After having to postpone the PSUK 2020 Marathon due to COVID restrictions it was great to hear that starting horn at Chelmsford Haven Hospice Marathon on Sunday 17th October 2021!

Over a year of cancelled races and limited training it was amazing to watch athletes’ emotions of achievement, relief, belief and comradery. In addition, knowing that some of your entry fee is supporting such a great cause. Our thanks go to the host organisers for allowing us to incorporate our Championships within the race.

It could not have been better conditions for marathon running. Cool fresh air with a low breeze. Chelmsford Central Park was centre stage for the race HQ, athletes then having a short stroll to the city centre for the start. Athletes crammed into the city centre, each with their own goal, motivation and outfit!

With a total entry of 1200 there was always someone to run with, challenge, race, encourage and share the experience. Athletes set off at 0900hours and completed a small 3 mile loop before heading back through central park where crowds of people were waiting to shout and cheers words of encouragement. The PSUK runners had already spread out with Alex Daniels from D&C leading closely followed by Phil Adams from PSNI. Julian Smith from D&C was following in 3rd.First woman through was Tara Malone from PSNI.

The race then followed an undulating route out into the countryside with less supporters requiring greater personal motivation. As athletes headed back into the city, spirits were lifted as the end was near. Again, Central Park housed the finish, lined with well-wishers, loud music and a commentator willing you on through the line.

First of the PSUK runners to emerge was Phil Adams who had overtaken Alex Daniels around the 17-mile mark and crossed the line in first place in a time of 2hr42.31. Alex held onto 2nd in a time of 2hr47.47. Preventing PSNI and D&C for a clean sweep 3rd place was taken by Colin Wood of TVP in a time of 2hr49.40.

Tara Malone held onto 1st place in a time of 3hr15.54, 2nd place went to Veronica Singleton-Lawley in 4hr.03.29 and Deborah Hitching, the local Essex contingent taking 3rd in 4hr16.06. The remaining athletes kept streaming over the line competing for personal achievements, and team placings.

Essex Sports and Recreation Association ground was host to the post-race presentation. Essex ACC Kevin Baldwin gave a few words of welcome and a well done before presenting the awards as follows:

  • 1st Woman Tara Malone – PSNI
  • 2nd Woman Ron Singleton-Lawley – Herts
  • 3rd Woman Deborah Hitching – Essex
  • 1st Man Phil Adams – PSNI
  • 2nd Man Alex Daniels – D&C
  • 3rd Man Colin Wood – TVP

The first 3 teams [Team = first 3 runners, cumulative time]:

  • 1st Team PSNI, Phil Adams, Keith Mcguile, Michael Barton
  • 2nd Team D&C, Alex Daniels, Julian Smith, James Blight
  • 3rd Team MET, Tey Lynn-Jones, Will Green, Trevor Normoyle

Top Veterans:

  • 1st Male Vet 40, Michael Barton – PSNI
  • 1st Woman Vet 35, Lucy Campbell – Norfolk

By Katherine Willoughby