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Weekend Round Up 27th 28th November

The cold snap continues but it hasn’t deterred Tuffs from racing in addition to our usual swim, run, track, Zwift & cycle training


Staged by UK Running Events at The Queen Elizabeth Country Park at Petersfield, competitors had the choice of Long (21km) Medium (15km) or Short (10km). Over the long course there were two Tuffs, Pete Littleboy & Claire Moyle. Over the short course distance it is great to see Kate Evan’s comeback continue, doing well over the 10k off road 540ft ascent course.

First up we have a report from Pete Littleboy & then Claire Moyle reports on her adventure:-


“It started on what seemed the coldest Sunday morning of the year in the beautiful Queen Elizabeth country park at a sensible time of 9am for the 20k (half marathon) and 9:15 and 9:30 for the 15k & 9k. Being part of the trail series from UK running events it’s well organised with a great atmosphere and the goody bag and bling was awesome and so when we all set off it was at furious pace just to try and warm up.

However it goes up hill so I thought I would pay for that later but didn’t?? Is that because of XC or track training? All I know is the hills were brutal and the down hill were dangerous but I loved it. As the sun was now out on the tree lines, it made the scenery absolutely stunning and I found myself at the finish in just 1 hour 41, and placed 32/396 with  a special mention and thank you to Rebecca.


Claire stopped to snap the cold but bright conditions

“Well I decided on this event soon after the Cotswold classic as a test of my endurance as I have never run any hilly races and I really enjoyed the half Ironman so knew I would need to up my running distances.”

“Unfortunately 2 weeks before the event I tested positive for COVID so my prep for this event became quite limited”.

“Then I received my race number 13 and I could see they were trying to tell me something!”

“Well race day arrived and luckily Storm Arwen had died down but it was a very cold morning and I struggled to stay warm until we started. Once off the route was very hilly but beautiful autumn colours help take the mind of it. 2 miles in I took a tumble causing several cuts to my hand and knee which swelled up very quickly. Despite this I decided to continue as I was just warming up and the thought of having to wait to be collected meant I would have got very cold”.

“Despite the pain I really enjoyed the route except the massive hill just after 8 miles. Well organised, friendly and lots of lovely things to see”.




Nick Bolding reports in from this Gravel/Mountain bike Sportive from Amberley – our sole representative covering the long course route:-

“I’d never done an ultramarathon before, so I did one. I’d also never done a gravel race before so I signed up for one last Sunday – the UKCE Gravel Series: South Downs Way… 54km with 1000m of elevation gain has got to be easier on wheels than on foot, right?”

“Well, Storm Arwen was wreaking havoc across the country – but fortunately we escaped the worst of that, bar the sub-zero temperatures… my dashboard was literally showing -1o as I parked at Amberley Museum.”

“Registered, unloaded my bike (‘07 Carrera Kraken which I’ve put rigid carbon forks on plus 2.2” DMR Moto tyres with Michelin Protek Max tubes which makes for a lot of weight on the rims, but I hate flats) and headed to the start area.”

“A few minutes waiting in the start chute & I was off! Good to get moving, given it was so cold… so cold that my face practically froze solid in the first km or so. It was so cold, gear changes were ‘iffy’ as the lube on my gear wires had taken on the consistency of tar… it would warm up though, I was sure.”

“I was making steady progress on the flats, crunching through the ice on the odd puddle, climbing well and (if I can blow my own trumpet) hammering down the descents – despite the lack of suspension, dropper seatpost or ‘LLS’ geometry…!”

“Anyway, climbs, descents, cold, gravel, frost, blah blah until 26km in, grinding up a hill in the granny gear the cranks suddenly just spun… Chain must’ve slipped off – hopped off to pop it back on, only to discover the chain had snapped! There was a moment when I was prepping for the start when I looked at the ‘big’ multi-tool in my toolbox (the one with the chain-breaker) and thought “Nah… I’ve got hex keys, spare tube, patches, pump*… I’ll be fine!” – now I was staring at a broken chain, questioning my life (well, tool) choices…”

“*Note: I actually had 2 pumps… and a CO2 cylinder”.

“But, the very next pair of riders stopped to check if I was OK & had a tool with a chain-breaker… hurrah! Turned out it wasn’t quite up to the job, but another couple of riders stopped & they had a beefier version which made short work of reconnecting the ends, albeit a bit shorter. I was cold now, my hands particularly so and I discovered that my (new) gloves had been so toasty that my hands had sweated – so trying to put them back on they were freezing cold and clammy… I managed to get one on and figured that’d have to do.”

