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Chelmsford Marathon is a runaway success!

by Press Release
Tuesday 21st October 2014

Race report: Chelmsford Marathon - Sunday, October 19, 2014

The very first J’s Hospice Chelmsford Marathon really was ‘a small charity making a big difference’ -  with thousands of spectators lining the route, almost 2,000 registered runners, over 300 volunteers on the day and a host of performers making the day memorable for the supporters as well as the runners, it really was a runaway success!

The race was started by high-profile charity fundraiser Lloyd Scott, who ‘ran’ the London Marathon in a 130lb Diving Suit over 6 days.

The route took in Central Park, Admirals Park, Bell Meadows, Tower Gardens, the village of Writtle and Hylands Park in a double-lapped course. Due to the typically English October weather and the teeming rain in the days leading up to the Marathon, a minor change was made to the course at the eleventh hour, due to health and safety concerns, but the feedback from the runners was almost universally (and overwhelmingly) positive.

Chelmsford Marathon - Sunday, October 19, 2014

Photo: Race winner Paul Martelletti

The last registered runner, Paul Martelletti, 35, who was the first man over the line with a time of two hours, 39 minutes and 50 seconds, said: “It was a varied route with a really interesting course. As a runner you need that to keep you going and I loved the ups and the downs. There was incredible crowd support and I enjoyed every minute of it!”

The oldest runner on the day was a very respectable 77, a blind gentleman took part with a ‘buddy’ and though a couple ran in fancy dress and a lady runner bravely carrying her weight loss equivalent in a rucksack, many were serious or professional runners trying to better their personal best.

Su Harrison of Heart FM’s Breakfast Show finished the Marathon in a very respectable 5 hours, 24 minutes – and was full of praise for the course, the marshalls and the incredible support shown by the people along the route “especially those watching in Writtle – they gave us sweets and cheered!”

After a week of heavy rain and strong winds, the sun shone and it was a warm and bright day for the Marathon, ensuring that not only the runners enjoyed a clear run, but families also came out to make it a real community event – with free runners from Team Kinetix, Jesters Show Choir, the Hylands School jazz band and Soul Sensations, the Essex Marching Corps and, cheering the winners home, cheerleaders the ARU Sirens, there was entertainment all day!

Entertainment also came in an unexpected form – in the afternoon runner Carl Easton asked The J’s to call up volunteer Diana Baker onto the stage, only to propose marriage to her in front of the huge crowd. Luckily she said yes, making it a memorable day for them in more ways than one!

Paul Martelletti came in first place, with an astonishingly good time of 2 hours, 39 minutes and a very strong lead! Paul is representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the World 100km Championships in Doha in November and admitted that the Chelmsford Marathon was ‘great practice!’

Second place went to Crispian Bloomfield, 38, from Brentwood with a time of 2 hours, 49 minutes, while 39-year-old Robert Small from London finished 3rd with 2 hours, 52 minutes.

The first woman across the line was Nikki Brockbank, a Chelmsford local who runs with the Springfield Striders, finished with a fantastic time of 3 hours and 13 minutes.

42-year-old Anita Cox from Great Dunmow came second with 3 hours, 29 minutes and Charlie Jennings, 40, from Rayleigh was the third woman across the line seconds later.

All runners received a medal and a goody bag but the three fastest men and women were also presented with a trophy onstage by record-breaking marathon runner Fiona Oakes, who managed to inspire both the runners and spectators with her extraordinary achievements.

Already there have been many enquiries from runners and potential runners alike about the possibility of this becoming an annual event; Nikki Perry, Communications Manager, The J’s Hospicehad the following to say: “The J’s Hospice have been delighted by the overwhelming support we have received from runners, supporters, families and spectators on the day, as well as companies keen to support a local event and through it, a local charity helping young adults in Essex. The success of this year means that we are keen to build on this to make it an annual event for the great city of Chelmsford!”

Of course this was a fundraising event for The J’s Hospice, intending to provide funding to continue providing our care and respite services to young adults (aged 16-40) across Essex who are suffering from life limiting or life threatening illnesses. Although all the sponsorship hasn’t come in yet, it is anticipatied that a total of £80,000 will be raised, which will make a huge difference to the lives of patients.

“We would like to send a sincere and heart-felt thank you to all those that raised this extraordinary sum of money for us – putting on an event of this size has been a real struggle for such a small charity so seeing others work so hard to raise funds and then run this incredible distance has been inspirational to us all.” said Sue Upton, Director of Fundraising

There are so many people to thank in putting together an event of this size; first, main sponsor, M&G Investments, without whom a lot of the event would not have been possible. The event also received support and advice from the following fantastic partners; Heart FM, Via Wire, Beaulieu Park, High Chelmer, Eat Natural, Win Fresh, Anglia Ruskin, Pret-a-Manger, Nuffield Health, Essex Landrover Club, Clear Cut Engraving, Clive Hopkinson and Karl Cadman of UK Athletics, Pill Box Pharmacy, Fiona Oakes, Chelmsford City Council Parks, Big Yellow Storage, Tesco, Ladies Circle, Chelmsford Round Table, Best of Chelmsford, Hog Roast, Mollys Lollys, Sweet Ideas, Britvic, Essex and Suffolk Water, Capespan International Ltd and Essex Highways.

Companies that support charities in this way enable them to spend money on more of the essentials and focus fully on raising funds that go directly towards patient care.

There had also been incredible support from the community, with almost 300 volunteers turning up on the day - not to mention their tireless efforts in advance, preparing for the Marathon. The J's would like to extend our heart-felt thanks and appreciation for such a huge level of commitment from so many caring individuals.

Please see our website for more information; www.thejshospice.org.uk

Key Marathon Facts:

  1. 2014 marks the very FIRST Chelmsford Marathon, and The J’s are delighted that we can showcase the beauty of Chelmsford so soon after it achieved City Status!
  2. The Marathon takes in Central Park, Admirals Park, Bell Meadow, Tower Gardens, Writtle and Hylands Park.
  3. There are over 1,900 registered runners for the very first Chelmsford Marathon.
  4. There are 14,000 bottles of water and 4,000 bananas available to runners on the day!
  5. Over 300 very generous volunteers have given up their time to make the day possible – huge thanks go out to every one of them.
  6. Our oldest runner on the day was 77 years old – congratulations on his spirit!
  7. The runner wearing Number 1 was The J’s Chief Executive Stuart Hornsby – running his first full marathon.
  8. Fiona Oakes gave out trophies to our 3 fastest runners. Fiona has broken three world records and is now the fastest woman to run a marathon on each Continent and the North Pole. In November she tackles the Everest stage race and in February 2015 she tackles the 777 – seven marathons on seven Continents in 7 days – this would be a new World Record. (www.fionaoakes.com)
  9. The 1st three placed men and 1st three women past the line received prize tickets to The J’s Winter Wonderland Ball in November, as well as free memberships to Nuffield Health.
  10. Sports massage was available to all runners, courtesy of CJ Total Sports Therapy.
  11. Fun family games and entertainment were available in the main area – giant outdoor games as well as lucky duck and games of chance.
  12. The J’s Hospice founder Denise Whiffin was our Head Marshall on the day.


Men's results

1 Paul Martelletti 2:39:48
2 Crispian Bloomfield 2:49:02
3 Robert Small 2:52:29


Women's results

1 Nikki Brockbank 3:13:32
2 Anita Cox 3:29:28
3 Claire White 3:30:26


Click here for full results


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