We’re back! In line with British Triathlon governance, and the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown; Tuff Fitty are beginning to resuming group training outdoors. Restrictions are being applied on numbers to ensure social distancing, and it is absolutely crucial that when we do meet up for non coached, or other activities, no one contravenes the ‘Rule of Six’. Whilst indoor pool group swimming is not permissible until Roadmap step 3, we have been fortunate to resume our close association with Arundel Lido. This spacious outdoor venue has already seen five 2 hour swim sessions completed, and our return to traditional Wednesday night track nights are also proving popular. You can’t keep Tuffs down for long and as races start to return, members have already been out on various socially distanced start lines as follows:-
CENTURION SOUTH DOWNS WAY 50
Staged by Centurion Running the South Downs Way 50 was the first event they had been able to stage this year and conditions whilst fresh at the start built to an ideal 11 degrees for the route, starting in Worthing; straight up to Chanctonbury Ring and thereafter it was along the South Downs way until the finish on a running track at Eastbourne. There was a trio of Tuffs. With Danny Cunnett & Jay McCardle completing the 50 (undulating) miles in 9hr 47 min. With Covid staggered start times Ian Moore started an hour later and reports:-
“Having retired last year it only seemed right that I should use my increased free time to challenge myself. I decided to give the ultra running world another go, having completed the SDW50 and SDW100 6 years ago, I thought I’d give them another crack. Trying to stay local whilst trying to fit in long runs was a challenge but as the lockdown eased I was able to get onto the South Downs Way and get some quality training in”.
“Race day was perfect conditions, bright and sunny with enough of a headwind to stop you from over-heating. Due to Covid restrictions they limited the numbers allowed in each aid station so I made sure I had enough food and water to see me through the first couple and made sure I wasn’t behind a group of runners at the later ones. Finish time was 10:09 with a moving time of 9:57, so really pleased with that. Next up is the SDW100 in June !”
GRAND NATIONAL TRAIL RUN
One of the first events to emerge out of the starting blocks was the 10k at Findon in aid of the local school. The reason why it could be staged was that the event was staged over three days and using a QR code. We had four Tuffs running, Leah Simms & Karly Martin with Shelley & Jon Babbage ‘cantering’ around the following day. Leah reports:-
“In view of fellow Tuff Paul Martin currently being on the running injury bench, his wife Karly Martin stepped in to run the REP Grand National Findon 10k Trail Run on his behalf. The organisers were very happy to transfer his entry on race day”.
“Karly and I are both new Tuff Fitty members and we met whilst running with the Foxy Ladies Running Club. We joined the Tuff’s just before lockdown number 3 and haven’t looked back since.”
“We took this race opportunity to wear our Tuff Fitty kit for the first time. We had glorious weather, loved the route albeit a tad hilly in places that wasn’t expected, barcode scanning at the start and finish with signposts along the way but, most of all it was great to be running races again. We loved that we had received our medals on the day and a complimentary cup of tea and homemade flapjack from Dee Dee’s Coffee Shop in Findon too.”
NEW FOREST OFF-ROAD HALF MARATHON
An off-road trail run around the private estate at Hinton Admiral in the New Forest, taking in heathlands and forest trails. It sounded like a fast course with just 106m of elevation. Simon Thistlethwaite was our sole competitor, but whilst he would be expected to be at the top end of the results, it wasn’t his day. A fall on a turn was compounded through an error with a waypoint sign between the 10k & Half route accruing an extra 4k. It is said bad things happen in three’s, a fall, a detour, but the ultimate shocker was that Simon’s Garmin didn’t record. As the saying goes, if it isn’t on Strava…..! That said he still picked up the above bit of bling and a time of 1:53 which is still impressive for a mornings work.
FIFTY HALF MARATHINS IN FIFTY DAYS
Virtual races became quite a feature of the pandemic, but one of our seasoned Ultra runners decided on his own challenge of running Half marathons. Whilst most would schedule flat routes, Jay McCardle included plenty of undulations, one day saw him run up to Devil’s Dyke! Danny Cunnett kept him company on a few. Jay takes up the story
“The challenge started as the Centurion one love event which was a virtual 100, 200, 400 or 600 during February and March so obviously I went for the 600 this meant 10 miles a day for the 2 months.
Just before I started I liked the idea of trying to do half marathons instead and see how long I could go and about 10 in I realised that as this my 50th year on the planet the 50 in 50 @ 50 was on.
I really enjoyed it actually and as it was lockdown I didn’t have much work anyway so could spend a couple of hours running a day.
I was however glad when the last one came though and will not be doing it again for any other milestone birthday.
THE NEW FOREST CLASSIC SPORTIVE
Starting in Fawley riders had the choice of different Sportive routes – short 33 miles, middle 57 miles or long 79 miles. Down to the coast then across the New Forest to Ringwood before a ride back through Brockenhurst. Jon Roper reports:-
It was a lovely morning to be cycling and so nice to be out on the race scene again, and receive bling and some goodies. The Tuff Fitty name was shown with Debbie Boxall and Marc Rice riding together. Tiff and myself had booked to ride at Goodwood the next day so we elected to ride together and completed the middle route accumulating 57 miles and 2,000 ft of ascent. A big shout out to Claire Moyle who completed the long route of 79 miles; great work Claire.
Sunday 18th April saw an impressive number of Tuffs head to Goodwood Motor Circuit for one of the Circuits cycle days. There has been regular attendance in the past but this Sunday was notable in that an impressive 32 Tuffs cycled, accumulating a huge mileage between them. Sunny weather made it an enjoyable ride for everyone although the wind, which changed direction during the morning was ever present. Several club members are returning on the 2nd May (places going fast) – other dates are here
This Round Up is a good opportunity to confirm Tuff Fitty’s structure. In addition to our written constitution, code of conduct, and attainment of ‘Trimark’ status, your committee are pleased to announce the appointment of Charlotte Lattin-Rawstrone as our Safeguarding Officer. Our website has been updated to show her appointment alongside all our committee members and our coaching team. The link is here The webpage layout is deliberate to show Charlotte’s appointment as fully independent of the Chair, Committee and Coaching Team, so feel able to contact her if necessary. As our club steadily reactivates training in line with the Government Roadmap, have a look at your club officials/coaches, and if you have any ideas for the future, please let us know.
UK ATHLETICS/ENGLAND ATHLETICS AFFILIATION
April sees the start of the new UK Athletics year running from April to the end of March 2022. Tuff Fitty have already paid the core affiliation fee which has unlocked the potential for existing members to renew or other Tuffs to join for the first time. The fee remains at £15 per person – the scheduled increase has now been delayed again due to Covid. If you are looking to enter a few races this year the most obvious feature is a saving of £2 on a lot of races as ‘affiliated athlete’. However there are other benefits as stated on the England Athletics website – link here Unfortunately Covid deferrals mean our club will not get any guaranteed London Marathon slots, this year, or next 🙁 Those who have already paid up to 22nd April have been loaded onto the portal and their cards will follow in due course. Please contact Clive Harvey if you wish to renew, or join. Tuff Fitty paying our core club fee does not make you ‘affiliated’, so paying the £15 is the way forward to get your unique runner number.