Trail Running Sussex

Scenic Inspiring Trail Running


The Team at Trail Running Sussex



Trail Running Sussex - The Team

Trail Running Sussex was set up by passionate runners, who wanted to expose the ‘Secret of Sussex’ and share with like minded people the scenic inspiring trails that are in abundance within the county of Sussex, which for many are right ‘On Their Doorstep’!



Stuart Mills

I have enjoyed running pretty well my entire life, since joining my local running club Hutt Valley Harriers as a 14 year old. Finding that I didn't have much speed, I was attracted to the longer distance and ran my first marathon at the rather young age of 17.

Fletcher Rotorua Marathon

Stuart finishing the 1980 Fletcher Rotorua Marathon

Over the years since my first marathon experience, I have 'dabbled' with other endurance sports, including triathlon, ironman, cycling, and mountain biking, but have found that endurance running has always been my passion, having now logged over 55,000 miles!

Back in 2001 I ran my first trail marathon, and was immediately 'hooked', and wondered why it had taken me so long to discover such an enjoyable and challenging activity, after having spent many years running the roads and being a bit obssessed with finish times and minute mile rates!

Between 2008 - 2014, I extended myself and ran many ultra trail events, which involved distances further than the marathon. The longest distance I have run on the trails is the 105 miles of the Lakeland 100, Ultra Tour of the Lake District (UTLD). Although I really enjoy the competitive environment of trail racing, having raced in over 60 trail marathons or ultra trail races, what I actually love the most is simply being out on the trails enjoying the peacefulness and natural beauty of the surrounding landscape.You can read about my previous trail running experiences from 2010 - 2016 by visiting my UltraStu blog at

Stuart running UTMB

Stuart running the 2009 Ultra Trail Mont Blanc

Having experienced the trails of the Lake District, I realised that the trails we have in Sussex are equally as scenic and inspriring, but not as well acknowledged. Discussing various ideas with training partner Kevin on our off-road Saturday morning runs, led to the formation of Trail Running Sussex at the end of 2012. Initially I provided guided trail runs within the South Downs National Park or within Ashdown Forest. We then started organising trail races, with the Weald Challenge Trail Races starting in 2014, and for two years (2015-2016) we also organised the High Weald Challenge Trail Races start/finish at Groombridge, East Sussex. Organising two races a year however was a bit too much, so the High Weald Challenge ceased, although it did make a 'Virtual' comeback in August-September 2020. I am accredited by England Athletics as a Level 2 Official, and have been Race Director for the Kings Head Canter 5K race for the last fifteen years, and Race Director for the Weald Challenge Trail Races since 2014.


Frances, Rob, Chris Mills

Frances: Although I enjoy the trails, and have experienced the 'toughness' of completing a marathon, my real passion is nutrition. My involvement in Trail Running Sussex is helping replenish your depleted energy stores with some homemade gluten free / sugar free snacks which are provided at the finish of the Weald Challenge Trail Races.


Rob: When I was younger I ran in Dad's King Head Canter 5km race a number of times, however, in terms of physical activity I prefer riding my skateboard. For the first few years of the Weald Challenge I took photos ot the runners usually as they ran across the final field. Recently, living away from home in Bristol, where I studied for my Film Making degree, I tend to only get back every second year to take photos or videos on race day.

Rob on his skateboard

Rob on his Skateboard (Many Years Ago)


Chris: I have also run in Dad's King Head Canter 5km race, when I was younger, but during the first lockdown of 2020 I found getting some exercise on a road bike was really enjoyable, so nowadays I tend to do more cycling than running. I also spend a bit of time speedcubing, which involves solving Rubik's Cubes fast.

Chris after Kings Head Canter 5km

Chris after the Kings Head Canter 5km (Many Years Ago)

Dad also hires me for the Trail Races to take a photo of you running along the trails, so you have a photographic record of the scenic trails that you will be racing along. However, at the moment in 2021 I am living in New Zealand, so I will miss this year's Weald Challenge.

Stuart, Frances, Rob, Chris Mills

Frances, Chris, Stuart, Rob - All part of the team


Stuart, Frances, Rob, Chris Mills

And with a 2020 update family shot!

We at Trail Running Sussex would welcome the opportunity to assist you in enjoying the trails of Sussex to their full potential. Enter one of our Trail Races to help maximise your enjoyment of Sussex as you Head to the Trails!


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