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Weekend Round Up 18th 19th June

The biggest attendance of Tuffs was at our Club members Midsummer Aquathlon on Friday, (see separate report). Another week and there have been more races/action and yet more podiums and some terrific news of Tuffs reaching new personal heights – well done to everyone; keep the great news coming:-

Simon & Mike


Part of the ‘Castle Series’ of which Hever Castle in September is our Club Standard distance championship race. Have you entered yet? (do make sure you use the club discount code from our app). Set within the estate grounds of a 200-year-old castle in Cheshire, there were a variety of events and pleasing to report we had Tuff representation from Mike Barrett in the Standard Distance and Simon Thistlethwaite in the Middle Distance event. We have a very inspirational report first from Mike and then success over the longer distance from Simon

“A big weekend of many events, some might argue too many with relay Duathlons to Super Sprint Triathlons, a middle distance and even a full on marathon. I opted for the Olympic. STOP. Wind back 10 years ago, I was fit, I could run and ride, but hell could I swim 2 lengths without breathing out of my! I’d look at the lanes either side filled with all sorts of shapes and sizes going up and down, I’m logical but equally I’m competitive and I just couldn’t work out how come they could just keep going. So I took myself out of my comfort zone and joined Tuff Fitty. Lane 4 week 1 I can remember having to stop while others lapped me. A few years on and I can remember not being able to swim the two laps at the Chichester lake triathlon and after lap 1 quitting. And I can remember Nicole, Trevor who were in my Tuff Relay team at Chichester water park having to wait for me while I splattered and short breathed  my way round 1 lap. And I can remember breast stroking my way around Thorpe park lake and being clobbered by people behind me.

Fast forward 2022 I’m in the lake at Castle Tri and I, on purpose move to the front, like, right at the front, as I know, I can smash this and I don’t want to get held by people like me 5 years ago. 

3-2-1 and we’re off, a shallow lake full of weed, lap 1 complete and we’re out of the water, up the bank, turn right, run 50 yards, back down the bank and back in the water for lap 2; I feel good and I feel confident. Out of the lake and into transition, a reasonably quick transition and we’re out on the road, I’ve now overtaken 2 more red numbers. Im now, unbeknown to me in 10th; 2 more red numbers gone,  I’m in 8th and head down I’m blasting along, I keep looking at my km, 18k hmm no sign of the castle or drop in to the loop, 22k in and I’m concerned, 36k something is wrong I should be looping through transition now on my second lap, finally at 33.5k I enter my second lap, I’m confused and saddle up alongside a rider, “hi, are you Olympic”, “yes mate” he replies “and yes you’ve lapped me!!!“  “Hmm is this your first lap” “no“ he says “second!” “Ohhhh mine too… “ and off I went , I caught a few more riders and clearly I missed the one thin, unbranded left turn sign, race ruined , head rolling around and cursing, cursing me and feeling frustrated at the  marshal who was set back from the junction having a convo with a mate. But ultimately this is my fault! I arrive in transition feeling like I’m pretty much race over (I’m now 67th). A slow transition and jog out, head still fed up I start to pick up the pace and think just learn from it. First 5k was a good pace, but a little bit of cramp on 7k and my head was down and rolling again and my pace dropped, 50 odd mins for a 10k. I cross the line and somehow end up 37th. The race that got away from me. I’m going to have to come back next year!

I ask a couple of the marshals if anyone had reported issues with the left turn and, apparently I wasn’t alone, and have since learnt several more competitors  had the same issue. 

Some take aways

1. New swimmers , keep at it you do get better and faster!

2. Open water, you have to get in a lake/sea and feel part of the water and your surroundings and your worse fears will go away.

3. The great work by the coaching teams pay off as does every interaction Tuff put on with the water .

4. You are responsible for knowing your route, take time to learn it.

5. When you go for a ride, try and run straight after, as we never, never do enough brick sessions! 

6. If things go wrong try not to beat yourself up and learn things from it. Try something different like a slower pace for the first half of the run and up it for the second half… that way all is not lost.

7. If you read this far, even after a bad event always walk around with your head up as you never know who you might bump into. Hello Simon Thislethwaite!! Who has just finished the middle distance with a puncture and a PB.


Simon – who’s podium photo is this week’s banner shot entered the Gauntlet. A great race finishing just a few seconds behind 12th position who’s first name is Tufty; we should sign him up – Simon reports:-

“I personally had a cracking race today went into the race much better rested with some new nutrition, ( not drugs) smashed the bike course, it was so fast with a tail wind and slicks on . Smashed the run and took over 15 mins off my Bowood time due to a better bike . Numbers were low with only 80 doing the gauntlet but I ended up 13th overall and 2 in my old farts age group . Absolutely made up with the result although the 5 hour drive home didn’t appeal. 🙂. It was great not to be the ‘Only Tuff in the village’ as it was nice to catch up with Mike Barrett


James Hodge, Katie Yates-Hill, Nicole & Clive Patterson-Lett, Pete Littleboy & Mark Walford


