Into December and Winter is starting to make it’s mark, although it didn’t detract from the following Tuff action.
It has proved difficult to muster Tuffs for the Cross Country this year but we are really indebted to Adrian Oliver who has acted tirelessly again this year keeping the membership informed and cajoling participants. The early afternoon start time proves difficult to fit around peoples Saturday commitments, but the resolve of two flying the Tuff flag this time was particularly notable.
After so much rain the sun did make an appearance with the organisers describing the course as “having long grass underfoot and some heavy patches of boggy mud, conditions were just as they should be for cross country running”. Well that was before the total of over 680 runners had churned the course up and with the senior men last to go the course had become very slippery, and despite the sun, it was very cold.
Our two stalwarts were Simon Thistlethwaite and Adrian Oliver. A huge thanks to Simon as he is such a huge supporter of Tuff’s cross country effort. This was so evident this time as he raced over to register straight from work and then dashed off afterwards to complete further work. He was clearly in a hurry as not only was he first Tuff home in a strong time, he sped off without taking the traditional Captain’s chocolate – that is unheard of! Adrian was also running strongly which ensured Tuffs are still in the league, just behind Run Academy. Unfortunately our ladies team slipped down the league due to commitments keeping runners away.
Also running was Steve Feest flying his running club colours. Completing the Tuff foursome was Colin Simpson running for Phoenix. Colin did well finishing second in his age group despite taking a tumble on a downhill section with Colin covered in mud and reporting it was cold. (That’s a good warm up for his 10k the next day!).
Entries are now open for the final fixture of the league which is being held at Little Common Bexhill. Unusually there isn’t so much gap to the final fixture with Bexhill scheduled for Saturday January 6th – The same afternoon as Tuff’s swim Power Hour!. entry HERE
Back at Goodwood motor circuit for the third time this year, participants could chose between 5k, 10k, half marathon, 20 mile, marathon & 50k. There were 819 finishers across all distances including Alex Webb & Colin Simpson
Colin raced the 10k doing well considering he was on the start line at the Cross Country the day before. Cheered on by Sue & Diggs, Colin was 1st in his age group.
Alex raced across the half marathon distance doing rather well, and thanks to him for reporting in from a soggy Goodwood circuit.
‘I wanted something to aim for before Christmas to keep my training honest. I started the year with a half marathon (Brighton) so why not finish with one. I was hoping for a clear, bright day like we’d had on the Saturday but alas the weather gods were not kind. It was a very wet day with a stiff breeze. Inspite of that I actually enjoyed the run and felt strong throughout. Not a PB but a nice marker for 2024’.
Sorry my selfie is so miserable! I was a bit cold at the time.
With a choice of distance the Mapledurham run is now in its 8th year with many returning every year despite the intro stating “the route will take you through a variety of muddy paths, woodland trails, private estate roads and across fields and up and down a few hills!!! One of the returning runners was Trevor Harvey who reports as follows:-
“Well winter has certainly arrived – and so on Sunday I awoke to scape ice off my car before driving to the Mapledurham 10 miler, (based slightly east of Reading). As I arrived, the heavens opened and so it was a true trail run, (which includes the nicknamed ‘Tourette’s Hill’) and as such, it was more a test of staying upright through ice, mist, puddles & thick mud! I did manage to stay vertical for the whole of an enjoyable race. I was rewarded with a stonking medal, (an engraved metal insert for which to follow), mulled wine and a mince pie. I had competed two years ago, and I did mange to beat that time, although with so many layer the Tuff vest couldn’t be seen! Run by MST Events, there was also a 10 K & Half Marathon.
With plenty of race action occurring, Tuff Fitty’s usual Monday runs, Tuesday Zwift sessions, Wednesday Track, Thursday & Saturday Pool swims continue without much fanfare. However such has been the appalling weather recently of wind, rain, ice, freezing cold, mud, or all of these at once!, that Tuffs Saturday morning runners deserve much Kudos.
Have you tried recently? The meet up is by the lower Castle gates in Mill Road Arundel (Postcode BN18 9PA) ready to canter off at 7:30am. Prior to the start discussions take place as to how far participants wish to run, but the group ensures everyone is welcome and the run is inclusive. The choice of Arundel is deliberate to take advantage of the beautiful terrain of Arundel Park and the South Downs; Oh and a few undulations. Do feel able to bring a dry T-shirts as tradition dictates a warm drink and perhaps, if an appropriate distance has been run, breakfast or cake. Any questions, please ask – the above photo is from this weekends frosty, misty run.
Unfortunately weather conditions struck again after so many recent cancellations with wind and rain. Littlehampton parkrun was deemed too slippery on Saturday morning thwarting some Tuffs who had been ready to attend.
The following did proceed:-
Up at Maidenhead parkrun, Trevor Harvey ran and notched up his 100th parkrun milestone which included 70 run at Maidenhead and alongside this he has amassed many volunteer credits.
Worthing parkrun saw the most Tuffs in attendance with Dave March the first Tuff across the line completing his 60th parkrun. Next home was Ed Lay pushing his total runs up to 146 parkruns. Emma Kuusela was our next runner and then Phil Turner completing our Tuff quartet. Thanks are due to Les Pearce who was on the volunteer roster again as he recovers from injury.
Bognor parkrun continued despite a temperature of minus 3 where Clive Harvey completed the four laps around Hotham Park.
Well done to all seven