Chichester runners show endurance at Goodwood – and it’s a marathon not a sprint for Bognor athletes
With a high standard set at the Relay Championships two weeks earlier, competitive racing was expected across all age groups and the many spectators were not disappointed.
Chichester quickly found themselves in contention in the girls’ race.
Emmy Pemberton was content to stay just behind the leaders in the opening 1000m lap, then overtook the rest in the closing stages to record Chichester’s first win of the day with an impressive and well-judged run.
Not far behind were Maya Stair and Mia Hollands, 15th and 16th respectively, Molly Bye, 24th and Ella Franklin, 26th, completing the club score. There was a top 10 finish in the boys’ race with Alfie Luxford a strong 7th and Archie Holloway a spirited 31st.
The Under-13 age group is particularly strong in Sussex at the moment, so it was great to see Chichester’s 10-man squad perform with credit.
Elodie Hill continued the excellent form she showed in a schools match earlier in the week with a fine 6th place finish at Goodwood. Rose Pemberton had a strong run in 29th while Anna Wyatt finished 49th in her first year in the age group.
In the boys’ race, Matthew Mainwaring was with the frontrunners from the early stages and looked comfortable in a group of fast-moving athletes.
At the finish, Mainwaring was only edged out by Sussex Under-15 track record holder Fin Lumber-Fry of Eastbourne and left a trail of Britain’s top 20 riders in his wake.
Close behind was Ben Stewart in 11th with Harry Cruttenden closing the scoring for Team A in 22nd for the team’s third place. Behind, there was a good packing of Max Gayle 29th, Harry Dunne 36th, Freddie Gay 40th and Arthur Reynolds 41st to put the B team in 11th.
In the first of two Under-15 races, Chichester had their second individual winner of the day thanks to a well-judged run from in-form Molly Smithers.
Choosing to let the leading pack take a slight lead on the short opening lap, Smithers picked up the pace on the longer lap through the woods and quickly found herself in third place with only the pair of favorites of Crawley AC in front of her.
Gradually, she took their lead and raced through the final 800 meters to earn her first-ever Sussex league win.
Carrie Anelay also made the top 10 in ninth place with Ela Pemberton completing the scoring in 15th and reserve Phebe Holloway 40th.
Their team’s total of 25 points was enough for an equal second place that day.
In the Boys Under 15 race, Ben Ward rode a disciplined race over the same 4,000m course and let a leading pack of a dozen athletes go from the start at a pace that turned out too fast.
Ward gradually brought the field back to finish in seventh place and in clear view of the leaders.
In probably the most hotly contested race of the day, the entire nine-rider team from Chichester rode well. Monty Hill was next to finish in 20th with Will Bailey completing the scoring for Team A in 31st and a team close to fifth.
Very close behind were Sam Cato in 33rd, Digby Fulford 37th and Will Allen 42nd for the team’s 9th place. A good measure of the club’s wealth of talent in this age group can be seen in the C team of Isaac Siddle in 44th, Sam Wyatt 44th and Dan Ellis 49th.
Chichester’s senior women’s side clung to their Division 1 status last season and put on a spirited defense at Goodwood thanks to contributions from all age groups, from Under-17s to veterans.
In fact, there were four different age groups represented in the A team with senior Alice Cox-Rusbridge a handsome 18th, over 35 Fay Cripps 26th, under 20 Cerys Dickinson 29th and Anya Barrett still under 17 years old, 35th.
The club’s B team was no less representative with two senior athletes in their early twenties, Grace Wills and Charlotte Reading, joined by top veterans Jane Harrop, nationally ranked over-55 athlete Helen Dean over 65, scoring 35th, 39th, 44th and 62nd. .
Team B is not only fourth in Division 2, but veteran trio Cripps, Harrop and Dean are currently third in the veteran league standings.
Unlike the women’s races, men under 17 have their own 5000m race due to the length of the senior course at 8000m.
