Another cold snap didn’t stop some great Tuff adventures over the weekend.
Once again, we had the opportunity to gather at the Fox Inn, Patching to warm ourselves in front of their raging fire stove, enjoying beer, food, and, best of all, social chat with our Club Captains and fellow Tuffs, some who we were meeting for the first time,
Many topics were discussed, including plans, aspirations and goals for the coming year.
Mark Sole, our newest Mens Club Captain, reported the following:
“Thanks to everyone who managed too attend, I was surprised there were so many!!! It was really good to catch up with everyone, including new and old members.
For those that didn’t manage to come along, then hopefully, we will be able to catch up soon at a training session or Tuff event soon!”
Our captains, both very keen and talented cyclists, are excited to see everyone have the opportunity to be involved with cycling in one way or another. To that end, they are planning the following events:
- February 9th: Captains Cycling Power Hour 8pm @ The Littlehampton Wave Spinning Room – see Spond event
- February 18th: Cycling @ Goodwood Motor Racing – book here
- March 17th: Cycling @ Goodwood Motor Racing – book here
This is alongside our weekly Tuesday Zwift sessions at 6:30 pm.
Once warmer weather arrives, other outdoor rides will resume.
A local and popular event with some 200 competitors signed up for the very hilly 27.2 mile “Marathon”, and another 200 for the also hilly 15 mile trail run right on our doorstep. While the “shorter” 15 mile race sported 581m of accent, the 27.2 mile “Marathon” featured 888m with 2 accents onto the South Downs Way. The above banner shot was taken at the start.
With two of our Tuffs taking part, below is a report from Adrian Oliver.
“I have not done many hard trail runs, but compared to the infamous Beach Head Half, next month’s Kingley Valey Trail Half, November’s South Downs Tail Half, this Downs and Arundel Winter Trail 15 Mile was the hardest.
As with all these events, it’s very well organised. Being a Point-To-Point run, they provided buses to transport the 400 competitors from the Arundel Lido (the finish) to Heyshott (the start).
Although club member Rhian Standley, whom I only met for the first time on Friday evening’s ‘Meet the Captains’, was down to run, but due to the different start waves, we were never able to meet up.
Like the Beach Head Half/Full marathon, they start immediately with a hill climb. On the bus ride from Arundel to Heyshott, I could not understand an overheard comment that the first wave of runners should lay out a rope up the hill. I soon discovered that the hill out Heyshott was steeper than the Castle-to-Coast run-start from Hassocks up to the Jack & Jill Windmills (minus the horizontal rain – just the wind…and mud).
Once up onto the South Downs Way, it was the usual undulating trails to Houghton, when we turned to follow the Arun river bank towards Arundel. This was also the race split for the marathon to continue back up onto the South Downs Way – sincere respect for those who even contemplated the full marathon! Unlike Saturday morning’s Arundel run, the frozen mud had defrosted and, having been supplemented with fresh rain, transformed the paths along the river and around Swanbourne Lake into “Dancing on Mud”. It even included our very own “Crawford’s Hills of Death – The Original”.
With the 15 mile winner coming in 2 hours, my time of 2:46, 5th in the MV50 age group, 63rd overall.
I think this Downs and Arundel 15 Mile Winter Trail Run will feature as one of my regular annual events – must make sure I DON’T rewatch the video before I sign up…
As well as Tuffs usual Saturday Morning Arundel run, there were two half marathon’s taking place with early starts when the temperature was still below zero –Brockenhurst in the New Forest and Winchester Half.
First up Brockenhurst where Trevor Harvey has submitted the following report –
Maverick New Forest last weekend seemed a good excuse for a bunch of Harvey’s to have a post Christmas weekend get together, with five racing, three of them being Tuffs.
Maverick Races are not cheap, but the New Forest one hosted a half marathon, 10k & 7k (weird) distance. The three Tuff Harvey’s of Stu, Clive & myself were in for the half, and so on a freezing cold Saturday we were on the start line south of Brockenhurst. The course was on forest tracks, and bitterly cold, meaning stretches of mud churned up by horses were frozen ridges of ankle twisting mud and ice. The exposed open heathland section was also particularly cold in the biting wind.
