Tuff Fitty’s weekend got off to a flying start with our annual end of season award’s evening and social on the Friday. A separate report is to follow for that, but the weekend still had plenty of Tuff’s out Swimming, Cycling & Running. In terms of race reports; read on:-
SUSSEX CROSS COUNTRY LEAGUE -MATCH 2- BEXHILL
Bexhill is a long journey for a 5mile early afternoon race on a Saturday, so we are grateful to the Tuff Trio that travelled across to keep the Tuff Fitty team in the league – Phil Baker has kindly reported in:-
Let’s face it, cross country isn’t much fun is it. It’s usually cold, raining, muddy. No place to change in comfort and warmth. The courses are hilly, slippery, twisty, uneven and almost always, multiple laps, which means that hill you just ran up, the one that just put you into deep oxygen debt and took all the spring out of your stride, you’ll have go up it again on lap two. Cross country sucks right……….wrong!! Well Pete Littleboy, Phil Baker and Paul Martin didn’t think so. They travelled across to represent Tuff Fitty and test themselves against the best runners in Sussex. The quality of runners at these league matches is insane. Performances that put Pete and Phil near the front at Bognor last week, put them well into the last third of the field at these ‘proper runner’ races. Am I selling it to you? The men do a 5 mile course comprising four laps of Bexhill Common. One short lap, two long laps and finishing with a medium lap. The start goes straight up a fairly innocuous looking hill of about a quarter of a mile and with the soft conditions underfoot, soon realise laps two, three and four are going to be tough. A mixture of twisting paths through the trees and short, sharp decents bring you back out into the open of the Common and back to the start and up the long hill again. As each lap came around, the hill became more muddy and slippy and became harder to hang on to the person ahead of you. One of the best bits of these races is that the watch is irrelevant, you are racing those around you. It is all about the position you finish and if you go regularly, you end up racing the same people and the incentive to beat someone who usually beats you is stronger than any time goal. All three Tuffs finished strong to keep us in the league in 15th place. Pete coming home first Tuff, followed by Phil and Paul. Next race is at Lancing on 2nd December. Lancing only has one hill and only two laps, so give it a try and see why cross country is the ultimate running race.
Debbie & Obi came home 21st overall
MAVERICK SILVA DARK SERIES
Based at Cowdray House near Midhurst the organisers state this night time trail run “takes competitors over a varied terrain from woodland to open heath to sandy tracks and the occasional bog. There is plenty to get the senses aroused as you head down the serpent trail, with tight conifers, the woodland is dense and dark”
Debbie Boxall was our Tuff representative, well actually two as this race was billed as ‘dog friendly’ and Obi entered as well. It was probably Graham Liddell who suggested a Tuff Canicross membership following Andy & Max’s success in the summer; there seems to be plenty of Tuff Paws out there; perhaps we should? Debbie and Obi entered the Long course over 15km finishing in 1:44:47. They enjoyed the race but Debbie stated it was seriously muddy.
James Oram reported in from Saturday’s marathon organised by Chris, Danny and Jay at Sussex Trail events:-
Preston Park Velodrome is Britain’s oldest cycling track, the 579m circuit was first constructed in 1877. When I saw Sussex Trail Events was putting on a marathon there I signed up- it seemed like a good idea at the time. After the beer “carb” loading at the awards ceremony, I somehow convinced myself that 72 laps could be “interesting” – were it not for the extreme case of Déjà vu. Even my Garmin couldn’t handle it and was giving me some very odd splits- rendering it useless. On the plus side there were 72 aid stations and someone brought M+S Percy Pigs!
Physically the camber on the track started to hurt the hips after a while and psychologically it was challenging running past the finish 72 times and watching others finish. I also developed some serious nipple chaffage after making the rookie error of not applying the Vaseline. That said, i managed to get 3:27:47 which was my first sub 3:30 marathon and over 10 mins quicker than Bournemouth. Kudos to Jason as well who got round despite being on the beer the night before at the fantastic awards ceremony.
Whilst Sussex Trail Events were busy as organisers, Danny Cunnett nipped onto the track to complete a half Marathon. Jay McCardle decided to go one better running the whole event on the Friday to clock up yet another marathon in 3:44 – that must have been even tougher running the 72 laps entirely on his own – respect to all four.
Whether it was the morning after the night before (the Tuff Fitty awards do) but fewer at Park Run this week. At Worthing Park Run Tim Kenny and Amanda de Ridder ran. Across at Bognor Park Run Tony (Bear) Day was on his comeback clocking up his 6th Park Run. Across at Arundel our standard Saturday morning run had a great 13 running, in spite of the night before, even though some had sore heads. Well done to everyone who ventured out in the rain.