Bognor and Chichester athletes excel in Gosport’s big race

Tone Zone runners line up at Gosport
Tone Zone runners line up at Gosport

It was another record turnout for Bognor’s Tone Zone runners at the 28th Gosport Half Marathon.

Twenty-two of the club’s runners lined up for the start of one of the fastest races over this distance in the south

Conditions this year provided a great opportunity for many competitors to gain personal bests with low temperatures and virtually no wind.

Fresh from the New York Marathon and setting off with the early leaders, Simon Gill was not fazed by the quick pace and finished first for the club in 1hr 14min - 18th overall.

Peter Lee finished strongly in 1.24, a personal best. Danny Mahoney had another fast run, finishing third for the club in 1.28.

Jack Penfold was recorded as the youngest runner of the day (and one of the youngest ever) in the 1,600-strong field.

In his first half marathon, Penfold crossed the finish line sixth for the club in 1.39.

Finishing two minutes ahead of Penfold, was Colin Hiscock running a strong personal best of 1.37. Hiscock had been struggling with minor injuries recently and started at a safe pace - but there’s much more to come.

Anna Enes was the first woman home for the club in 1.39. Enes was disappointed with her performance on the day, recording a slightly slower time than previously achieved in Gosport.

Stuart Thomson and Paul Coe, among others, are in training for the Portsmouth Marathon in December. The pair used this event as a good gauge for their pace. Both recorded PBs, knocking five minutes off their top times.

Carolyn Stapely’s training paid off as she ran a great 1.53 - a PB by more than six minutes. Club coach Michelle Etheridge also recorded a remarkable time - her 1.57 was also a personal best.

Sam Miles had been a doubt but he too produced a personal best. Husband and wife team Marc and Jackie Annals ran together finishing in 1.47.

Veteran runner Roy Webb continues to impress, recording a third in category. Sarah Spurr finished 12th in her category.

Heading the other way along the coast, the popular Brighton 10k took place. This fast, flat course attracts 3,000-plus runners every year, many in search of a personal best.

Dedicated club runner Debbie Patching was the lone runner from Tone Zone. Running her 12th 10k, she was rewarded for her commitment with a personal best of 56 minutes.

Tone Zone times (Gosport Half Marathon): Simon Gill 1.14, Peter Lee 1.24, Danny Mahoney 1.28, Ian Bayley 1.36, Colin Hiscock 1.37, Anna Enes, Jack Penfold, Paul Coe 1.39, Chris Gallagher 1.42, Neil Strudwick 1.45, Stuart Thomson, Mark Edwards 1.46, Marc Annals, Jackie Annals 1.47, Dan Hughes 1.53, Stephen Goddard 1.56, Michelle Etheridge 1.57, Paul Stevenson 2.00, Sam Miles, Roy Webb 2.04, Sarah Spurr 2.07.

Meanwhile, Chichester’s James Baker had the misfortune to go off-course in the Gosport half marathon while lying in second place.

The winner of the Bexhill race a week earlier was able to recover but had lost too much ground on a couple of his rivals and had to settle for fourth place in a time of 70min 5sec, his best time of the season but outside his personal best of 68.11 set over the same course a few years ago.

The race witnessed a stunning performance from Southampton’s Alex Wall-Clark, whose winning time of 67.20 is one of the fastest ever recorded on the south coast.

There were good times set by other members of Chichester Runners including a number of personal bests, one of which was by Keith Ackerman who led the rest home in 221st place in the 1,500-strong field in 88.24.

Other times: Gareth Glass 333rd in 92.26, Colin Harley 340th in 92.28, Mike Moorcroft 412nd in 96.06, Mark Jennings 424th in 96.29, Kevin Batt 580th in 1.40.47, David Knight 716th in 1 45 02, Linda Roberts 883rd in 1.51.21, Kelly Baldwin 940th in 1.53.36, Peter Shaw 1026th in 1.56.56 and Sue Baker 1078th in 1.59.07.

IAN BAYLEY & PHIL BAKER