers on the Littlehampton results page!):

Lewis Reeves 36.52, Tony Jakens 41.52, Brian Stone 42.28, Ian Dickinson 42.29, John Crayford 45.17, Miranda Huisman 49.06, Matt Horne 51.08, Jo Stone 51.18, Yuko Casey 1.02.04, Tracy Jones 1.04.03, Barnaby Smith 1.09.07, Ali Boulton 1.13.52, Jane Footer 1.14.48, Brian Sessions 1.21.40, Penelope Sanders 1.25.13, Paul Morley 1.25.31, Emma Paine 1.25.48.

Christina Harrison at the Littlehampton 10k
Christina Harrison at the Littlehampton 10k

New Forest Marathon – 10th September

Although it appears several races were deliberately set to be run on the same day, and on arguably the hottest day of the year, the New Forest Marathon was yet another run taking place on 10th September.

A good number of HJ’ers were not put off by this sweltering race, which must have made remote islands in the Maldives feel more like Antarctica on a particularly cold day, though Crispin Scott has informed me this was tempered by a heavy shower during proceedings which did take the edge off the warmth.

Well done to everyone for finishing such a tough race.

10k Vets AC Championships (Battersea)

Christopher Lee and Clive Walker ran the 25 laps of the track at the Battersea 10k Vets Championships. To run this event, they had to run for their ‘other’ club, namely Vets AC. We are not offended by this (!) and they both produced fantastic runs in the race.

Run Reigate – 17th September

A few HJ’ers ran at the Half Marathon and 10k races in Reigate on 17th September.

The 10k race saw Colette Hall finish in 58.39, Jacqui Williamson 59.54, Sue Newman 1.01.01, Erika Hall 1.02.55, Steph Charman 1.06.00, Fiona Lear 1.17.51, Jane Adams 1.22.14 and Edna Clark 1.22.22.

The half marathon is actually a very nice route, albeit with an awkward climb towards the end, the likes of which even Kate Bush would have been delighted to run up.

Jonathan Fengaras came home in 1.36.39, Brian Frost 1.48.55, Alan Pettitt 1.51.26, Tony Hogben 1.59.03 and Caroline Bransden 2.17.50.

Spitfire 10k – 17th September

Gill and Graham Lunn ran the Spitfire 10k at the RAF Museum in Hendon.

Apart from successfully completing the race, both also managed to fit inside a helicopter located within the museum…..though I am certain the version flown by David Malins in his RAF days were slightly more advanced!

Gill then continued her tour of 10ks by running at Windsor the following week.

Gill and Graham Lunn in a helicopter
Gill and Graham Lunn chopping times off their PBs at the Hendon 10k

London Vitality 10k – 24th September

Plenty of HJ’ers took part in the London Vitality 10km.

Our club runners who finished were Kirstie Hedger (54.02), Colette Hall (55.57), Dawn Whamond (58.42), Erika Hall (59.49), Lou Johnson (1.01.06), Sue Bailey (1.03.24), Tracy Jones (1.03.32), Samantha Edwards (1.09.48), Heidi Chaney (1.22.41) and Jodi Bowbrick (1.24.24).

Congratulations to all that took part, especially those who raised money for good causes at the same time.

Run Barns Green 5k, 10k and Half Marathon – 24th September

It’s quite hard to give a round-up of Barns Green without mentioning how much hard work was done by HJ’ers towards the event both in the run-up and on the day itself. Along with the Sunday morning half marathon training sessions (amongst other training runs), several of our club members also ended up being pacers during the various races which took place on this hugely successful day.

I know there has been some terrific feedback given by other runners on the day for the pacing team, our own Lilian Tse among those receiving lots of adulation. To sacrifice your own time to help others achieve theirs is a wonderful thing to do.

In the races, there were a huge number of success stories.

Michael Daly mistook the day as some kind of Mo Farah tribute, taking part in both the 5k and 10k races, comfortably winning the shorter distance and then coming 4th place in the 10k, which started just a few minutes after the end of the 5k. His bid for double podium was thwarted by a Brighton Phoenix runner called William Russell, who is surely not the same person as the one who created Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine. In any case, it was a tremendous effort by Michael to run back-to-back races with such aplomb.

For the males, behind Michael’s 35.30 was Lewis Reeves 37.28, Will Michel 38.54 and Tom Robertson 39.08.

First female HJ’er home in the 10k was Lucinda Potten in 47.06, then Margaret Wadman 49.08, Jo Stone 50.07 and closely followed by new Thursday night track regular Anna McLaughlan in 50.15.

In the half marathon, Neil Boniface (who these days competes for Horsham Blue Star Harriers, but we’ll include him as a HJ’er for this) won the race in a staggering 1.12.17. However, first official Horsham Jogger home (and 11th overall) was Simon Perkins in 1.20.25 – even more extraordinary as he’d won Horsham parkrun the previous day – then Matt Mason in a fine 1.23.48.

There was some concern towards the end of the half marathon, as our very own Tom MacDonald finished the race as third HJ home but worryingly overheated in the final quarter-mile, only just making it over the finish line. Our former Chairman Phil Liberman was fortunately on-hand to help Tom, who then spent an hour in the Medical Tent. The excellent news is that Tom recovered quickly from this ordeal – perhaps stick to vertical ascent races in future as you seem to cope better with these, Tom!

First female home in the half marathon was Rebecca Rankin in 1.41.57 (who hopefully now realises that the Sunday morning training runs were worth it!), followed by the ever-smiling Amy Johnson (now Capsey) in 1.51.10. Phyl ‘Westy’ Weston ran a tremendous 1.52.31 and Fran Gunning was firing on all cylinders closely behind in 1.52.53.

I know there were some other fantastic personal achievements set by so many at Barns Green. To hear from some of you that had previously doubted whether you could complete a half marathon (or a 10k) and to see that you not only completed the event you entered but did so with such resounding success is a real accomplishment.

I also know everyone at the club who took part in the training runs found them to be of benefit to them, and thanks goes to everyone who volunteered on those Sunday mornings and also to Clive Walker for helping provide the route plans.

Horsham Joggers group
Some of the Horsham Joggers at Barns Green

Sussex Cross-Country relays – 30th September

To show we’re not just a running club that’s great on both track, road and ultra, the HJ Seniors and over 60s took part in the cross-country relays at Goodwood on 30th September.

A fine 6th place for the Seniors team (which included more people aged in their 40s than 30s) was outshone by the terrific 1st place finish by the over 60s team of Pete O’Connell, Dean Angell and Steve Wigmore. As ever this group demolished all opposition in their path to bring home gold for HJ’ers.

Fantastic work chaps!

Tuesday night club runs

A huge number of club runners attend the Tuesday night runs from the Bridge. Thanks goes to all the various group leaders who volunteer and take charge of the different mile paces along the way, even more so now the dark nights are setting in.

Please take care in the evenings as the lighting along the routes we take isn’t always the best. Head or body torches/lights and bright running gear is a must and please ensure you stay within your group and make the relevant leader aware if you are struggling.

Run and Talk Tuesdays

Once a month a run and talk Tuesday takes place, whereby after the Tuesday night session people can gather in the Bridge café for a chat and a catch-up to talk about things either running or non-running related. It’s good to talk.

