Our first run as a club was on 1st April 1990. From 6
runners then, the club has inexorably grown to its present size.
Because of this ethos, central to the clubs activities are the West Sussex Fun Run League and the Handicap. The League encourages participation by all runners of any standard and so awards spot prizes rather than for the fastest runner. The Handicap is so designed that everyone, slow or fast, has an equal chance of coming first.
However, having stated this we are delighted that there are fast runners in the club, and that many members enter races in the Sussex Grand Prix as well as the London Marathon and other long distance events.
This shows that the club has a wide membership of all abilities, including complete beginners.
Club night is Wednesday, meeting at the Leisure Centre at 7pm. After a group stretching and warm up session we usually set off running at about 7.15. If you want to do your best to avoid injury it’s probably wise to include a pre warm up.
After the run most of us retire to the Leisure Centre bar for a drink or three, hot food is also available. The leisure centre nights run alternately in the summer months with the pub runs, you need to refer to the calendar in the newsletter.
Before anyone starts their run we try to arrange it so that everyone is in a group according to distance and speed. It has to be said that most groups do get spread out, and even with a group leader and a sweeper people can get lost. Please if you do not know the route or do not feel comfortable being on your own, ask someone to “buddy” you- we are all only to pleased to do this. The club owns reflective bibs, which are available for running in the dark.
Alternate Wednesdays from June to September we meet at a pub rather than the Leisure Centre, also at 7pm.A good opportunity to run in different areas and see some of the Sussex countryside. A programme of the pub runs is published in advance in the newsletter.
Saturday Morning Run or Cycle
Most Saturdays a group meets at the Leisure Centre at 8.30am ( times can vary) for a longer run. These generally include those who are training for half and full marathons. There may again be two groups depending on speed and/or distance. On these runs the groups tend to stay together and the faster runners will stop or peel back and wait for the slower runners to catch up. To find out what is planned ask around at the Wednesday session or ring Richard (01273 492293) who usually knows what’s going on.
A group of joggers/cyclists usually go for a long cycle ride starting at the Leisure Centre at 9am finishing about 12 noon. They do up to 30 miles and usually stop for a hearty breakfast on route. For further info ring Ian (01403 710311)
The Grace Wells Handicap
This is the one club running event for which prizes are awarded. Currently there is a £25 (jog shop voucher) first prize and a £10 voucher second prize. There is a separate event for the juniors with a £20 Virgin voucher first prize.
The senior event has a trophy held by the winner for the year and his/her name recorded on the roll of honour in the Leisure centre bar. There is a Handicap race every month on Saturday morning from 8am. See the notice board for dates.
To make it so that runners of any standard have an equal chance of winning and to encourage members to participate, there is a rather complex set of rules and scoring system. The seniors run a 3.5 mile course to and from the Leisure centre clockwise via Stonepit Lane, the riverbank and the old railway line. Each runner sets of at a particular time calculated from their fastest run out of their last three handicaps. So, if someone’s time was 25 minutes, they set off at 8.35am.Theoretically everyone should finish at around 9am. Improving runners will finish before 9 and those on an off day, after.
The very first handicap any runner does scores them 5 points. Thereafter, the first runner back gets 20 points, the second 19 and so on. At the end of the year the highest 6 scores are added up (maximum 120). In addition to this there are 2 points for each handicap completed (max 24). Maximum total points for the year is 144.
The scoring for the junior event is similar, but run over 1.9 miles. For further details contact Peter (0787 9478684)
The West Sussex Fun Run League
16 clubs in the county belong to the league, from Lewes (in east Sussex!) to Chichester and from the coast up to Crawley (including us). The philosophy of the league is to encourage participation and to promote the enjoyment of running. The rules of the league are made democratically, by a committee consisting of one, or two representatives from each club. The main committee meeting of the year is in November with a mini meeting in May.
Each club holds their own fun run per year. The entry fees are fixed at 31 per adult league club member and 50p for juniors. Runners not members of a WSFRL club pay £2 and £1 respectively.
There is quite a complex scoring system incorporating ‘performance’ points, 20 for each of the first 20 men and first 5 women, 19 points for the second 20 men and 5 women etc.. Each runner scores 1 participation point for their club to a maximum of 25. A trophy is awarded to the winning club at the AGM in November.
At each run spot prizes are given out randomly or to particularly cheerful runners! Purposefully no awards are made for actually winning, in order to emphasise the fun nature of the event.
