Club NewsFeaturedGalleryNew

Weekend Round Up 30th Dec 1st Jan

Whilst our regular track and pool swims were curtailed by venues early closing, there has been no let up in Tuffs getting out and about racing, training, and yet more having a seasonal dip at various New Year’s day sea swims. From the 2nd January the Tuff programme returns to normal but until then we can report on the following:-

Staged by Sussex Trail Events including two of the directors who are our very own Tuffs – Danny Cunnett & Jay McCardle, the Darklink was a great event from their portfolio of races. Not only was the race another success, it was lauded as being very inclusive with the split between genders exactly 50/50.

As everyone registered at the side of the River Adur there was a very chilly wind but with forecasts predicting ‘rain later’ the race concluded in the dry and once started, and out of the wind, it was very mild.

A key draw is the ability to entice runners away from the Christmas nibbles before New Year, which successfully saw a high number of Tuffs signing up. Unfortunately the various bugs/Covid/illness doing the rounds meant three of our squad had to withdraw but that still saw Tuffs comprising 8% of the finishers.

With photo credit to Sussex Trail Events for the great photo above, you will see despite the Christmas excesses, the starting gun saw runners speed off. Nicely positioned was Jon Babbage on the course up the Downslink route. After a loop across the river towards Bramber, runners returned across the river heading south to the finish line. Jon Babbage was still going strong and was our first runner home in 46:11. Not only was Jon proud of being first Tuff home, he was equally proud of being the first runner out of the entire field to make it back to unofficial race HQ in the Amsterdam Pub! (see picture at the end of this Round Up !) Stuart Harvey was next, running strongly to get two of our club under the 50 minute timespan. Adrian Oliver was our next runner and then there was a steady flow of Tuffs crossing the line.

Ed Lay had a strong time who was followed by Andy Gomm. Glenn Parisi was just beaten on the line by Gommy. They were followed home by Trevor Harvey & Sue Neilson. Ness Green, Sheila Bailey, and Vicki Hedger were next to follow. Nina Tully and Shelley Babbage ran, as did Clive Harvey who was pacing his daughter. Jenny Oliver and Kate Evans completed the Tuff crew who also had equal representation of Gents v Ladies.

A superb bit of bling with many meeting in the pub, rounded off a great evening’s race. A recommended event which is always oversubscribed.

With Arundel Lido heating their pool for the Christmas period, Tuff Fitty usually try to hire a Tuff slot and this year a lunchtime swim was booked. This enabled those who wanted, to race HangOver 5 or squeeze in a parkrun first. The session proved very popular although towards the end of the session the forecast rain swept in. However as the pool was heated, it was best to stay in!

Whilst some photos are usually taken, thanks go to Trevor Harvey for taking his waterproof camera with some different snaps in the album below:-


The traditional New Year’s Day HangOver 5 is the first race in the West Sussex Fun Run League. Usually very muddy and if you were looking for such conditions it was the place to be. The route comprises a hilly climb up to Cissbury Ring and back around the edge of the golf course.

With 472 juniors and seniors finishing, the course was getting nicely churned up but this didn’t deter some strong Tuff running. There was a close match as to who would be the first Tuff with Mark Walford finishing in 37:48 with Simon Thistlethwaite in 38:03. Steve Fryer ran well in 40:50.

Colin Simpson was our next finisher, then Mark Sole who was closely followed across the line by Kate Cooper. Ness Green, Vicki Hedger & Chris Evans completing the Tuff Nine. Also in attendance on the marshalling side were Sue Pinky & Steve Feest

The photo album is below (click on image to access) with thanks to Sue Pinky & Sue Simpson

DSC_0002 - Copy

Brutal running events state ‘Tough off road running featuring water, mud, hills & more! They stage 8 events a year and this last race saw Leah Simms, Paul & Karly Martin enter. Leah has reported in and after reading her report if you are inspired, there are two in Bordon (august & November) and Leah’s event 28th December.

“I had received a message on 22nd December asking if I had signed up for the Brutal Run on Saturday 30th. I’m usually away in the last week of December so date depending I’m always a last minute sign up. 

This year it had temporarily moved to Bagshot, Surrey from its usual Longmoor military training camp. Options of one or two laps, (each lap was 5 miles). 

