Julie Jochimsen holds aloft the trophy

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.


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!