Track – Thursday night 6.30pm

No question that Thursday night track continues to increase in popularity, and with a few new coached sessions also throwing variety into the mix.

Just a reminder that its £2 to pay by card – please arrive at 6.15pm to pay so that everyone can be ready to start on the half-hour.

We also had some interest from a few members regarding whether track was suitable for their younger children to attend. As a ‘one-off’ we would not refuse younger children, but parents would need to complete a safeguarding code of conduct and ensure family membership was covered beforehand.  It’s probably also worth pointing out that HJ’ers isn’t really a suitable regular running group for under 12s and we’d therefore steer parents towards signing their children up to the Horsham Junior Athletics Club instead, which is for children aged 5 years up to 12, or to Horsham Blue Star Harriers which has specialist training and is for both children and adults from 10 years and up (noting some of our club runners young and old are also members of Blue Star).

Thursday night non-track sessions – 6.30pm

The Thursday night non-track events hosted by Claire Butler and Karen England continue to prove a resounding success.

Both Claire and Karen regularly give their time both at these sessions and at the Tuesday night club runs too for the benefit of others at the club. The feedback is the sessions are great fun – often a mix of hill-work, fartlek training, interval work and conditioning. Behind the scenes remains the super Fiona Clifton, who ran these sessions for many years in the past but still provides tips and support. Keep your eyes on the HJ Runs page for upcoming sessions.

A group of runners at night
Thursday night alternative session

Other News and dates

Vote for VOY and JOY

Please continue to get your votes in for Volunteer of the Year and Jogger of the Year. You can submit your own nominations by emailing the Committee (or individual Committee member) with the name of the Horsham Jogger you wish to see nominated.

SportsShoes discount code

Don’t forget you can use the exclusive HJ SportsShoes code as put up in the FB private forum each month for discount on your orders and delivery.

Some other key races/events coming up

  • 7th October – parkrun away day (Cranleigh)
  • 8th October – WSFRL Great Walstead 5
  • 15th October – Hove Prom 10k
  • 15th October – Gunpowder Trot ‘trial’ run
  • 18th October – Dragon’s Back Race talk by Gary Tomlinson and Michael Dargue
  • 22nd October – Worthing Seafront 10k
  • 22nd October – WSFRL – Windlesham Whip
  • 29th October – WSFRL – Steepdown Challenge
  • 29th October – New Forest 10 miler
  • 5th November – WSFRL – GunPowder Trot (The finale!Volunteers needed please!!!)
  • 11th November – parkrun away day (Lancing)
  • 14th November – Winter Handicap followed by Awards Night
  • 19th November – Brighton 10k
  • 19th November – Sussex Grand Prix Crowborough 10k
  • 24th November – Horsham Joggers Quiz Night

Please keep your eye on the calendar on the Joggers website for any additions/updates to the above.

Have a great few weeks everyone, be lucky and see you next time!

Simon Holmes

HJ Newsletter July – August

It has been a couple of months since the last newsletter, so much has happened, and I’ve been on holiday too hence the delay. The good news is I won’t tell you about my holiday, however I will tell you as much as I can about the events, races, and achievements of the runners at our unique and amazing club.

The Pain and the Glory

One thing nearly everyone at Horsham Joggers can identify with is that we have a drive and a determination to be a better runner, often for various reasons and regardless of experience, age, or injury situation. A family member remarked the following to me recently, “You seem obsessed with running. You take it too seriously and it’s all you seem to do”.

Now, I was little perturbed by this. In fact, had I not been listening to a Steve Ovett podcast about why he collapsed at the 1984 LA Olympics at the time, I might well have taken this so-called relative’s comment seriously.

I flicked off the podcast, and reluctantly also paused the YouTube video I had been watching at the same time, which just so happened to be the individual qualifying heats of the 100m from the 1988 Seoul Olympics (I’d made it to heat 5). Analysing my position – which in my mind was about 40 metres into that particular sprint – and wondered if perhaps my relative had a point.

But I’m not sure they do.

Running is integral to all of us at the club. It’s something we do independently yet in groups, is so personal to each of us yet at the same time we are also very happy for others who achieve. And ‘others’ might include fellow HJ’ers, maybe friends who run but who have not yet (a little suspiciously) joined our wonderful club, or indeed it could be cheering on the world’s top athletes who are performing in front of thousands on the world stage.

It pulls on the heart strings when seeing a world class performer return from injury to achieve glory (think Kelly Holmes, 2004), or watching an equally impressive athlete suddenly leap in agony with a torn hamstring during the most important race of their life (think Derek Redmond, 1992) and this could just as easily be one of us at the club.

It could be one of us coming back from a long-term injury (think Keith Valentine) or running fast again after starting a family (think Becky Rankin or Theresa Ward), or simply just running well having thought at one point you may never have the chance to do so again (think many of us). It’s very hard at the depths of injury to remain positive but it is vital we do. There is always a way back.

We have endless examples within our own club, but the point is the emotions of a runner can be the same whether you’re at the Olympics representing Team GB, or competing a West Sussex Fun Run League race representing the HJ’ers to gain us an all-important club point.

So, I’ll ignore my relative’s comments. Instead, I’ll move on to watching the remaining heats of the 100m Seoul Olympics. I’ll see if I can replicate those performances at the Broadbridge Heath track on a Thursday night (albeit a few seconds slower and without anabolic steroids, think Ben Johnson). And I’ll take doing this as seriously as I want to, whilst I’m injury-free and most importantly because I currently can. And I hope all of us at HJ’ers can do the same when we’re in the same place.

Get Well Soon

Wishing a speedy recovery to a few HJ’ers who have undertaken some form of surgery lately, Gavin Philps being one and who has made a terrific return to running already.

Additionally, club legend Steve Wilson underwent a triple heart bypass operation in late June. It was a delight to see Steve back walking at a Thursday night track session last week, as ever keen to return.

Also, wishing anyone with an injury a swift return. Committee member and regular runner at most events Marcus Leach has recently been injured and I know he has found reaching out to HJ Runs very helpful for advice, as our members often have encountered similar injuries in the past.

Stay positive all.

Unsung Heroes

The unsung hero for this edition of the newsletter is Geoff Parker

Geoff has been a key organiser of the Horsham 10k for a long time, and this year we received some fantastic feedback, not least from the race adjudicator who gave us a glowing analysis in the Run Britain Race Report.

Without the efforts of individuals like Geoff races like this would not be so successful Thank you for all your hard work, Geoff.

Diane Berry presenting Honorary Member certificate to Geoff Parker
Diane Berry presenting Honorary Member certificate to Geoff Parker

Mick Duplock’s 80th birthday

Mick completed the final set of his 20 laps at the Broadbridge Heath track session on 20th July, and two days later celebrated his 80th birthday to rapturous applause at parkrun. I think most of us are in awe of Mick’s steely determination to complete the 80 laps of the track in total, and also the other races and events he takes part in over the course of a year.

A big thank you must go to Paul Aylett, Julia Johnson and Crispin Scott (and others) who regularly assist Mick at events. Happy Birthday, Mick!

