Cold Weather & Christmas shopping? Well if you are a Tuff, there were still plenty of training and activities across the weekend to encourage club members out as follows:-
SUSSEX CROSS COUNTRY LEAGUE -RACE 3 – ARDINGLY SHOWGROUND
With Tuff Fitty once again the best represented multisport club on parade, it was a great Tuff away day to Ardingly . Whilst the individual results are out, the overall league positions are still to be calculated. What is clear however is that Niki Treacy, due to three terrific places is likely to finish third overall in her category as her best three scores count. Thanks to Team Manager Adrian Oliver for setting out his thoughts on the afternoon below. As usual there is a large photo album with shots from Adrian and Clive which people are free to use for their own use. Two months off now before the last fixture and a chance for Clive & Adrian to restock the post race chocolate which was very heartily consumed. A special mention goes to Tuff Tony Pearce. Whilst a Tuff he ran in his Striders colours as they were short of team members so he justifies inclusion in some of the photos :-
“With 2 out of 4 races done of the Sussex Cross Country League 2021/2022 season, you would assume we were settled in our routine – warm weather, dry conditions and ground, sunny, eyeing up the chocolates, lots of cheering, frantic running up/down hills, being thrashed by pure runners, finish line sprint finishes, team photos, and eat previously mentioned chocolates.
Race #3 of the League would traditionally have been at Lancing, and traditionally relocated at the last moment back to Stamner Park (location of previous race #2) due to soggy ground conditions. But this year was different…for race #3 was always planned to be at Ardingly Showground…we have all heard of it, some know the area, lots of assumptions that showground equals flat, well drained and nice paths…but out of all the possible running routes, nobody had any idea what the actual course would be like!
Fortunately Team Tuff Fitty had sent our advanced scout (Kate Cooper) to spy out the land…first report – “its muddy”…we quickly confirmed that while trying to find a suitable location to pitch the gazebo – this was NOT a well drained showground, for if this is what the team village was like, not looking forward to the well used course. On the positive side, it looked a flattish course…
After proper warmups, the ladies were off on their 5km 1 short lap + 1 long lap race – led immediately by now familiar “children” gazelles, finishing their 5km “parkrun” (with hills and mud) in just over 19 minutes. Niki was the 1st Tuff home in an amazing 25th place in 22:06 (3rd in her V25 age category), followed by Juliette in 23:53, Kate in 26:26, and Maisie in 26:45. All impressive 5km parkrun times without hills and mud!
The men, in contrast, spend their warmup eyeing up the selection of chocolates, cheering the ladies on and congratulating them on their impressive finishes – plus eager to get any tips – “its muddy…and hilly”.
Off we chaps we go – 8km 1 short lap + 2 long laps. Out across the field, right turn, down. Mark appears to have dropped out, but still walking…oh dear, into a large dip with steep muddy hill out, more down, hairpin turn, finally climb back up. Lap 2, with an extra flat extension…in the distance I spot our express Tuffs of Simon, Pete, Jon and Stephen Fryer. Meanwhile, Paul, Stephen Feest and Adrian regroup and try to take on a couple of Burgess Hill runners – one which Paul and Adrian successfully out-manoeuvred – Paul almost gets the other but is beaten over the line.
The men’s winner came in 26:26, with Simon Thistlethwaite, 1st Tuff home in an impressive 34:46, then Pete Littleboy in 36:43, Jon Babbage in 36:53, Steve Fryer in 38:13, Paul Martin in 40:11, Adrian Oliver in 40:23, Stephen Feest in 40:36, and Les Pearce in 46:06.
Unfortunately Mark Walford developed an upper body muscle strain causing one of our secret weapons to have to drop out. Jon was a hero and dropped Mark back home afterwards!
So once again Race #3 @ Ardingly was a success – smiles everywhere. We were actually back in time for the 5pm Littlehampton Wave Swim – hopefully Niki and Maisie showered before getting in the pool…
We are now all looking forward to a break, extra training, hoping that Santa will bring cross country spikes ready for the final Race #4 at Bexhill on Saturday 12th February 2022.”
Running GP often stage runs at Goodwood Motor Circuit and the latest saw competitors faced with a choice of 5,10k, Half, 20 miles or a marathon. In the 10k race Kevin Pearson ran finishing just outside the top 20% – There were almost 800 finishers across all distances and another great Tuff result was from Gavin Sewell who participated in the full marathon distance. Thanks to Gavin for reporting in:-
“I decided to sign up for this in August as a target for the end of the year. I was in two minds, should it be Goodwood or Mouth to Mouth to finish the year. I went for Goodwood (as I hadn’t done it before) as I thought it would be easier, due to no mud and hills.
When I woke up in the morning, the wind was up and anyone who has cycled Goodwood knows how much the wind plays a part. Coffee and Bagels consumed I headed off. It was windy but the sun was out. I decided to wrap up with hat, cloves and snood. After lap 1 (of 11) they came off and I found a steady pace. Half the track the wind was on your back but the other half the wind was full on in your face. I got half way in 1.44 (close to my PB pace), but I knew by that point it was off the table.
Every time that cold wind hit your face and whole body, it got stronger and stronger, and I got more tired every lap that went by. The last two laps were by far the hardest and the wind slowed my pace to a snails. I was very happy to run over the finishing line rather than past it for another lap.
There was a great selection of goodies at the finish and a nice bit of bling to. I would do it again but maybe the one held in July. A PB course if conditions are right for sure.”
MAPLEDURHAM 10 MILES
Trevor Harvey reports in from the Mapledurham 10mile or 10km race which is billed as “challenging events where you will face water, mud and several hills making it an exhilarating race! Trev did the 10 miles and reports:-
“The Mapledurham 10 miler is a local, (to me) trail run, just above the Thames at Reading.
The first point to stress is that I was wearing Tuff kit – but arriving at the start to find a biting icy wind blowing along the Thames I realised I didn’t take my Tuff gilet; but luckily I had a ‘plain clothes’ one in the car – hence hiding the Tuff vest.
So, blimmin freezing, drizzle and mud – a true trail route with some cheeky hills – one nicknamed ‘Tourette’s Hill’. A scenic route, and in spite of the conditions an enjoyable well marshalled race.
A quality medal, buff, mulled wine and mince pie and a beer at the finish. Plus, with these races, to me it’s not about the time, (it’s staying upright), but they are also sending out an engraved itab to insert in the medal with name and finish time, so a great race”.
Some parkrunner were saving themselves for the cross country but the following magnificent seven in action:-
LIttlehampton parkrun saw Oliver Thomas making his parkrun debut and in some style running home 14th overall in 21:38, this was a terrific result after having missed a lot of the year’s running due to injury. In 15th place was Kev Pearson just three seconds behind. Richard Budd was next home for his 154th parkrun
Horsham parkrun saw Ian Moore in action for his 82nd parkrun
At Worthing parkrun Ed Lay was the first Tuff home in 22:56 for his 57th parkrun. Also running was Elaine Rousseau notching up her 109th parkrun
Maidenhead parkrun saw a further Tuff in action as Trevor Harvey completed his 36th parkrun ahead of his trail run the next day