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Weekend Round Up 27th 28th August

It may have been the bank holiday weekend; but that hasn’t stopped a further collection of great achievements recorded in another bumper Round Up. This still leaves a long distance run from a Tuff duo to report on.


By far the largest team; 11% of the field, it was a fantastic Tuff contingent that gathered in Arundel Park by Hiorne Tower for the start of the Arundel 10k, a race which has been running for over 30 years. Several of the squad were in attendance despite having aching limbs from the Top Tuff performances at the previous day’s Dragon Boat racing; both part of the Arundel Festival programme.

The start is now permanently in Arundel Park rather than the town. This provides more space to park and form up, with the course taking in much of Tuff Fitty’s ‘backyard’ taking in the undulations so familiar to our Saturday morning runners. The 10k has the added bonus of running across the drawbridge and into the castle as permitted by the Duke of Norfolk.

Whilst such a large squad, it was a case of quantity AND quality with some terrific club performances. Mark Walford was 4th runner home overall in 40:23, a notable time over such an undulating course. Gareth Coombes was 8th overall in 41:27. Marc Flinders was 13th in 43:25. This was a particularly impressive performance from Arundel man Marc as he has not been getting much sleep of late following the birth of daughter Storm Flinders on the 19th August. Congratulations to Marc & wife Moona Flinders from us all.

23 seconds behind was Oliver Thomas, 15th position overall, (43:48) 16th position was taken by Emily Vaz (43:54). This was a further good result from Emily as she was third female overall. 17th position saw Simon Thistlethwaite over the line in 43:55 – that was three consecutive Tuffs within 7 seconds and 6 club members in the top 17 – awesome work..

The good news didn’t end there as Andy Crawford finished 5th in his age group, strong running after his workout in the Dragon boat the day before. Adrian Oliver had another strong run finishing in 47:38 just ahead of Tom Frith with Adrian splitting these two Arundel based Tuffs as there was just 28 seconds between the three of them.

Jon Babbage was our next Tuff home followed by Malcolm Brown to round off eleven Tuffs in the top fifty. The good news continued; Spencer Scott & Paul Martin, followed by Olivia Morey running well, just outside the top ten ladies. Kate Cooper finished 5th in her age category. Amy Flinders was next home followed by Graham Liddell, Jessica Coombes, Callum Kalbfell & Catharine Western. Some of the spectators commented on how so many Tuffs were running; Leah Simms was next home & thanks to Leah we have her thoughts on the event below. Janet Shepherd and Kev Pearson were next; James Brock, Alistair Evans, Claire Moyle and Karly Martin completed our runners.

That was a superb TWENTY SEVEN Tuffs running. Thanks go to Niki Treacy who attended to be chief Tuff cheerleader and take some of the photos with Clive Harvey who was race director for the morning.

Some clubs had targeted the event with Seaford Striders hiring a coach to travel across and as usual there was a strong showing from Tone Zone Runners. However Tuff Fitty saw it’s first four members home in a total time of just 3 hours 28 minutes, ahead of Tone Zone by 18 minutes with Dorking & Mole Valley third. Congratulations to all Tuffs for contributing to a great morning; particularly our first four Mark, Gareth, Marc & Oliver – Tuff Fitty TEAM CHAMPIONS regaining the team title we relinquished last year.

Leah’s report:-

“I was a last minute entry to the race as I heard it was a good one. Albeit a route change this year. It’s been a while since I’ve raced on the trails and wow didn’t my body know it. It was hot and hilly but the beautiful views were worth it. I promised myself that I wouldn’t walk the hills so, slow and steady up I climbed, I did it but, the heat eventually got me. The last 1.5 miles was tough and I spent a lot of that trying to convince my mind that I was nearly at the finish line. All considered I’m pleased that I managed a sub 1hr run”.


Run into the Castle Grounds
Click on the above picture to view the album


Post Covid, it has been great to stage our STRUN again, the Summer Tuff Run Series enables runners to encourage each other out and we have seen great camaraderie and some exceptionally close racing.

Held over five set venues, participants could choose their best three scores across Littlehampton parkrun, Beat The Tide, Dawn on The Downs, Worthing parkrun and Arundel 10k. With times graded against gender and age the final positions were all up for grabs at Arundel.

