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Weekend Round Up 9th 10th December

Another week and more great Tuff action to report on:-

The second race in the ‘Run the Seasons’ portfolio around the Cowdray estate proved another success. This time with a early evening start it was a headtorch run across 5 or 10k with cani-cross options. The course included the illuminated ruins of Cowdray House, but the darkness did not hide some great running from Tuff Fitty. We had two of our roving reporters who have submitted write ups below, but before that a summary of the evenings action:-

In the 10k race there was strong running from Simon Thistlethwaite who was 1st male vet and 4th overall. The 2nd male vet and 6th overall was Dave March. There was a steady stream of Tuffs finishing as Adrian Oliver crossed as 3rd in his age group. Andy Gomm was our next runner followed by Leah Simms. Janet Shepherd returned as 2nd in her age group and Nina Tully completed our illustrious seven.

In the Canicross 10k race Hazel Tuppen crossed as 2nd female

In the 5k run Jenny Oliver was our representative and ensuring there was a club member across all events; Sue Pinky ran the 5k Canicross

In addition to our ten runners, on Team REP’s organising team we had: – well done to Debbie Boxall, Trevor Harvey, Tiff Orton, Jon Roper & Andy Rossiter to make 15 Tuffs in Cowdray Park. Adrian’s report is first followed by Sue’s

“Having been away for the first REP Cowdray Park run, I was looking forward to the December race – plus, being a headtorch winter run, the prospect of running in the snow-covered Sussex countryside was exciting.

Getting to Cowdray proved to be an adventure in itself due to multiple partial and full road closures resulting from recent heavy rain, flooding and crazy drivers.  Although we got to registration on time (just), others were not so fortunate.  As usual, REP accommodated and allowed a late wave start to ensure everyone ran.

The REP team had their challenges that day, repeatedly redesigning the course to bypass the constantly changing flooded landscape. The race started 15 minutes late, and despite being a “much inferior and shorter route” involving out-and-back dead turns, none of us cared – we were so happy to be running around firm trails and paths surrounded by the ever-snaking train of head torches and past the Cowdray ruins, and most importantly, not getting soaked or too muddy (unless you were unfortunate to slip and fall on the approach to the finish…………..(photographic evidence available from Sussex Sports Photographers…).

Despite the lack of snow-covering, I thoroughly enjoyed the run and look forward to the next one in April.

Nina and I arrived quite flustered as I am sure everyone did due to an accident closing the main road into Midhurst, Thankfully Nina was able to find another route using her phone as my satnav kept saying to turn around when possible…… But we got there with 30 mins to spare.

Numbers collected and we met up with most of the other Tuffs that were also running, As I’m recovering from a knee problem, so I knew that I would be walking the majority of the route and made the joke that both Simon and Adrian would both finish the 10k before I completed the 5k……..

During the race briefing we were told that the route had had to be changed last minute due to the river, maps that we’d downloaded to our Garmin’s were useless, mild panic as I knew I’d be at the back with no backup, nightmares of going wrong and getting lost were quickly pushed out of my mind.

The 10k race started with the canicrossers about a minute after and then it was the start for the 5k. Slight downhill start on a very slippery slope, Kylo was not impressed at being made to go “steady” and was champing at the bit to run full pelt. Once of the grass we ran on tarmac for a bit which my knee didn’t like, especially as I was in my hybrid trails. Then onto a narrow path with runners coming straight at me, I walked all of this stretch for safety more than anything as it was so slippy in the bog, sorry mud. 

Once it was just me and Kylo, we started jeffing, 1 min run and 1 min walk. Before I knew it the 10k runners were starting to go past and I heard a shout “keep going Sue” as Leah sped past me and shortly after Adrian, I won my bet! lol

Not far from the finish line Andy ran past me so I thought Id run all the way to the finish, big mistake, the path to the finish was narrow, only wide enough for one person and this is where I did my usual and hit the deck, I was absolutely caked in mud (I jumped in the shower fully clothed it was that bad)!! With someone behind me I had to get moving again quickly and ran gingerly along the rest of the path and over the finish line. 

Another brilliant event where I get to try and do what I love with my boy Kylo

Sussex Trail Events, and our very own Jay McCardle & Danny Cunnett continue to devise some ‘wacky races’ for runners to enjoy. This time for the second and last time, the only marathon in the world held in a museum. Jon and Sam Babbage took up the challenge and thanks to Jon for reporting in:-

Sam & Jon Babbage Danny Cunnett & Jay McCardle

“God knows why I said I’m yes to this one as I hate laps.
“it was the last nIght at the Museum, that Sussex trail events were putting on, so it had to be done.
Shelley and myself had messaged Jay in the week to say we would take a couple of the last places available.
Unfortunately, Shelley was unable to make it due to an incident at work the day before, but this is when Sam stepped up and offered to keep me company for the 2 hour each way drive to Bovington tank museum And said he would do the half option.
I remember me and Sam starting together for all 10 seconds and we lost each other because of the tight turns and narrow paths, I completely underestimated all the turns and laps.
On the first lap Jay said what do you think. I replied this is awesome as there were so many tanks and military things to look at.
After 46 laps and 48 sharp turn per lap I wasn’t saying it was awesome at the end.
I didn’t really see much of Sam, I think the nerves may have got the better of him as he had almost a hour of toilet breaks. Had he not had any toilet breaks he would of been 1st place on the half. This was Sam’s first official half marathon and what a hard one to do as his first.
Once Sam was done I plodded on for another hour thinking do 3 laps then go to the buffet I mean aid station.
All done and completed 4 mins over my estimated time.
So glad to have taken part in another mad idea that Sussex trail events came up with


Yet again the weather had an impact on parkrun locations. Bognor parkrun was cancelled because of standing water and Worthing parkrun was cancelled because of the rain and wind.

Littlehampton parkrun did continue with the video HERE illustrating the poor conditions. Steve Fryer braved the conditions and whilst stating he was disappointed, he still produced a strong run to finish 13th overall. Sue Simpson also ran for her 208th parkrun

Edward Lay travelled to Hove Promenade parkrun to get his run in. Conditions here were also very poor with rough seas adding to the atmosphere but this didn’t deter Ed from achieving a strong age grade percentage.

Trevor Harvey kept himself busy at Maidenhead parkrun. Firstly Trevor took the first timer briefing and then ran, gaining a second volunteer credit for being a guide for a visually impaired runner, who was so pleased, buying Trev coffees afterwards.

For parkrun tourism this week, Alistair Evans was visiting a friend in Portsmouth and decided to fit in Southsea parkrun. The out and back course is along the Eastney Promenade which many Tuffs will be pounding next week for the Portsmouth marathon/half.

Clive Harvey was visiting his daughter in north London and so nipped out, running to and taking part in Gladstone Park parkrun. The rain was torrential here as well and whilst most of the run was on paths, everyone was warned to run through the ankle deep puddles as the mud was so treacherous either side.

Well done to all six

A huge thank you to everyone who has renewed their Tuff Fitty membership for 2024; It is never taken for granted – thank you for agreeing to remain a Tuff. It is appreciated that this is a difficult time of year financially, but don’t forget our loyalty renewal offer. Keen to reward existing members who have enabled our club to remain in a strong position, if people renew their membership before the 31st December then we offer a £5 discount – leaving £35 to pay. Into 2024 then it is asked that the full member renewal fee is paid which is £40. There are already dates for activities being placed into the Tuff diary so we are hoping for another strong year of Tuff activity. In addition, with various discounts, plus the £11 reduction where members are affiliated to British Triathlon your committee believe the subscription is very competitive. We hope you will all wish to remain with our club – thank you.