“Mere minutes later I had to stop and wrestle the other glove onto the frozen claw that was my un-gloved hand. It was freezing (have I mentioned the temperature already?).”

“To summarise… more climbs, more descents – these were fast, but the lack of suspension made them somewhat scary, probably due to the fact that it felt like the muscles were going to vibrate off the bones of my forearms, my eyeballs were trying to shake loose of their sockets and I was trying to hold the bars tightly enough to not have them ripped from my grip, but loosely enough that my entire skeleton didn’t spontaneously disarticulate… oh, and also trying very hard not to crash and die.”

“Caught up with the guys who helped me fix my chain – they’d sorted a guy who had a flat and a spare tube, but no pump. I loaned him my spare pump saying he could drop it with race control and I’d pick it up… wondered briefly if he had a puncture repair kit but didn’t follow that thought up.”

“Keep plugging along, in the granny ring on the climbs now there was a buzz due to the rear gear wire rubbing on the tyre, but hey – at least I can still get the full range of (old skool) 3×8 gears even with the shortened chain.”

“Helped the guys that helped me – though only getting them back on the course after they missed a turn marker but you can get a long way off-course very quickly…”

“With 5km to go, I ran into the guy who I’d lent my pump to – turns out he’d flatted again and didn’t have a repair kit… offered him my spare tube but he was “I’ll walk, it’s only 20 minutes…”, offered him a repair patch, he turned me down… I actually considered just dropping my spare tube and riding away, but that felt a little too aggressively ‘Good Samaritan’ so I bid him ‘Bonne chance’ and continued on my way. Missed a turn at the bottom of a slope with 3km to go (hard to see the arrows when the terrain is giving you quadruple vision) but luckily my ‘spidey sense’ went off only a couple of hundred metres down the wrong path (or maybe it was my Garmin, which I’d uploaded the route to…).”

“Crossed the line grinning like an idiot… grabbed my swag – the beer coming out of the coolbox full of ice felt warm compared with my feet, hands and face… did I mention it was -1o with a ‘feels like’ of -8?”

Nick’s Swag

“Took a few ‘swag pics’, grabbed a pizza from the takeaway van (very good) and headed home to thaw out in a hot bath.”

“What did I learn from this? Gravel races are like trail running but with the added bonus of mechanical failures – though the support between riders is awesome! Also, ‘trust your gut’ – I should have taken the ‘big’ multi-tool (and maybe a ‘missing link’) and I should have asked the guy I loaned my pump to if he had anything to repair a puncture with… ‘pay it forward’.”

“Oh, and gravel races are a LOT of fun! I will definitely be signing up for more… but, will be looking to get a more suitable bike first!”



Maverick Races are well organised trail run organisers holding two Trail events at Amberley Chalk Pit museum on the Saturday together with the Gravel bike sportive on the Sunday. Holding their traditional route distance of 23km 14k 7k with the evening headtorch run over distances of 19k, 14 & 7k.

Debbie Boxall ran with her sister across the short course during the day, and if that wasn’t enough she returned in the evening for the Dark event covering the long 19k route; great work.


Thank you to all our club members who have volunteered to help with organisation, marshalling at the Frosty Aquathlon set for 6th March 2022. Entries are building and with members volunteering to help; we are now able to say to those Tuffs who wish to race – either the 400m/5k Frostbite or the longer 800m/10k Frosty, please feel able to enter. With a team award for a team of four ( at least 1 male & 1 female in the team) it is hoped we can form a crack team to take a tilt at the title


The cold weather probably kept some away from parkrun this week but good performance from the six identified in the various results. (Do please let the editor know if you participate in a parkrun other than one our local ones).

Worthing parkrun saw James Oram cross the line in 21:18, his best since the pandemic as he regains his form aiming to get back below 20 minutes again. Les Pearce recorded his 137th parkrun. Next up is is great to see Chris Sloggett back in the results after a long injury layoff

At Littlehampton parkrun Coach Kev Pearson was first Tuff home in 21:46 & Alistair Evans notched up his 61st parkrun. Alistair was also on the organising team.

Amanda de Ridder ran her first Bognor parkrun to add to her total of 130 parkruns