Paul and Karly Martin and I plus a couple of friends braved the winter wet weather for what I would call a ‘fun run’. Waist height water, endless mud and hideous hill climbs  and lots of laughter to be guaranteed. Brutal Run is kind of a like or loathe moment for some. I wouldn’t say it was an event if you wanted to get your 5 mile PB and stay clean and dry!  As always what was promised was delivered and i’m glad I stuck to the 1 lap. I just would have liked a bit more mud to wade through. Next year it moves back to Longmoor”

The camaraderie between members is always good to see, but Simon Thistlethwaite took this to a new level with two generous initiatives he promoted over Christmas.

The first initiative saw Simon undertaking a 5K run before Christmas. Members were asked to submit what they thought Simon’s predicted time would be. Who was closest to his time would win a 50% off code for a new pair of trainers from Runners Need. Jon Babbage was just 3 seconds outside Simon’s rapid run time of 18:51 and gained the half price trainers. Tiff Orton was the runner up 5 seconds adrift.

The second competition from Simon asked members to lace up their trainers and go for a 10K run on New Year’s day. Those who successfully covered the distance had their names go into a hat. The independent adjudicator – Millie, Simon’s daughter, drew out Glenn Parisi as the winner of a Halo Go dash cam.

Thanks to Simon for involving all members with the above, much appreciated.


We start at Worthing parkrun where Edward Lay hit another milestone as he completed his 150th parkrun, 121 of these have been at Worthing. Phil Turner was next on pacing duties. Les Pearce was present on the volunteering team

Across at Littlehampton parkrun Simon Grundy was first Tuff home for a second week in a time of 20:31 – which was 13th overall. Great running from Steve Fryer placed him just 7 seconds behind in 20:38 – 16th overall. Steve Bridgeman was next and then Chris Evans who shaved 12 seconds off his PB.

Bognor parkrun saw Colin Simpson finish with a very strong age grading score. Jason Rae was running after last week acting as Race Director to clock up his 136th parkrun. Sue Simpson was next and Claire Luckham completed the Tuff quartet.

There was some parkrun tourism as follows:-

Fraser Kidd ran at Dinton Pastures parkrun at Wokingham which comprises a two lap course around a lake.

Further across the country at Cirencester parkrun, Clive Patterson-Lett was 8th overall in 22:25 – a great time considering the 3 lap course was very muddy. Tiff Orton was next with Nicole Patterson-Lett

Up at Crawley there is the Ifield Mill Pond parkrun. We had a Tuff quartet here; Andy Gomm was our first runner across the line. Andy was followed by Glenn Parisi, Clive Harvey & Trevor Harvey

Alistair Evans ran at Itchen Valley Country parkrun in Southampton. Whilst a one lap course it was very technical with lots of turns. This accrued Al’s 28th different parkrun.

Well done to all Twenty

Worthing parkrun had the largest Tuff turnout; What a way to start the New Year as Alex Webb stormed home in 7th position overall in just 18:32 to secure a new PB. The good news didn’t stop there with Dave March finishing in just 20:18. Then Edward Lay crossed in 22:39 good times along the prom. Just one minute later Andy Gomm finished to smash his PB. Tiff Orton was our first female Tuff to finish, and then it was Glenn Parisi’s turn to smash his PB here. Trevor Harvey kept the Tuff names across the line. Nina Tully finished her 26th parkrun around this course and then Kate Evans completed her 55th parkrun and Elaine Rousseau completed her 166th. Well done to the terrific ten.

Across in Hotham Park, Nathan Bilham was our representative at Bognor Parkrun taking his total runs up to 116. Claire Luckham was also present ahead of crossing over to Arundel for the Lido swim.

Andover parkrun was the venue of choice for Alistair Evans which comprises a fast and flat two lap course. Al notched up his 29th different parkrun location amongst his 156 total.

Well done to all thirteen

So , you have one eye on the races you will undertake in 2024; so what’s next? Get the kit that simply oozes ‘street cred’ – Tuff Fitty gear. Prior to the Thursday swim on the 25th January at 7pm we have the room booked at The Wave opposite reception. Champion Systems will be present where you can find out about the full range of kit on offer from them. Most will be aware we have the traditional Tuff Blue colourway or perhaps you prefer pink, or even what is jokingly called our ‘away kit’ – white. As you have read above, Jon Babbage was pleased to be the first runner out of 200 into the pub at Darklink and he nicely models a top below 🙂

One of the biggest worries is ‘what size am I’ so what better than to come along and try for size before ordering. Are you racing triathlon – tick, running, tick, kit for all disciplines are covered. What we have currently in stock will also be on show, plus some Zone 3 kit, so definitely worth a visit, you may just pick up a bargain. Come just for the kit viewing or combine with a Thursday swim at 8pm