After months of relentless winter training for many of the club’s runners, the start of two weekends of marathons had finally arrived.
The London Marathon is seen by many as the pinnacle of their running careers. Ranked in the top ten marathons in the world, this oversubscribed event is one of the hardest races to gain a place at.
Bognor’s Tone Zone runners had 12 entries involved this year, which included three places granted by the organisers because of the enormous club size of more than 250 members.
As anticipated, Simon Gill produced the fastest time of the day recording 2hr 41min (222nd overall). This was a club record and a new personal best for Gill.
Gary Pidgeon was in top form, finishing second for the men in an outstanding time of 3.32, a personal best by 17 minutes.
For the ladies Karen Harrison and Anna Enes were in contention for first place for the club and Harrison grabbed the glory in 3.31, making her 91st in category. Enes finished in 3.32, marginally outside of her personal best.
Several first-time marathon runners were at this event for the first time, with Debbie Pacey finishing in 4.49, Amanda Worne in 4.02 and Louisa Proctor in 3.52, all running personal bests.
Stuart Thomson finished his second marathon in two weeks, having already run the Brighton Marathon. Carolyn Stapely finished in 4.04, a personal best by nearly 40 minutes. Hannah Satchelli ran 3.25 while Mark Ponsfold and Simon Bosworth finished in 4.14 and 4.02.
Dozens of Tone Zone runners travelled to London to support their fellow runners.
The previous week saw the Brighton Marathon take place with the club fielding 25 runners. This event has continued to grow in popularity and is now considered as a perfect second choice to the London Marathon. Tone Zone produced an impressive 20 personal bests.
Peter Lee was the first to finish for the club in 3.05 - this was Lee’s first marathon and he recorded 152nd place. Marius Vitkauskas was second for the club in 3.15 followed by Richard Harper in 3.19.
For the ladies, also competing in her first marathon, Kate O’Connor impressed with a time of 3.46, finishing first for the club. Felicity Paton was second in 3.53. Paton had struggled with injury through much of the training.
Grace Natoli, in her fourth marathon, ran a personal best of 4.27, 18 minutes quicker than her previous best. Sam Miles, in her second marathon, ran an incredible 47 minutes quicker than her time at this event last year.
Sarah Baker impressed by knocking 35 minutes of her previous best. Paul Stevenson, Stuart Thomson, Sarah Santer, Simon Dugdale, Luke Simmonds, Colin Hiscock, Chris Gallagher, Jim Simmons and Paul Coe all turned in new PBs.
Marathon debutants Alan Mcternan and Karl Hayes both recorded decent times - 4.50 and 3.52 respectively. Another first timer at this event was Jo Langrish, who ran a consistently-paced race and loved the occasion so much she immediately re-entered for 2015.
Brighton Marathon runners and times: Peter Lee 3.05, Marius Vitkauskas 3.15, Richard Harper 3.19, Jim Simmons 3.31, Chris Gallagher 3.41, Kate O’Connor 3.46, Colin Hiscock 3.49, Ian Bayley 3.49, Paul Coe 3.49, Karl Hayes 3.52, Felicity Paton 3.53, Luke Simmonds 3.55, David Butler 4.05, Keith Hardwell 4.13, Stephen Goddard 4.14, Simon Dugdale 4.18, Sarah Santer 4.19, Grace Natoli 4.27, Ian Culton 4.27, Stuart Thomson 4.34, Sam Miles 4.37, Sarah Baker 4.41, Paul Stevenson 4.41, Alan Mcternan 4.50, Jo Langrish 5.40.