Whilst most Tuffs were in Steyning for the curtain opening club championship race, three of us chose to keep our feet on the (high) ground for the Three Forts Challenge half marathon.
Coach Dave March and Dom Amey were in action again after notching PBs at the Splashpoint 5k, along with Sim Scott. Glenn Parisi dropped out citing work reasons…though it’s understood he couldn’t bear the prospect of a losing again in the Glenn v Dom series, or being ‘chicked’ by Sim…
Conditions were perfect with clear, bright skies and good footing, meaning the trail shoes could stay in the mouldy carrier bag. After waving off the 358 full marathon runners, it was time for the 313 half marathon starters to line up. Following a false alarm where we thought we’d missed the start – only to find it was the canine and owner race – it was our turn to go, waved off by the Town Crier. Oh yay!
A beautiful, though challenging, route across the South Downs, which included the 600ft ascent of Cissbury Ring and 800ft drag up Chanctonbury Ring, with heart-in-your-mouth descents taking nerves of steel and giving the old knees and cankles quite a battering. Great aid stations with happy marshals and plenty of treats. The views across the Downs and the Channel were stunning, though no time to stop and take it all in – bragging rights were up for grabs here.
A good day had by all, though Dom was perhaps regretting a strenuous mountain bike ride the previous day. Dave finished in 1:42:24 (18th place), Sim 1:47:23 (33rd/5th female) and Dom 2:03:27 (103rd). Not a bad day at the office.
A final tune up race for Dom and Sim who will be taking part in the Sussex Trail Events Arun River marathon in 2 weeks time. Along with Glenn…if he shows up.
I’d highly recommend this event to anyone who enjoys trail running. It’s local, friendly, raises funds for a great local charity, you get a finishers medal (always a winner in Tuff circles, eh Trev?), a personalised shout out from the Town Crier and the finishers’ old school buffet is just the job – wagon wheels anyone??