A group of runners on a track
Mick Duplock with Horsham Joggers at one of his track sessions

Races and Runs

I had anticipated a quieter couple of months on the racing front. And how wrong I was! There were some terrific races and runs across the period and I’ve tried to capture as many as I can, but as ever we do so many it’s almost impossible to keep track of them all, and at times I will accidentally miss a few out, talking of which…

Wisborough Green 5k (revisited)

I included the results from the Wisborough Green 10k last time out, however I neglected to mention the 5k race which had some notable results by a few HJ’ers. Our very own Tom MacDonald actually won the overall 5k race in a terrific time of 18.02, and Jo Tomlinson was first lady (23.06) just ahead of Miranda Huisman (23.16).

Tom must have been angry with me for missing him out of the newsletter last time around, because less than a fortnight after Wisborough Green he decided to run the ‘Chamonix Vertical Kilometer’, which is pretty much exactly as it says and is part of the Marathon du Mont Blanc weekend. Tom did the 1000m ‘vertical’ elevation gain run, and a total of 4.05km, in less than an hour!

A male runner with a mountain backdrop
Tom MacDonald

Madehurst 10k – 18th June

A number of HJ’ers competed in the hilly Madehurst 10k on a hot and sticky morning, including (but not limited to) Clive Walker, Elisabeth Sessions, Ian Hines and Jane Adams.

A group of runners
At the Madehurst 10k

Naked Run 5k – Horsham Park 20th June

A run of a different kind took place on 20th June as a whopping 84 HJ’ers took part in a 5k race without any timing equipment around Horsham Park. Each runner had to ‘estimate’ their own finishing time and the closest to their own time won the event.

Congratulations therefore go to Stuart Marks who was just 1 second off his predicted time, with Tito Sacchi and Mark Ashby close behind being just 3 seconds off their predicted times. Interestingly of the eighty-four HJ’ers 63 were faster than their own predicted finishing times, perhaps alluding to the fact we generally underestimate ourselves before a run.

Duncan Craig from Runners World was a special guest at this event, and he took time to chat to a few HJ’ers before and after the event. He did remark that he enjoyed the event so much he might return next year if we do the same again. He was also surely relieved that nobody did actually turn up naked to the event, otherwise the article in Runners World may well have taken a very different angle.

A group of runners
A big turnout for the “Naked” run

Race to the Stones 100k – 8th July

Yes, you read that correctly. 100k was the attempt successfully made by 3 HJ’ers, namely Linzi Williams, Alan Pettitt and Brian Frost along the Ridgeway from Lewknor in Oxfordshire to the Stones at Avebury in Wiltshire with a section along the Thames.

A challenging route with extremely mixed weather which occasionally turned a little thunderous. This was a terrific effort by all three, and particularly Alan Pettitt who had to pull out of a previous 100k three weeks beforehand having ‘only’ completed 70k of that particular race.

West Sussex Fun Run League

There have been a number of WSFRL races over the past couple of months, beautifully orchestrated by Julie Jochimsen. There was the Downland Dash on 24th June, the Roundhill Romp at Steyning on 5th July, the Hove Hornets Stinger on 9th July, the Henfield Seven Stiles on 23rd July, and the Worthing Striders Highdown Hike on 2nd August.

Each HJ’er who enters helps the team to gain points by competing in these events, and these points are tallied to each club’s score and overall league position in the WSFRL.

There were some quirks and arguments along the way during these 5 recent WSFRL races. The debate continues regarding which of these is the toughest course, is it the Roundhill Romp (according to Emma Walters) or the Hove Stinger (according to Lee Walker)?

Not only that, but the Henfield ‘Seven Stiles’ clearly doesn’t have seven stiles any longer, which is a bit confusing for anyone running the race counting stiles along the way, and then finding themselves at the finish line having only gone over four. And before those runners unnecessarily report themselves to the race director for skipping part of the course and worry about facing a lifetime ban, the name of a place (or event) may not actually be replicated in reality. For example, Sevenoaks in Kent should now theoretically be renamed Oneoak, after six of the famous oak trees came down during the Hurricane of October ’87. And the less said about where the name of the ‘Roundhill Romp’ came from the better!

Anyway, much like the storm of ’87 us fantastic HJ’ers once again have blown away the opposition and we remain top of the league after these events, with the next one at Tilgate on 3rd September. Keep up the good work!

Bewl 15 mile race – 2nd July (Sussex Grand Prix event)

A hardy group of HJ’ers turned up to run the 15 mile Bewl race on 2nd July. This race takes you around the Bewl Water reservoir and is a perfect event for runners looking to push themselves. Well done to everyone who took part including Brian Frost, Alan Pettitt, Rebecca Ramsey, Jo Stone, Emma Walters and Mark Newman. Fairly sure there were a couple of other HJ’ers who took part (Tim Hampson for one as he’s in the photo and uploaded it to Strava!) however the official results neglected to show these individuals as HJ’ers.

A group of runners
At the Bewl race

Goodwood 10k – 2nd July

Susan Wilcox was delighted to be randomly picked out of the hat by Florian Yeates back in April, as part of the free entry prize draw for Goodwood. She elected to run in the 10k and ran a terrific time of 1 hr 7 mins and 29 seconds. Hadley O’Dwyer was also picked out of the hat for the freebie back in April, and stormed through in 41.32.

Margaret Wadman and Claire Gray had to actually pay to enter the race, but that didn’t stop them both running an excellent 48.22 and 1 hr 7 mins and 45 seconds respectively.

Susan Wilcox
Susan Wilcox

Tuesday Night Runs

The Tuesday night runs continue to be as popular as ever. With a range of running groups to suit all paces these chatty group runs are extremely popular every week, so much so that even the local non-running Horsham community have requested our help at times during the hour-long runs we make. Ian Hines’ 12-minute mile group on 4th July went above the call of duty by assisting a broken-down car which was blocking the road.

No doubt they were ‘exhausted’ by the end of it.

A group of runners pushing a car
I didn’t sign up for this!

Roosthole Time Trial – Events 3 and 4 (11th July and 8th August)

The final two time trials took place up at Roosthole and the overall results are in.

The best improvement in time overall was made by Caroline Bransden, who improved by 4 minutes 38 seconds, closely followed home by Robert Swan who improved his time by 4 minutes 18 seconds.

Matt Horne was next best improved and his tremendous year of running continued by setting some PBs along the way, improving his time by 3 minutes 36 seconds. Behind him was Steve Hook who has been an ever-present and improved his time from 40.46 down to 37.23 (an improvement of 3 minutes 23 seconds overall). Steve has shown tremendous commitment, enthusiasm, and persistence at each time trial despite being at the back each time.

Remember you don’t need to have participated in all (or any) of previous time trials to take part. You can just rock up on the night and run the 5k (even if you haven’t run a time trial before) and the best part about it is the atmosphere and general camaraderie that this event has. It’s all about personal improvement. However, you will need to wait until 2024 for the next one!

Track Sessions

The Thursday night track sessions (meet at The Bridge track at 6.15pm for a 6.30pm start, cost £2 by card) continue to increase in numbers. And word about our evening sessions has obviously spread to the wider Athletics community, as on 13th July we were joined by two top British discus throwers by the names of Jade Lally and Kirstie Law.

Jade won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and represented GB at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the same year she set her PB with a throw of 65.10m, whereas Kirstie beat Jade at the 2020 British Athletics championships.

It was impressive to see both repeatedly launch the discus to massive distances, however no doubt they will have been equally impressed watching us HJ’ers going round the track and doing Jane/Lawrence’s sessions. I neglected to ask them if they had paid the £2 entry though (so they can pay £4 next time they turn up!).

