Broome Park Residents!

This month’s resident is Barbara Hayward. To read her bulletin please click the link:

Barbara Hayward

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June 2017 Newsletter

To this month’s newsletter, please click on the link below:

June 2017

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London Calling

London Marathon Day


So after all the months of preparation the day was finally here.

The day started with an early 5am wakeup call followed by my race day porridge and fruit. I was surprised how awake I was feeling at this ridiculously early time of the morning but looking back I think it was a mixture of nerves and adrenaline that was helping me in this department.

By the time I got to the train station and met up with running buddies the excitement was really kicking in, already there were so many people heading into London the atmosphere was staring to build. The connection from London Bridge to Greenwich was where I first realised the amount of people running this was going to exceed my expectations. 40,000 people is obviously a huge amount of runners but it’s not until you see them all in one place, with one goal that it really takes your breath away.

We had timed the morning so that we only really had an hScreenshot_20170424-213041our of hanging around before the 10am start time so this time was spent taking in fluids, stretching and dropping our bags off. What struck me at this point was how well organised everything was, I guess after putting on the same event for over 30 years the organisers have it all running like clockwork.

10am was fast approaching; myself and my two running buddies positioned ourselves in amongst all the other runners, a sea of bodies ahead and behind was an amazing sight. As you would expect the race started at 10am sharp and slowly we began to move, it took around 15 mins before we even got over the start line where we able to just about pick up a gentle jog. For the next 3 miles it was a case of trying to find a position in amongst all the other runners that suited my pace. This was the plan before the race however it soon became apparent once we had joined up with the other mass of runners that finding my position in the field was going to be easier said than done.

After about 6 miles of weaving in and out of people trying to find my position I came to realise that running the greatest marathon in the world in this way was not how I wanted to remember this amazing event so I made the decision to sit in amongst runners I was with at the time and hope that it would thin out as the run went on.  The next few miles were great, I may have been going slower than I wanted but I was able to enjoy the sights and atmosphere, also taking in the massive amount of support there was en route. As the race went on and got into the kind of mileage that scares most amateur runners, my legs were starting to feel it but the support from the crowd pushes you on. On mile 24 after deciding I could no longer ignore my bladder I decided to take a comfort break, probably not the best idea but it had to be done. With my bladder empty and feeling much more comfortable I was looking at picking up my running again which was easier said than done. I found the final two miles really difficult but again with the support of fellow runners and the crowd I just about managed to get myself over that finish line.

I crossed the line in at a time of 4 hours and 2mins, just outside the sub 4 I wanted but I wasn’t too disappointed, I think I was more content than anything.  It was a great day and a great experience, it was finished off in style, meeting up with family and friends and enjoying some good food and strong drinks 🙂

Th20170423_154134e reason behind doing this year’s London Marathon was to raise awareness of our registered charity the Friends of Broome Park but also to raise funds that go towards enriching the lives of the residents of Broome Park.  To date we have raised around £3000 which is a massive amount and exceeds anything we could have thought possible so thank you very much to all who have supported and donated to the cause. It really is appreciated.


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Broome Park Residents!

The Life History bulletins are back! This month’s resident is Lorraine Dann. To read her bulletin please click the link:

Lorraine Dann

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May 2017 Newsletter

To view this month’s newsletter, please click the link below:

May 2017

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London Calling


So here we are into Tapering! This is the part of training where you are supposed to drop your mileage and allow your body to recover but at the same time make sure you are not doing too little. It is also a time where I will need to watch what I eat, with the mileage dropping its easy to put on weight in the 3 weeks leading to the big day.

April started with a 16 mile Sunday long run along the Worth Way from Crawley to East Grinstead. We have been avoiding the Worth Way all through training because its softness underfoot, I feel it’s important to do as much road running as possible in preparation. Today wasn’t a great day for me, I woke up late, which meant I had breakfast late, which the meant I was running on a full stomach. At around mile 13 I started to get stomach pain which as you can imagine wasn’t pleasant. I managed to get through the whole 16 but learnt a valuable lesson…don’t sleep through your alarm!

Monday started off in the usual fashion with a 6 mile recovery run with the club; with the nights getting lighter it was pretty much still daylight by the time we finished. Onto Wednesday and summer training sessions are in full swing which means we are back at our summer training venue Tilgate Park. Tonight’s plan was the final intensive session before London, a 7 mile with 3 at tempo run. As we were back in Tilgate we chose to do laps of the lake which was really nice, I felt strong tonight. Friday was a steady 7 miler and an opportunity to break in the new marathon trainers. I was feeling a little anxious about this as rather stupidly I had decided to go for different style of trainer which seems a crazy decision so close to London. Luckily the trainers felt great and I completed the 7 miles with no issues.  Sunday was a drop in mileage once again; today we were down to 14 miles however it still felt pretty tough after a busy midweek of running.

