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He’s a marathon marvel! Tone Zone race ace Simon comes 10th in sun-kissed Brighton 26-miler

Bognor runner Simon Gill proved to be a marathon marvel with a fantastic finishing time at yesterday’s sun-kissed Brighton Marathon.

Bognor Tone Zone member Simon joined 12,000 runners in the eight annual event along the coast — and did so on the hottest day of the year so far.

Householders lined the streets of the course armed with hoses spouting cold, refreshing water to help competitors stave off the effects of the heat, with temperatures reaching 20C.

Simon was the first Tone Zone runner to come home and did so in an impressive 10th position in a time of 2hr39min in front of  more than 150,000 well-wishers who lined the streets to cheer on competitors. Pictured below are two other Tone Zone runners, Grace Natoli, left, and Andy Miles.

Grace Natoli & Andy Miles

And there was a slice of history on the day with Stuart Hawkes becoming the first British winner of the race with a finishing time of 2hr27min, 36sec.

The race started from Preston Park with Brighton boss Chris Hughton on hand to officially start the event setting the runners on their way.

And there were plenty of supporters cheering on the Tone Zone runners, a fact not lost on coach Colin Hiscock. He said: “I’d like to say a massive thank you to all the supporters at Brighton. It’s not much fun standing around for hours waiting for runners but it’s massively appreciated. It really does make a massive difference to morale.”

Meanwhile, Claire Baker and Paul Wells, also from Tone Zone running club, ran the marathon to raise enough cash to put a defibrillator in Bognor Regis town centre.

Competing in his first marathon was Jack Penfold, 20. He started strongly but hit the dreaded wall at 20 miles as the energy-sapping heat took effect on the youngster, after slowing for three miles he was spurred on by his fellow club members at the side of the road and dug deep to run the final three miles to finish in 3.27.
Sy Daymond, Christopher Dummer and Jess Thomson were also competing in their first marathons. Daymond and Dummer ran well to finish in 3.25 and 3.44. Jess finished slightly after them in 4.04 after also being effected in the last quarter by the severe heat.
Jack Penfold Brighton
Jack Penfold after Brighton

Other marathon debutantes were Daryl Fairbrother and Michelle Miles in 4.18 and 5.47. Two runners amazingly achieved PBs, Colin Hiscock in 3.27 and Wells in 5.48.

Another marathon taking place on the same day was in Paris. The club had four runners taking part in even hotter conditions than Brighton. Chris Gallagher ran with aplomb to cross the line in 3.39. Husband and wife team, Mark and Jackie Willamson ran 4.18 and 4.26 respectively with Jo Hinckley completing the course in 4.41.
In another feat of endurance, Paul Coe took part in the South Downs 50-mile challenge. As the name suggests this 50-mile run starts from Worthing College and ends at Eastbourne via the South Downs Way. If the distance isn’t a tough enough task to overcome there’s also the small matter of over 6,100ft of hills to tackle. Despite all of this, Paul finished in 10 hrs 49 mins.
Brighton Marathon 
Simon Gill 2.39
Sy Daymond 3.25
Jack Penfold 3.27
Colin Hiscock 3.27
Anne Kari Enes 3.38
Christopher Dummer 3.44
Gary Pidgeon 3.54
Tony Holcombe 4.00
Jess Thomson 4.04
Ian Bayley 4.17
Daryl Fairbrother 4.18
Peter Ramsdale 4.19
Carl Bryant 4.25
Alan Coombs 4.34
Simon Bodsworth 4.37
Gary Smith 4.45
Derek Natoli 4.46
Gareth Stemp 4.49
Lesly Ward 4.55
Grace Natoli 4.57
Claire Baker 5.12
Bushka Skladanek 5.14
Andy Miles 5.19
Daniel Hughes 5.27
Lisa Joyce 5.32
Ian Culton 5.42
Christine Rounds 5.47
Michelle Miles 5.47
Paul Wells 5.48
Brighton 10k 
Mark Edwards 47.28
Paul Westwood 51.49
Judith Bazeley 57.08
Paris Marathon 
Chris Gallagher 3.39
Mark Willamson 4.18
Jackie Willamson 4.26
Jo Hinckley 4.41
Southdowns Way 50 
Paul Coe 10.49
Carl Eldridge
Carl Eldridge
Carl Eldridge is a hugely experienced journalist who has worked on local and national newspapers, magazines and written for websites over the past 30 years. He lives in Bognor Regis with his wife and son.