Club NewsFeaturedGalleryNewRace Report

Brighton Marathon Festival 10th April 2022

There was a great turnout of Tuffs at the Brighton Marathon Festival. If we were to add in all the other races members undertook over the weekend it is too much to cram into just one newsletter, so this one recognises all the Tuffs, whether competing or cheering , who set their alarms really early for their trip along the coast. Alongside the flagship Marathon, there was the traditional 10k and the second year of the BM bike ride on the Sunday. There was also the Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens Mini Mile Races on the Saturday – Totalling all competitors there were 12,855 people who crossed their various finishing lines – impressive.


Back to its usual April slot this was the events 11th staging and club members have been in attendance from the beginning. Before we recognise some great achievements, we had several where injury or circumstances prevented them from entering and we wish them well for next year. It is believed we had nine who ran.

There were some fantastic times from the Tuff collective. Congratulations to Pete Littleboy who was the first Tuff home in 3:22. Alex Webb was next over the line in 3:35. Dom Amey was close behind as he finished just 26 seconds later in 3:36. Shelley Dodman was next with Verity Jane Lacey close behind. To simply say Jay McCardle was next is clearly an injustice, please read on for the reason. Olly Sampson also crossed the finish line complete with sunburnt forehead as conditions were good for running. Mark Dinsdale and Glenn Parisi completed to ensure all nine terrific Tuffs finished in under five hours – cracking results.

Whilst for Glenn this was his 38th marathon, & Jay’s well over one hundred, it is pleasing to report this was Alex, Verity & Mark’s first ever marathon’s. Thanks to those who have reported in recording some great tales – read on

Alex & Pete at the start


“I’ve taken part in this event many, many times before as it’s local and a very easy entry.. and the marathon.. and so with loads of tuffs  going it was sure to be extra special and helpful with training runs. Alas with many tuffs dropping out or deferring it was left to a few brave souls to fly the flag and so with my training  all done and race ready … boom.. I fell Ill with man flu a few days before the start. It gave added pressure as it was to late to defer and all concerned had put to much effort and sacrifice in. If that wasn’t bad enough our morning train was cancelled so a call to arms was required &  so lining up with my fellow semi elites I felt fragile and fraudulent as while I qualified for my position, I wasn’t well enough fulfil my potential. This was a real shame as the weather was perfect. I started well enough but as I was reminded “the marathon starts at mile20” as so it was as my thighs cramped and my feet blistered & everything hurt. If it wasn’t for the wonderful atmosphere and crowds I would still be there now! It really did keep me going to cross the line in 3h22 and reminded me why I love the big races.



“The training had gone well and I’d had a good Brighton Half in February but this was my first marathon so was feeling pretty nervous.  It didn’t start well as our train was cancelled but Pete’s wife came to the rescue and gave us a lift. 

We saw Dom at the start who mentioned that a marathon doesn’t start until the last quarter of the race and so it proved to be.  

By the time we got to the start line I was pretty hyped up and decided to go for it. Rookie error. I was on for 3.20 pace until 30km and feeling ok but then my legs completely went, followed by the rest of the body.  By the time I hit 35k I was walk/running and hurting badly. 

I’m not ashamed to say I was pretty emotional at the end, it had taken a lot out of me.  However, I’m pleased to have done my first one – I’m not quite ready to say when my next one will be but never say never”. 


Dom & Glenn


“The day didn’t start perfectly with all trains to Brighton cancelled but once Glenn had been persuaded that this wasn’t good enough reason to turn around go back to bed we jumped in the car and managed to wangle a free spot in the park and ride. So we reached Preston Park in good time and although it was cold the sun was shining and already starting to show signs of warming things up. We met up with Pete and Alex in the park but had to split up again to 4 different start pens. And then we ran, a very long way. 

The first section in the city is narrow, busy and quite up and down but it opens out once you hit the seafront. Out and back to Ovingdean the crowds are thinner but once you return to town there is a great atmosphere pretty much all the way.

Great to see Jay McCardle a couple of times especially knowing that he’d done almost double marathon distance the day before and also, only a fleeting glance, but seeing Verity down on the Basin Road was a really nice boost when things were getting tough. And thanks to Muz and Sue for staying on after the 10k to give some Tuff support. I know other Tuffs were there in the crowds (racing and/or cheering) too, hopefully everyone had a good day. When I told Glenn my finish time he promised to consider the training beforehand approach in future but that might well have been a bit of mild sunstroke talking, time will tell.



“Wow what a day, the weather couldn’t of been more perfect (I have the sunburn to prove it 😂)

I signed up to the Brighton Marathon as a training run ahead of the Ironman to build some confidence that I could run the distance.