Week 2 started back at Tilgate for a recovery 5 miles and an opportunity to chat to some more experienced running buddies who have ran London many times, the advice these guys offer can really put your mind at ease. Wednesday was an 8 miler running at Marathon pace, an opportunity to find that pace I will hopefully be sticking to on the day. Friday was a pleasant 6 mile run around Tilgate and once again an opportunity to quiz running buddies about what to expect, really feeling at ease now. Sunday soon arrived and with it came the final Sunday long run before London. A gentle 10 miles with a few running buddies felt a breeze today. It was finished off with celebratory cooked breakfast afterwards.

The final week before London is here! This is the week where the phantom niggles come into play and nutrition is key in making sure my body is ready for Sunday. This week is all about keeping the legs ticking over and not doing anything to intensive but also making sure I don’t do too little. After an Easter weekend where most will be indulging in Chocolate and other treats I really wanted to keep on top of things and make sure I don’t let myself get too carried away.  Monday started with an easy 5 mile run on my own. Today was the freshest I had felt all throughout training, I’m putting this down to stopping the leg sessions at the gym, it seems to be working. After a rest day Tuesday, Wednesday soon came and was officially the final run before London, a gentle 4 miler with running buddies, a great way to finish off the training.

So that’s it, I will spend the rest of the week keeping my legs ticking over and eating the right foods. On Friday I’m heading into London to collect my number and visit the Expo which I’m looking forward to and should really get me in the mood.

If you would like to follow my progress during the marathon you can download the Virgin Money London Marathon App for IPhone and Android or you can follow me online at and search for Anthony Neal or race number 55335

There is also still plenty of time if you would like to donate

For those who are yet to sponsor me you can do it 3 ways

  1. Online at
  2. Via Text by texting FOBP37 £10 TO 70070
  3. Via sponsorship forms in the Main Office and Stable Cottage

Finally a big thank you for everyone who has supported me so far, your donations will make a huge difference and go a long way in providing the residents of Broome Park with the opportunity to engage in stimulating activities.

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London Calling


The end of February was finished off on the Monday with a gentle 5 mile recovery run. March kicked off with a Wednesday night training session and what will be the busiest month of the four. This week’s session was and 8 mile run with 4 at tempo, with the change in the weather I totally misjudged how many layers to put on and felt way to warm throughout. Overheating mixed in with the tiredness in my legs from Sundays Brighton Half I wasn’t really feeling it today. With the legs still feeling a little heavy Friday was a 6 mile steady run with a few running buddies, the fact I was running with friends made me forget about the tiredness in my legs. Onto Sunday and a 16 mile long run was ahead of us. Just the two of us this week which was unusual however given the awful wind and rain I can’t say I was surprised that others had decided to stay in their nice warm beds instead. In all honesty I don’t really mind running in the rain and find it quite refreshing, legs felt much better today.

Week 2 started with a Monday run however as I was due to go on a short break for a few days the following morning I went out early on my own and got in my 6 mile recovery. I also dragged myself to the gym on Monday as I needed to make up for not training on the coming Wednesday. After a few days of R&R I was feeling fresh on my return to training on Friday, a gentle 5 miler in the spring sunshine was just what I need after a couple of days of over indulgence. Sunday soon came around and it was time to see how the legs would handle 20 miles, the longest run of training so far. I was really pleased with how I felt, the course was 3 laps of 6.7 miles with some pretty hilly areas to tackle but I got round with the legs in tack in 2h 53mins at a pace where I was comfortable chatting to running buddies along the way.

Onto the 3 week and after Sundays 20 miler the legs on Monday felt understandably heavy so a very slow and gentle recovery run was a chance to chat to fellow running buddies and reflect on yesterdays longest run of the year so far. With a bit of tlc the legs were fully recovered come Wednesday, and they needed to be. An 8 mile Fartlek session around the streets of Crawley was a lung burner and certainly pushed me all the way.  Friday soon arrived and a 6 mile easy run was on the training plan, with the sun shining and the thought of St Patricks Day Guinness on the cards as my treat I probably pushed this more than I should have. I’m starting to notice the change in weather now, the cold and miserable evenings are becoming less frequent. With this week’s long run only needing to be around 13 miles it was an opportunity to take part in the Hastings Half Marathon, Its seems crazy that I was actually looking forward to only having to do 13 miles this week. Result 1 hour 46mins at a steady pace.

The final week of March was one I was the most anxious about as I was reaching the peak of training, at the weekend I was due to reach 21 miles. Monday started of the week in usual fashion with a social 5 miler and an opportunity to catch up with buddies who are also in full Marathon training. Wednesdays session was the next instalment of the Crawley 13 boroughs run, with the weekend in mind I should have took it easier however I seemed to get carried away which resulted in me doing a pretty rapid 10k. Due to my weekend plans Thursday became a training day, a 4 mile gentle treadmill run and a core session allowed me to have a day of rest on Friday ready for the big one on Saturday.

