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Weekend Round Up 1st 2nd October

Pull up a chair for this read, as there is still no let up in the amazing achievements by Tuffs :-


Definitely an event to add to your bucket list – the London Marathon was being held in October for the last time before reverting to its traditional April slot in 2023. In amongst the 42,000 participants we were pleased to see four Tuffs running. Our runners take centre stage in this weeks banner shot above from left to right, Elaine Rousseau, Olivia Morey & Gareth Coombes crossing Tower Bridge & Shelley Babbage and each have summarised their race as follows:-

First up a report from Shelley Babbage


“So a lot of you know I got a place for London through the MPS society a charity that helps support families across the UK affected by the rare life-limiting condition. I cared for a lovely boy called William who was affected by Hurlers condition sadly he passed away at the young age of 13!!! I wanted to raise as much as I could for this charity!!! Jon and I arrived in London on the Saturday and went straight to the Excel to collect my number, the reality kicked in then!! This was actually happening tomorrow it’s not going to be cancelled I was doing it!!! We found our hotel at the docklands and was greeted by a fat brown rat in the carpark!!! Nice!!! It was ok we were on floor 4 , rats cannot use lifts!! We went for dinner that evening and were sat in a row of 4 tables and one person from each of these 4 tables were running the marathon!! I was talking to the lady next to me and she said she couldn’t speak about the marathon without crying, I knew exactly how she felt!!!”

“The day arrived, we paid for breakfast at the hotel it looked lovely unfortunately I could only stomach 1 piece of toast!! We made our way to the start line at Blackheath, I honestly cannot believe the amount of people I saw all making their way to the start!! Scary stuff!!! Found my wave and went to queue for the loo, luckily Elaine spotted me in the queue for the men’s urinals, not one men thought to tell me I was in the wrong queue, typical!!! It was so nice to see Elaine she told where I needed to go and what I needed to do, definitely helped to calm my nerves!! We then said our goodbyes and off we went to our start waves!! The marathon was everything I thought it would be long and painful, lol, but it was amazing!!!! So pleased to see Karly and Leah but again the emotion got the better of me and I was crying again!!! Flipping heck!!! So I decided that’s it no more tears get this done, and that’s what I did!! Managed to see Jon twice!! Saw 3 policemen at mile 24 and they said only 3 miles to go, ha funny, the girl next to me said it looked like I wanted to punch them, it did cross my mind!!! Made it to the finish line had arranged to meet Jon at horseguards at the letter W for William as that is what the day was about!! Shame it was the furthest point away!! London was amazing and I could not have done it without the support of my amazing husband Jon who always supports me with whatever I do!! Thank you Jon!! Also could not have done it without the support of our lovely club and all your generous donations. Thank you so much


Next Olivia Morey’s view of the event:-


“From start to finish, the atmosphere of the London Marathon 2022 was nothing short of phenomenal. The spectators brought an incredible amount of energy that undoubtedly made the experience and spurred us all along. There was plentiful of cheers, food/fluid offerings as well as entertainment; standouts included the reverberating sound of drums being played underneath a tunnel, the brass band playing Dancing Queen outside a pub and the bagpipers in their kilts saluting us as we stomped past. It was 13 months since I last ran a marathon, and was thrilled to have shaved 57 minutes off my previous time! An experience I certainly won’t forget and would whole heartedly recommend to anyone wanting a new challenge”.


And then Gareth Coombes thoughts:-

Gareth & Olivia

“Having dedicated Sundays to long training runs and ice baths we felt ready for the London Marathon 2022. But nothing prepared us for the incredible atmosphere and support, running alongside other dedicated runners and the even more dedicated spectators made all the difference when the 23mile mark came into view and it felt like the only option was to stop running. Hearing the cheers of encouragement from the crowd, the drums beating on the side-lines, and the pats on the back from runners going past helped get us to the finish line.

An absolutely incredible event and an experience that I wont forget”.


Elaine Rousseau :-


“Wow – TCS London Marathon was everything I’ve been dreaming of for the last 11 years and it didn’t disappoint.  It was great to see Shelley at the start.  Bag drop, toilet stop and water collection was really smooth and then we sat down waiting for our separate waves to start.  Was all going so well (if you discount going off a bit fast but at this point I felt comfortable).  Until the heat got to me – felt really sick from about mile 16 until I started pouring water over my head.  Started to feel a bit better by about 21/22 but still could only really walk.  A marathon of two halves quite literally but I have fulfilled a lifetimes dream and that is going nowhere.  It was great to see Leah, Jenny(work colleague), Jon B and of course my daughter Lilly who spotted me out on course they were always in the right places just when I needed them.