I arrived at Preston Park looking very cool (not) in my daughters old onesie as you had to discard any clothing you weren’t running in in the start chutes. The atmosphere was buzzing with the streets already filled with spectators and supporters. We had about half an hour to kill before we were due to start so last opportunity for the final toilet stop!

Then we were off, I remember crossing the start line and telling my running partner ‘this is it for at least the next 4.5 hours’!

I was amazed at the amount of supporters on the first 5 miles of the course, which really made the time fly by. To be honest, I don’t remember any large parts of the course where there we not any supporters at all, even out towards Ovingdean.

The run was going pretty well and we were holding a really good pace just under what we were aiming for. Around mile 14 my legs started to get really tight but I managed to keep pushing through and holding the pace up to about mile 20. The final 6 miles were pretty tough and it was all about just holding on and keeping my legs going. There were times where I was desperate to walk but I knew I would never get going again so just kept ticking off the miles.

My official time came in at 4:01:12 and clocking just over the 26.2, so I’m going to go with my Strava marathon time of 3:59:21 to say I did sub 4 hours so I don’t need to do it again 😂

All in all, it was a really great day with a lot of Tuffs on and around the course that really kept me going.

I’d like to say a massive thank you to all the Tuff coaches as you all do an amazing job helping us achieve what we set out to do, but one coach in particular that has got me from barely running 2 miles at a pace of around 12 minute miles to running a 4 hour marathon is Wardy, without all your dedication and commitment I would absolutely not be where I am now on my Ironman journey.

Until the next one…….




4 hours 7 minutes is a good time for any marathon, but as this is Jay we are talking about, he was on the start line the day before for the South Downs Way 50 which of course he completed. Running for 9 hours was clearly not sufficient as he was on the start line at Brighton the next morning. Jay modestly stated “this is a further step towards the Thames towpath 100 in May and the SDW 100 in June”. How does he do it – total respect; we are in awe of you Jay


“I managed to complete the Brighton Marathon. ‘It was my first ever attempt at the marathon distance – I’d done training to just over the half distance and felt reasonably pleased – was I in for a shock! Up to around 30k felt OK but, the last 12k was a real challenge – but, hung in and finished. Another thing ticked off my bucket list’. Also, learnt a lot for the next one😁.


A great 3:58 finish for Shelley Dodman


Back for it’s second year with a much changed format after its debut and this year there were five Tuff participants. It was great to see Tim McGrath back racing as a Tuff following a period away. Trev reports:-

“If I say that Clive & I completed the 31 mile Brighton Marathon Cycle, hung about at the finishers village; cycled back to the car nearer the start & had the bikes back in our cars about 8.45 a.m., it illustrates that the start time was very, very early necessitating getting up at silly o’clock. It was pitch black and very cold as we cycled to the start having to arrive by 6.15!!

The 31 mile route primarily follows the marathon loop; starting from Preston Park following the marathon route, it then adds an extra jaunt out west along the seafront, ignoring the inland Hove roads, before turning round and out to Ovingdean. Heading west again its then a loop back into Brighton before back along the seafront, west, past the power station (over all the speed humps) before finishing on Hove Lawns.

For the first 8 Km of the ride there was a lead car driving at 25Km per hour, which you were not allowed to overtake – this was to allow the pack to settle, but it did lead to some ebbing and flowing of the group at hills and pinch-points.

Clive and I were there along with NIna Tully, Tim McGrath, & Elaine Rousseau who was thrilled to have cycled quicker this time over a longer distance compared to the shorter course from 2019. I’m sure all agreed it was a good ride, albeit with a cold start & a stupidly early start time, so a well earned medal at the end.


Sue Pinky


Just two known Tuffs in for the 10k this year. Murray Hodge who has competed in most of the marathons here since inception found work and family commitments conspire against him, but keen not to miss the event, completed the 10k instead. Another Tuff on parade was Sue Pinky, who after her cani-cross run on Saturday reported in:_

“Sunday saw me doing the BM10K although according to the app I never started, I wonder if that had anything to do with the fact that my number wasn’t sent out (booked via a member) so mad dash after Bedgebury to pick up from Preston Park and then go and support friends doing the SDW50. Anyway, lovely fun run for me, didn’t push it as calves were tight, was great fun catching up with everyone I’ve not seen since the start of the pandemic so it kinda turned into a selfie fest! At the finish, all the 10k members bags had been put in with the marathon bags so had to wait around for an hour for them to turn up, massive apologies from the organisers and a lesson learnt for next year. Walked back to Shoreham along the marathon route so that I could cheer other tuffs and friends on, so if you saw some mad woman all in pink shouting Go Tuff! That would have been me. Very enjoyable day out and I look forward to being able to train properly and do the full next year. Despite my taking it easy I finished the 10k in 1:21:53. 


CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE. Great results and report – this was what greeted all the finishers.