The first Highwayman newsletter was produced in January 1996 with the intention of forming a link with its members through interesting articles, news and results. It was historically a staple of club life but, as times moved on, the Highwayman fell by the wayside. No longer did it demand you 'stand and deliver'...

Well the good news is we're back, but we look a bit different this time. We hope you like the new direction and would encourage all of our members to take a active part in making the Highwayman a compelling read.  

- Your Dandy Highwayman -

Welcome to your Highwayman 'Club Hub'

Hi there... and a big welcome to your new Highwayman; we hope this will become an essential point of reference for all our members as we move to make information easier to find and more relevant to all parts of the club.

The Highwayman is designed to be a member focused 'club hub' where we will present and curate lots of information that we hope is interesting and informative - whether this be helpful video content, upcoming matters of club interest, news, or social information, we hope that you find it useful.

But who is 'we', well that's a great question and one that, over time, I hope to be able to answer as 'everyone'. Like all things with the club, passionate volunteers and supporters make everything tick; we cannot do what we do without them. We want the Highwayman to be an extension of this spirit and act as open forum for members to contribute compelling content - got a story to tell that others would find interesting?... let us know about it. Perhaps you have some great video tips on training or a particularly amazing yoga course that keeps you from seizing up like a bag of spanners, ditto, or maybe you have an issue that you are passionate about, let us know.

This is your Highwayman and everyone is very welcome!

Andy Hind - Co-Chair | Haywards Heath Harriers

Submit your ideas for stories to the Highwayman

Did you know...

A quick round up of what's happening!

Changes in training numbers from 18 May

In line with latest guidence, we will be expanding our group training from 18 May. Check out the Coach Training Updates for more details. 

We have now launched our very own Club Hub - full of tips, features and content provided by members for members. What do you think? We would love your feedback!

Club Fee and EA renewals are due; check your email

You will have now recieved details  of how to renew your club and England Athletics memberships for 2021. Check your email for the details and payment process.

A hatfull of longstanding club records have fallen. Have a read of the Middy report (below) and check out the club records - check out the details.

Performance and Improvement

Coaches training updates

Keep up to date with our coaches and benefit from their training tips!

Coach Martin's training tips are shared on Beetroot Coaching Whatsapp Group - to join, ask the admin.

11 May 2021

The latest easing of restrictions means we are no longer constrained by the rule of 6. We can train in larger groups, which will be more fun, easier to organise and offer more frequent availability of track sessions.

So here’s what this means for you for Harriers Tuesday training from May 18th until the next government announcement on 21st June:

1. Turn up for Tuesday training at 7pm. There is no longer a need to receive an invitation😊
2. Your group leaders will be spaced out around the pavilion at WG, to avoid congregating in a group of more than 30
3. Depending on group leader availability, you’ll be in groups of up to around 12 which is EA guidance and enables social distancing.
4. Coaches Martin and Marion will, depending on their availability, be running 2 track sessions each week for a whole group each, which will be around 12 to 15 runners.

Beyond June, we are looking at how to make best use of our leading and coaching capacity and what we can offer, including availability of track sessions.

Coach Martin 

Our throws and sprint coaching team (Mike, Lucie and Becky) are now back at Whitemans Green from 20 April offering expert track and field guidence and support.

Coach Linda will be taking the junior training with volunteer support.

Our junior groups returned to Whitemans Green on the 20 April.

Training on the track continues to be in groups of six.

Got a coaching question?

Looking After Yourself

Coach Martin talks about... trusted information and its role in injury prevention

There are many videos available online and many weekly publications, books, courses, and people making money on what works for them in training all with a subtext that this will work for you too.

So what I’m aiming to do on the 'Club Hub' is surface content from EA (England Athletics) a trusted source, and point out some sections for you which are worth looking at. It won’t necessarily be all “correct” as there are differing views about training even with professors for example studying the same areas.

In this week’s video for example, I think there will be broader views expressed about the value of cool down but that doesn’t stop me from recommending this as a great watch.

