Category Archives: Fernblogger

Fernblogger-Blog for Brandon Fernhoppers Running Club

Sally Dormer

11th May 1950 ~ 21st November 2018


It is with great sadness that we have to relay the news that one of the club’s most significant members, Sally Dormer, passed on Wednesday 21st November 2018 after a short illness.

I know many of you will not have known Sally but she was quick witted, kind and always seemed happy. Her contribution to the club along with her husband Roger, who survives her, cannot be understated. Together they served, with Roger as Chair and Sally as Secretary and Treasurer, steering the club through many years. To those of us who joined in that period they were the Fern Hoppers, and set the culture for our friendly, inclusive and mutually supportive club.

Sally and Roger moved back to their native Northamptonshire a few years ago after retirement, but still followed club activities and regularly returned to help out at the Wobbly Wobbly Log Jog and even took the opportunity to run it for the first time ever.

Sally had not always been a runner, but she and Roger used to play badminton at the leisure centre and there in 1992 she met Martha Stanton, John Sholine and Derek Haddon (all founder members of the club). Martha said to Sally “You look like you can run!” So Sally agreed to give it a go and the following Tuesday ran 7 miles in her plimsoles! Martha was not wrong, Sally was a talented runner and in our early days with the club it was always worth staying for the prize giving as Sally usually picked up a win in her age category and we could cheer a Fern Hopper success!

Shortly after this Sally agreed to take on the ‘paperwork’ for the club, which turned out to be three sheets of paper in a plastic bag! This change necessitated Sally notifying UK Athletics, so the members discussed registering a new name at the same time. several suggestions were discussed in the leisure centre one evening after a run; Brandon Bramble Busters, or the Nettle Bashers or the Fern Hoppers. Sally registered our name and the rest, as they say, is history.

It was not just our quirky name that Sally had a hand in though, our distinctive fluorescent lime green kit can also be credited to her. One day Sally found a box of lime green shirts for sale in a concession tent at a race and, as they were a bargain, decided to buy them for the club. She had the club name printed on them in dark purple and the colours were duly registered with UKA. These days we have a number of imitators but back when we first ran with the club our kit was almost unique and Fern Hoppers always really stood out at a race!

Many of you will of course be familiar with ‘Dormer Corner’, one of our regular re group points in the forest. Originally given a somewhat cruder name it was renamed in her honour. Dormer Corner is a forest crossroads atop a small ascent and one day on a club run Sally, who was no doubt leading the field, achieved the summit first! To (humorously) emphasise her athletic prowess Sally began to do press ups as others struggled to the re group. As we all know, pride comes before a fall and on standing upright Sally discovered she had placed her hand in some dog poo!

There were times when membership and attendance dwindled to unsustainable levels but Sally and Roger kept going and without them I doubt our club would exist for us to enjoy today. Our club, with its wonderful warm ethos, is her legacy and we should all strive to honour it!

The next time you rest at Dormer Corner maybe just spare a moment to think of a slight red haired lady doing press ups.

Paul Meader & Steve Brodie – November 2018

Back in 2006 I took an impulsive decision to move from Somerset to Norfolk/Suffolk, I really didn’t have a clue what I was going to do, other than I had a job with the MOD, or how things were going to work out. Luckily for me I had got in touch with this running club before travelling up for my interview. I turned up on the Tuesday evening to run. They were all welcoming and friendly and I ran along with a lady called Sandra and we chatted along the way including about my situation. A week or so later back in Somerset I get an e-mail from a guy called Ian telling me if I get in touch with a guy called Roger he may be able to help with accommodation. The outcome was I had a little annex (49a) on the side of Roger & Sally’s cottage, they immediately welcomed me into their home, so much so that the first thing Roger said to me after introductions was ‘hurry up and get sorted, we’re going up the pub!’

Roger and Sally Dormer

Roger and Sally effectively took me under their wing at a time when I was very unsure of my future, Sally kept me running, regularly dragging me off to XC races on Wednesdays, Tuesdays to the club and at weekends if it wasn’t club we’d be off with other Fern Hoppers across Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex or Leicestershire for a race somewhere. I owe Roger, Sally, Sandra, Ian and the Fern Hoppers so much more than most of them (you) will ever know.

Martin Monaghan – Novemeber 2018

Breckland 10K 2018

Six Fern Hoppers battled record temperatures for a May bank holiday to compete in our neighbouring club’s annual 10k event at Croxton near Thetford.
The Breckland 10K is a popular event which is always well supported by the Fern Hoppers whether running, marshalling or just shouting at people!
Well done to all our runners who turned in some excellent times, especially considering the heat!

 

 

 

Run – Bike May 2018

The next Brandon Fern hoppers club Run -Bike event (or Wibbly Wobbly Cog Jog!) will be on Tuesday 22nd May 2018.