So here it was the peak of training! Due to plans on Sunday I needed to get my 21 mile run in on the Saturday. Over the last 3 months I have always ran with a group on my long runs but because of my change of training day I struggled to find anyone to run with so had to go out on my own, a huge mental challenge. It was a glorious Saturday morning and I felt good after a rest day Friday, the first 14 miles were comfortable and I was feeling good however in the next 7 fatigue started to kick in and the warm temperatures were making me dehydrated , I did take a bottle but it simply wasn’t enough. The final two miles were a mental battle, I felt extremely dehydrated and all I wanted to do was stop and walk but the thought of only having two miles remaining and completing the whole 21 without stopping was enough to get me over the line.

With just four weeks to go I’m now in tapering mode which means I will be dropping my long run and weekly mileage, letting my body recover after a long winter of training. I’m feeling stronger than I ever had and have learnt some valuable training lessons this year. So far I’ve managed to stay injury free and after a bit of rest feel I’m ready to tackle the 26 miles of London.

Thank you all who have sponsored me so far, it’s greatly appreciated and it’s what kept me motivated on those dark, cold and wet days to give it all I can.

For those who are yet to sponsor me you can do it 3 ways

  1. Online at
  2. Via Text by texting FOBP37 £10 TO 70070
  3. Via sponsorship forms in the Main Office and Stable Cottage

I will post a short update just before April 23rd and also just after

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April 2017 Newsletter

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April 2017

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London Calling


February kicked off on a Wednesday which is club training night, a day of the week I always know is going to test me and push me to my limits, it didn’t disappoint!  A 7 mile run with 5 at speed was a lung burner to say the least. Friday was an easy 5 mile run after feeling a little stiff from Wednesday. This week’s long run had to be on Saturday as a family commitment meant I would be out of action on Sunday.  A 15 mile long run this week wasn’t the most enjoyable, it poured it down for 10 miles making it a struggle, but we got through it.

Week two started with a slow 5 miles on Monday, a cold one tonight but legs were feeling strong after a Sunday rest. The dreaded Wednesday night was club training again and did not disappoint, a 8 mile fartlek session (fartlek means “speed play” in Swedish) pushing me hard and mixing in a few hills too. I’ve also found out today that I’ve managed to secure a place at this year’s Great North Run in the public ballot. That means I’m now doing the greatest marathon and greatest half in the world in 2017. Friday’s session was a 5 mile steady run trying to keep at a consistent pace. Sunday was the longest run this year, a 17 mile slow run. To keep Sunday mornings interesting we did a different route this week, heading out to Handcross and repeating a loop 3 times. Usually I’m not keen on loops however the company of running buddies made it much more enjoyable.

Week three started with my running clubs 13 boroughs of Crawley series in which we are timed on either 5k, 7.5k or 10k around one of the 13 boroughs of Crawley, this week it was Bewbush. As I was only due to run a recovery 5 miles tonight I chose the 7.5k. The legs felt stiff and heavy tonight but I got round it, probably a bit faster than I should have. Wednesday’s session soon arrived; according to the training plan, this session will require the most effort so far, a 9 mile progression run which was broken down as 7 steady and 2 fast. This really pushed me again but also gave me a lot of confidence in my pace looking forward to Brighton Half next weekend.  Friday was a lone 6 miles in the sun around Tilgate Park in Crawley, a lovely day for a run! Sunday’s long run this week was a gentle 14 miles around the streets of Crawley and Horley, legs felt tight and really heavy today almost certainly as a result of a spin session on Saturday.

The final week of February should have started as most weeks do with a gentle Monday recovery run however due to tired legs and the start of hay fever season I was feeling a little run down so decided to take an extra days rest with Sundays Brighton Half in mind. Wednesday’s club night was a hill session, 36 times up and down a hill doesn’t sound like much fun to most people but it’s an essential part of training and actually something I quite enjoy. Onto Friday and with Sundays Brighton Half in mind it was a gentle 6 miler to keep the legs turning over.

So Sunday arrived and the weather was less than favourable especially by the coast, I had already decided I was going to go for my personal best time as training had been going so well. My current PB for the 13.1 mile distance is 1h 38min that was achieved back in September at the Reigate Half so I knew I was going to have to dig deep to beat that in wet/windy conditions. After a slow start trying to get through the crowds of slower runners I soon settled into a comfortable pace, mile 1-5 flew by however once I hit the turnaround point at mile 6 the head wind made the next  5 hard work but still I was managing to keep a good pace and was still on target. The final turnaround point was with 3 miles to go, with the wind behind me I managed to pick up the pace slightly but the legs were feeling it by now. The final stretch was tough but with the support from an amazing crowd I dug deep and managed to record my fastest mile of the 13. After gathering myself and getting my breath back I was over the moon to see I had come in at 1h 36min 08 sec, a full 2 minutes faster than my previous PB. The perfect ending to a strong month of training

Onto March will mean I’m hitting the peak of my training, Hastings Half and a couple of 20 mile Sunday runs will show how my body is holding up.

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March 2017 Newsletter

To read what’s been going on at Broome Park during February, please click on the link below:

March 2017

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