So, one of the most recent additions EA coaching website is a series the topic of “ Beat the Physio and how to avoid injury”.  There are four parts to this, about an hour in total but don’t panic if you don’t want to watch them all, I’ll give a few pointers for you on what I think are the “must watch” bits!

It’s not the catchiest of titles to attract athletes is it! You might think it’s all about what you’re doing wrong. Well maybe it’s not that you’re doing something wrong, but perhaps it’s not seeing the context and value that it can bring to you. So when I’m coaching with warm up, range of movement, drills, I sometimes wonder if I’ve got the group’s attention, or if you’re thinking “let’s get on with the session, I’ve come here to run!”

What I like about this video is that the physio - great credentials by the way, a former Royal Marine and international at 800m (under 1:50) also with pbs of 14:54 for 5k and 70:17 for HM sets out the reasons why we coaches include some aspects in training sessions, and why as runners you can also benefit from thinking about these things too.

This is about 18 mins long. If that’s too much for you in one go, for me the must watch 6 mins or so are: the sections about warm up and cool down (approx 9 to 11 mins in) and a fab summary about mobility from 14 mins to the end.

There were a couple of real gems:
- how to design the right stretches for you based on your relative flexibility now - strength or stretch?
- fitting things into every day life such as balancing on one leg whilst brushing your teeth (Mullen, T. used to do squats fyi)

That’s not to say that choice of footwear and running surface won’t catch your eye!

Coach Martin 

L/R | Emma Navesey, Matt Cook, Jamie Topping and Ben Gibson at Dorney Lake Marathon

The Middy Report

Our resident reporter, Paul Cousins works his editorial magic with another Harriers infused helping of the Middy report.

For the w/c 19 April 2021

With the beginning of second major lockdown coming to an end athletics and road running events are beginning to start up again albeit at a very steady pace! Many athletes across the country have been able to so some exercise during the covid crisis but now are able to start to compete again much to their relief!

At Haywards Heath Harriers, we have been able to do covid-secure virtual race competitions through the last year for distances ranging from two kilometres to ten miles with a half a marathon on the South Downs due to happen shortly.

After such a long period when no public event racing has been held (since March 2020), there was a huge desire to get racing again.

Last week at the second Ardingly event where there was a junior one mile race followed by a number of five kilometre races throughout the day, operating in a covid-secure environment. All the athletes were set off in small groups. As the runners had the chip attached to their numbers it meant that each runner was given an accurate time for their run.

Amongst the Harriers there were many club records and personal bests (pb’s) set at the Ardingly event, namely in the junior mile race with the Noah Blythe in the under 11 boys and Jonathan Parkin in the under 13 boys and in the five kilometres races with Ryan Armstrong in the under 17 boys, Harvey Alcock in the under 20 men, Emma Singer in the veteran women 40 and Sam Ridley in the veteran women 55 age groups.

Harriers results were as follows:

Junior mile:

5:21 Jonathan Parkin (pb) (Harriers under 13 Boys record), 6:00 Sam Harper (pb), 6:01 Noah Blythe (pb) (Harriers under 11 Boys record), 7:20 Cian Gaston (pb), 7:47 Jacob Harper (pb).

5km results:

16:42 Russ Mullen, 17:05 Harvey Alcock (pb) (Harriers under 20 Mens record), Ryan Armstrong 17:42 (pb) (Harriers under 17 Boys record), 17:53 Will Herbert (pb), 18:11 Sam Fernley (pb), 18:21 Ewan Kemsley, 18:57 Tim Miller, 19:01 Finlay Blythe (pb), 19:22 Barry Tullett, 19:37 Emma Singer (pb)(Harriers vet 40 Womens record), 19:55 Tim Hicks, 20:25 Sam Ridley (pb) (Harriers vet 55 Womens record). 20:27 Chris Faulkner (pb), 20:30 Andy Dray (pb), 20:48 James Smyth (pb), 20:57 Arun Khursheed, 21:09 David Harper (pb)

On Saturday 17th April was the Sussex Coast Trail series Marathon. Greg Hilton ran 4 hours 25 minutes for this arduous trail marathon held over the South Downs from Eastbourne along the Seven Sisters and up and around the Long Man of Wilmington climbing over 4000 feet and back to Eastbourne. Tim Hicks ran in the half marathon at the same event and finished in 2 hours 7 minutes.

