It’s been a bit busy over the last 6 months…. what have we been up to?
London to Brighton Bike Ride
Back in June last year, a group of Foxes who had previously signed up in 2019 (pre pandemic) to the London to Brighton Bike Ride, finally got to take part. Ten members (plus a friend of the foxes Laura) swapped their running trainers for wheels, to challenge themselves and raise money for the British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/how-you-can-help/events/london-to-brighton-bike-ride a charity close to many of their hearts.
With Leah (a tri-athlete and former half iron man competitor) at the helm, the group all trained hard. Often enduring the strong winds along the south’s coastal paths on lengthy training rides from Worthing to places like Rottingdean and back, or Bognor. Their training had to incorporate hills in preparation for some of the nasty ones along the route, thankfully this is something they all were familiar with from their hill running sessions.
The ladies meticulous planning and logistical prep worked well, however the hostel was 3 miles from the start at Clapham Common. Even with the scheduled start times the sheer number of participants and bikes on the road was overwhelming on occasions but spread out after the first 10 miles. The group naturally divided with the miles but they ensured in true foxy style that no fox was left behind. Sticking to one of the two groups of ladies they waited for each other at the fuel stops that were really well placed every few miles along the route. Extra vaseline, sun cream, food and hydration were applied, eaten and drunk when necessary and they considered themselves really lucky with the weather and only a couple of minor scrapes and no punctures! Ditchling Beacon was certainly a challenge and all the ladies were chuffed with their achievements up that mighty hill, some managing it non stop.
All of the Foxy ladies Go Cycling group made it to the finish line triumphant, relieved and tired but absolutely buzzing with excitement at completing it. They then had another few miles to get to Hove Station for bike pick up and the journey home. Even more rewarding was a few days after the ride seeing that they had raised over £2500 and in the top 5% of fundraisers for the event.
Swim n Run
Every summer for the first Monday of each month the Foxy Ladies pitch up at Arundel Lido at 6pm and swim 16th lengths and then run a 5km and why not! We encourage all our members to try something different whether its this or something else. This is a great way without any pressure to try out a mini aquathlon and to see if its for you before committing to a race.
Its about the experience and sharing that experience with others that leaves people feeling so exhilarated after. Everyone that tried it out for the first time last year was so delighted that they had done it and said they would not have done it without the club and other members support but couldn’t wait for the next opportunity to try it again.
The Lido is in an ideal location for a road or trail run after a brisk outdoor swim and the stunning Arundel Castle it’s back drop. The ladies hop out the water pull on their trainers and run off straight away to replicate minimal transition times as if they were to race. The Lido are very accommodating and staff always happy to help so why not give it a try.https://arundel-lido.com/
Races ….so many races
As a club we take part in so many races every month so we often don’t really mention them apart from on our own club or personal social media. In 2022 we saw an absolutely magnificent amount of races and members attending them, mainly due to the fact that so many were postponed in the previous years. What we love as always is trying a new or different race, supporting our ladies around a course and being at the end for the all important race finish and obligatory pics.
We tried out the new trail race at National Trust Leonardslee Gardens. That was a bit different, few different laps and a bit hilly in places and lots of lovely statues, trees and plants to look at whilst we ran. https://www.leonardsleegardens.co.uk/all-events/seasonal-series
Our ladies race for themselves, but also often with others in mind. Usually for reasons very close to their hearts, sometimes for lost loved ones or their own personal challenges with illnesses. Most raising money for national or local charities. Whatever their reason or motivation they are never alone, the support on training runs from others foxy members or on the side lines is always immense.
This year our ever inspiring members did that again training relentlessly through the summer for October Marathons, in London, Loch Ness and Beachy Head. They captured our hearts following their training journeys and then seeing them in action on the day. Well done to all our Marathon Heroes and Ultra-Marathon runners this year.
The races continued with a small group travelling up North for the Great North Run and loving the route atmosphere and experience but perhaps not the travelling involved. We had another bumper turn out for the Great South Run, many doing it for the first time and making it their furthest distance, so it was good to talk about it afterwards over dinner at a great local restaurant.
Many more races have happened over the last 6 months too many to mention. We always attend the Chestnut Tree House Littlehampton 10km https://www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/events/littlehampton10k/ in September and every year the Foxes swarm in their masses to support Worthing 10km. This year it was in October, which was a refreshing change from the usual hot day we usually experience in June. Again, we saw many ladies complete this distance for their first time or come away with some great personal bests, all staying to cheer in the last foxy.
Learn to Run … done!
We also squeezed a new “learn to Run Course ” in September on a Thursday evening. We were delighted when all the ladies went on to graduate late in October, supported by existing Foxy members on a blustery seafront run. Completing their non-stop 5km and obtaining their certificate with pride. This group now have their own session they attend regularly.
The year finished with our usual festive antics. Our running routes included the charity lights in the Offington area and Saxifrage way. We also the obligatory town lights run and Soldier Trail that has become a familiar event in the Foxy Calendar. We had a huge turn out for the festive park run on Christmas Eve, some members achieving pbs even dressed as elves!!
After Christmas we completed our annual Pier to Pier run. This year opting for the wind behind us and running from Worthing to Brighton instead before catching the train home. Last but by no means least approximately 30 members turned out in the pouring rain to get even wetter and muddier at the Brutal. https://brutal.run/events This is an 8km course in the old Army base in Longmoor, Hampshire on New Years Eve. With waist high water, steep hills and muddy bogs to crawl through everyone did so well to come back with smiles on their faces and both shoes on their feet. We had whole families take part and we have the ultimate respect for our junior girls that took part that day as water levels were so high and conditions very bleak.
That concludes the end to another fun packed running year for the Foxy Ladies Running Club. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2023.