Runner’s stories 2020

Jenny-Anne Dexter

Jenny took on the ultimate challenge to complete the MSMW 2020 Virtual Full Marathon. She chose to do each run in the relative towns (Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill and East Grinstead). Jenny told us she has 3 exhausting days but had fantastic support from friends and her husband. We want to say a massive well done to her for completing the race and we hope she’s enjoying her bespoke medals.

Jenny said: “At first I was devastated I couldn’t take part in the Marathon Weekender but I decided to sign up for the virtual race after my friends agreed to support me by running alongside me. I couldn’t face doing it alone! They also drew up unique routes around Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath and East Grinstead, so I didn’t know where I’d be going in advance, which added to the excitement. Completing it has given me a renewed belief that I can work towards a full marathon distance next year, which is my ultimate goal. So bring on 2021! 

Congratulations to all that have taken part in MSMW 2020 Virtual Fun Run Week!!!

Well done to all the children, families and schools that have completed MSMW 2020 Virtual Fun Run Week. It looks likes you’ve all had a wonderful time taking on the Fun Run challenge, its great to see you all enjoying yourselves!!

Our race director, Simon Adby said “We are so delighted that we have been able to offer the opportunity of a Virtual Fun Run in 2020. Especially as children’s health and wellbeing has been more important than ever this year, it’s been key to get children outdoors and being physically active. “

We would like to say a massive thank you to all the schools that have taken part in this year’s virtual event.

Felbridge PrimaryWoodlands Meed
Staplefield PrimaryTwineham PrimarySt Peter’s Primary
The Gattons Infant School West Hoathly CE Primary SchoolBolney CE Primary School
St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Imberhorne Secondary ❂ ❂ The Burgess Hill AcademyBlackthorns Primary
St Mary’s CE Primary School Holy Trinity
Manor Field Primary School
Baldwins Hill Primary SchoolWarninglid Primary School
St Augustine’s CEP School

Let us know how you got involved!! Did you take part as a family, with school or alongside NSPCC Childhood Day? How did you complete the race? Did you get creative?? Share your stories and photos with us and tag us at #MSMW2020.

Don’t forget to submit photos and evidence of participation by the 1st July 2020. Remember every child that took part will receive a fabulous wooden medal and certificate!

MSMW 2020 Virtual Runner’s Stories

Samantha Day

Day 1 completed of the Mid Sussex Marathon 2020 – 10.55 miles and no rain!Fabulous scenery. Thank you for going virtual giving us the opportunity and motivation to enrol and take part. Looking forward to the next 10 miles tomorrow.

Day 2 completed of the Mid Sussex Marathon 2020 – 10.72 miles. I had so much fun today on the walk and especially on the viaduct. Just goes to show what exercise in a lovely location can do for you. Only 6.2 miles to go tomorrow!

Day 3 completed! Yes 6.3 miles today to finish the Mid Sussex Marathon 2020 marathon event. I have so enjoyed this challenge. I would recommend it to you all. A big thank you to the organisers for making this virtual and giving me the motivation to take part. I am looking forward to my medals!

After completing the Mid Sussex Marathon 2020 virtual event last week over three days, it has motivated me to continue walking longer distances. Today I walked 15.2 miles in preparation for walking 26.2 miles, a whole marathon next weekend in a day.

Well I am blaming the Mid Sussex Marathon 2020! At the beginning of June I registered for the Marathon virtual event, 26.2 miles which I chose to do over three days. I had such a good time and it made me feel so motivated that today I decided to walk 26.2 miles in one day! All good and feeling great.

Congratulations Samantha on completing the MSMW 2020 Virtual Race!!! We hope you are enjoying your medals, your amazing !!

NSPCC Childhood Day!

Be a big kid for the day and take on the NSPCC childhood fundraising day!

NSPCC’s Childhood Day will be taking place on Friday 26th June 2020. The aim is to bring people of all ages together to celebrate everything that’s great about being a kid.

Sign up to MSMW 2020 Virtual Fun Run and get creative with how you complete it and help children across the UK!!

Be a big kid animation

Be inspired by childhood fun and games, get everyone involved and have some fun whilst raising money and awareness to help give more children the safe and happy childhood they deserve.

Why not try?….

Tackling a mile long egg and spoon race (or challenge the adults to 5 miles)

Demonstrating your gymnastic skills, cartwheel, forward roll or handstand your way through 1K, you could even create a routine!

Build a obstacle course out of household items.

Dancing for a mile.

Dribbling a football through cones for 1K.

Grabbing a space hopper and bounce your way through the distance!

Roller skating a mile.

Get competitive with a three legged race (please follow government guidelines and only complete this with someone you live with)

Hosting a mini sports day in your back garden or local park!