On 3rd April, Ben Gibson, Matt Cook and Jamie Topping all ran at the Dorney Lake Marathon near Windsor. Ben was first home finishing time was a super 2 hours 35 minutes and 40 seconds knocking off 8 mins 10 secs from his previous best finishing in 17th position. Also, Ben had broken an ancient Harriers record held by Tom Burke since 2003 when Tom ran 2 hours 36 minutes and 35 seconds in the Flora London Marathon.

Matt Cook had a more steady race and finished in 2 hours 46 minutes and 40 seconds.

Jamie Topping also had a super run, knocking nearly ten minutes off his personal best with a time of 2 hours 55 minutes and 55 seconds and finishing under three hours barrier for the first time.

The Longer Read - Michael's Running Story

Words & Pictures by Michael Parish

When the government put the country into lockdown life changed for all of us. Old routines ceased and we had to start making new positive ones. Not just in terms of how we are living temporarily but how we want life to be after the pandemic.

A positive outcome from COVID is an increase in the number of people who have started running. People run for different reasons whether it’s to compete, improve their fitness or maintain good mental health. Behind each person is a journey and a story of how running has had a positive impact on their lives.

It isn’t all about running. It’s finding an exercise that you enjoy doing and will consistently return to. Running isn’t for everybody but for those who enjoy it there are huge advantages to opening a doorway to fresh air, forgotten footpaths and the local Sussex countryside on your doorstep.

Four years ago, I suffered from work related stress and didn’t know how to deal with it. I knew that exercise was good for stress so I joined the Dolphin Leisure Centre Gym. This was my first steps towards fitness and good mental health.

Starting with running machines I moved to outdoor running by downloading the C25K app. (Couch to 5km). Later I discovered “Run Together” groups. They are affiliated to England Athletics and train/coach/support runners to learn and develop to their own potential.  

It was whilst doing this that I was introduced to parkrun. Parkrun isn’t a race, it’s about the community - you can walk or run the distance, it doesn’t matter and there is no judgement attached to it.

There were so many health benefits for me just running 5km. It’s a wonderful workout, burning 700 calories an hour, I started to lose weight, lowered my resting heart rate and improved my aerobic capacity, lowered my blood pressure and relieved my feelings of stress and anxiety.

I started to look at local village days in my area and found they ran events from 5 miles to 10km.  The favourites for me were Lindfield and Ardingly, whose fully marshalled runs through the countryside are amazing. Making a shift from 5km into 10km reinforced the benefits and started to impact other areas that are really important for my good mental health. Particularly with my self-esteem, sleep, energy levels, resilience and it also has a positive impact on depression releasing feelgood hormones into your system such as Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins (D.O.S.E).

I found the running community really supportive and finally went to Haywards Heath Harriers and after a trial period joined and registered as an athlete with England Athletics. My membership opened up so many opportunities; I discovered the West Sussex Fun Run League, 18 running clubs hold and marshal one run per year, which are all very different ranging from cross country underneath the Sussex Downs to a 5-mile beach run at Littlehampton.

I never started running to lose weight, but I have now lost 3 stone, my stress and anxiety is under control, without the use of medication, and I had covered the five pillars of good mental health. I was exercising on a regular basis, I had looked at my diet and improved it, my sleep was much better, I had my self-esteem and was feeling much better and I was giving something back. Being involved in the running community improved my support network which works in more than one direction.

Mindfulness has played an important part of my running journey. Endurance running tends to focus your mind on the moment, looking at the here and now. Whilst your mind is pre-occupied with the state your body is in, it breaks the bigger problems down and allows to you work through them in a logical way, with all of the D.O.S.E chemicals being released into your body you can maintain the good mental health to come up with solutions.

Two years ago, I became a mental health champion for England Athletics. As part of that I started to organise runs under their #runandtalk campaign with Mind the mental health charity encouraging people to run a short distance have a coffee and a chat about good mental health and running.