Les Pearce had been leading the table after four events but not being available this weekend a strong run from Mark Walford saw him become our champion for 2022. Simon Thistlethwaite had been in second and has been a real force pushing hard throughout the season, but had to settle for second position overall. Les Pearce finished third overall and Janet Shepherd fourth. These four topped 200 points with several close behind. Kudo to Janet Shepherd and Claire Moyle as the only two to complete all five races. The final table is here

Tuff The Magic Dragon, (in blue naturally) lead Blazing Paddles


Tuff Fitty had entered, and achieved, some notable results when the Dragon Boat race was last held in 2019. Should Tuffs enter again? Oh yes, said Graham Liddell who became a ‘Tour de Force’ for organising the event. With the start adjacent to the Town Quay by the Edible Sandwich Company a great day was had by the participants as Nancy Liddell ‘paddles’ her way through the day in the following report:-

“17 Tuffs took part in the Dragon Boat Racing on Saturday 27th August as part of Arundel Festival”.

“Each boat has 16 paddlers and a drummer and there were 17 boats in total taking part”.

Tuff the Magic Dragon was made up of Graham Liddell, Catharine Western, Andy Crawford, Mark Walford, Clare Worgan, Tom Goddard, Michael Barrett, Dom Amey, Sheila Bailey, Claire Moyle, Wendy Frost, Hazel Tuppen, Spencer Scott, Michael Redgrave, & Nancy Liddell. Fran, Clare’s sister, took the place of Simon T who sadly had to miss it. We had another family connection Gill McLean, Catharine’s Mum, as our very able drummer. Thank you, Gill! She also carried our mascot wooden duck kindly donated by Jon and Shelley Babbage back in 2019. Many thanks to Wendy for providing our blue bandanas and face paints! Also to our supporters including Tom Frith in his kayak on the river”.

Emma Hinton and Kate Evans also took part in our arch-rival boat Blazing Paddles together with a large contingent from Worthing Rowing Club all wearing red T shirts and cowboy hats”.

“Some Tuffs had already taken part in the Saturday morning Arundel run and stayed on for the racing. All Tuffs were there bright and early but there was a very long wait before the river was raceable, with large clumps of seaweed flying by upstream”.

“Finally, we were underway with our first heat with, yes you guessed it, Blazing Paddles v Tuff the Magic Dragon. Tuff the Magic Dragon triumphed by a very narrow margin but as we were the third heat the earlier crews inevitably had faster times due to that incoming tide.  This competition favours whoever has the best of the tide but it didn’t stop us all from trying and having fun!”

Tuff the Magic Dragon also won their 2nd heat against A Big Gust of Wind and made it to one of the finals against three other crews including their nemesis Blazing Paddles again!  By then the tide had turned and we were fighting it paddling back on a shorter course assisted by a few beers some had taken earlier. Well, it was a rather long warm day! Tuff the Magic Dragon pipped Blazing Paddles by the narrowest of margins but sadly neither team made it through to the major final which was won by Usain Boat. Tuff the Magic Dragon came 7th out of 17 and Blazing Paddles came 8th.”

“The Hero of the Day award goes to Tom Goddard who saved Nancy from a nasty fall back into the boat at the end of the day. Thank you again Tom!”

“After that the Tuffest of the Tuffs went on to the Tuff Saturday swim and the rest of us adjourned to the Arundel Tennis Club BBQ for a very civilised end to the day. Kudos to those who then made it around the Arundel 10k on Sunday morning although I understand that some of their times may not have been quite what they would normally achieve!”

Graham Liddell is keen to arrange this again next year when it should fall on the day of his 60th birthday. But we do need to get the tide fixed for then!”


Dragon 4
For photos and a short video click on the above


After the Bosphorous swim last week, Tuffs continue with amazing swims as Susan Douglas reports from her adventure across to the Isle of Wight

“Saturday, after many years of wanting to do it, I swam to the Isle of Wight”.

“Organised in aid of Wessex Cancer Trust, you had to raise at least £250 to take part”.

“Just 20 swimmers split in to two groups. We were all allocated our own kayaker and we set off from the Life Boat Station at Stokes Bay, Gosport, destination the beach by Ryde Pier. The sun was shining and the sea calm and warm, conditions couldn’t have been any better”.

