Nineteen weeks ago, Bognor’s Tone Zone runners welcomed 55 new members. Many had one goal in mind: to complete the Bognor 10k.
Coached by the band of dedicated voluntary club coaches, it was mission accomplished as many completed this task with pride, recording more than respectable times in their first race.
The weather on the day was perfect for the spectators but temperatures in the 20s were an added challenge for all the runners. Tone Zone were the best-represented club on the day with 98 lining up for the start – slightly down on last year through withdrawals from injured runners.
Tone Zone’s club colours provided a sea of blue and orange around the course and with supporters cheering and encouraging them on, it gave a real community feel to the event.
Many longer-term club runners were back to challenge themselves on improving previous bests or simply just to take part and enjoy the event.
When runners reached the turning point at 6k, the heat on the promenade zapped the energy from many.
Simon Gill finishing first for Tone Zone in 37min 4sec, netting a finishing position of 14th out of 1,549. Gill managed consistent splits for the first 9k but in the last kilometre, his pace deserted him.
Slightly behind in second was Conrad Meagher in 37.40 – a personal best for Meagher and, for the second year running, a finishing place of 19th.
Peter Lee was third in 39.18, but he was disappointed as he had targeted 37 minutes.
Kari Mack ran 39min 22sec to claim top position for the Tone Zone ladies – she was fifth lady overall and second in her category.
Experienced Karen Harrison was next in 44.34, making her 17th lady overall and second in category. Kate O’Connor put in another fine race to finish third for the club in 44.59, 18th lady overall.
There had been high hopes for a team prize but Chichester Runners pipped Tone Zone to the accolade for the ladies while the men’s team finished fourth.
Personal bests were gained by many Tone Zone runners. Jack Penfold collected his first sub 40-minutes as he finished in 39.58. Paul Coe knocked more than two minutes off his previous best in 44.12. Other displays that stood out were Tony Holcombe finishing tenth in category, Danny Mahoney 11th in category, Paul Westwood ninth in category, Peter Lomax tenth and Chris Woodhead 11th.
The club had running pacers out on the route with Mark Annals, Amanda Worne and Viv Baker carrying flags for 50, 55 and 60 minutes. Benita Milton was also a pacer but pulled up with an injury.
Three days after the Bognor race, the Trundle Hill 10k included 13 Tone Zone runners.