Happy New Year folks and a big welcome to our new members and subscribers! What do you mean; you’d forgotten all about the festive season as soon as the credit card bill landed? Summer is coming so look on the bright side!

Committee activity

At the meeting on Wednesday 11th Jan we discussed the usual matters arising, club accounts, membership etc and also website updates, social events, club donations and challenge trophy age categories. More on all of this below…………

Spring marathon training

This is now three weeks in and already up to 13 miles. Numbers are huge each week and we even ran out of jelly babies! If you are participating, make sure that you arrive in good time for the pre-run briefing as we leave at 9am sharp! Please congregate on the pavement to keep the car park access clear and don’t use the surroundings as a toilet! Wear hi-viz clothing and prepare for all eventualities by taking layers to put on if you get cold (you may be comfortable in your vest at the start but what if there’s a medical emergency or RTA to deal with along the way?). Raff is still collecting a list of volunteers to organise the routes and water stops. Remember these are self guided training runs, with maps and instructions. Please reccy the route or stick with others if you don’t know where to go.

HJ Challenge Trophy changes for 2017

Following last month’s announcement that the Challenge Trophy awards would be streamlined to 10 year age categories we received lots of feedback highlighting how this would impact individuals who are nearing the top end of their age bracket and how competing with runners who may be 8 or 9 years their junior would affect them. As a result, the committee has agreed to retain the 5 year age categories for Challenge Trophy awards (SGP and WSRFL will still become 10’s). The first event is the Chichester 10k on 5th Feb. We also felt that the awards evening was such a success in December that this should become a focal point for club funding instead of a typical Christmas party.

Club Social Scene

With over 500 members and such a diverse mix of individuals, finding the right blend of organised club social events has proved tricky recently, what with the ever changing club dynamic and the age range that we have to provide for. However, this seems to be evolving into a self-managed thing recently where small groups put on get togethers instead. We had a few small groups attending Christmas meals, others celebrating New Year together and recently a group social evening with drinks and games at the Shelly Arms pub in Broadbridge Heath. We feel this demonstrates how running unites people, not just pounding the pavement together but in a social way and are keen to see this develop further, so if you have something going on with your club buddies and would like to us promote it, just post to Facebook or email to info@hj and we’ll see if we can help.

Summer “party”

Following on from the social events theme, we were so pleased with the success of the post Horsham Round BBQ last August that we would like to expand on it instead of a traditional Christmas party (the awards night can substitute this). So please save the date; August Bank Holiday will continue to see the running of the Horsham Round and we will step up the after-BBQ into a bigger gathering for all members whether running The Round or not. More details to follow closer to the time.

Club Kit

All hoodies ordered before Christmas have now been delivered and you all look great in them! Official club vests and T-shirts are still available from Mike at Up & Running in Horsham. Please remember that you will need to be wearing them in a race to qualify for points and prizes.

Website updates

We’ve been working feverishly over recent months to develop the website into something a bit more user friendly and suitable for E-commerce so that payments can be made for subs, kit, races and socials etc. We currently have an updated website on trial and hope to be able to “go live” in the near future so watch this space and your inbox for details of how to login to our new “Member Zone”! Also new for 2017 are profile pages for each committee member (well those who have sent them in so far!) which make for a bit of light reading 😉

Club donations

With some profits from last year we have been fortunate enough to make two donations this month; £300 goes to Horsham Junior Parkrun to help them set up their regular weekly timed run and another £300 to the West Sussex North branch of the MND Association in support of our long term member, Andy Spriggs who suffers with the disease.

Dates for your diary

Saturday 21st January – Sussex Masters XC Champs, Lancing

Sunday 5th February – Chichester 10k (HJ Challenge Trophy event)

Sunday 12th February – Worthing Half Marathon

That’s it for now. Cheerio!