Taking part in fancy dress or with your face painted.

Having a celebratory victory virtual tea party after your race!

Here is just a handful of idea’s, you can also let your imagination run wild and come up with your own childhood-inspired fundraising challenge’s to. Embrace your inner child.

How to get involved:

  • Sign up to MSMW 2020 Virtual 1K Fun Run, Junior Mile or challenge yourself to the 5k, 5 mile, 10k or 10 mile the choice is yours!
  • Pick an activity
    Get inspired by childhood sports, fun and games.
  • Take part
    Get friends and family involved over Zoom or take on a solo challenge on 26 June 2020 or a date that suits you.
  • Raise money
    Collect donations or get sponsored for your activity, and every pound will help us be here for children.

How your fundraising helps

The Coronavirus crisis is making life hard for children – and many are contacting our Childline service for help. We’ve seen a surge in calls to Childline from children worried about the Coronavirus. Many are struggling with their mental health, or don’t feel safe in their own homes. Your support can help us be here when they need someone to turn to.

Throwback Thursday! Lets take a look back over the past years of MSMW!

This is the 9th year for the Mid Sussex Marathon Weekend and what a year it’s been! We have missed seeing you at the event and would like to say a massive thank you to everyone for their support for this years MSMW 2020 Virtual Race.

We’ve had some amazing times over the last 9 years, lets take a look at some highlights……….


Check out our amazing runner stories from 2019!


1400 medals, 22 trophies, 80 bottles of wine, 6 bottles of prosecco and 40 gifts we’re given away to you lucky people back in 2018!



We will be back for MSMW 2021, dates announced in July, watch out for details!

A massive well done to everyone that has already completed the MSMW 2020!!!

Thank you all for supporting us throughout our last 9 years and especially our 2020 virtual race! We are glad you are all enjoying the benefits of going virtual this year! Hopefully next year everything will be back to normal and we will be able to see you all again!

We love hearing your stories, here are a few we thought we’d share:

Image may contain: 1 person, bicycle, outdoor and nature

Samantha Smith Cllr

“So excited! My first ever medal and I’m chuffed to bits 😁I completed 10k on my bike last weekend and for some that doesn’t seem much but to me it was a HUGE effort and achievement 🏅 I didn’t think i could do it but there are a lot of things in my life I never thought I could do! Super proud of my achievement and I hope they do another virtual race because it suits me and would enter again 😊”


Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity

“Here is @Mark_Walley who is modelling our latest range, AND running the virtual @MidSxMarathon to support us”

Samantha Day

“Day 3 completed! Yes 6.3 miles today to finish the Mid Sussex Marathon 2020 marathon event. I have so enjoyed this challenge. I would recommend it to you all. You don’t have to do the full marathon, you can choose from the smaller distances. You can run, walk, hop skip and a jump, roller skate, cycle, any way you like as long as you do it safely.
A big thank you to the organisers for making this virtual and giving me the motivation to take part. I am looking forward to my medals!”

“Day 1 complete – a relaxing solo 10 miles .”

“Day 2 @midsussexmarathon complete – solo 10 miles on the trails and another £50 pledged for Heads On Charity. #msmw2020 “

“Day 3 @midsussexmarathon complete – a socially distanced 10k with Ian P . 57.57 with a last mile of 8 min 30 !!! Another £50 pledged for Heads In Charity. #msmw2020”

Becky Workman “My medals arrived today and they are amazing! Thank you so much for allowing us to run virtually this year. Looking forward to running it with everyone else next year”

You are all INCREDIBLE, well done guys!

Remember you have until 28th June to sign up to a MSMW 2020 Virtual Race if you haven’t already!

We would like to say a huge thank you to our sponsors, Hurstpierpoint College, for their continued support throughout MSMW 2020 Virtual Race! They have helped us continue this event, despite the many challenges we all faced this year.

Read on to find out more about Hurst.

At Hurst College, pupil wellbeing is at the heart of what we do. The pre-emptive approach aims to support all pupils throughout their time at Hurst. Positive mental well being is evident throughout assemblies and at every level with the whole school objective ‘to develop a mutually supportive culture’. Pupil wellbeing is an assessed element of the staff performance review system and pervades every aspect of our approach. So much so that our recent ISI report stated “Throughout the school there is a tangible and marked positivity among pupils”. 

Embedded timetabled wellbeing sessions ensure all pupils will spend time on the school farm, in the forest, taking part in yoga, mindfulness and reflecting on what positive well being means to them. Daily sessions with housemasters/mistresses, tri-weekly tutorial sessions and head of year check-ins, ensure pupils can share concerns.