Summer Handicap – 18th July

An excellent turnout of 73 HJ’ers ran the Summer Handicap on 18th July. This event is one of the best represented on the annual club calendar, and the 2023 version saw Viv Underhill (Group B) take 1st place. Coming home in 2nd place was Chris Moore just ahead of the 3rd placed Neil Barnes.

I think everyone who attended will say the event was a success, and congratulations goes to Viv on her victory.

A female runner
Viv Underhill at the Handicap race

Wakehurst Willow 5 miler – 19th July

The awkward and hilly 5 miler at Wakehurst saw the HJ’ers team well represented with 26 of us amongst a total field of nearly 400 runners. The actual course record was smashed by 90 seconds (unfortunately not by a HJ’er) but there were some notable HJ’er finishers.

Our top 3 men home were Matt Mason (31.28), Tom Robertson (34.46), and yours truly Simon Holmes (34.58, once I’d learnt how to tie my shoelaces).

The top 3 women home, none of whom had any issues with their shoelaces, were Lucinda Potten (39.19), Jill Page (47.17), and Rachel Thomas (47.36).

Other notable HJ’er finishers were Rob Shapland (35.36), Leo Maclachlan (35.45), Christina Harrison (49.56), Laura Holmes – in her first race for over a year – (52.24), Margreet Potter (52.44), Yuko Casey (53.11), Peter Helliwell (54.04), Ian Hines (66.38) and Rachel Detnon (69.21).

A group of runners under an inflatable arch
Joggers at the Wakehurst Willow

Midnight Marathon – 29th July

This run took place along the South Downs Way and the Queen Elizabeth Park and was completed by Nicola Smith and Helen Woods.

Both ran this in 6 hours 9 minutes and 55 seconds. Sheer admiration goes to anyone who runs a marathon during the night time, and the medal is pretty funky too!

Harting 10 Miler – 6th August

Seven HJ’ers ran the Harting 10 miler, which is a scenic multi-terrain race in South Harting (Petersfield) organised by Liss Runners.

The team did superbly, running as follows:-

Brian Frost (1 hr 24), Alan Pettitt (1 hr 27), Paul Chantler (1 hr 27), Rebecca Ramsey (1 hr 29), Ian Wilcox (1 hr 35), Richard Cherriman (1 hr 37), Robert Jochimsen (1 hr 42).

A group of runners
Joggers at the Harting 10 race

King Alfred’s Way challenge – 11th August

My opener to the newsletter talked about commitment to running, and sometimes there is heartache along the way, but that the key is ultimately you come back stronger from a disappointment.

Mark Gibson set out to run 350km at the King Alfred’s Way challenge on 11th August. Mark ‘only’ managed 88 miles (141 km) but pulled out once he realised his ultimate goal of completing the course in under 85 hours was unachievable. A mixture of the conditions and just not feeling right meant Mark did the correct thing and stopped his run. He will come back stronger again no doubt.

Other News and dates

Vote for VOY and JOY

Please get your votes in for Volunteer of the Year and Jogger of the Year. You can submit your own nominations by emailing the Committee (or individual Committee member) with the Horsham Jogger you wish to see nominated.

Horsham Round – 28th August (Bank Holiday Monday)

Some teams are already being put together for the forthcoming Horsham Round, which takes place on the Bank Holiday Monday at the end of August. Roger Johnson is kindly co-ordinating this event again.

There has already been a little assistance from Rob Jochimsen who has been busy trimming the hedges and verges along part of the course. If anyone has a very large hedge which needs pruning, Rob is your man…although if you are in his team for the Horsham Round you may want to make sure he doesn’t take you on the wrong ‘route’.

A hedge next to a road
Well done Rob!

SportsShoes code

Don’t forget you can use the Sportsshoes code as put up in the FB private forum each month for discount on your orders and delivery. Remember though that these codes are for exclusive use by Horsham Joggers only and are not for sharing!

Tuesday Night Runs

The Tuesday night club runs from the Bridge continue to be extremely popular. However, please keep your eyes peeled to the FB page and the calendar for any changes to the meeting place, and also remember that club events which are held on a Tuesday night usually take precedence.

Thursday Night Track

The track sessions (£2 a session) take place every Thursday night at The Bridge (arrive 6.15 to pay for a 6.30 start) with both the coached and main track sessions increasing in numbers. Also, check on the FB page for any other runs/events taking place on a Thursday evening (such Claire Butler’s Games in the Park, etc).

5k to 10k ‘Keep on Running’ course

These sessions began on Tuesday 20th June and have been a roaring success so far. Thanks to all the helpers making this so popular.

Barns Green Half Marathon Training

Sunday morning runs started on 2nd July and have been very well attended, at times well over 30 runners have turned up to these. The runs have moved to 8am start (meeting at 7.45am at the Bridge) and are suitable for anyone training for a Half Marathon (doesn’t have to be Barns Green!).

Dates of Other Races/Events

  • 20th August – Henfield Half
  • 28th August – Horsham Round (see above)
  • 2nd September – Tribe and Maverick Run Free Half Marathon or 10k
  • 3rd September – WSFRL at Tilgate (Saints and Sinners)
  • 10th September – Littlehampton 10k
  • 17th September  – Outrun Cancer, Patching 5k/10k
  • 17th September – Run Reigate Half/10k/5k
  • 17th September – Sussex Grand Prix at Hellingly
  • 24th September – Barns Green Half/10k/5k

Please keep your eye on the calendar on the main website for any additions/updates to the above.

Thanks everyone, see you next time.

Simon Holmes

HJ Newsletter June 2023

HJ Newsletter! The latest version of the newsletter is now available, and remains up there with the Bible in length, mostly due to the extraordinary volume of races, events and news which have taken place these past 6-7 weeks. What a great bunch we are.

A Summer of Warmth

With the world sometimes seemingly doom and gloom, we all need things which reflect the lighter and brighter side of life. When asked if I could start penning the newsletter last time out, the thought had crossed my mind to inundate you with quips, light-heartedness and useless attempts at general amusement. However, you will recall that my opener to the May newsletter was a little deep but heart-felt, and I have been quite touched by some of the feedback I received from a number of fellow runners, many saying how they could relate to the feelings I had experienced over winter. It’s good to talk, or so Bob Hoskins used to say.

This opener isn’t quite so deep.

Personally, I dislike running in hot weather. Luke Minogue mentioned to me after the 2nd time trial up at Roosthole that he gets faster in the heat, but apart from injuries I can’t think of anything more depleting.  Recently it has been so warm I think even local farmers have probably been feeding their chickens crushed ice to avoid them from laying hard-boiled eggs, and whilst running out on the trails I’m sure I spotted some cows giving evaporated milk.

When I see athletes deliberately training at altitude or extreme temperatures, I admire them. I’m aware heat training has been shown to improve aerobic performance, but given I find running to the top of Lambs Farm Road awkward when the sun shines, I can’t see the top Kenyans being troubled by similar issues.

Don’t get me wrong, it has been nice to see the sun. It had been so damp in the previous few months that even Marti Pellow would surely have considered adding a further name to his famous band, so I suppose I should avoid complaining too much. But a little bit of cool and overcast weather to run in would be nice, otherwise it really will be Sweet Surrender.

