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Weekend Round Up 23rd 24th March

We are are particularly proud of everyone in our Tuff Fitty coaching team and have some fantastic news concerning Tiff Orton and Wendy Frost. Both very long serving Tuffs, Tiff and Wendy had already become two of our coaches completing their Level One British Triathlon coaching qualification. Last year they both agreed to embark on the Group Coach qualification. With a mix of on-line and weekend meet up, the syllabus is extensive often detracting from their own training. We are now delighted to report both Tiff and Wendy have passed and are now formally Group Coaches. We thank them both for the extra knowledge and experience this qualification brings to our club.

Underlining the experience continuing to build within Tuff Fitty, it won’t be long before we can formally congratulate three new coaches on their Foundation Coach qualification and we also have two starting out on technical official courses. All this is fantastic news for Tuff Fitty and our future growth. This is also an opportune time to thank all our existing coaches for their time, dedication and knowledge they bring for the benefit of us all.

Next up we have a report from Linda Wright. Just completing a three day event is enough in itself, but to do so whilst encountering everything our ‘spring’ weather has thrown at us is seriously impressive.

“Back in October 2021 I did the Atlantic Coast Challenge and loved it. Everything went so well, helped by perfect weather, I thought I can’t ever do that again. It’ll never go that well next time. So March 2024 I did the Jurassic Coast Challenge! Similar to Atlantic as it’s 78 miles (really 86!) over 3 days, loads of elevation (around 11,000 feet) and beautiful scenery”. 

“Day 1. 29 miles. 3200 feet

“Charmouth to Weymouth. Mud, mud and more mud, a few miles of shingles and a bog. I’m amazed I stayed upright”.

“Day 2. 27 miles. 3600 feet

“Weymouth to Lulworth Cove”

“Run round Portland, head to Weymouth then along the Coastal Path to Lulworth Cove. Less mud but thunder and hailstones today.

“Day 3. 30 miles. 4200 feet”

“Lulworth Cove to Shell Bay. There were a few diversions on all 3 days but today had the longest because of a landslide near Kimmeridge. Finished with a beautiful sunny day and incredible scenery.

“Not running related but on the way home we stopped at The Etches Collection in Kimmeridge to see the Pliosaur skull that was on the BBC documentary, ‘Attenborough and the Giant Sea Monster’. Well worth a visit even with the stairs that we had to navigate! “

Le Puncheur started from Ditchling village covering a course of 61 miles with 1,200 ft of climbing. An excellent Tuff squad of ten riders were present. Some rode as an early season opener in a group, others on their own,. There were two gold standard riders in the form of Emma Kuusela who was the quickest Tuff and an equally good time from Steve Woodbridge. However the beauty of the event; mass-participation bike ride; also known as gran fondos (from the Italian for ‘big ride’) is that it is suitable for all abilities. Paul Atkinson was in attendance as were Andy Gomm, Mark Sole, Ed Lay, Tiff Orton, Jon Roper, Ness Green and Elaine Rousseau. We are grateful for three views on the ride, firstly from Mark Sole, then Ness Green and Elaine Rousseau – Well done to all ten – great riding.

“The puncheur roughly translates to ..a cyclist who excels on short punch climbs… it delivers those, but maybe I’m not that cyclist!!!! A nice course starting in Ditchling and heading off towards the Ashdown forest, then there’s reservoir with the steepest hill nearby, which then heads round to across the M23, through Handcross, where it seems to say, the main hills are over! It was a really good ride out, hard work = yes, however it was enjoyable and well organised. We all achieved what we set it out to be, a good solid training ride to see where we are! After we assess our training for the season goals and ate the well-earned excess of biscuits and food after!! Everyone in the club would be able to do this and I would hope we get lots of us over there next year!!?? You’ll see it on Spond as highly recommended!!

“Sunday just gone, and a few of us headed over to Ditchling to ride the Puncheur… I knew it was going to be a hilly ride but kind of figured the beacon wasn’t in it so it wasn’t going to be too bad right…? Just after 7.30 we set off to get the ride done.. within a mile or so the first of the hills started and they did not stop…. The food station was very welcome at 33 miles just to give the legs a rest..not entirely sure there were any downhill bits .. The second half of the ride had a few hills but thankfully Ardingly had been sadly taken off of the route due to road works…meaning the biggest hill of the day was out! It was certainly tougher than I imagined but thoroughly enjoyed the day good chunk of training done with the support of the amazing Tuffs.. Would definitely recommend the ride very well organised .. lots of signs.. and plenty of very yummy snacks!!

“A point of view from the most novice of cyclists.  We all started out together in the sun and then we took on the route in our own way.  It was a tough course and at mile 10 my bike computer turned off and once sorted and got going again my chain came off.  At mile 25 I questioned my sanity and life choices and wasn’t even sure I could complete it.  At the food stop at 33 miles I took the pressure off and told myself, I could finish and I did.  Well signed and pretty course with, for me, inclines and speedy descents over some rough tarmac which could make your teeth chatter.  Not fast, not pretty, but done.  Well done everyone who took part.