There is an array of expert support beyond house staff – on-site counsellors, medical, Chapel, a dedicated Director of Wellbeing and a pastoral intervention practitioner all provide specialist support, alongside the robust pupil guardian mentor scheme. Pupils feel supported and “cite many people to whom they could turn to for support” (ISI).

Transition to Hurst is a key time and we host a unique two-day event where prospective pupils join us several months in advance of their entry to ensure a smooth transition pastorally and academically to support their wellbeing. This helps develop key relationships with pupils and their schools, who also join us for events throughout the year. This is the beginning of a transition/ induction programme that lasts throughout the first year.

Staff are trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid by our Director of Safeguarding, and are also provided with specific and dedicated CPD on supporting individuals. Staff Wellbeing is also a significant priority and Hurst is seen as a leader in this field with our Staff Wellbeing lead regularly writing and presenting for the TES and Optimus Education. Hurst was also the first school nationally to offer all staff the Mind Clinic – a supportive listening service – alongside an array of other staff wellbeing resources and support. This forward-looking culture encourages staff to be excellent role models.

Parents are also key to our wellbeing story. They are invited in for presentations, forums and webinars to help them support their children/our pupils. We believe this holistic approach is key.

Hurst is seen as a wellbeing leader in the local area, emphasised by hosting conferences and forums for other schools with a focus on Wellbeing, Transition and Safeguarding. We also invite key staff from feeder schools to see how we teach subjects, share ideas/best practice, and work closely with those staff to best support every pupil. It is through this and all of the above that we ensure our pupils remain “happy, healthy and active” (ISI).

We love hearing your stories

Thank you to everyone who has tagged #MSMW2020 and shared their MSMW 2020 running stories. We miss seeing you all this year, so we really love hearing from you and it’s great to see so many of you enjoying the Virtual challenge!

Here are just some of the comments we’ve received:

Mark Raven “All done. Loved having a new challenge, so happy that you kept it going as a virtual race. Day 1 Ardingly Reservoir 10m, Day 2 Weir Wood Reservoir 10m , today West Hoathly 10k trail. Tried to replicate the real thing and made each day hilly and today just as hot as last year.”

Samantha Day “Day 2 completed of the Mid Sussex Marathon 2020 – 10.72 miles. I had so much fun today on the walk and especially on the viaduct. Just goes to show what exercise in a lovely location can do for you. Only 6.2 miles to go tomorrow!”

James Munden “Day 3 done 26.2 done 😁 day 3 I was joined by Emily but she didn’t put much effort in mainly asleep!”

Becky Workman “Thanks for enabling us to do this remotely this year. Looking forward to receiving the gorgeous medals”

Jim Vidler “This is such a great event, and being virtual this year doesn’t really detract from the challenge, well worth giving it a go!”

Ian Highland ”All done, 2 HM’s in 3 days. Just the motivation I needed. Thank you.”

The MSMW 2020 Team would like to say a huge thank you to everyone supporting MSMW2020 and making it such a success!

If you haven’t already, sign up now! What have you got to loose! Remember to post your pictures and tag #MSMW2020


In this article we will cover 6 different surface types to run on and their benefits.

  • Running on pavement is ideal for fast running – there is very little danger of turning your ankle. However, consider that it maybe harder on your joints because the pavement does not cushion your steps.
  • A forest or park floor is soft and provides excellent cushioning. Try to pick a route that avoids too many roots, rocks and bumps.
  • Grass is a low-impact surface, meaning that it’s easy on your muscles and joints. Many grassy surfaces are natural, they can be uneven, so as always, do watch your step.
  • A sandy surface trains your muscles and makes you lift your feet. It’s tougher on the calf muscles, so be sure to stretch out afterwards.
  • An all-weather synthetic track surface is springy and great in all weather conditions. Check your local council website for details of tracks near you.
  • The treadmill allows you to train year round with good cushioning and ideal if you can’t leave home. Run to your favourite track to keep it interesting.

Everyone will have different preferences for their favourite surfaces to run on, explore the options and decide which one you like most. Then sign up for MSMW2020 virtual race.

Keeping active once you’re back to work

If you have a busy schedule, here are a few tips to help you keep active.

1.Make a plan and stick to it.

2.Limit screen and TV time, to make time for exercise.

3.Try cycling or walking to work.

4.Short online workouts can fit in with your busy schedule.

5.Keep track of your steps and move around each hour to get those steps in. Aim to complete the recommended minimum 10,000 steps per day!

6.Try doing some yoga while watching TV.

7.Set an alarm to take a break and go for a short walk.

8.Try standing instead of sitting whenever you can.

9. Set yourself a challenge and enter one of the Mid Sussex Marathon Weekend events today.