Race Reports

Balcombe Bull Run


Bright sunshine and a crisp wind greeted the 73 entrants in Balcombe's first Bull Run - a circular, 7.3km cross-country run over the fields, lanes, styles and footpaths of our beautiful village.  We even had a bit of hail thrown in to give it that tougher feel!

Dave Jones (an ex-pupil of the school and successful triathete) and I had laid out the course the night before with reflective signs. The day started early with the PTA cooking up bacon sandwiches and refreshments for the gathering runners and supporters. Then we briefed the 18 marshals, who had offered to keep a watchful eye over the runners, and gave the runners a race briefing. Harriet Record got everyone in the mood with a warm-up before I called the runners to the start line.

Looking over to it I could see a wonderful mix of runners - from the young (12) to the older (60+), from the experienced to the fun runner. There was fancy running kit on show and one competitor who I'm sure was wearing surf shorts! It is so rewarding to see people raring to go and getting stuck in. Jackie Stone blew the air horn to start and the race was off. It's amazing that even before they reached the top of Westup Lane the runners were strung out - from the gazelles to the steam engines....

They continued along Rowhill Lane, passed Spicers Farm (where David Vickerstaff had set up a water table) before going onto Postman's Walk and across the fields to Westup Farm and back home. This was a muddy, hilly and tough course - not to mention the added hail. I was astounded at the pace of Rob Watts (mens winner in 28m 14sec), Rachel Baker (ladies winner 36.14), Eleanor Stoner (girls winner 37.15) and James Greetham (boys winner 44.28). Well done to you all.

A big crowd had assembled at the finish and the noise was awesome. Everyone was given a cow bell medal, bananas and water. And the winners got some lovely hats. The cakes and bacon "sardines" (as my Facebook entry said - damn autocorrect!) were laid on by the PTA - perfect recovery food after a race.

My thanks to everyone who ran, helped and supported on the day. We made over £500 for the school and also secured a regular event in Balcombe's diary. Bring on Balcombe Bull Run 2015!

Mat Record

Hastings Half Marathon 23/3/14

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As I had not done this race since 2005 I was a little apprehensive to say the least. My time then was 1hr 37 mins but now that I am in my late 60's I knew that I wasn't going to beat that!!! Although it was a respectable start time, 10.30 am, I was up early as usual and had my porridge like a good "boy". I left home about 8.00 and arrived at the designated car park with no problems at 9.00 giving me plenty of time to chill out before the start and of course my warm up, a walk to the loo and back!!

On arrival at the start, which was approximately 10 mins walk from the car park I met up with Kevin [James]. The weather was reasonably warm and dry with a slight wind, so was probably ideal running conditions. Just before we lined up Steve [Birchall] and Pippa [ Crouch] turned up.

Then it was gun time and there was no turning back! We all know Hastings is a hilly course but exactly how hilly I had forgotten as it was 9yrs ago the last time I did this race! Obviously another C.R.A.F.T. moment!!! The first 5 miles is basically up hill, so there is got to be a "down" somewhere!! The crowds were very encouraging along the way, which always helps, plenty of jelly babies being given out! Once I got to mile 7 I thought well there is only 6 miles to go!!

Dropping down out of Hastings Old town you then find yourself at mile 11 on the seafront and that always seems like a lot further than 2 miles to the finish! With just under a mile to go you can see the finish but it feels like someone keeps moving it further away!! I ran the whole way round and even had some left in the tank for those last two miles. With about half  a mile to go Jules Stuart- Colwill] came up alongside me and we were nip and tuck til just before this finish line when Jules had that extra bit in her tank and crossed over just before me, well done Jules!!
                 My race time was 2hrs 2 mins 36 secs
                 My personal time was 2hrs.1 min 48secs

Will I do it next year, maybe if I have another C.R.A.F.T. moment!!!

Burgess Hill Winter Classic


Woke up Sunday morning to the wind blowing like mad and thought do I really need to be doing this ride!!

On arrival at Cyprus Hall Burgess Hill to sign on I found out that the ride would be 77.2 miles not the 75 miles I thought!!! Oh well what's a couple of extra miles!!

Unfortunately there was nobody else from MSTC doing the long ride so I was on my own!! There were a number of other like minded people doing the ride but all looked a lot younger than me! Anyway having signed on I started at 08.36 and headed out West through Ashurst, West Washington, West Chiltington, Billingshurst, Wisborough Green, Loxwood and onto Ellens Green, which was basically the turn round point.

I stopped very briefly to get my timing chip swiped and to refuel. The journey to here had been uneventful, although there was a lot of surface water in places at least it wasn't raining!! But the wind was just terrible which reduced the average speed somewhat!

After a few minutes at this stop I headed out on the return journey saying to myself "it's only another 35 miles" and if you looked at the map the right way up it was all down hill !!!!!! Who was I kidding!!!

The ride back went through Broadbridge Heath, Barn's Green, Southwater, West Grinstead, Ashurst, Partridge Green, Alborne, Hassocks, HurstpierPoint, Keymer and back to Burgess Hill to the Cyprus Hall.

Well it wasn't down hill coming back and the wind was bloody worse!!! But at least it didn't rain!!!

I arrived in one piece after a very tough ride. My timing chip time was 5hrs 14 mins 43 secs [the Gold Standard for my age group OAP was 5hrs 30 mins] so I was well pleased with that, especially as my actual riding time was 5hrs 7 mins on my computer.

Will I be back next year??? Of course I will!!!!

Balcombe Bull Run?

The Balcombe Bull Run, a 7km cross-country run, is being held at 10.30am on Sunday 23rd March.  The event is being organised by Balcombe School PTA and Mid Sussex Triathlon Club.  It goes over the fields, paths, lanes and tracks of Balcombe Estate.  It is a fully marshalled event and refreshments are available in the school hall.
Here is a map of the course http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6141126
For application form and instructions for runners Click Here, and a flyer.  Adults are £8, juniors/U16 £5 (all runners must be over 12 on 31/8/14).  Race numbers should be collected on the day from registration in the school hall.  There is a maximum field of 150 runners, so apply early to avoid disappointment.
If you would like to help marshal on the day (between 9.30am and 11.30am) please get in touch with Mat Record at mcrecord@hotmail.com or 07811 325.  You'll get to wear a lovely flourescent jacket!
Mat Record
Race Director

Charity Donation

Rach will be handing over a cheque to Hazel tonight (2nd Jan) for the Hollyrood learning centre for £1,385.72.  This is the total sum raised last year from our club events.


Please all attend