Tuff Fitty triathletes show they're still tough - and fit

A record number of Tuff Fitty Triathlon Club members have competed at middle distance triathlons over a three-week period.

Tuff Fitty members at the Cotswolds event
Tuff Fitty members at the Cotswolds event

A record number of Tuff Fitty Triathlon Club members have competed at middle distance triathlons over a three-week period.

While the Tokyo Olympics showcased the sport that combines swimming, cycling and running, Tuff Fitty athletes have travelled the country competing across the longer distance of a 1,900m swim, 56-mile cycle followed by a 13.1-mile run.

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The largest gathering of club members saw 38 athletes in the Cotswolds near Cirencester, where the race was expected to start in a lake.

Having donned wetsuits ready for a 6am swim, mist rolled in delaying the start.

Conditions failed to improve and after a 90-minute wait the swim was cancelled because of safety concerns.

Clive Harvey, Tuff Fitty chairman, explained that for many this would be their first race across a longer distance and there was bitter disappointment from them, and the stronger swimmers, the full event could not take place.

The race continued with just the bike and run course to complete. The swim normally spreads athletes out, but with over 800 cyclists starting at once, it became very technical as Tuff Fitty athletes worked their way through the field.

There were some excellent split times with Tom Goddard, Gavin Sewell, Chris Robinson and James Togneri all going under 2.5 hours on the 56-mile course.

Verity-Jane Lacey completed the cycle as 15th fastest female with Nikki Gatland & Nicole Patterson-Lett also in the top 50.

Athletes then embarked on the run across trail and road. Tuff Fitty athlete Pete Littleboy ran 13.1 miles in just 1.32; a quick time straight off the bike. Iris Bennett was the quickest female club member completing her half marathon in 1.55.

The Tuff Fitty contingent were Tom Goddard, Pete Littleboy, Gavin Sewell, Chris Robinson, Dan Fitzgerald, Phil Scales, Mike Barratt, Verity-Jane Lacey, James Togneri, Ollie McDonald, Jon Babbage, Niki Gatland, Dave March, Adrian Oliver, Dom Amey, Paul Martin, Jon Roper, Nick Bolding, Clare Worgan, Iris Bennett, Mark Dinsdale, Sharon Tidmarsh, Clive Harvey, Ed Lay, Lee Bishop, Trevor Harvey, Joanne Meaney, Glenn Parisi, Leah Simms, Debbie Boxall, Sue Neilson, Tiff Orton, Ben Cumberland, James Brock, Janet Shepherd, Claire Moyle, Shelley Babbage and Nicole Patterson-Lett.

Another middle-distance race was held in the New Forest, swimming in the Beaulieu river before the cycle and run around the national park.

There were good results from club members Alex Webb and Drew Gowland.

Alister Marchant completed Ironman 70.3 at Stafford on the same hot weekend which included a gruelling climb up to a castle.

Two further Tuff Fitty members made up the total of 43 club members racing long distance.

Simon Thistlethwaite competed at Castle Howard in Yorkshire and there was a great result at Eastbourne.

James Mapley’s swim started by jumping off the Pier. Mapley recorded an excellent time across swim, bike and run to finish in 4hr 53 minutes – 18th overall.