Have you spotted ‘We run the Twittens’ on Twitter? Or maybe you’ve even seen them in the flesh? Of a Sunday morning? A crooked line of figures silhouetted on the horizon – somewhat incredibly running up a twitten?
I spoke to twitten runner extraordinaire, Rob Read, to find out all about it, and how a ‘twitten run’ actually works. “We’ve been doing them every Sunday morning since November 2015”, he told me. “That’s 168 runs”, at our time of speaking. “Anyone’s welcome. Just join us at 9am any Sunday – we gather at All Saints, then head to Broomans Lane.
“Most Sundays there are half a dozen runners – the most we’ve had is ten (on six occasions). We basically run up one twitten, all gather at the top, walk along to the next, and jog down – until we’ve run up or down all 12 twittens, (12½ if you count Bull Lane, which we do). Then we turn around and do the whole ladder in reverse, before coffee in Ground Coffee at the end.”
In total, 59 different people have taken part at one time or another, Rob tells me. He himself has completed more twitten runs than anyone else – at 111. “Since March 2018, we’ve had 58 consecutive runs without a break”, he says.So how did the idea first come about, and who had it? “It was Duncan Rawson who first thought of it. After he did a similar training run with the Lewes Athletics Club, he suggested it to me and Ashley Head. Since then, we’ve all completed more than fifty twitten runs, as have David Stacey, James McCauley and Tom Roper.”
Many women take part, I ask? “Oh yes,” he laughs; “some…” He also tells me about the time he did the twitten run “Marathon in a Day” – ie nine runs in 24 hours (five on Saturday afternoon, four on Sunday morning). “Only one counted as an official run, because that has to take place at 9am on a Sunday morning”, says Rob, a self-confessed twitten run-numbers nerd. “There are strict rules which need adhering to,” he grins.“And we also have a twiathlon once a year – where after the 12 twittens we swim 12 lengths of the Pells…”Still not tempted? Oh, go on – you know you want to…