Organised by Hedgehog Tri, swimmers had the choice of 3km swim in Ardingly lake, 1.5km or 750m. Being Tuffs we just had swimmers in the 3 & 1.5k but some fantastic results. Nicole Patterson-Lett won the 3km outright beating the first man home by just over a minute and the next lady by over two minutes – a winning overall time of just 47:21 – super work Nic. The good news continued as Clive Patteron-Lett stroked home 11th overall. James Hodge was next exiting the water in 55 minutes. Katie Yates-Hill also swam well finishing under the hour. In the 1500 m race there was another strong tuff presence of Mark Walford finished 4th overall and received a trophy for second male in 24:44. Pete Littleboy finished in 31:13 and Ben Abbott just behind in 32.02 to round off scintillating swims from the magnificent Seven


The iconic London to Brighton route was first used by the Veteran Car run, but from 1976 has been used by the biggest cycle ride – the British Heart Foundation ride. Starting on Clapham Common. the 54 mile route finishes on Madeira Drive in Brighton. The toughest part of the route is the climb over Ditchling Beacon featured in the Le Tour de France (given a category 4 rating) and the Tour of Britain. This year Tuffs in the saddle were Leah Simms & Karly Martin and great to see Verity Jane Lacey cycle with her daughter Darcie. Leah reports:-

Karly Martin and I were part of the Foxy Ladies Go cycling team of 12 for the 3 year delayed BHF London to Brighton Bike Ride. Karly and I even conquered riding up and over Ditchling Beacon non stop to our surprise”. “There were a lot more hills than we expected so couldn’t believe it when we had enough strength to get us up Ditchling”.


Darcie & Verity

Darcie decided she want to do the L2B, we put in for ballot places and duly got them. Then came the change of mind, so we didn’t sign up. Q a friend to sign up, Darcie wants to do it again, we wait a few weeks to see if she goes cold on the idea again, she doesn’t so we scramble around to find a charity place. Time for the first training ride up over Titch Hill, here come the tears and the paddy: ‘ why did you make me sign up to this mum?!’ Kindly pointed, it wasn’t my idea. The morning arrives, 3am wake up call, drive to London ready for a 6am start. The first 15 miles were pretty tough going whilst Darcie resigned herself to the day. Then she got into it and we started ticking off the miles fairly quickly. She managed the first climb without issue, then came Turners Hill and next Ditchling. A little pep talk on not getting boxed in, slow and steady blar blar blar…….. well it seemed to work, she managed it all the way to the top without stopping. Once at the top, a new lease of energy was unleashed and we whizzed down into Brighton for the finish. I have to say, I was incredibly proud of her achievement. Sadly I don’t think it is the start of a cycling addiction, however, it wasn’t a no to ever cycling again!”


Tiffers and Lucy


Back for the third time, with a start from Madehurst Cricket Club; Thanks to Tiff Orton for sharing her experience of the race:-

“Entered the 10km with a work pal, Lucy. Bumped into fellow Tuff Debbie Boxall at the start, who was running the 5km with her sister and nephew.

Weather conditions were actually perfect, as the temperature had dropped from a very sweaty week.

The route was so lovely and scenic, even with the hills. The first very long climb up was at the 5km split point (lucky Debbie!), so it was very tempting but we marched onwards and upwards. Through fields and woods, up and down, t’was lovely.

Will definitely do the event again, living so close to Madehurst I’d never run that way before, it really was so pretty. Check out the picture, that poppy field was the car park, I mean, so pretty. Loved it and even though there was no medal, a finishers mug was a well received more usable memento”. 


Ness Green (left) with Vicki)


West Bay in Dorset was the setting for a Super Sprint , Sprint & Olympic distance tri with what was billed as a ‘flat sea, undulating bike, & testing run. Setting up for a camping weekend when you are recovering from Covid wasn’t Vanessa Green’s ideal preparation. However Vanessa reports on her race that wasn’t actually a Triathlon!!

“I headed down to do the West bay triathlon in Dorset… it was changed to a duathlon late Saturday night due to the thunder winds and rain.. but was perfect conditions on the Sunday morning!. The race was well organised and despite still feeling the effects of Covid, I managed to complete and enjoy it.



This week we have another parkrun location to tick off as ‘a Tuff woz ere’, as Colin & Sue Simpson ran Havant parkrun which is held at Staunton Country Park. Well done to Colin on his 184th PR & Sue her 147th. They both stopped off at Chichester lake for a swim on the way home.

With no parkrun at Bognor this week Littlehampton parkrun had a strong turnout. This did not deter Steve Fryer who crossed 11th overall in 20:04. Kev Pearson was next home followed 5 seconds later by Rick Budd. Jenny Oliver completed her 31st parkrun with Alistair Evans completing his 88th. Nick Hartfield was on the organising team.

Worthing parkrun saw Ed Lay complete his 93rd parkrun crossing in 25:09. Elaine Rousseau completed her 130th PR.

Chichester parkrun saw Emily Moore in action as she crossed the line at her 128th parkrun. Emily was first female (again) in a time of 21:18