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Weekend Round Up 1st 2nd June

Race action continues to build with another bumper Round Up with more events still to be received.

There was a strong turnout for the first in this year’s STRUN (Summer Tuff Run Series) and the choice of Littlehampton parkrun proved to be a good venue with excellent performances along the promenade between the River Arun and The Wave.

Mark Walford was in fine form finishing 2nd overall, with a time of 18:36, Marc Flinders (6th overall) also in the lead pack in 19:30. Nathan Cooper (9th overall) in 19:45 gave us three in the top ten – excellent. Niki Treacy 2nd female overall was also running strongly after last week’s qualifier – 21:24.

Mark Sole was our next runner, second in his competitive age group, then 9 seconds later Paul Howie crossed the line. Adrian Oliver was in hot pursuit crossing after Paul just one second later. Dominique Noiret wasn’t being left out either, she followed home a further 9 seconds later as 6th female. Hazel Tuppen was our next runner also finishing amongst the top ten women.

Colin Simpson has a fantastic parkrun record as this was his 264th run and he used this to great effect with a 70.96% age grading. Clare Worgan is continuing her strong season finishing just one second behind. Clive Harvey was our next runner and following close behind Glenn Parisi. James Brock running successfully after recent injury and then Bob Rogers who crossed with a very strong 75% age grading.

There was a continual flow of Tuffs across the finish line by the Lighthouse as Jon Roper was our next finisher. Littlehampton parkrun regular Alistair Evans was our next blue vest, with Nina Tully followed home by Murray Hodge 16 seconds later. Susan Douglas was also in this finish group being our sole cani-cross runner. Sue Simpson also had a strong age grading. Chris Evans completed our runners. Kudos to Sue Pinky who completed one of the two laps preferring instead to contribute to the Tuff photos below.

It was pleasing to see so many Tuff runners in the sun and there were plenty of superlatives. Six Tuffs ran the Littlehampton course for the first time. Two achieved personal best times, so well done to Marc Flinders who improved his time by 24 seconds over two years ago and Clare Worgan who beat her previous best by 48 seconds.

What is pleasing is to see the depth of Tuff Fitty with an impressive 7 firsts in their respective 5 year age bands. Congratulations to Mark W, Nathan, Niki, Dominique, Clare, Clive & Bob R.

The aim of targeting this run was twofold. Firstly the camaraderie when everyone gets together made the morning memorable. Secondly our Tuff Summer Run series takes runners times calculated on a grading depending on age and gender. Here, there were also great age gradings. The top grading was a sensational 88.23% from Niki Treacy well ahead of the whole field with second best at 78%. Strong grades from other Tuffs were scored by Bob Rogers5th best of the morning (75.19%) and Mark Walford 7th best (73.39%). Colin Simpson and Marc Simpson both accumulated 70%+ gradings.

The series moves onto a 10k race for fixture two – Beat The Tide along Worthing seafront (Monday 22nd July) If you haven’t entered yet, don’t delay as the race is approaching capacity. NIki, Bob R and Mark W have taken an early lead

Two links below:- some photos in the flickr album and then a video from Sue to include more Tuffs.


Blenheim Palace, north of Oxford was the setting for the 20th staging of a tri, spread across the weekend stated to be the only triathlon in the world which takes place in the grounds of a UNESCO World Heritage site. With the option of Sprint, SuperSprint and Relay there were over 4,300 finishers. Taking part was Adam Stringer who having done well since becoming a Tuff, raced sprint on the Saturday:-

‘Blenheim Palace…… what a tri. If you’ve not experienced this one then is it definitely one for the bucket list’.

This one started with a great bit of advice from Clive….. “Don’t be shit” so with that in mind this one opened with a 750m lake swim, I was the second one into the water in my wave but was definitely not the second one out! The first 400 meters were horrendous, didn’t feel like I was moving at all and but suddenly my watch beeped and I was already half way in. From there I pushed on and made it to the exit ramp, coming out the water feeling slightly dizzy and a little motion sick in 17 minutes 18 seconds.’

‘I took a slow steady walk to T1, taking my time getting my wetsuit off and took on some much needed energy chews. Coming out of transition I felt strong for the bike section, not knowing what the course consisted of, I set off knowing I had to complete 3 laps totalling 20k. These turned out to be slightly hilly with some nice descents, I had to rely on my Garmin edge to let me know that I’d completed 3 laps as I completely lost count but it was a very nice smooth road ride with no traffic which made it even more enjoyable in a fairly respectful 44 minutes.

Moving into T2 I put on my running shoes for the last section. Starting the run I could feel my heart rate pounding so I took a steady plod and just set into a steady stride. 2 laps of the run course meant I could enjoy the scenery and the great atmosphere that was present. I came up to the finish straight with the Palace in the background and completed a steady jog time of 33 minutes. Totalling an overall sprint time of 1 hour 45, which for my first open water tri I was fairly happy with. Plenty of room for improvement but a great day out with fantastic course. Roll on next year.

If you wish to view the idyllic setting for Blenheim –

Georgia sporting dad’s Henley medal

We had two further club members in Oxfordshire at the weekend, Fraser Kidd and Sophie Garbo were both in action at the Henley Sprint Triathlon. Fraser gives his perspective on the event before Sophie’s thoughts.

“My 3rd Sprint Triathlon in the space of 27 days, with Henley coming only 4 days after returning from a 1 week All inclusive break to Lanzarote. It was nice to see a fellow Tuff there – Sophie. The race itself was a 400m pool swim, 25km bike and 5km run. I was quick out the blocks, entering the first transition in 6:27, which was the second quickest in the open category. The bike leg admittedly I took at a leisurely pace as this is all I had in the tank, taking a little over 1 hour. I didn’t have much left for the run, settling for a 5km of 24 mins.

Total time of 1:36.28. On the organisation of the event, it was managed by British Triathlon, very well, and plenty of little goodies and a nice medal to take back to Rustington. Planning to train over the summer to improve fitness and the bike leg with no events planned, and return to competition in September.”

‘I can highly recommend Henley sprint Triathlon – a UK Triathlon event. Spotted Fraser early as we were in our Tuff trisuits. It was well organised. The swim is in a pool and you did a snake formation. The bike leg is scenic and undulating with some narrow sections, and the run is on a playing field. I was getting over a virus so found the run difficult, and struggled to finish. Fairly pleased with my 13/44 though. There were 2 transition areas which made it a little confusing, but it all seemed to work. A very friendly event.

The Cotswold 113 event is well known to many Tuffs being the location of our middle distance club champ race at Cotswold Water park back in 2021 when we had 38 participants. This year we had Verity Lacey and Ross Court who had both decided to race the Aquabike following their successes at Arundel. The course comprised a 1.2m swim before the 56-mile bike.

Ross reported:-

Entering the Aquabike, I came 3rd place in cat 45-50 8th place overall. The conditions were fantastic and I felt like I swam a fast swim but my time was off on a 35 minute (: I had a strong bike coming back on a 2h 37m overall time 3h 15. I have entered my times to BTF as a qualifier (let’s wait and see)

Verity has an equally strong swim and bike and it all started so well 7th female out of the water. Unfortunately, tragedy struck as she was mounting her bike just after the mount line as she realised she had a puncture necessitating a quick return to transition to resolve. Despite this she recovered the lost ground around the Cotswold countryside to finish 6th female and 2nd in age group – brilliant.

The Big Sussex Bike Ride is designed and run by Action Medical Research where monies raised help funds for sick babies and children. Davina McCall is their ambassador for the ride which starts at Uckfield. Usually Tuff participation and this year was not exception with Jenny and Adrian Oliver taking part. Previously three distances to choose from; “Cool” 27 miles, “Classic” 498 miles and “Champion comprising 74 miles. Jenny undertook the 74 mile ride.

This year a new distance was added “Epic” comprising 100 miles and Adrian Oliver took on and completed this new distance. Jenny reports:-

“In September the plan is to ride LEJOG together with friends and supported by the intrepid Claire Moyle with her trusty vehicle – I may have mentioned this once or twice!  In preparation I am trying to increase the frequency of longer rides.  Together with a number of Tuffs, I have been enjoying Angmering Cycling Club’s Saturday morning rides where we usually get in a good few miles as well as welcome coffee stop.

Davina’s Big Sussex Bike Ride raises funds for Action Medical Research.  I signed up for the 75 mile route and Adrian decided to go for the 100 miles. The friend who suggested the ride was unwell and unable to join, so I was grateful that I had Adrian’s company for the journey.  I don’t mind riding on my own as I tend to get dropped on the hills and then like to take advantage of downhills so as to not be too slow overall.

We arrived and parked up and were amused to note that for once it was the greater number of men queueing for the facilities!

Adrian set off first on the longer route.  I decided to adjust my cleats to allow my heel to relax out a little.  “Never try anything new …”, I hear you say!  Oops, the allen key spun and the cleats had to stay as they were.  Not too much of an issue. At the start, we were briefed and then Davina McCall made a brief appearance to take a selfie with us – and off we went.

I thoroughly enjoyed the route, riding through new country areas.  Quite a bit of elevation (~1300m overall – I think that may be typical for a LEJOG day).  The feed stations were well stocked with good facilities.  On nearing the second and final station for my route I had been followed by a lady for a while. We nearly rode past the stop and it was only thanks to a local man pointing it out to us that we thankfully were able to turn in.

I joined up with the lady, Mandy, to enjoy our break.  She too is planning LEJOG in September!  We agreed to ride together for the last section.  Then I was taken by surprise as a male cyclist approached and gave me a kiss!  It was Adrian!  So he quickly had his break and the 3 of us rode together to the end.

The feed stations were manned by teams including young army cadets who enthusiastically took requests for tea and coffee.  At the finish we were welcomed by the cadets with a big cheer and were presented with a nice wooden medal and enjoyed a BBQ before loading up and heading home, tired but satisfied in our achievements.

A good training ride for LEJOG – did I mention that were doing that in September?!

The first of two reports from Surrey this week. First up Debbie Boxall, Glenn Parisi Tiff Orton and Trevor Harvey travelled to Denbie’s Wine Estate in Dorking with Tiff taking up the story:-

‘A last minute decision after Trevor spotted this race up at Denbies Wine Estate last Sunday. He quickly persuaded Glenn to join with Debbie and myself following suit. (Jon was invited too but he was too busy washing his hair lol!).

The choice was how many laps as the format was simple, do as little or as many laps of the 5km Parkrun loop as you wanted. Entry fee was £20 with no medal (no medal I hear you cry?!) or £40 WITH medal. Now the frugal part of me was trying to warrant the extra charge but Phoenix running events are renowned for their medal so I opted in and I’m glad I did (check this out:-

The 4 of us started together and I found my rhythm and found myself running alone at my own pace. I ran the whole first lap but for those who don’t know there are 3 climbs on each lap. With each lap I completed I walked a bit more of the hills. The weather was lovely and I managed to complete 4 laps for the half marathon distance. Glenn, Trev and Debbie (who originally only wanted to do 10k!) also managed a 4 lap race too.

A simple format but with a stonking medal and greatly stocked aid station available at the end of each lap I’d definitely recommend. 

A well established run through Surrey countryside on roads and paths now in its 38th year. Dom Amey submitted our second report from Surrey as follows:-

‘The Dorking 10 is a 10 miler (there’s also a 10k option) which isn’t actually in Dorking. It’s nearby on country lanes which are open to traffic but quiet enough for that not to be an issue. I’d heard it was fairly hilly but it’s more rolling really. The bigger rolls come later on though just when your legs are starting to tell you they aren’t interested in going up any more. You could see from the packs of matching vests at the end that it was mostly club runners at this one, but it was a good atmosphere and well organised’.

‘The announcer telling people “you’ve got this” around 20 metres from the finish line made me smile, I didn’t see anyone not make it having got that close but he seemed to be having fun offering slightly unnecessary encouragement. Overall a scenic run in the Sunday sunshine’.

Part of the Sussex Grand Prix this 5 mile course saw runners race along Hastings Promenade with a 550m loop around Hastings Pier; over 400 runners took part. Supported by Sue Simpson; Colin flying the flag for his running club after running strongly at STRUN the day before. As a Sussex champ race it was a competitive field but a great time of 40:56 saw Colin first home in his age group earning a chunky trophy in the process.

As well as the fantastic 23 Tuff parkrunners at Littlehampton, it is pleasing to report the following:-

Worthing parkrun saw Dave March as our first runner as he reached his 70th parkun. Paul Fielder was next as he matched to the second his PB. Les Pearce is continuing his comeback and pleasing to see this was his third outing gradually upping the pace and now on 199 runs just at Worthing. Another prolific parkrunner is Elaine Rousseau, back on the prom completing her 176th run.

Hove Prom parkrun was selected by Edward Lay. This was his 14th run along this promenade out of his total 171 parkruns.

We also had other runners across the country:-

Trevor Harvey ran at Maidenhead parkrun.

Wakehurst Place parkrun is a new fixture on the Sussex calendar with this week being the 7th event. Comprising two laps around the botanical gardens and Elizabethan mansion, the run just north of Ardingly. Already achieving big numbers due to the scenic location; Kate Evans was amongst the 500+ finishers.

Catharine Gray ran at Alton Water parkrun. This trail run in Ipswich takes place alongside the Alton Water reservoir. A strong result from Catharine in the results.

Bushy Park is the home of parkrun and a mecca for parkrun tourism. This week Steve Feest made the pilgrimage, running strongly amongst the 1,921 finishers.

Including Littlehampton that was thirty two Tuff parkrunners this week – well done to all.