The annual Worthing Rowing Club 5k has proved a successful venue for Tuff Fitty in the past and as competitors arrived it soon became apparent that there would be a sea of blue vests lining up. However this represented some stiff competition as the blue vests of Tuff Fitty, were matched by the blue vests of Arena 80 who lined up right at the front of the start line, and the blue vests of the largest contingent on the evening from Lancing Eagles who had 35 runners.
Tuff Fitty attracted a sizeable number to the Tuff flag which was visible along the promenade and despite being Easter week, with a lot of members away on holiday, our photocall shown above revealed an impressive squad of 32 runners. The afternoon sun had set leaving a very chilly promenade as the runners awaited the start.
So how would we do as the race started with over 50% of the field wearing blue vests surging across the line? Arena 80 had only brought a small ‘elite’ number and positioned themselves in the top ten early on, but Joe Pascoe was out to prove that what running clubs could do, a multisport club could do just as well with lots of Tuffs in hot pursuit. The route went out west towards George V avenue before the turn back into the wind to the finish.
Thanks to Debbie Gatland, Bob Thomas, Clive Pattterson-Lett and Steve Feest who provided lots of support out on the course as Joe crossed in 5th position overall in 17:36. Andy Crawford next home in 8th (18:19) & Simon Thistlethwaite 9th (18:26). Matt Whittaker finished in 19:00 -16th position to comprise our scoring team of four. Tom Gray one of six racing who showed no signs of Brighton Marathon fatigue finishing 20:19, followed by Stuart Harvey, Paul Martin & Mark Day. It was excellent to see Jason Rae next as one of our newest members racing in a Tuff vest for the first time, particularly as he is racing at London Marathon at the weekend. Simon was also using this race as his ‘taper’ for London. Good luck to all our London Marathon entrants. It would transpire that Arena 80 won the mens event with Tuff Fitty in 2nd ahead of Lancing and Goring Road Runners.
Simon, Stu, Joe & Andy
Prior to the start several of our ladies squad were asking how many others were in our team, questioning whether they could defend their title from last year but they needn’t have worried as there was a very strong squad of 13 Tuffs running. From the start the signs were encouraging and Alice Gatland crossed as 1st female overall in 19:38. Bec Day 3rd female (21:53), Nicole Patterson-Lett (6th-22:10), Nikki Gatland (10th-22:26) comprised our first four with Karen McGrath close behind. A noteworthy performance from Amanda de Ridder, another of our more recent members finishing in 23:08.
Karen, Tiff, Nikki & Nicole Amanda & Tim
It was later learnt that Tuff Fitty won the ladies competition, retaining their title from last year by 3 minutes 20 seconds. This win is a fantastic endorsement at how our ladies squad has been growing both in numbers and impressive times over the last couple of years, so congratulations to them all.
Chairman Clive thanks everyone who turned up to race, a very impressive Tuff demonstration of running and camaraderie across another successful evening. Some continued the evening by heading off for a pizza having worked up an appetite. Tuff Results & photos below: