Another fantastic weekend of racing by Bognor’s Tone Zone Runners was headlined by the London Marathon.
The pinnacle of the race calendar drew nine runners from the club. With near-perfect weather and an electric atmosphere, Simon Gill finished in an amazing 2hr 36min 25sec, coming in 179th out of more than 38,000 competitors – and 30 seconds faster of the legendary Paula Radcliffe.
For several runners, this was their second marathon in two weeks, having completed Brighton – including Grace Natoli. Jim Simmonds and Daniel Hughes.
Elsewhere, the Bluebell ten-mile and 10k races across Sussex were again popular with Tone Zone Runners.
Neil Strudwick finished the ten-mile race first for the club in 1.15.18. In the 10k option, Phillip Forrestal finished in 55.58. A total of 24 runners from the club attended.
In other races, Mike Stead did the Hillingdon Half in 1.50.18 (PB), Phillip Forrestal the Brutal 10k in 1.32.17 and Tony Hancock the Blackpool Marathon in 3.35.49.
Tone Zone times: London Marathon - Simon Gill 2.36.25; Andy Mair 3.23.39; Danny Mahoney 3.23.39; Karen Harrison 3.26.11; Anna Kari Enes 3.28.41; Jim Simmons 3.43.04; Daniel Hughes 3.49.25; Grace Natoli 4.23.53; Judith Bazeley 4.49.45.
Bluebell 10k: Phillip Forrestal 55.58; David Cornell 59.14; Alison Lindley 1.00.04; Dale Stevens 1.02.30; Clair Mason 1.02.46; Mike Monk 1.03.58; Natalie King 1.07.52; Carole Mulry 1.09.40.
Bluebell ten-mile: Neil Strudwick 1.15.18; Tony Holcombe 1.18.37; Mark Warwick 1.21.49; Nina Baldwinson 1.26.27; Borley Neil 1.26.29; Andrew Miles 1.27.35; Jessica Thomson 1.27.45; Paul Coe 1.28.30; Laura Newell 1.28.32; Jackie Williamson 1.28.39; Jo Hinckley 1.30.02; Stuart Thomson 1.33.26; Sarah Baker 1.33.27; Alan McTernan 1.35.50; Michelle Miles 1.55.18; Jane Beaven 1.55.21.
Chichester Runners fielded just six members in the London Marathon – three of whom achieved PBs.
First across the line for the club was Mike Houston in 3.08.01, which knocked more than ten minutes off his previous best and saw him run a faster second-half of the race than first.
It was good to see Houston in action as he has spent much of the winter as organiser and initiator of the popular weekly Chichester Parkruns in Oaklands Park.
Lee Neumann and Colin Harley, two of the club’s most experienced marathon runners, came home in 3.27 and 3.42 respectively while Scott Balandis was delighted with a 3.51 clocking.
Kerry Watts recorded 4.11, a fine run from an athlete who has had less than a year in the sport and was running in her first marathon, while Eric Beck came home in 4.35.
Chichester had the first two runners home in the Worthing Prom 5k dash although fast times were thwarted by a second half of the race running into the teeth of a gale.
James Baker won the event in 16.17, followed by team-mate John Leonard in 17.24.