This weekend Ultra runners were to the fore. Paul Atkinson was in the Lake District completing the two day OMM, (Paul’s endeavours are captured in a separate report). Closer to home a quintet of Tuffs were in action on the South Downs, leaving room for Tuff representation at two multisport events. First up a thanks to all the runners and coaches on Wednesday nights – track night is buzzing currently.
TUFF FITTY RUNNING TRACK
Worth reporting that this month – May, has seen four very high weeks of turnout for our regular Wednesday night running track sessions under the guidance of coaches Dave March and Andy ward. Proven time and again, The ‘Durrington Project’ has made a difference to the attendees running. With summer hopefully here for a while, don’t forget your drinks bottle for trackside. Haven’t ‘tracked it’ recently?, come along and see what you’re missing. A steady mile warm up is followed by drills before the main set. As numbers are strong there are plenty of speed groups to link with to help you round the track.
DEVILS LITE 50K ULTRA
Event organiser XNRG Extreme Energy, like all organisers are delighted that races are resuming. Famous for staging their Devil’s Challenge – a three day 97 mile race, the idea of Devil’s Lite Ultra was born without an entry fee – to which 269 competitors registered.
Starting from Steyning, the only way was up! So it was hilly! The slower runners were started off first deliberately so the faster runners could provide some encouragement as they went past, ensuring it was a friendly atmosphere. Quality Tuffs crossed the start line with Danny Cunnett first Tuff home in just 5hrs 58. Next was Ian Moore followed by Jay McCardle, Adam Steel & Jason Rae – who clocked up yet another of his weekly marathons. This weeks banner shot is from left to right, Adam, Jay, Jason & Ian. Kudos to Tuff Dom Mason who was a marshal for the event. Considering the last person to finish crossed two seconds under 13 hours, he had a very long day.
We have reports from two of our intrepid Tuffs, first up, a great result from Adam Steel in his first Ultra-
“So the devils lite ultra entry popped up and I thought, why not? Was I training for this distance? No! Was it only 8 weeks away? Yes! Oh well, search on internet for couch to ultra and there it was, yes I’d missed a few weeks but oh well, always wanted to do one so let’s give it a go. Training didn’t quite go to plan as work got in the way of that but I did what I could. Luckily the experienced Jason Rae let me tag along with him and his mate Andy. Great fun was had, the whole experience was amazing and so well organised. The aid stations were brilliant and definitely helped! Everything hurt towards the end and for the last (very long) 4 miles running was done in 20m bursts followed by ouch that hurts, back to walking! But I finished and yes I would do it again, maybe I’ll train properly this time!
Next up a report from Ian Moore, although being modest he neglected to mention a key point. It falls to the editor to point out that he finished 3rd in his age group and being a Horsham resident saw his photo appear in the County Times.
“A free race! It’s not often we see that. The organisers, not being able to stage the full race (100 miles on the South Downs Way over 3 days) decided to put on a Lite version covering 50k and make it free as a thank you to everyone who had supported them. It started at the familiar spot of Steyning Leisure Centre and headed up onto the SDW at Chanctonbury Ring, following the path until the Jack an Jill windmills where we descended to Clayton Village for the turn-around point. This was my last long run before the SDW 100 so was supposed to take it easy, but definitely went too fast and struggled a bit on the return, although it was the first warm day we’d had for a while. Very well organised and friendly event with good aid stations and a decent medal at the finish. Good to see a few other Tuffs out there as well”.
DORNEY LAKE TRIATHLON
Dorney lake, owned by Eton College at Windsor is a regular host to Triathlon events and Mark Dinsdale joined one such event where there was a choice of Sprint, Standard or Aquabike distance. There were 370 competitors across all distances with the Standard won by Sam Wade who is course record holder at Tuff Fitty’s Frosty Aquathlon. Mark chose the Standard distance where competitors were set off with the fastest first on a time trial Covid friendly basis. Mark reports:-
“Think the big smile gives away how pleased I was as a ‘newbie’ to complete this Tri. Did this as part of the Cotswold Journey – CPL suggested doing an Olympic distance during the last Q&A session. Came second in my age group (60-64) with 2:40 so was very pleased – the learning was to try and manage the jelly legs after the swim and also improve my transitions times”.
“Always room for improvement which is all part of the fun!”
This occurred in June, but as a Friday event the report makes the cut here – Guildford Aquathlon in the lovely sheltered grounds of the Lido & Stoke Park – a 50m pool, which as the above photo shows, is a great setting for a race. Trevor Harvey & Ben Abbott reported in:-
“During a chat with Clive he mentioned that he was going to be Technical Official for race 1 in the Guildford Lido Aquathlon hosted by Phoenix Tri Club – and so I entered at a few days notice”.
“Several kiddy races also took place, but only a handful of entrants for the main 500m swim & 5k run, but with me entering that doubled the Tuff entrants as Ben Abbott – a regular attendee at these, was also there”.
“I last did the race in 2016, and this would be my first multi sport race since August 2019 – (Midnightman a middle distance Tri) ……. and the problem with these short races is they hurt; you’ve just got to go for it! (Well as much as I can)”.
“After chucking it down with rain all day the evening was dry and warm, and the Lido was at a nice cool temperature for a zig zag swim, followed by a run around the park”.
“A well organised event, with two further races Friday evenings on the 2nd July (pre Cotswold warm up anyone?) & 6th August”.
“”It was really good getting back to racing after so long away and this race was the perfect gentle introduction. There was a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, which kept my normal race day nerves to a minimum and the reduced numbers gave everyone the space to stay safe. The race itself went well and I was pleased with my time, not my fastest, but certainly not my slowest 😊”