Unsung Hero

So much volunteer work takes place at HJ’ers and a lot of it goes under the radar. At some events, people work tirelessly behind the scenes who may themselves not be taking part in the actual event, to ensure those who are able still may.  

So, going forward and starting now in each newsletter one of our ‘Unsung Heroes’ at the club will be included as a thank you to them.

Our first Unsung Hero is John Willcox.

John organised and co-ordinated the HJ’ers at the recent South Downs Way (SDW) 100-mile relay, managing the two HJ teams with fantastic aplomb. He took on both the organisation of this event and a lot of the driving, and he has helped with this event over a number of previous years and this has certainly not gone unnoticed.

The Club would therefore like to thank him for his hard work with this event. It is a huge task. Thank you John!!

John Willcox driving a minibus
John Willcox driving the minibus

Alf Shrubb Running Shoes

The HJ’ers have sponsored Alf Shrubb’s running shoes from Horsham Museum. Alf was a World Champion middle/long distance runner, born in Slinfold in 1879 and someone who dominated the sport in the Edwardian era. During a career from 1899 to 1912 he won over 1,000 races and set a staggering 28 world records!!

The Alf Shrubb shoes adoption certificate
The Alf Shrubb shoes adoption certificate

Races and Runs

Trying to piece together so many individual and group runs and races is a tough job, not least because we take part in so many and particularly at this time of the year. So, apologies in advance but there are simply too many taking place to include them all… but here’s a selection:-

Horsham 10K

Where else can we start but the Horsham 10k and the fantastic success of the event this year?

A huge swathe of volunteers from the club helped to make the day an outstanding success, and we have received a massive amount of positive feedback from runners of other clubs who also took part. Such a lot of effort and months of planning goes into making the day work, from the Committee members to the pacers, to the Marshals and to those taking payments for the on-the-day entries.   

A whopping £342 was also raised from the cake stall sales alone which is terrific to see. Ella Agent’s last minute plea for additional bakers clearly worked and also showed that by having the coolest name at the club you can get your fellow runners to do pretty much anything.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the day such a victory.

Please note the Horsham 10k is also part of the Sussex Grand Prix, so anyone who entered may also wish to check their results to see how they scored. More details about the Sussex Grand Prix can be found in the ‘Other News’ section towards the end of the newsletter.

Cakes on a table
Cakes!

Andy Spriggs Running Spirit Award

One of the awards presented on the day of the 10k was for the Andy Spriggs Running Spirit award.

This award was set up to typify the criteria of generosity, courage, stoicism, passion, perseverance, or sportsmanship.

Therefore, the 10k panel deservedly selected a Crawley Saints and Sinners runner who reflects all of these and is someone so many of us know, Nina Trevarthen. Nina was selected by the panel due to her being an ever-present at the Horsham 10k (and other local races), with her infectious smile and bright yellow scrunchies making her instantly recognisable in so many races.  

West Sussex Fun Run League

The WSFRL races are now well under way and at the time of typing our amazing HJ’ers team is currently sitting top of the league.

Within these events we have seen some terrific runs and times, notably at the Portslade Hedgehopper 5 there was a terrific 3rd place overall for Michael Daly and an equally terrific 3rd women’s place for Melissa Galea.

At the Trundle View 5, which frankly contained more uneven ground than Boris Johnson’s political tenure, the hj’ers came second points-wise on the night and at the Littlehampton Beach Run a fortnight later we demolished all our opponents to take top spot.

The Beach Run saw a record 86 hj’ers in this event. There were some terrific performances too, top points going to a number of the men with Michael Daly (3rd) and Gary Tomlinson (4th), and also both Melissa Galea and Kat Owens bringing home top points for the women too. Mick Duplock came home to terrific applause, and a big shout out must go to Marcus Leach for doing brilliantly to duck under the seemingly endless and low lying Groynes along the sand. It would certainly have been a different way of getting a ‘Groyne’ strain if he had bumped his head.

Not only this, but our figures for fish and chip sales arguably broke all records too, with a stonking 60 portions of cod, 68 portions of chips, 10 battered sausages, 8 jumbo sausages and 3 portions of Quorn Veggie Nuggets being consumed.

The journey home probably also beat some sort of record for time spent trying to navigate closed roads, but let’s not discuss that again. However, no doubt if there was a league table for ‘number of expletives spoken on the route home’ us hj’ers would be top of the pile there too!

A group of runners
Horsham Joggers at Littlehampton

REP Bluebell 10k and 10 mile Event – 7th May

A few hj’ers took part in the Angmering Bluebell Trail Run on 7th May. Even with the rain and mud still everywhere, it was a top performance by Lucinda Potten coming home First Lady in the 10k race.

LDWA South Downs Marathon – 14th May (and Wimbledon Common Half)

On the same day of the Horsham 10k, Brian Frost and Alan Pettitt were taking on the 28-mile, 1200m climb of the South Downs Marathon. This run starts at East Dean, then across Seven Sisters, Firle, and Alfriston and has some gorgeous views to take in. It feels a slightly extreme way to avoid volunteering at the Horsham 10k but I’ve known both long enough to let them off. Great running chaps.

It should also be pointed out that both Brian and Alan then followed up this run by completing the Wimbledon Common half marathon on 28th May. A lovely, off-road course round the common, made arguably more fun by the appearance of some Wombles during the run. I’m not sure there would have been much competition for Great Uncle Bulgaria in the V300 age category!

England Masters (Chester) – 21st May

Three of our top ladies ran at the England Masters in the Chester Half on 21st May. Ali Edney (V55), Penny Barron (V60) and Lorraine Hunter (V75) produced some terrific performances against the rest of England’s elite.

Ali Edney, Penny Barron and Lorraine Hunter
Ali Edney, Penny Barron and Lorraine Hunter

Windermere Marathon – 21st May

HJ’ers were represented amongst the 577-strong field at the very tough Windermere Marathon on 21st May. Rob Jochimsen, Ian Wilcox, Richard Cherriman, and Michael Saunders completed this event with every one of them coming in under 5 and a half hours, terrific times given the hilly course. Michael Saunders continues to defy belief with a tremendous 4 hours 40 mins.

Rob Jochimsen, Michael Saunders, Ian Wilcox and Richard Cherriman
Rob Jochimsen, Michael Saunders, Ian Wilcox and Richard Cherriman

Run Gatwick 10k – 21st May

16 hj’ers took part in the slightly altered event this year, with the Half Marathon chaos of 2022 being removed but with the 10k event remaining.

Despite a heavy cold, David Wilkinson was first hj’er home (40.20), followed by Raff Vitale (41.00), and Andy Robins (44.56), who smashed his 10K PB in the process. Miranda Huisman was first female hj’er home in 47.13, followed by Margaret Wadman (49.24) and Frankie Bailey (52.32) who also demolished her PB.

Nutbourne Vinyard Run – 21st May

Another event taking place on 21st May was the Nutbourne Vinyard run, where finishers of this beautiful course were also rewarded with a glass of wine.

5 hj’ers took part on the day, and whilst I wouldn’t like to suggest the lure of a glass of wine at the end perhaps helped these individuals to decide to enter the event, I can see next year’s run suddenly having a hj’er turnout on the scale of the Littlehampton Beach Run!