Meet at Brandon Country Park, Orchard Car Park Picnic Area. If you are parking there, please note that we will be there during the paying period.

The usual rules and arrangements apply which you can view in full here: http://www.bfh.org.uk/bfh-run-bike-events/
We hope to see lots of you there!

Newmarket Heath & Tower of London 5k

A busy period for the Fern Hoppers continued this week with Stephen ‘Frankhopper’ Spencer taking part in the British Heart Foundation 40th anniversary 5k at the Tower of London. An event which provided him with ample opportunity to indulge in some of his much loved puns. I don’t know what his ‘beef’ is, but I wish he’d stop ‘raven’ on about it!
Afterwards he observed that it was the first time he had run in a moat. Perhaps you should give Framlingham a try Frank!

On Thursday evening it was the turn of an old favourite in the form of the Newmarket Heath Race, or ‘The Gallops’ as it is sometimes affectionately known. I’m personally very fond of this race as it often seems to herald the start of the summer and longer evenings, although I have also stood at the start in the biting cold and the rain!
We had a great turn out of club runners as well as some friends of the club there to run or support, with a total representation of eight Fernhoppers and Paul to shout at us!
It’s a challenging course (I pity the poor horses, but I suppose they are pros!) but everyone did well, top billing has to go to Lily who walked away with the F-U21 prize. Very well done to her!

Marathons in London, Brighton & Thetford

The Fab Five! Thomas, Tasha, Alan, Greg and Tim

The club had great representation at The London Marathon this year with Thomas, Alan and Tim all doing us proud! Meanwhile Greg was tackling the off-road Thetford Forest Marathon on the same day as London.
The week before Natasha had performed well in the Brighton Marathon.

Of course hardly a week goes by that David isn’t running a marathon somewhere! He’s just back from the Betteshanger Marathon.

Chase the Train

Chase the Train 2017
Fernhoppers Chase the Train!
From left: Tim, Dianne, Julie, Lisa, Carolyn, Liz and Helene

Great turnout of Fernhoppers again at the Aylsham to Wroxham ‘Chase the Train‘ 8.9 mile run. Great times were achieved in the afternoon heat of a warm day.

Times:
Tim. 1hr 13 mins
Carolyn 1hr 23
Lisa 1 hr 33
Julie 1hr 37 mins
Dianne 1 hr 45
Liz 1 hr 53
Helene 1 hr 55 mins

Full results here!

Chase the Train is a 8.9 mile race from Aylsham to Wroxham. It follows the footpath next to the Bure Valley Railway, Norfolk’s longest narrow guage steam railway. Then catch a Free Return Train from Wroxham

Fern Hoppers Summer Run Bike Event

Wibbly Wobbly Cog Jog

The Fern Hoppers next Run/Bike event will take pace on Tuesday 22nd June at 7pm

 

Meet at Brandon Country Park, Orchard Car Park Picnic Area at 18:45 for a 19:00 start. If you are parking there, please note that we will be there during the paying period.

Brandon Country Park – Orchard Car Park


View Larger Map

Rules:
– Teams consist of 2 people with 1 bike (can be a 3 if necessary).
– Swap over as many times as you like, but runner and cyclist must must swap at least once and stay within 10 meters of each other.
– Follows Brandon Park Blue route (6ish miles) – or as close as forestry operations allow.
– Family/Friends are welcome.
– Have fun!

Current records:
Kate/Derek 44.08.80 – Full 6 miles route
Ian/Liz 41.25 – shorter route (anti-clockwise)
Kevin/Ken 37.27 – shorter route (clockwise)

Actions if you want to take part:
– If there’s someone you want to pair up with let us know.
– If you’re interested but don’t have a partner, you can let us know at the usual club email address, and we can start to pair you up but we can also arrange teams on the nght if necessary. We will try and pair experienced forest people with those who have less knowledge of the route so you don’t get lost! (maps will be available) and we will be following the marked blue route.
– If you have a suitable off road bicycle please bring it, if it i not required it can be safely left with the timekeepers.

Post Event
Previously we’ve had post run-bike drink and nibbles on the picnic tables so if the weathers nice bring a drink with you.

Hope to see lots of you there and fingers crossed for nice weather (this time)!

David Reaches Marathon Milestone!

Longstanding Fern Hopper David Toms reached a major running milestone over the Easter weekend by completing his 200th marathon!
Competing in the Great Barrow Challenge ‘Two in Two’ David completed his 199th marathon on Good Friday and then completed back to back marathons on the Saturday to make it a round 200 marathons so far!

[unitegallery david200]

Brandon Fern Hoppers are immensely proud to count David as one of our own, and grateful for wonderful  way he represents the club wherever he goes. Well done David!