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Weekend Round Up 3rd 4th February

Runs took centre stage this week with everything from parkrun’s 5k, 6.5k, 10k, 14 & 15k. Half marathons and Ultras; a big variety – read on:-

Cancer United based in Angmering have an aim to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of those with cancer. They are Tuff Fitty’s nominated charity for an illness that continues to significantly affect our Tuff family. Their Arundel run co-incided with world cancer day and once again we had a Tuff presence.

First Tuff home was Mark Walford. One person gained an early lead but Mark was running well and crossed the line in just 25:11 to secure 2nd position overall. At this stage it should be explained whilst the distance was ‘just’ 4 miles, the route packed a lot of undulations; over the Millstream bridge, then the climb to the Park gates before the switchback road to South Stoke…. and back! a total of 384ft of elevation. Steve Fryer was another one running strongly finishing 8th overall. Whilst a swift run, this evidently wasn’t enough as Steve had run to the start, and then run home covering a distance of 15 miles overall – very impressive.

Adrian Oliver was our third runner home, 12th overall, all the while running with his go-pro for the video you can view below. Lucy Goldsmith was just two places behind in 14th, a result which saw Lucy finish as 1st female overall, over a minute ahead of second. The good news continued as Leah Simms ran strongly a day after her hilly Maverick run and then Clive Harvey running after his half marathon.

More Tuff vests sped under the finish arch on Mill road as Nina Tully was next to finish, followed by Alistair Evans. Jenny Oliver was our fifth lady and Chris Evans completed the course to have an equal number of Tuff men and woman. Kudo to Chris Evans who was speeding about on his bike beforehand helping the organisers. 8% of the finishers were from Tuff Fitty which was rewarding for such a worthy cause. Photos by Cancer United and then Adrian’s body cam

Outrun Cancer

Gavin & Paul

Justifiably taking this weeks banner shot is the Darkstar Ultra marathon. Run by Sussex Trail Events, whose directors include our very own Danny Cunnett & Jay McCardle, this year was the driest the course has been, up one side of the River Adur picking up a part of the Downslink past the Dark Star Brewery at Partridge Green and down the other side. This ultra distance covers 28.2 miles so huge credit to our Tuff participants Gavin Sewell & Paul Atkinson . Photo credit for the photos of Gav & Geordie running at the top go to Andrew Baillie and thanks to Gavin for reporting in:-

“After 2023 being a write-off due to injury and lack of motivation, I decided to kick off 2024 with the Darkstar marathon (28 miles), my first event since Wales 2022.  I signed up to Run up to Christmas as added motivation for training. Unfortunately 3 weeks out my calf started playing up and then got a cold so 2 runs in 3 weeks leading up to Darkstar. Not ideal. But this would be my 4th Darkstar and 20th marathon so I really wanted to get to the start line. 

On the day weather looked cloudy but no rain and no rain leading up to event. So it wouldn’t be the mud fest it normally is. I lost my mum just after Wales. And I’ve struggled with motivation since. And not getting the good luck text message the morning of the Darkstar from mum was missed. It’s always the little things. 

Got to Shoreham. And was feeling nervous and hoping the calf would hold up. But pretty sure everybody there was carrying a niggle or injury of some sort. I was chuffed this was going to be my 20th marathon and saw Geordie Paul who must be closing in on 100 so some way to go yet. 

The race was great and conditions great heading out to the Downslink along the river. The turn point at 14 miles is West Grinstead. I applied more deepheat to the calf, topped up the drink and stuffed my face with a great selection at the aid station from the Sussex Trail event guys. 

As I was heading back to the river I saw Paul who looked good. As soon as you hit the river on the return the wind hits and there seem to be so many gates and stiles. Which normally wouldn’t be an issues but when your 18 miles in are a problem. 

The last aid station is Bramber and you have about 4 miles left. And I found them extremely hard, run walking most of them. Think I snuck in under 5 hrs but completing it was my goal and I was very chuffed to get my 20th under my belt. As always STE put on a great race. I will be back again. 

Susan, Clive, Glenn & Tiff (With Stig just out of shot)

Did you know Chichester Harbour is designated an area of outstanding natural beauty & there are 53 miles of shoreline of which 15 miles are undefended and natural. Much of this ‘natural’ shoreline was the setting for the Chidham Harbour Trail run with a choice of half marathon or 15k. Tiffany Orton takes up the story:_

“I was late to the party when Glenn and Clive suggested I join them at the Chidham trail half marathon. I hadn’t run that far in ages!

Collecting my race number at the help desk, we then had plenty of time for a pre race coffee and the obligatory toilet stop! We bumped into Susan Douglas who was there was Stig running the 15km so an opportune moment for a quick selfie before the off. The weather was perfect maybe even a little warm but I was happy with my short sleeves base layer in the end.

The route was lovely and Glenn and I stayed together for over half the race. Footpaths being closed meant a hard run on the pebbles at points but running around the harbour was very picturesque. My only regret is not looking at the scenery more but I was concentrating more on watching where my feet were going!