Boston Harpoon 5 miler – 21st May

Graeme Hull ran the Harpoon Brewery 5 miler which, not dissimilar to the Nutbourne Vinyard Run, included beers and lunch vouchers as part of the entry. Whilst my own memories of Boston are of course somewhat mixed, I could well be tempted to return if there’s free drinks going! Graeme ran a terrific time of 38.49 and was amongst a field of 3,815 runners, the winner coming home in an outstanding 23.52.

Graeme Hull in front of a red race banner
Graeme Hull

Kempton Park Half – 28th May

Harry Wilcox smashed his own 10k/10 mile and Half Marathon PBs in the one race with a time of 1 hr 26 mins at Kempton Park. I’m fairly sure this didn’t include jumping over any fences on his way round.

Edinburgh Marathon and Half Marathons – 28th May

Both Andi Marfleet (an outstanding PB of 3 hrs 7 mins), and Mark Holmes (4 hrs 5 mins) ran the Edinburgh Marathon which actually measures a little longer than a Marathon on the official route. Mark’s time was impressive particularly given he struggled with training and Covid in the run up to the race.

Hadley O’Dwyer put in a fantastic 1 hr 26 mins at the Edinburgh Half despite being ill twice on his way round, to smash his own PB.

South Downs Way (SDW) 100 Relay – 3rd June

The SDW 100 Relay took place on 3rd June, and there were some outstanding efforts which took place during this run. Two teams ran the 100 miles from Eastbourne to Winchester, and a few club records went on some legs.

The ‘A’ Team finished in 11 hrs 50 mins (just 9 mins outside a new club record) and the Vets team came home in 14 hrs 19 mins.

Rebecca Rankin won the Tony Johnson Award after smashing two of the ladies’ records and narrowly missing out on the third. Becky has recently had a break from running to become a mum, and recent injuries during her comeback slowed her progress, making her achievements on the day all the more impressive.

John Willcox and Rebecca Rankin and the Tony Johnson Award

Stockholm Marathon – 4th June

Chris Newberry was another hj’er ‘on tour’ as he completed the Stockholm Marathon. In very warm conditions he completed this in a tremendous time of just under 4 hours. Not bad going for his first marathon!

Worthing 10k – 4th June

Any 10k down in Worthing is well represented by the club, and this time around was no exception with 27 hj’ers taking part.

Despite hot conditions a number of PBs were set during the event, not least by husband and wife Brian and Jo Stone who ran super times of 44.07 and 48.55 respectively.

Victoria Welsby was first female hj’er home (46.55) with Margaret Wadman second (48.38), and Jo Stone third, but there was some controversy over the results of the day concerning the top place for the males.

Malcolm Footer had looked all set to take the prize of first hj’er home with a narrow one-second advantage over Tony Jakens (42.04/42.05). However, as Malcolm was no doubt ready to crack open the champagne, later that very day new hj’er Simon Lockwood suddenly appeared at the top of the results page to take the glory with a tremendous time of 39.55.

Malcolm has a very forgiving nature as we know, though no doubt will have still drunk the champagne in despair at having the top place taken from him in dramatic circumstances (well, dramatic for a 10k results page).

Jo and Brian Stone about to ring bell on a beach
Jo and Brian Stone with PB Bell!

Endure 24 – 10th June

Despite temperatures more akin to the Sahara Desert on a particularly stuffy day, the hj team of David and Sally Malins, Tess and Mark Adams, Victoria and Andy Robins and Mark and Lisa Aylmore still managed to complete the 24 hour running challenge with very little sleep. The overall position of 81st out of 753 teams a very good end result.

In particular, it is fantastic to see Mark Aylmore back running in an event again.

A few of other hj’ers in the shape of Simon Perkins, Malcolm Footer, Phil Liberman and Claire Miller were also in attendance albeit as part of another team (so I won’t post the result but they did very well).

A group of runners in front of a green banner at the Endure 24 event
Horsham Joggers at Endure 24

Wisborough Green 10k

This event normally has a huge hj’er turnout and once again we did ourselves proud with 16 hj’ers turning up despite blisteringly humid weather.

Gary Tomlinson was first hj’er home in 34.44, and Rosie Inman was first female hj’er over the line with a fab 44.38. Other notable mentions must also go to Carl Laver who ran a PB of 52.24 and Tim Hampson with a welcome return to some shorter races with an impressive 49.28.

Jersey Half Marathon – 11th June

Jill Page (2 hrs 1 min), Margreet Potter (2 hrs 25 mins), and Lee Wood McGeean (also 2 hrs 25 mins) took on the ever-scenic Jersey Half Marathon along with 367 other competitors.  

Helsinki Half Marathon – 11th June

Caroline Bransden kept up her reputation as arguably the best travelled HJ’er of 2023 by running the Helskini Half Marathon in an excellent time of 2 hrs 17 mins.

Caroline ran the race with the help of some heavy metal/rock music which played along the course, and no doubt this in part helped her to get to the ‘Finnish’ in such a good time.

South Downs Way 100 – 10th/11th June

Congratulations must go to Matt Whyman for completing the SDW100. Not only was the weather extraordinarily hot for the run, with temperatures touching 30 degrees at times, the route in itself is very tough. Matt has also now finished the whole Centurion series!

A notable mention must also go to Emma Walters who did a sterling job by turning up at 1am to join Matt for ‘only’ 30 miles of his route.

Matt Whyman in front of a race banner
Matt Whyman

Other News

Mick Duplock’s 80th birthday

Mick Duplock, our blind runner who amazes us all with his courageous attitude and remarkable turnout at a number of events, will be 80 years old on 22nd July.

To celebrate, Mick is intending to run 20 laps of the BBH track on 4 separate Thursday’s during June and July, on 22nd June, 6th July, 13th July and 20th July. The final run on 20th July will be followed by cake and a drink at The Bridge.

Mick will also be doing Horsham Parkrun on 22nd July (his actual birthday).

Please feel free to come along to any of these events to help Mick celebrate his special birthday and to encourage him along.

Sussex Grand Prix races

With a lot of focus on the West Sussex Fun Run League, the highly enjoyable Sussex Grand Prix has gone a little under the radar. Briefly, this is a 12 race event where respective clubs score points in a league format. The races range from 5 to 15 milers so there is usually something for everyone. More details of these will be shared if only to remind us all it exists, and we scored very well at one of the events earlier in the year.

As noted earlier, the Horsham 10k is also part of the Sussex Grand Prix so anyone who entered may wish to check their results to see how they scored, and how we as a club are getting on over the year so far.

SportsShoes Code

Don’t forget you can use the Sportsshoes code as put up in the FB HJ Runs group each month for discount on your orders and delivery. Remember though that these codes are for exclusive use by Horsham Joggers only and are not for sharing!

Membership Renewal and Numbers

We now have 557 club members as at 14 June 2023. Note anyone who missed the renewal deadline will need to pay to re-join. Please put it in your calendar to remind yourselves to do it next year if you forgot this time around!