Stu, (unsurprisingly), was FHH (First Harvey home) going very well in the conditions, followed by the two old gits. Clive & I were both running with colds, and the weather certainly didn’t help, but a well organised – but freezing – race. The now almost obligatory wooden medal and a non alcoholic? beer at the finish.
Part of the UK Running events portfolio, runners had the choice of a half marathon or 15k to chose from. Starting from Sparsholt College the route covered tracks, bridleways and footpaths and included a climb up Farley’s Mount. Included within the 685 finishers was Glenn Parisi. With a 9am start the icy conditions made the going very difficult, especially where the muddy hoof and boot marks had frozen leading to very rugged treacherous sections and other very slippery sections. Unfortunately several took a tumble. Despite not liking the cold at all, Glenn mastered the course without mishap.
Raced across the Broadlands Estate in Hampshire, the home of the late Earl Mountbatten, Challenging Events first race of 2024 was this flat 3 lap tarmac route across 5 miles. James Mapley took park. Despite the cold conditions James ran at a great pace crossing the line in just 30:52 to finish second in his age group almost 1 minute ahead of third.
Held at Coombes Farm in Lancing there was a Saturday lunchtime start for the Cross Country Masters championships. We had just one club member running but it was definitely a case of quality over quantity. Colin Simpson ran round the course of approximately 5miles doing rather well. Colin crossed in 3rd position in his age group and only 12 seconds off 2nd position – great running.
We are slightly envious of Claire Moyle undertaking her parkrun in the heat in Australia – last week when it was 30 degrees at 8am in Perth, and Claire has notched up another one as follows:-
“Another Australian park run this time in Melbourne at Albert Parkrun which is next to the Olympic aquatics centre and the Grand Prix circuit. Beautiful run around the lake and one of the biggest park runs with 1090 participants, well organised and very friendly. Faster than Perth’s run but is was only 22 degrees so very pleasant.
Back to the UK & very cold conditions didn’t prevent the following intrepid Tuffs from heading for the 9am parkrun start line.
Littlehampton parkrun saw Steve Fryer in action crossing in 20:55. Bob Rogers was our next runner, then Sue Simpson & Jenny Oliver. Chris Evans couldn’t quite make it 4 PB’s in a row. and then kudos to Colin Simpson who was on the volunteer team gaining both a volunteer and attendance credit ahead of his Sussex masters race.
Worthing parkrun saw Ed Lay in attendance and first Tuff home having run to the gym and undertaken a cycle beforehand. Not far behind, good to see Paul Howie back on the parkrun trail. VIcki Hedger and Elaine Rousseau completed our trio running and thanks to Les Pearce, whom whilst still injured, was on the organising team again.
Lancing Green parkrun was the location for Alistair Evans who selected this parkrun for the first time to reach 30 different parkrun locations raced within his total of 159. Good to see Sue Pinky back on the parkrun trail after ten months away
Horsham parkrun had been scheduled for a visit but cancelled due to icy conditions so Tilgate parkrun at Crawley was the destination of Kate Evans‘s running club
Well done to all 15
The final cross country fixture of the season is always a difficult one for Tuff Fitty as the venue is traditionally a long way from our catchment area – the mudfest at Little Common Bexhill. However for 2024 there is a brand new venue – Glyndebourne, Lewes, BN8 5UU so considerably less mileage to attend. It is hoped that a closer, and different venue may entice more Tuffs out to run this last fixture of the season, and our cross Country supremo Adrian, will no doubt be issuing the rallying call for the event being held on Saturday 10th February. Ladies run circa 3 miles and the gents circa 5 miles. If you wish to enter please do so prior to 8am on the 9th February HERE Entry is available on the day but the online £6 fee increases to £10 on the day. Route maps below.