Our Own Fun Run - The Seven Stiles
This is part of the WSFRL calendar and is usually run on the 3rd Saturday in September. There are two runs ; a one mile event, entirely off road which starts from the Leisure Centre at 4.15pm. The main 4 mile event starts at 5pm
We always need plenty of marshals to help set up signs etc in the morning and then to administer the race and results. The course is similar to the handicap course and, as there are seven stiles along the way, it is called the “Seven Stiles” run. Proceeds from the event (entry fees) are usually shared between the club and the Sports Association and often a donation is made to another local charity.
Affiliation to the Amateur Athletic Association
Henfield Joggers was accepted for affiliation in September 1995, covering road running. This does not include track and field, cross-country, race walking or fell running. That would cost much more!
There are many advantages to our club being affiliated , you will notice each AAA event is £1 less! The races are accurately measured and certified, and prizes are awarded for each age category. Third party insurance is also provided. See the notice board for the complete list of UK Athletics perks!
Sussex Road Running Grand Prix
Over the last few years an increasing number of joggers have gone in for this type of road race, ranging in distance up to a half marathon. Although more competitive, still a very broad section of runners take part. Individual and team prizes are awarded at the end of the year, in all age group categories, for those with the most points.
Age group Categories:
FV1 is female vets 35-39 MV1 is male vet 40-44
FV2 40-44 MV2 45-49
FV3 45-49 MV3 50-54
FV4 50-54 MV4 55-59
FV5 55-59 MV5 60-65
FV6 60-65 MV6 65-69
To qualify for the GP, 8 AAA races must be completed, 2 of which must be 10 miles or more. Club colours must be worn. In January at the presentation evening, awards are given for runners with the most points.
Points are given to finishers belonging to clubs affiliated to the SEAA and to the grand prix. 500 to the highest placed male and female, 499 to the 2nd and so on.
South Downs Way Relay
In early June just over 42 teams run from Beachy Head in Eastbourne to Chilcombe just outside Winchester, a distance of 98 miles in 18 stages. Teams of 6 runners each do 3 legs and start between 5.30am and 9.30am and usually arrive at the finish between 7 and 8 pm
Henfield Joggers have competed in this event since 1992 entering a ladies and 2 mens teams. Organisation for this event starts in January. It is quite a hard and very long day, but the event creates a great atmosphere and is usually rounded off by a club meal.
Mid Summer Dash
Or the Stenfield and Henning run. This event was introduced to mark the millennium and is a race between Steyning AC and Henfield Joggers. The course alternates each year between running from Henfield to Steyning and the reverse. A trophy is presented to the winning club. This event provides a great opportunity for the two clubs to get together and enjoy a fun evening. The run takes place in June.
The Management of the Club
At the AGM held in April any member can propose changes and these can be voted on. The committee stand down and a new one is elected, so far this has all been done very informally.
Subscriptions are currently £10 Adults, £5 Juniors under 16, £25 for family membership. These subs are due in April.
So far we have been pretty good at enjoying ourselves. Most years include some or all of the following:
Post London Marathon Party
Post South Downs Relay Party
Summer Barbeque in someone’s garden
Chariots of Fire beach run and breakfast
Party after our fun run in September
New Years Eve Party
This course has been running for the last 5 years. The 8 week course, one meeting per week (Wednesday) usually starts in early April. The course is very structured and gently takes the previous non-runner up to running 3-4 miles non- stop by the end of the programme. It is based on the Reebok Sisters course. For further details contact any member of the committee.
The Junior Section
This was started in September 1997 and aimed to encourage juniors from 9-16 to enjoy jogging and general exercise. The juniors join in the club session on Wednesdays and have their own handicap event. There are also 11 races in the WSFRL calendar. Winter training includes regular track sessions at Lewes Leisure Centre. Social events include swimming and an Xmas party. We have recently obtained grants to help cover costs on transport and kit.
There are 3 principal items, the sweatshirt, t~shirt and racing vest. “Emerald green with black writing” The logo is on the back of all three and the sweatshirt and tee shirt have a miniature logo over the left breast.
Vests (Ladies & Mens) 11.50 ( available from the club
Reversible Jackets with logo £37.50
Over the years we have diversified from time to time. Regular skiing trips take place, bicycle tours of far flung places plus Camping and Youth Hosteling.
Other athletic training includes winter training at Club La Santa, and triathlons.
Foreign Running Trips
In November 1996 a group of nearly 20 Henfield Joggers crossed the pond and completed the New York Marathon- a memorable and enjoyable trip for all who went.
In 1997 a smaller group completed the Dublin Marathon- also enjoyed enormously. Since then regular trips have been organised to Brugge, Lille, and Slovakia.
Power Walking Sub-Section
This has been going since early 1997 .They also meet on Wednesday evening at 7pm. Summer walks are arranged to coincide with the pub runs. Ideal for beginners or those returning from injury.