Coming up

Some of the other items and races of note coming up are:

  • 20th June – Naked Run (Horsham Park). Please don’t turn up naked, but make sure you are NOT wearing a timing device!
  • 24th June – Downland Dash (West Sussex Fun Run League)
  • 25th June – North Downs Run 30k
  • 2nd July – Bewl 15 (Sussex Grand Prix)
  • 5th July – Roundhill Romp (West Sussex Fun Run League)
  • 9th July – Hove Hornets Stinger (West Sussex Fun Run League)
  • 12th July – Phoenix 10k (Sussex Grand Prix)
  • 14th/15th July – Camping and Parkrun weekend at Moors Valley Parkrun
  • 18th July – Summer handicap (Horsham Park)
  • 19th July – Wakehurst Willow
  • 23rd July – Henfield Seven Stiles (West Sussex Fun Run League)

Roosthole Time Trial 5k

Two of the time trials have now taken place, with the next one due on Tuesday 11th July. You can still turn up for these even if you have yet to complete one, they are great fun.

Tuesday Night Runs

The Tuesday night club runs from the Bridge continue to be a success. So much thanks as ever must go to the group run leaders. Please note on occasion over the summer these will start from Horsham Park so please keep your eyes peeled to the FB page for any announcements.

Thursday night Track

The track sessions (£2 a session) take place every Thursday night at The Bridge (arrive 6.15 to pay for a 6.30 start) with both the coached and main track sessions very well represented.

5k to 10k ‘Keep on Running’ course

These sessions begin on Tuesday 20th June and anyone who has entered these will have been contacted separately. These are held twice a week on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s at 7pm for an hour and it is NOT too late to join! The cost of this course is £25 for HJ members. Not bad for an 11-week course!

Barns Green Half Marathon Training

Sunday morning runs will start from 2nd July onwards at The Bridge, likely to start at 8am. These are not supported runs but routes that you can follow.

Social Events

Along with the Moors Valley Parkrun on 14th/15th July, some other dates for social events will follow so please keep an eye on social media and the Facebook page for these.

Enjoy the summer.

Simon Holmes

HJ Newsletter May 2023

HJ Newsletter! The good news is the latest version of our newsletter is here and ready for your consumption. Given the number of races, runs and events since the last one it has been quite a beast to pull together, but here goes…

Opening Round

As I sit here now penning the HJ member newsletter, I find myself retrospectively analysing a somewhat bizarre few months and the period from late October to the end of March in particular.

During those oft-icy cold winter months I found myself in an unusually erratic place. The normally outgoing, positive and confident self had been partly overtaken by what, looking back, appears to have been Mr Hyde on a particularly bad day. My behaviour at times over those months was at best inconsistent, and at other moments verging on the seemingly pathetic. I was a little lost.

However, through those ‘dark’ winter times there was a consistent medium which helped clear the head from time to time and ensured sanity would eventually prevail. Running. And running with this wonderful club should never, ever be taken for granted. People say running saves them and there is no question this is true. The uplifting feeling at the end of a run when, however tired we may feel, when the endorphins and endocannabinoids kick in is a sensation like no other. So many of us have unique and very differing reasons to run, but it’s the shared inner spirit which can be lifted thanks to our common goal.

For myself, I was in-part saved by my HJ’er friends David and Sally Malins, with whom I shared a taxi home after the social evening in mid-March. As we parted company on Rusper Road they steered me in the right direction, not only home but also mentally too. I’ll be forever grateful to them for that. Within a fortnight I was back to my old self, and my running took a lift too. I set PBs across a number of races, feeling freed from the chains of winter and my own self-pity. Their kindness was needed more than I realised. And I think that’s the key. Be kind. Always.

Horsham Jogger of the Year awards and AGM 21st April

A number of prestigious awards were handed out at a well-attended AGM which was held at Horsham Sports Club on Friday 21st April.

As ever the AGM was hosted by the Committee, and Ian Dickinson was named Horsham Jogger of the Year, as voted for by members of the club. I think everyone agrees this was a very well-deserved award for Ian, who has been a key feature in both volunteering and participating across several events over the course of the year, including being an ever-present at the WSFRL . A true role model for any runner.

Fiona Clifton won Volunteer of the Year, appropriately timed given her wonderful 14 years’ service as a coach for the club. Thank you, Fiona. Your sessions will be sorely missed by so many.

Luke Minogue won the first ever Eileen Quinton award. The award is appropriately a huge shield given Eileen was such a huge presence at the club (a World Marathon Champion too), and she was inspirational to so many Horsham Joggers over the years. For any newer members to our club, feel free to ask about Eileen as her memory lives on in the minds of so many of us.

Talking of the Committee, the work this group have done over the years and will continue to do (voluntarily) cannot be underestimated and often goes under the radar together with the fantastic, phenomenal volumes of other volunteers we have throughout the club. Many events which take place would simply not exist without the extraordinary amount of hard work which takes place behind the scenes. We are a club of circa 600 members now, so this is no mean feat.

Races and Runs

Talking of events let us move on and see what’s been happening with races. As ever there has been a humungous amount of running taking place. There are simply too many races and individual stories since late March to cover in this one newsletter, but here’s a selection:-

Cranleigh 14/21 – 26th March

A number of HJ’ers took on this testing event. Gary Tomlinson won the 21-mile race by a whopping 7 minutes to claim victory. Relative newcomer to the club but a regular on the Sunday and Tuesday runs Polly Henderson took a terrific 7th place in the female race, and there are special shout outs to Brian Frost who ran the fastest lap in his age category, and to Penny Barron who ran the third fastest lap in her age category.

Mel’s Milers 10k – 26th March

More than 80 of us turned out for the annual Mel’s Miler 10k race. Extremely muddy and wet conditions made the course somewhat trickier to navigate than usual, but the event was still a success (apart from the lack of medals on the day for anyone who finished over 60 minutes that is). Malcolm Footer didn’t quite live up to his name, as he slid over on one of the opening turns during the race, but fortunately didn’t injure himself ahead of his Marathon the following week. There was also some HJ medal joy too with Tom MacDonald 3rd overall, Simon Holmes and Pete O’Connell winning trophies for heading up their respective age categories. Rosie Inman was first Horsham Jogger female home, just dipping under the magic 45-minute barrier.

Horsham Joggers at the Mel's Milers 10k
Horsham Joggers at the Mel’s Milers 10k

Brighton Marathon – 2nd April

We were also very well represented (both running and volunteering) at the Brighton Marathon at the start of April. A number of our team were taking part in their first ever marathons, and some have credited the winter Sunday morning club training runs for giving them both the confidence and also the ability to complete the 26.2 mile course. A special shout out to Baz Panchal for completing the course in a Panda outfit. Baz raised a lot of money for a terrific cause (WWF-UK), although I don’t recall him ever training in his Panda outfit on the Sunday morning runs earlier in the year!

Baz Panchal wearing a panda outfit
Baz Panchal and panda outfit

London Landmarks Half Marathon – 2nd April

Four of us took part in the London Landmarks Half marathon, along with approximately 23,000 other runners from across the UK. Cool conditions, together with a random appearance by the legendary GB athlete and kudos commentator Steve Cram halfway along the course, helped Matthew Horne (1 hr 58), Steph Charman (2 hrs 17), Chris Moore (1 hr 36) and Simon Holmes (1 hr 27) all set PBs on the day.