At 7 miles Glenn said his legs had gone and told me to “go on without me!” So I did lol! Paced faster than I’d initially intended but made it the end with no injury’s in a reasonable time of 2hrs 5mins which for a trail run isn’t too shabby (for me anyway!).

I waited at the finish line for Glenn and ended up being a photographer for a queue of finishers wanting their picture taken by the Run Rebels finisher banner. Clive not far behind Glenn, we went off for a well deserved post race cappuccino.

Would definitely recommend the Run Rebels events, well signed and marshalled and a decent goody bag; medal, socks, buff and a drink.

With 1,272 finishers the Chichester 10k remains at Goodwood Motor Circuit, a location taken up in 2017 after many years in the city centre. In amongst the field were a quartet of Tuffs. From a start in front of the grandstands, runners undertook one lap of the circuit before out and back runs down roads on two sides of the circuit perimeter. Then a final kilometre back on the circuit to finish. Gareth Coombes finished in a rapid 40:58, whilst not beating his sub 40 minute pb from last year that’s still a great result . Second Tuff was Stuart Harvey as part of this marathon training and then Olivia Morey who did achieve a PB, shaving 50 seconds off last years time; excellent. The race also incorporated the BMAF Open 10K Road Championships. Colin Simpson was racing and running well but unfortunately cramp scuppered his chances after 7K. Despite advertising free photos none of our illustrious finishers were displayed so we are grateful to Sue Simpson who, whilst on cheerleader duty, managed to spot Stu & Olivia as they sped around – (above). Kudos is due to Andy Rossiter who repeated his marshalling position at the New Road turn point. Inspired by this certified accurate course? next year is scheduled for 2nd Feb 25.

Paul, Leah & Karly

Mavericks West Sussex is one of their most popular events and another sell out. Leah Simms, Paul & Karly Martin took part with thanks to Leah for reporting in:-

“The Maverick events are great trail runs often offering 3 different distances and sometimes including night runs. They’re also very  popular for Canicross, so dog friendly too. 

“Last Saturday Karly & Paul Martin and I ventured to their local event starting at Amberley Musuem. We all opted for the middle route of 14k. Karly and I had run this one before approximately 4 years ago so knew much of the route already although they had changed it slightly this year by not including the ‘steps of doom’ which we were very pleased about”. 

“It’s not the easiest of starts as you come out of the museum and then straight into a climb, at the top of this it’s another climb but single track so everyone was walking up here as it was a bit of a bottleneck”. 

“Time to get running, only for about 5 mins and then another huge hill climb. It was like this on and off which felt like on repeat until the aid station at the half way point”. 

“What can I say about the aid station, it was great. So good that perhaps Paul and I stayed here probably for too long. Biscuits, cake, fresh fruit, sweets, gels, hydration, water. They had it all” . 

“The next half of the run was mostly flat or downhill which was very much needed after all the hills”. 

“At the finish line you’re greeted with medals and a beer which was a nice touch. Even the dogs got their own unique medal.  I love these events and thoroughly recommend them for those who haven’t done them”.

Jimbo & Billy

Worthing parkrun saw a plentiful number of Tuffs on the promenade, including James & Billy Brock who sent in their start line pose above. Our first Tuff home was Dave March in a swift 20:03. Phil Turner was also present on his home parkrun. Ed Lay completed his 156th run on family pacing duties. Nina Tully crossed the line to shave 36 seconds off last weeks PB or as Nina explained “Ooooops! I did it again 🙂 ” Then we had Jimbo & Billy finish the course with Jimbo providing the detail of his race & photo:-

“It’s been a long time since I’ve joined a run. But receiving a message from Richard Bedson inviting me to tag along to park run seemed a good idea. My daughter’s boyfriend Levi,  is doing his first marathon in April so I got him to come along too as I think he needs more training. Plus, if I’m awake, everyone else should be too!

I bought Billy along & set off for a lovely run along Worthing beach. After 2 poo stops in the first km we settled in, after that, Billy then needed one too ! 

A great way to start the weekend! Nice to see so many friendly Tuff faces x  Jimbo & Billy 🙂

At Littlehampton parkrun, Steve Fryer was in action crossing in 21:03. Next home was Colin Simpson achieving the 7th best age grading of the morning for his 252nd parkrun. Sue Simpson was next completing her 215th parkrun.

Chichester parkrun is around its winter route missing out the run parallel to the theatre. Here Simon Grundy was in good form finishing 8th overall in 20:25. Kate Evans was also present.

Lancing Beach parkrun was the location for Sue Pinky to run the out and back promenade route for her 128th parkrun

In terms of tourism; Tuffs were at three far flung venues – Elaine Rousseau ran at Haverhill parkrun for her 170th parkrun. Elaine explained “the course was all grass and 3 and a bit laps.  It was very muddy in places but not as boggy as it had been in the middle of the week when I scoped it out”

Reigate Priory parkrun comprises two laps around Priory Park and Alistair Evans not only participated but also earnt his 41st volunteer credit.

The prize for the furthest parkrun tourist this week goes to Trevor Harvey who ran at Nant y Pandy parkrun. This is situated at the Nant y Pandy Nature Reserve on Anglesey at the north western tip of Wales.

Well done to all fourteen