L to R : Esther Fair. Hazel Tuppen, Kate Cooper, Steve Fryer, Richard Jay, Mark Walford, Simon Thistlethwaite, Les Pearce Jon Cassell, Adrian Oliver and Alex Webb


Whilst our club have competed in the Cross Country League for many years, this was our first foray into the Cross Country Relays. Thanks to Captain Adrian Oliver for reporting in. Whilst Adrian explains the Tuff turnout, kudos to Kate Evans who also participated for her running club:-

Summer is over, triathlons completed – it can only mean one thing – CROSS COUNTRY SEASON HAS STARTED!

To gently transition ourselves into full Cross Country Season mode which starts properly on Saturday 15th October, 11 brave Tuffs (and not-yet-fully-signed-up Tuff) entered the Sussex Cross Country Relay Races at Goodwood on Saturday 1st October.  Instead of the usual mass start, the format was teams of 3 ladies and 4 men around the same 4km (actually 3.8km) course.

Having met up and gathered around the Tuff flag (sunny warm weather did not warrant the Tuff gazebo), first up were the ladies consisting of Esther Fair, Hazel Tuppen and Kate Cooper.  As usual the young gazelles shot off across the Goodwood savanna at lightning speed in hot pursuit by Esther who completed her 3.8km lap in an impressive 18:18.  Handing over to Hazel who was a last minute stand-in, she completed her lap in 20:52.  She then handed over to Kate who completed her lap in 19:48, giving our ladies Tuff team 6th place overall in the V35 teams in a total of 58:58.  FYI the fastest ladies lap was completed in 14:24!!  That’s 3:47m/km on a hilly cross country course!!

Next up were the men on the same 3.8km route.  Distracted once again by the captain’s chocolates, the 2 mens Tuff teams eventually lined up to the starter’s gun.  And the stallions were off galloping across Goodwood.  Despite best efforts to stay in contact with the leaders who completed their lap in an amazing 11:40 (3:04m/km!!), our youth team led by Mark Walford completed his lap in 15:12 to hand over to Jon CassellJon fought valiantly to come in with 15:22 to hand over to Alex Webb who completed his in 15:52.  Alex handed over to Simon Thistlethwaite for the final lap in 15:18, placing our Senior Tuff team in 13th place.  As Simon crossed the finishing line the timing marshal informed him that had Mark being a year older to push them into the V40 category, their team would have placed 3rd!  That is, had our youth Tuff team not being technically disqualified for not all wearing the same Tuff tops…”oh – didn’t you read the England Athletics rules on relay races?  You ALL need to wear EXACTLY the same club kit…”

Meanwhile, our “more mature” V50 men’s team (plus young “guest”) did their best to compensate for Stephen Fryer‘s impressive 16:50 lap (he did run a sub 20 minute Littlehampton ParkRun in the morning!) with Adrian Oliver‘s 17:28, Les Pearce‘s 19:41, and new guy Richard Jay in 19:39, giving them 7th place.  Richard had only come to track for the first time 3 days before – before he had time to think he had already been signed up for the cross country!  Pleased to say that he did actually come back to track the following week!

We all thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon of sprinting on the dry trails and eating captain’s chocolate, so much so we all agreed to be back in 2 weeks with LOTS of friends for the 1st of the Sussex Cross Country League series on Saturday 15th October at Goodwood once again.  The format – ladies run 3 miles (~5km) and men 5 miles (~8km).

Looking forward to seeing you on the 15th October!

Ladies V35Esther Fair: 18:18Hazel Tuppen: 20:53Kate Cooper: 19:48n/a6th (out of 8)
Men SeniorMark Walford: 15:38Jon Cassell: 15:22Alex Webb: 15:52Simon Thristlewaite: 15:1813th (out of 16)
Men V50Stephen Fryer: 16:50Adrian Oliver: 17:28Les Pearce: 19:41Richard Jay: 19:397th (out of 8)


Click on the photo below to access the full album:-



Ian & Leigh Moore have just returned from the resort of Las Playitas on the island of Fuerteventura. The you tube after Ian’s write up shows the beauty and storms that were encountered over this amazing adventure: –

Leigh and I entered the HMDS Fuerteventura about a year ago thinking we’d have loads of time to train, but then we moved house, got Covid and the training never really happened. It was supposed to be 4 days self supported with three stages of racing, with options on one stage as to the distance you fancied”.

