In the wake of the tragic events at the Boston Marathon, there was even greater interest in this year’s London Marathon.
Record numbers turned out to cheer on the runners on a beautiful sunny morning, when a 30-second silence in memory of the Boston victims marked the start of the event.
Nine runners from ToneZone in Bognor took part, two of whom were there on ‘good-for-age’ times at previous events, Karen Harrison and Anna Kari Enes.
Harrison, with Ian Bayley and Chris Gallagher, had competed in the Brighton Marathon only a week earlier so fast times were going to be a tall order.
For the second week running, Harrison was the first to finish for the club with a five-year best time of 3hr 28min. Harrison had only a week to recover after Brighton yet beat her time by more than three minutes.
Harrison and Enes ran together until mile 23, when Harrison pulled ahead. Enes still ran an impressive personal best of 3.31, some 14 minutes better than her previous PB.
New marathon runner Colin Hiscock approached the race with mixed expectations after injury problems.
Hiscock sensibly paced the distance of the congested course and was rewarded with an outstanding first marathon finishing time of 3.54.
Sam Miles was another marathon first-timer and completed it in a great time, running for her nominated charity.
John Bishop was running his first marathon and paced the first half at a controlled level but at mile 14 suffered an injury.
With a seized-up knee and the temperature rising, Bishop initially believed his race was over. However, with the support of others and sheer determination, Bishop continued and completed the event.
Long-term committed runners Sarah Spurr, running her seventh marathon, and Jenny Bastone enjoyed a steady and faultless run. Bastone finished just 34 seconds over five hours.
Chris Gallaher and Ian Bayley completed the line-up of ToneZone runners, both finding the miles hard on their legs after the short recovery from Brighton. Gallagher was still first home for the men in an amazing 3.50.
The club’s support grows every year and once again dozens of ToneZone runners travelled to London to support the runners, strategically placing themselves at various points.
Meanwhile, the Bluebell 10k was a rare opportunity to run through the privately-owned 10,000-acre Angmering Park estate. On a muddier course than in previous years, nine ToneZone runners were flying the club colours.
First home for the men was Paul Westwood in 52 minutes. Running coach Viv Baker was the first for the ladies in 58min, closely followed by Judith Bazeley with 59min.
After completing the Brighton Marathon, Charlotte Seaton should have been resting but decided to complete this hilly, challenging course.
ToneZone times: London Marathon – Karen Harrison 3.28, Anna Kari Enes 3.31, Chris Gallagher 3.50, Colin Hiscock 3.54, Ian Bayley 3.58, Jenny Bastone 5.00, Sarah Spurr 5.21, Sam Miles 5.24, John Bishop 6.44.
Bluebell 10k – Paul Westwood 52min 15sec, Viv Baker 58.23, Judith Bazeley 59.42, Debbie Patching 1.02.00, Alison Stead 1.02.39, Jo Langrish 1.07.15, Nicky King 1.07.17, Charlotte Seaton 1.15.30, Chris Seaton 1.15.36.
More ToneZone runners’ results can be found at www.tonezonerunners.org