The two riders from Chichester acquitted themselves well with Harvey McGuinness shoving his way through the peloton in the final stages to a fine second place, a good start to his quest for an individual medal, after being beaten last season.
Josh Dunne raced solidly for 24th as he builds a solid foundation for next summer’s track season.
None of the senior relay medal foursome were able to take part in the Championship game, it was Conrad Meagher who led the club home with a fine 13th place, closely followed by Chi Uni student Isaac Brown in 19th .
The club were grateful that five of their veterans had caught up with Jason Boswell in 79th, Rick Pullen in 82nd, Tim Brown in 95th, Paul Stallard in 114th and over-70 super vet Peter Shaw in 135th.
The fall marathon season includes races in places like Berlin, Dorney Lake, Loch Ness, London, New York and Chicago. And it was loaded for Bognor’s Tone Zone Runners.
The club has had runners all over the UK who have taken part in different marathons, a few of which have traveled to Berlin and Palma to fly the flag.
At the end of September was the Berlin Marathon, where Daryl Fairbrother and Sarah Zacal ventured out to run alongside Eluid Kipchoge as he broke a marathon world record of 2:01:09.
In fine form was Zacal, who had been training harder and smarter all summer to hit a new PB and finish under his target in 3:48:18.
Fairbrother had one goal, to get the marathon under four hours under his belt. Also, with smarter training throughout the summer, he ran an evenly matched race and hung on for 3:59:23 to win a personal best.
A week later came the London Marathon, the Loch Ness Marathon and the Lake Dorney Marathon, with many of the club’s runners taking part.
In the capital, 11 members of the Blue and Orange Army pounded the streets from Blackheath, across Tower Bridge, across Canary Wharf, outside Buckingham Palace and into The Mall.
Jack Penfold was the club’s first at home by slipping just under the 2:55 barrier with a sprint finish in 2:54:52.
Christo Oosthuizen also ran a marathon of less than three hours. Despite a tough end to training with injuries, Oosthuizen continued to impress and finished in 2:59:08.
Anne Kari Enes was back in London and finished in 3:42:07, just 23 seconds ahead of Max Page who made his London debut.
Kari Mack finished on the mark of 3.50 at just eight minutes.
Lisa Broad was running her first London Marathon and ran an extremely controlled and well-paced run to run a PB of 1:44 in 4:34:07.
Lucy Brand ran with Lisa Wadey, who was running her first marathon, and the two finished in 4:55:05.
John Abell was also aiming to complete his first marathon, running with a smile for 26.2 miles. John finished in 5:55:29.
Good friends Karen Butcher and Rebecca Sleet, another rookie marathon runner, ran together and finished one of the best marathons in the world with a time of 6.49.
Coincidentally, just 26.2 miles from Dorney Lake were Jason Abell and Emma Tidmarsh, ready to complete four laps of the lake and claim their medal.
Abell, who raced in Manchester earlier in the year, managed to finish fourth overall in 2:49:21.
Tidmarsh ran 10 miles with his good buddy Nik, who was running the half marathon, before pushing and running the final 16 miles very consistently to finish in 5.08.
The third marathon of the day with a Tone Zone rep was the Loch Ness Marathon.
Zoe Hemes had made the pilgrimage to Scotland to run the scenic race. Finishing with a time of 5.05, Hemes clocked a new personal best of 53 minutes.
Just a week later were the Richmond Marathon and the Palma Marathon.
In Richmond, Marzena Stevens clocked a five-minute PB with a time of 3.53. Tony Holcombe was also running the marathon and finished just under five hours in 4:59:22.
In a slightly warmer climate Mark Williamson ran the Palma Marathon, despite the hilly course and hot weather Mark finished with an impressive time of 4.06.
The last autumn bouldering marathon was the Beachy Head Marathon in East Sussex, a very challenging course that includes the Seven Sisters.
Michelle Maxim was running her third Beachy Head Marathon and finished in 7.14.