“Unfortunately a tropical storm hit the Canary Islands the day before the race started so a quick rethink by the organisers was required. They managed to find two new stages( the 3rd was still ok ) but the location they were planning to use for the camp was under water. This meant we had to return to the hotel each night rather than to a small tent – shame ! Due to our lack of training we decided to walk the stages which totalled about 50 miles over sand and rock. It was great to spend a week at the Las Playitas resort and would recommend the event to anyone wanting to do a multi stage race”.



The 25th staging of the Founder Challenge which covers 19 or 30 miles. The event is mostly off-road, on good footpaths and tracks. It takes place in the Surrey Hills. Geordie Paul Atkinson was our participant on the long course covering 33 miles and 4,000ft of climbing. Many would view this as an ‘A race’ in itself, but for Paul, this was considered a warm up for this years Atlantic Coastal Challenge from Friday to Sunday – Good luck


Another week and another podium from Niki Treacy. This week it was at the Thruxton Motor circuit in Hampshire where the venue served as qualifiers for both the world sprint and standard distance Duathlon qualifiers. The distances were Run 1 = 3.8 km (1 lap), Bike  = 19 km and Run 2 = 3.8 km to finish. Niki reports:-

I find running the most painful part of any multisport event, so in a moment of temporary insanity, I pressed ‘enter’ for the Thruxton duathlon. It’s only a sprint though, so how painful can that be? Plus, it’s a qualifier for the 2023 world champs, so yeah, let’s ‘ave it !

Last year I did the cross-country races for the first time, and wow, they are like a 100m race, only they last for 4k. Would Thruxton be as mental. Hell yes! .. it’s fair to say the pace was crazy from the gun and didn’t let up until the finish line. 

The race was properly hard and I was pleased to see the finish line! But I’m chuffed with the result; 1st lady 50-60, 14th female overall, and a spot in the Gb team for the world Sprint duathlon champs 2023 (that’s a good thing, right?😂).    P.s. It’s in Ibiza, Partaaay!


Sheila & Tiff


Held twice a year in May & October at Nutbourne Vineyard with a civilised start time of 11am. The undulating off road course requests participants to complete as many laps as you want within a 2.5 hour time limit. Wine, hot drink and cake were received by Tiff Orton and Sheila Bailey with Tiff reporting in:-

“Whilst eating breakfast on a lazy Sunday morning, I received a text from Sheila asking if I’d step in to run the Pulborough vineyard run with her. What else was I going to do on a rainy Sunday morning?!!

“The race is very laid back and consists of as many (or as few) 2.5km laps as you like. Sheila had completed 4 last year so we aimed for 5 laps. Started in the rain but it didn’t take long for the sun to come out. Another medal in the bag and a nice coffee and flapjack/brownie to finish. 5 laps done as well so mission accomplished.



We had thirty three Tuffs present at a scheduled curry night at So India. It was a great evening, with good company, good food and a ‘few’ beers. A big thanks from those who attended to Jon Babbage who organised the evening; well done Jonny B. Our curry night was the night a year ago before news broke of the passing of our dear friend and fellow Tuff Joe Pascoe so it was timely to raise a glass to absent friends.



We start at Worthing parkrun where Steve Fryer was first Tuff home in 19:45, strong running ahead of the afternoon’s Cross Country race. Ed Lay was next on his 101st parkrun in 22:18. Next home saw a great result from Mark Sole shaving 24 seconds off his PB to finish in 23:45. Les Pearce completed his 170th PR, another one who used parkrun as a warm up for the afternoon’s XC. Sheila Bailey was also raced twice this weekend, completing before her Sunday race.

Littlehampton parkrun saw Steve Bridgeman run. Richard Budd was our next runner home, pacing his wife around this two lap course. Next up congratulations to Alistair Evans on his great achievement on completing his 100th parkrun. Nick Hartfield was on the organising team

Maidenhead parkrun saw Trevor Harvey do the double as he was on the organising team this week setting up and then ran the two lap Bray nature reserve course.

Hove Promenade parkrun had Dave March flying the Tuff flag in style crossing the line in 22:00 around another two lap course.

More parkrun tourism as Emily Vaz ran at Lancing Green parkrun produced a stunning run to finish first overall in 20:23 – that was a clear 13 seconds ahead of the second placed runner.

Adding to their incredible haul of different parkruns completed; Colin & Sue Simpson claimed another venue this week at Ifield Mill pond parkrun . The course is on the outskirts of Crawley, comprising two and a bit loops around Ifield Mill Pond. This was Colin’s 196th and Sue’s 159th PR

Well done to all fourteen