“Swim was going well, brief stop to let the ferry pass, it looked so big. For a moment I thought we were going to run the gauntlet as we started off again while it was still headed our way! Fortunately others knew better than me and it had passed by safely and we weren’t sucked into the bow. Soon we were whizzing along, next obstacle small cargo ship, I thought at first is wasn’t moving, but soon it passed, or did it, turns out it was an optical illusion due to the speed of the tide and it was stationary after all. Although everything had been meticulously planned the tide was stronger than anticipated, so our route was pushed to the right of the pier and not the beach on the left. After some heavy going, with “are we nearly there yet” going though my mind eventually we reached the side of the pier and clambered out! There a waiting  boat whisked us back to Stokes Bay where we were met by applause from the people waiting on the beach!”

“A tough but very satisfying swim”.


Nathan Bilham


Dorney Lake at Windsor was the setting for a multisport festival covering Triathlons and Aquabikes, both over Sprint and Standard Distance and 5k 10k & Half marathon runs. Nathan Bilham took part as he continues his build up to Weymouth 70.3 in three weeks time. Racing standard distance This swim followed a 750m loop before taking to the cycling course along the left side of the lake 8 laps and finishing with a flat run up and down the right side of the lake. 2 laps (1,500m/40km/10k). Nathan reports:-

“I thought I should get another test run in before Weymouth! I did the Olympic Distance in 2:58:25, really happy with my result as I was going at the pace I am aiming for Weymouth and felt good at the end.  It was nice seeing Trevor Harvey marshalling (it’s a small world!)”


Claire having completed the full STRUN series


Being a Tuff isn’t just about having a good time with like-minded people, its can be a great way to help work towards individual goals. In this regard we have received an inspirational report from Claire Moyle:-

“This years challenges are complete, nearly! I decided that due to the lack of training time I would target some different areas. So this year’s challenges were 1. Become a Technical Official completion date 11th September- this has been an amazing journey and a massive learning curve but I have absolutely loved it. Targeting a range of events that I might like to compete in in the future, I shadowed other officials and took on roles at each event learning on the job and I now feel confident and ready to do the role.

2. Overcome my fear of sea swimming and not getting anywhere. This I achieved fully in last week’s Swimmers Revenge. I always struggle with panic breathing and then not feeling strong enough to swim against the current which causes further panic, so this year I have been working on going in the sea more often and swimming to a fixed point against the current; however long it takes. Knowing that I can achieve this has helped with the breathing and reduce the panic, so Swimmers Revenge was the challenge. Could I do it when racing, have failed in the relay event in April. Lessons learnt don’t rush into the water, forget what the others are doing, focus on your breathing pattern. Well it paid off, swum to buoy and back, sighting needs work on. Run and back in; wow I can do this with no panicking or breathing problems. Sea triathlon is now on the cards.

3. Enter run races as I always opt out of run training if I can. STRun 2022 gave me the incentive to commit to running and today I completed all 5. This in itself is amazing as I don’t run hills and some of these races definitely had some hills in them. I have really enjoyed these events as the support is amazing so thank you.



A cause for celebration at Worthing parkrun as Ed Lay completed his 100th parkrun to earn his black ‘100’ T-shirt. He also finished as first Tuff home in 22:56. Just behind there was a great PB from Jo Baldwin who shaved 18 seconds off her parkrun record finishing in 23:11. Phil Turner was also running well finishing in 23:23 with Les Pearce in the mix in 23:45 for his 167th parkrun. Great to see James Oram back on the parkrun scene for his 123rd parkrun.

Bognor parkrun saw one of their Race directors Jason Rae back in Hotham Park as he completed his 118th run, Charlotte Pryer completed her fourth run with Nathan Bilham completing the trio here on his 82nd run before his Triathlon the next day.

LIttlehampton parkrun saw Kev Pearson back on pacing duties as he guided a colleague to a new PB of 22:14. Richard Budd wasn’t far behind in 22:58. Emily Vaz ran, also on pacing duties for her 136th. Linda Wright was next on her home parkrun and Nick Hartfield was on the organising team.

Maidenhead parkrun saw Trevor Harvey complete his two lap off road course for his 51st run.

A special anniversary at Lancing Green parkrun as it was their 4th anniversary. Elaine Rousseau was there to join in the fun (with cake) particularly as she has completed 14 of her 137 parkruns here.

Keeping up with the summer ‘parkrun tourism’ good to see Steve Fryer at Killerton parkrun. This is a one lap course around Killerton National Trust estate, Broadclyst, Exeter, Devon. Steve was 11th overall in an excellent 20:48 on his 5th run around this course.

Well done to all sixteen.