Wind won’t stop Tone Zone runners sweeping to success

Tone Zone Runners at the Portsmouth race
Tone Zone Runners at the Portsmouth race

A windswept and wet Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon attracted nine of Bognor’s Tone Zone runners.

Fast times were not on the agenda as near gale-force winds challenged runners - while off-road sections tested competitors further with slippery mud and deep puddles.

Tone Zone’s Neil Strudwick was first to finish for the club in a time of 1hr 44min. Seconds behind was new club member Tony Holcombe in 1.45.

Grace Natoli put in a good performance, running 2.05 - not a personal best but excellent in the conditions.

Judith Bazeley, Jo Hinckley and Alice Slater all ran superb races and finished within minutes of each other. Slater recorded a personal best for the distance.

The Chichester Corporate Challenge was on the schedule for 15 Tone Zone members. First to finish in the A race in 15.29min was Conrad Meagher. In the B race, Kari Mack was first for the club in 17.15, fourth overall and the first lady in that race. Alison Stead and Debbie Patching also competed. Many Tone Zoners have been reflecting on good performances in the Brighton Half Marathon, where fantastic achievements were recorded.

Carolyn Stapely knocked two minutes off her previous best from the Gosport Half Marathon in November. Sam Miles was another that had competed at Gosport but bettered her best by two minutes - surprising even herself.

Debbie Pacey, training for the London Marathon, ran exceptionally well. The extra training she had put in paid dividends with another personal best. PBs were also set by Alison Stead and Amanda Sheppard, knocking three and five minutes off their previous bests.

Personal bests continued with Colin Hiscock producing an inspiring time of 1.34. Luke Simmonds had a day to remember with 1.38, seven minutes quicker than his best. Glenn Penfold worked hard for 1.55 with Richard Harper and Gary Pidgeon bettering their top marks. Dedicated runner and committee member Sarah Santer recorded an amazing 1.53.

Amanda Worne displayed amazing determination with a well-paced in 1.45 - her final mile was her fastest, boding well for her place in the London Marathon.

Michelle Maxim ran this race as a comeback and even with a recurring injury problem at ten miles, she completed the last three with a limp. Sadly, Viv Baker, for the first time in her career, was forced to pull out with an ankle injury.

The Reading Half Marathon attracted two Tone Zone members - Paul Coe and Stuart Thomson. Coe ran a personal best of 1.39 while Thomson ran 1.54.

The Steyning Stinger Marathon can break many a good runner with a cross-country, extremely hilly course around the South Downs.

Joan Woolley was one of two Tone Zone runners competing - finishing in 6hr 53min. She said in several marathons, this had been her biggest challenge.

Suffering with calf cramp, she was forced to walk some of the relentless route.

Simon Bodsworth was the other finisher for the club, in 4.40. This was his second marathon in two weeks after running the Heartbreak Marathon in Hampshire in 3.57.

Veteran runner Peter Chittenden ran alongside Debbie Patching at the Rowans 10k in Portsmouth. He had also been involved in the Kenley 10k, running 1.05s. Tony Holcombe ran the Bath Half Marathon in one hour.

A small band of runners headed off to the warmer climates of Palma. Sarah Spurr, Patricia Argent, Alan Argent and Lesley Ward competed in the resort’s half marathon while Vicky Veiss and Mike Young ran the 10k.

Tone Zone times: Portsmouth Half Marathon – Neil Strudwick 1.44, Tony Holcombe 1.45, Daniel Hughes 1.53, Ian Culton 1.58, Grace Natoli 2.05, Paul Stevenson 2.07, Judith Bazeley 2.14, Jo Hinckley 2.15, Alice Slater 2.20. Chi Corporate Challenge - A Race – Conrad Meagher 15.29, Sam Grover 16.28, Michael Harris, 16.29, Danny Mahoney 16.30; B Race – Kari Mack 17.15, Michael Batstone 18.29, Darly Fairbrother 19.03, Tony Hancock 19.08, Neil Strudwick 19.32, - Glenn Penfold 20.04, Simon Dugdale 21.48. Graham Lyne 23.20, Alison Stead 23.35, Debbie Patching 23.45.

IAN BAYLEY