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Weekend Round Up 24th 25th February

After a late night at the Tuff Fitty awards do, (being compiled separately) ; it would be understandable if there was less race action this weekend. However particular kudos to those who were up early on Saturday at KIngley, parkrun, or the traditional Tuff long Saturday morning Arundel run:-

Danny Cunnett and Jay McCardle, Tuffs who are also race directors at Sussex Trial Events, had a return visit to Bad Salzungen in Germany with friends for the weekend. After stopping off for a parkrun on the Saturday in Cologne they returned to the salt mine marathon. The race is run 500m under the surface of the earth. The temperature is constantly at 21°C so there is no need to fear wind, or rain, but humidity is 35 degrees! This last point is significant as salt sucks up the moisture meaning the runners have to ensure they remain hydrated. Thanks to Jay for reporting in: –

“A marathon completely underground, in fact 500m down in a working salt mine. This was our second time doing this event as it is so unique. What other race do you have to go down a lift shaft, be locked in a compression room then jump into the back of a yellow dumper truck to be driven very fast to the start. The race and starts and finishes in a massive cavern and you do 13 laps running through the tunnels. A helmet and head-torch are mandatary. A great experience and they do 10k and half marathon at the same time”.

It was cold as participants gathered for the 34th staging of the Brighton Half. A sell out which resulted in over 1,000 more runners finishing this year – 8,500 across the youth, wheelchair and the half marathon. Such was the congestion with people moving up and down Madeira Drive to get to the baggage area and back past toilet queues, that the race was 10 minutes late starting. Once underway conditions seemed OK as the route went up eastwards towards Roedean School, then down to, and around, The Level, & Brighton Pavilion. From there the second half ran past Hove Lagoon before turning onto the Promenade for the final 3 miles. This is where the shock occurred as there was a very strong easterly wind blowing right into the runners faces.

These conditions didn’t deter some swift performances as Dave March led the Tuff contingent crossing in just 1hr 32. Edward Lay was also going well and just three minutes behind was Emma Kuusela who was delighted to get a new PB under 1hr 50. It is pleasing to report that our next finisher was Adrian Willard. A multiple Ironman who joined Tuff Fitty in April 2006, it is good to see his return to action. Adrian reported:- “It was great to be back out doing something as that was my first event in 2 years. Great to have a Tuff top on as well 🙂 I’m hoping that this is the first of a few more this year”.

Leah Simms was next continuing her form of long runs building for London Marathon and then Clive Harvey completing his 17th Brighton Half extending back to 2005. There was further excellent news as Karl Halom crossed the line. Karl first started Tuff activities at Christmas and joined shortly afterwards. Racing under the Tuff banner for the first time Karl explained he enjoyed the event and next up for him is racing at the Frosty. Well done to all seven.

Another UK Running Event, this time up on the Downs at the Goodwood race course with a choice of 22k or 10k. There were six Tuffs present. Firstly in the 22km, a tough course amassing over 1,800ft of climbing we had Peter Littleboy as our first Tuff home, fantastic to see him back under the Tuff banner, then well done to Adrian Oliver after a late night at the Awards Do. Debbie Boxall ran well finishing alongside Adrian and then completing the foursome was Sheila Bailey. Thanks to Pete he has provided an account of his race:-

“I entered this training race late as I was  supposed to be racing elsewhere. However it being on a Saturday suits my life and training ATM and I’ve ran there 2years ago. I knew what to expect, or so I thought, as I couldn’t walk properly on the Sunday! and only started running again today . This was because this half marathon starts and finishes on Goodwood Hill,  and with all the leg sapping mud and the treacherous downhill it’s a tough trail run. But just to spice things up it started to rain soon after the start and that was the reason for a diversion put  in place. This was just before the start which then added nearly a mile but after all said and done I still prefer trail to road for many reasons. Also it means I can finish a HM in 2h14 and still be top half finish. A proud returning Tuff

Ten minutes later the 10k race commenced and here we had Vicky Cooper who was running with her brother; also running was Kate Evans. Vicky recounts her race as follows:-

“This was my first race for a while. Was dreading it when I saw the hill start. But went really well and enjoyed it. The UK running events are always so friendly and well run. And who doesn’t need another buff and more socks”.

For a change we start with some parkrun tourism. Danny Cunnett and Jay McCardle were back in Germany for another run at the salt mine marathon, (story above and banner pic) but both also found time to attend Aachener Weiher parkrun. The course is situated in Cologne; a hilly two-lap course around a pond in the parkland. Great work ahead of going mining!

At Worthing parkrun, good to see Edward Lay get his parkrun fix ahead of the Brighton half the next day. Next home was Steve Feest and then it was great to see Judith Molka- Danielsen, one of our newest Tuffs open her parkrun account. Elaine Rousseau crossed the line to bring our Tuff runners to four on the prom.

Across at Littlehampton parkrun, Steve Fryer was our first runner as he moves inexorably towards his ton. Now on run number 92. Alistair Evans has run LIttlehampton 108 times, so against this terrific record, it might have been tough to expect a new PB, but Al did it 🙂 He broke his personal best which had stood since October 2021 – how impressive is that; improved by 7 seconds. Chris Evans couldn’t match his brother this week in the PB stakes, but that was a trio of Tuffs to finish by the coastguard tower.

Across at Bognor parkrun early morning frost and waterlogged lawns didn’t deter Katie Young. After a delayed start, Katie ran well to finish as 6th female home.

Well done to all ten

Wednesday 20th March is International Happiness Day where the mission is “aspire to live happy and fulfilling lives” One of the aims of the day is to “Do What Makes You Happy ” Therefore what better than to see the return of Tuff Fitty’s Track Power Hour AKA Happiness Hour. Instead of our standard track night, the return of the power hour has teams of three running a 400m lap each in relay format for one hour to see which team can amass the greatest number of laps around Worthing Leisure’s track. Don’t worry about teams as our master of ceremony, once again Barry Davids, will fairly assess all the participants to form equal teams of three racers. All you need to do is to click ‘attend’ on our Spond event and pay the normal track fee of £2 plus stripe fee. It is worth clarifying that the event is open to all Tuffs, regardless of whether they are regular tracksters or not. The excitement and competitiveness last year was palpable with everyone agreeing it was a huge success, as well as being a good workout.

It is recommended you bring sufficient hydration. Meet at 6:30pm for a warmup. Another aim of world happiness day includes “Give and Spread Happiness to Others” so come and join in the fun. Volunteers to count laps are equally welcome.