Checking the weather forecast the day before the Bluebell 10k and ten-mile race was enough for any competitor to question the attraction of running this hilly course.
With the added challenging thought of the mud, it looked to be a tough day all round. However, Mother Nature blessed the day and conditions were good.
Bognor-based Tone Zone runners were once again out in full force over the two runs with 16 competing across the two races.
The 10k race started slightly earlier to ease congestion and more than 300 runners headed off at a good pace. Richard Martin set the early pace for the club finishing in 48 minutes.
Second for the club was Richard Peach in 57min. For the ladies, running her first race after completing the London Marathon, was Debbie Pacey crossing the line just over the hour mark. Jacqui Salt was the second lady home for the club.
In the ten-mile race, Marius Vitkauskas was first for the club with Colin Hiscock and Luke Simmonds battling out for second, Hiscock taking it.
Neil Strudwick continues to impress - he finished in 1.19, fourth TZ runner for the men.
Kate O’Connor continued to underline her increasing ability, finishing as first lady for the club and second in her category with a time of 1.21. Second for the ladies was Lisa Robinson, closely followed by Alison Stead, Grace Natoli and Joan Woolley.
Long-term runner Tony Hancock was on his travels for the Shakespeare Marathon in Staffordshire. No stranger to this distance, he completed it in a commendable time of 3.56.
Hancock didn’t have time to reflect on his achievement: the following week he was back in action running the Lakeside 5k in Portsmouth alongside of club-mate Debbie Patching.
In other races, Peter Chittenden completed the Folkestone ten-mile race in 1.45.
Tone Zone runners and times: Bluebell 10k – Richard Martin 48.06, Richard Peach 57.38, Neil Pacey 58.56, Graham Lyne 1.00.42, Debbie Pacey 1.01.52, Dale Stevens 1.03.18, Jacqui Salt 1.10.27, Carole Mulry 1.15.09, Claire Baker 1.15.11.
Bluebell ten-mile - Marius Vitkauskas 1.10.20, Colin Hiscock 1.18.33, Luke Simmonds 1.18.48, Ian Bayley 1.19.09, Neil Strudwick 1.19.52, Kate O’Connor 1.21.29, Tony Holcombe 1.21.39, Paul Coe 1.24.12, Mark Edwards 1.27.38, Daniel Hughes 1.29.17, Lisa Robinson 1.39.27, Stuart Thomson 1.39.53, Paul Stevenson 1.40.10, Alison Stead 1.41.12, Grace Natoli 1.41.54, Joan Woolley 1.53.27.