This year during lockdown, I qualified with England Athletics as a Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF) which allows me to organise, risk assess and take groups out running with the ability to coach them to their own potential.

[Michael Parish is a member of Haywards Heath Harriers and is one of the club's mental heath champions ([email protected]). Michael also writes his own blog -

Michael Parish (Ardingly 10K)

Athletes in profile... say hello to Gemma Morgan

‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’, as Mr Dickens wrote, ‘It was the season of light, it was the season of darkness….’ So The Highwayman felt we needed cheering up. They asked their youngest, greenest-behind-the-ears cub reporter to interview the most smiley of our Beetroot gang, one Gemma Morgan!! Be prepared to be educated, enlightened and entertained by The Life and Loves of Ms. Morgan! It is a joy!

Words and pictures by Ian Dumbrell & Gemma Morgan

  • So when did you start running? What drew you to it?

I hated running as a child, I wasn’t very fast and I’d get a stitch after about 3 minutes so just added it to the list of sports I wasn’t very good at!  My school report says ‘Gemma has an attitude of enjoyment rather than exertion to PE’ which was true.  My focus throughout my 20s and early 30s remained on enjoyment rather than exertion and when I look back at photos you can see it in my round cheeks!  Although I did dabble with running solo a few times it never really became a habit.  It wasn’t until we moved from London to Haywards Heath with two small children that my attention turned to improving my health.  In late 2017 I started running a 4.5k loop a couple of times a week to try and get a bit fitter.  I found it extremely hard going and couldn’t persuade myself to go further or more frequently so, being a social creature, I had a look online for local running groups as I didn’t really know anyone locally.  I found J&M runners and signed up for a slow 5k with them, that’s when I first met Marion who was lovely and I finished the run feeling happy that I wasn’t the slowest and I’d had a good chat so I signed up for the Thursday run as well!  I found running with other people completely distracted me from the pain and became more a social experience and that way it became a real habit for the first time.

  • When did you join Harriers? Why?

I joined Harriers in January 2018, I’d signed up for a half marathon and wanted to be able to run with a group on any given day of the week as I was fitting my runs around work and the family.  I’d started running with St Francis as well for that reason.  I didn’t realise that Tuesday training would involve speedwork and hills so my first session running around Lucastes and Quarry Hill was a bit of an eye-opener!  Fortunately, Claire Kenward was very kind to me…

  • So what does running mean to you Gemma? What do you get out of it? Fitness? People? Headspace? Nature? Medals?

I started running to stop the middle age spread, but now I get so much more out of it.  I feel in better shape now at 41 than I have in my whole life, so that’s nice.  I’m also really aware of the effect on my mood, if I feel stressed for any reason, some time spent rhythmically pounding the streets is a real release and I can come back refreshed and able to face up to whatever needs to be done.  It’s also become a big part of our lives socially, our friends in HH are mostly through running.  I was idly considering moving closer to the sea recently, but we decided we couldn’t leave the club!

  • What is your favourite race of all time and tell us why? 

It’s hard to pick!!  I loved Brighton marathon mainly because there was so much support on the route, I felt cheered round the whole way and it was my first ever marathon so that was special.  I love Wakehurst Willow, it’s a beautiful and challenging route with loads of familiar faces and it’s around my birthday 😊.  Ooh actually the best days racing I’ve had is the South Down’s Way relay, that’s the winner.  An incredibly long tough day of running but I love the camaraderie, the team bus, the beautiful South Downs and the beers on the way home. Everyone should have a go at that. I also really like the Fun Run League and the Cross Country events we do as a club, I love cheering each other on, how hard it makes you work, I even love the mud.

  • Who are your running heroes, local and global? Why?

Locally I have to say Marion for getting me into the habit and being an absolute running inspiration and Emma Navesey is a joy to watch she seems such a natural and I like that she is such a success story, I know she works very hard on it.   On a slightly more global level, I love watching the Scots Laura Muir and Jemma Reekie in action with their fabulous kicks.