A new event business whose launch event was a 10k run held at Leonardslee Gardens. This event, ‘Spring’ is to be followed by three further runs on the estate; one for each season – Summer is scheduled for 9th June; Autumn (20th Oct) and Winter (29th Dec). There was a trio of Tuffs present; Clive Harvey, Sheila Bailey and Kate Evans, with Clive reporting:-

“It was a nice surprise to line up at the start and meet Sheila and Kate who attended with a group from their running club. I knew the course would be hilly having visited before, but chose as a decent training run; 900ft of climbing across just 10k. Nonetheless it was a surprise to receive an email before saying “leave the PB behind” (That’s good, I left my PB behind decades ago 🙂 ). This was due to the steep hills, with the suggestion it would be quicker to walk them. From the start the route descended to the lakes with a very scenic run around the water’s edge surrounded by colourful spring flowers, sculptures and trees across good hard packed trails. Then the first climb back past the Wallaby enclosure to complete lap 1. Lap 2 started similarly down to the water but then took a turn off the maintained paths and up a long offroad slippery route; my trails shoes were advantageous. The climb was extensive out of the Park before descending to the lakes for a final time. Then the last climb back to the finish.

A very enjoyable, challenging race, medal, and free photos. The only downside was the cost which at first glance was expensive. It worked for me as instead of the usual ‘Oh, I’m off to a race’ comment to my wife, Judy came along as my entry included half price entry to the gardens. (also half price for spectators). So having finished, we walked around the grounds, got something to eat and made a full morning of it. Taking the family (dog friendly) is a good way to turn a race into an outing and well worth it, but if planning to just rock up, race and go home, it is a lot for a 10K despite the scenic surroundings and unique course.

Many Tuffs have visited Sea Lanes in Brighton for training so it nice to receive a report from Susan Douglas from her visit for their Spring Challenge held on Saturday.

“I mean what was I thinking! A typical case of sitting in the comfort of your own home, seeing the event pop up on Facebook (Thanks Andy Tester!) and thinking that sounds good, then pressing the enter button without really comprehending that 100 x 100m = 10k.

I had been on the waiting list and got offered a place just a few days before (I still didn’t see sense). We were split into 3 lanes with 10 swimmers, I was in the slowest group doing every 100m off 2:15 which seemed reasonable enough. Nikki Gatland & Andy were over in the fastest lane.

The water was 18.9c and the sun was shining, but a bitter wind was whipping off the sea. My lane consisted of 9 ladies, all skins and 1 man, in a wetsuit, I’m not saying anything!.

We set off and worked out an order to swim in, swapping the lead swimmer every ten 100s and keeping track of our lengths with a high-tech abacus and big clock with our time. The first 3k was quite hard, not the swimming so much but the freezing wind when we stopped.  We got to 5k and were allowed a 2 minute break, I nipped for a wee and struggled to get my wet swimsuit on and just about got back in the pool for the start of 6k. Funnily enough the second half was easier, from a cold point of view, probably because our swimming was getting slower, so less hanging about. I had led three of the 10 lengths during the swim and in the final 10 we took a couple of lengths each, well almost, having lost a couple of swimmers along the way. My arms and shoulders ached by the end, and I was pretty knackered.

I’d booked myself in for Tuff training that evening thinking I’d be fine, and I didn’t want to miss Jon’s’ progression session, but I would have been useless. Anyway thanks to the Tuff coaching I was still fit enough to swim 10k in March, having done no real long swims since Italy last September! Thanks to all the coaches and my lane buddies for keeping me going.

Starting at Worthing parkrun, Steve Fryer led the way crossing in 20:06 for his 95th parkrun. Steve Feest was running well for our second Tuff home. Next was Paul Howie for his third consecutive week along the Prom. Edward Lay followed for his 133rd Worthing run. Also running, ahead of her Sportive the following day was Elaine Rousseau reaching 175 parkruns.

Littlehampton parkrun saw Steve Bridgeman as our first runner across the line with Colin Simpson hot on his heels. Alistair Evans was also in attendance at his home run. Sue Simpson completed her 220th parkrun. Chris Evans completed the Tuff five with Alistair also earning a credit for being on the volunteer team.

In terms of parkrun tourism, a quartet of Tuffs attended Horsham parkrun which is currently held at its winter venue of Southwater Country Park. Southwater is a familiar location for Tuffs, but the heavy rain had swelled the water levels to the point that one of the lakeside paths was under water. This is despite the lake being 30 foot deep in places! A detour was in place seeing participants scramble up a slippery bank and down the other side. This didn’t unduly slow down the Tuffs with Andy Gomm first Tuff home, followed by Tiff Orton, Clive Harvey & Jon Roper.

Well done to all fourteen