Sussex Relays – 8th April

The Sussex Athletics Championships Road Relays took place on 8th April in Brighton. As usual, Pete O’Connell steered the ship on the day with both mens and womens ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams competing in the relay course down in Brighton. Notable mentions from the day are Simon Perkins 1st m50, Dean Angell 3rd m60 (1 second ahead of Pete O’Connell), and the gold medal went to the HJ over 60s team of Dean, Pete and Steve Wigmore. Another notable mention is the tremendous run by new club member and track regular Kat Owens running a fantastic 12.10 for the women’s team.

Boston Marathon – 17th April

A couple of us made the trip including Polly Henderson (3 hrs 7) and Maria Gabriel (3 hrs 51). Some of you will be aware that Graeme Hull recently moved to this beautiful city and we all enjoy his regular updates on the HJ Runs Facebook group page.

Polly and Maria with medals
Polly and Maria with their medals

London Marathon – 23rd April

The usual HJ army of volunteers attended the London Marathon on 23rd April, wonderfully organised by the effervescent Phil Liberman and Claire Miller. There was a very good HJ turnout of runners too and some exceptional runs and PBs were set.

However, the real heroes of the day are those who ran the race having overcome personal illness and tragedy.

Special mentions must therefore go to anyone who ran the race as a direct result of personal suffering. Tariq Jahangir ran the Marathon to raise funds for the vitally important CRY charity, and of course Lou Johnson (who has run for the club for a number of years now) who ran the Marathon for MacMillan Cancer Support having successfully recovered from cancer herself.

There will be other stories amongst the HJ’er ranks and it is simply inspiring to see people turning negative events in their lives into positives.

Everyone watching the Marathon gave great vocal support and we had terrific fun trying to spot the HJ’ers amongst the hordes of runners.

Tariq Jahangir at the London Marathon
Tariq Jahangir at the London Marathon

Dubrovnik Half – 30th April

A handful of our troops braved the trip to Dubrovnik. The success of last year’s visit was followed up by a return to this majestic city once again albeit with a few new faces making the trip this time around. The weather for the Half Marathon was very warm, and the famously steep hill at the end of the course again proved a tough one to overcome, which of course the HJ team managed with aplomb.

Three Forts Challenge (30th April)

Rob Crocker came 3rd overall in the 5-miler race. A very well-placed effort after picking up an injury and changing his race plans the week before.

Haywards Heath 10 Mile – 30th April

As ever, the club was very well represented at the Haywards Heath 10 miler. The Horsham Joggers ladies won the team prize. A fantastic achievement especially given the large turnout of other clubs on the day and again shows the phenomenal strength of runners we have at our club.

HJ Ladies at the Haywards Heath 10 mile race
HJ Ladies at the Haywards Heath 10 mile race

Spinnaker Tower ‘run’ – 28th April

A slightly unusual event took place thanks to the ever-rapid feet tapping of Sarah Frost, who along with a couple of other HJ’ers took on the challenge of a vertical running race up the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. Unsurprisingly, Sarah was first female home in 3 mins 23 seconds.

Incredibly, the overall winner of the event had travelled from Malaysia specifically to attend this and climbed the 560 stairs in just over 2 minutes!

‘Runfest’ Worthing Half Marathon and 10k – 30th April

The usual barrage of us descended on Worthing for the RunFest 10k and Half Marathon. Once again there were some fabulous runs, including but not limited to Andi Marfleet (1 hr 25), Elisabeth Sessions (2 hrs 31), Barnaby Smith (2 hrs 40), and Malcolm Footer (41.21) and Jane Adams (1 hr 17) over the 10k.

The main Worthing 10k race is due to take place on 4th June.

Run to the Sea 50k – 6th May

Horsham Joggers were first home in the team competition of the 50k ‘Run to the Sea’, which started from Christs Hospital on the Downs Link and ended on the seafront in Brighton. This run was all the more impressive given the awful weather conditions the team had to put up with during the event, but it didn’t stop our team of Anna McLauchlan, Paul Davis, Michael Dargue, Tim Hampson, Brian Frost and Alan Pettitt romping home ahead of our rivals.

Other News

SportsShoes code

Don’t forget you can use the Sportsshoes code as put up in the FB private forum each month for discount on your orders and delivery. The discount now also includes the Brooks range too. Remember though these codes are for exclusive use by Horsham Joggers and are not for sharing!

Membership renewal and numbers

We now have approximately 600 club members. There has been a staggering increase in membership numbers over the past three or four years which once again shows how important our club is to the local Horsham community.

Parkrun returns to Horsham Park

Contrary to Paul Aylett deceiving a few park runners on 1st April by claiming the run was back in Horsham Park (apparently some people did actually turn up in the park that day), parkrun has now officially returned to its spiritual home on 6th May after its longest winter spell in Southwater on record. As ever, you will find many Horsham Joggers often helping with the set up and marshalling of this vital weekly run.

Coming up

Some of the other items and races of note coming up are:

Horsham 10K –  14th May

Please spread the word as at the time of typing there are still 175 places available for this challenging but ultimately fun 10k race, which starts at 11am. And of course you are helping the club raise funds too, as well as winning a medal! There is also a juniors race which starts at 10.15am. With a number of Horsham Joggers volunteering it also means you should receive rapturous cheering and applause as you go round the course too.

Club Time Trial 5k

The first of the Roosthole time trial runs takes place on Tuesday 9th May. This is now the set location for this event after the success of last year. Those of us that remember the old and hilly double loops of the Itchingfield time trial will be secretly pleased the new location has once again taken preference. It is of course more favourable to risk being run over by a push-bike opposed to a car, and most of us who ran Itchingfield will recount a few hairy moments with motor vehicles in the latter years of this event.

Naked Run – postponed until 20th June

The Naked Run in Horsham Park was postponed from April to June due to the deluge of rainfall which battered the Park over the spring months. Remember, you do wear clothes to this event just no timing devices please!

Other Race Dates

  • 21st May – Run Gatwick 10k
  • 24th May – WSFRL Chichester Trundle View
  • 4th June – Worthing 10k
  • 7th June – WSFRL Arunners Beach Run
  • 11th June – Wisborough Green 10k
  • 18th June – Madehurst 10k
  • 24th June – WSFRL Downland Dash

Tuesday night runs

The Tuesday night club runs from the Bridge continue to be a success. So much thanks as ever must go to the group run leaders and particularly to those who have had to step up due to absences over the past few months.

Remember: in the summer months, on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, we start from Horsham Park rather than the Bridge. The Naked Run and the Summer Handicap will also start from the Park.

Thursday night Track

The track sessions (£2 a session) continue to be a roaring success, with both the coached and main track sessions very well represented (at least when it wasn’t tipping down with rain). Unfortunately, the track is due to be closed on 11th and 18th May though please check the FB page for potential alternative runs taking place on these dates. At the time of typing the Tube next to the track is still due to be open on 11th May.

5k to 10k sessions

The clambering calls for 5k to 10k training sessions has been heeded and a lot of hard work behind the scenes has been taking place to get these organised. Further details regarding these sessions will follow in due course but more details are on our website under Keep On Running.

Social Events

Further social events are in the pipeline for later in the year, including a New Forest Park Run and Camping weekend over the weekend of 14-16 July.  Please check the FB page for further details regarding this.

Other dates for social events will follow so please keep an eye on social media and the Facebook page for these.

That’s all for now folks, have a good early summer and let’s hope the sun shines a little more than it has in recent months. Be lucky one and all.