  • Which of your children is your favourite? (Ed: this is a joke) 

Whichever one is quietly home schooling itself 😊

  • What are your mileage goals at present? How do you fit that running into your life?

I aim to do around 50k a week, now I’ve said it here, I’ll have to do it!  I usually do 25k at the weekend and fit the rest in during the week.

  • What other things do you need to fit your running around?

Fitting in running is a bit of a juggle as I have to fit it around working as a Crisp buyer for Sainsburys which is quite full on, two kids aged 7 & 9, 1 dog (who fortunately likes running) and my husband Nicolas who also likes running!  We both have to be pretty flexible as it’s important to us both and keeps us happy and socialised so usually we’ll plan the week ahead. Especially the weekend long runs.  Outside of lockdown, I lead an Early Birds J&M group at 6.30 on a Friday morning which is a nice way to guarantee some miles and give back to J&M.  Nicolas and I have to alternate Club Tuesdays to keep it fair!  Recently I’ve taken to just wearing running gear all the time so when the opportunity arises, I head out the door!

  • Are you the best runner in your house? 

Yes of course.  Well I’m the most consistent!  On the odd occasion I run with Nicolas I feel large amounts of envy about his grace and ease, so I’d say he’s more of a natural runner.  Actually Frida the dog is the best runner, she’s a Vizsla and is incredible to watch, we all try and channel our inner Frida’s.  The kids have got more into running recently, we had started going to junior parkrun with them which was brilliant and great for their confidence. 

  • What are you looking forward to the most running wise when lockdown restrictions are fully lifted? 

I’m really looking forward to being able to go on long runs with a group again, exploring Sussex with a like minded gang and having coffee and a cake or a beer if it’s later in the day.

  • Tell us the one running goal you would like to achieve in the future?

I would like to keep running and chatting until I’m a little old lady.

So there you have it Beetroots, Gemma is just an all-round super star who loves running! And so do her husband, and kids, and dog, and if the goldfish could…

It’s been great to hear what motivates Gemma to get out and run, and I for one hope that very soon we can all have that coffee, cake and beer with Gemma and do so until she is a little old lady.

Get to know your Coaches and Group Run Leaders

This talented bunch of volunteers are all EA qualified coaches or Leaders in Running Fitness (LiRF's) and give their time week in week out supporting the club!


Mike Bale

Head Coach (Throws)

Coach Martin

Endurance Coach

Marion Hemsworth

Endurance Coach

Linda Tullett

Junior Coach

Leaders in Running Fitness (LiRF)

Endurance Run Leaders 



Ben Gibson

Group 1 - LiRF

Andy Hind

Group 1 - LiRF

Matt King

Group 1 - LiRF 


James Moffat

Group 2 - LiRF

Julian Boyer

Group 2 - LiRF

Barry Tullett

Group 1 - LiRF 


Andy Dray

Group 3 - LiRF

Ian Dumbrell

Group 3 - LiRF


AKA El Presidente

Mark Sykes

Group 4A - LiRF

Liz Earley

Group 4A - LiRF

Hannah Gibson

Group 4A - LiRF


TIm Hicks

Group 4B- LiRF

Carl Bicknell

Group 4B - LiRF

Graham Kenward

Group 4B - LiRF


Michael Parish

Group 5- LiRF


Paul Cousins

Under 18's - LiRF

Interested in helping the club with coaching? Get in touch

Our next social will be announced soon - check back for details

From the archives... explore the back issues of the Highwayman

Keep up to date across our social media channels

There are many ways to keep in contact with the club.

We are represented across social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and there is also a Strava Haywards Heath Harriers Group that is a great way to get inspiration and show your support for your fellow team mates.

Our other channels include email and various dedicated club Whatsapp groups. 

Interested in joining our social media team?


Our very own page dedicated to Haywards Heath Harriers. Reports, news and community. Give us a page like!


Bringing real time race reporting and club action. Tag us with  #haywardsheathharriers #beetrootarmy


If pics are more your thing, check out the club feed. Tag us with  #haywardsheathharriers #beetrootarmy


Follow and lavish kudos on your club mates with our very own Haywards Heath Harriers Strava Group.

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