Tuesday, 7 July 2020

GRC Virtual Series Round 3 – 1 mile

An impressive 49 members took part in the penultimate challenge of the GRC Virtual Series bring total participation so far to 71 members. The challenging and teasing classic distance of the mile allowed members to really open up the pace without worrying too much for endurance. With most runners choosing a point-to-point course, many fell victim to the strict no greater than -30ft descent rule meaning they had to go again on another route. Having two weeks to complete the distance, runners were often seen having multiple attempts at the challenge.

Grant Davies stole the overall win with a track attempt during the final hours of the challenge with a national standard 4:40.  In second place was the rapidly improving Matthew Williamson in a time of 5:07 followed by Sam Jepson-Rivers in 5:21, running what would have been a PB had it been an official race.

As with the previous two rounds, the first lady was the incredible Jenny McBain in a time of 5:40. This was enough to cement 2nd place in the points leaderboard for the round and secures her positon at the top of the overall standings after 3 rounds. The next fastest lady was GRCs Ultra lady, Holly Durham with an impressive 6:15, a time Holly was rightfully proud of. Then it was the very fast veteran Caroline Davis in 3rd with a jaw-dropping 6:48.

Some standout performances from further down the results include Vicki Ball and Julie Gilbert. Vicki, a graduate from GRC’s 2018 10 weeks to 10k course continues to improve at an impressive rate. Her 6:51 for the mile was a giant leap in standard and just reward for all of her ‘lockdown’ training. Julie competing in the VW50 category was anther to show a giant leap in form with her impressive 7:27 and finishing 8th lady and clearly delighted with her time.  

Next up is the final event of the 4 race series, the 5 mile challenge. The same rules on social distancing will apply as per previous events.

Overall results: 1 Grant Davies SM 04:40, 2 Matthew Williamson SM 05:07, 3 Sam Jepson-Rivers SM 05:21, 4 Joe Diggins M35 05:29, 5 Gav Meadows M35 05:40, 5 Jenny McBain W40 05:40, 7 Gerry Hyde M55 05:45, 7 Andrew Pask M35 05:45, 9 Jack Dodwell SM 05:48, 10 Ben Hatherley M40 05:49, 10 Cameron Hoggan SM 05:49, 12 Richard Payne M35 05:58, 13 Sam Dodwell SM 05:59, 14 Alan Carley M50 06:02, 15 Stefan Latter M45 06:03, 16 Holly Durham W35 06:15, 17 Paul Rushworth M40 06:25, 18 Mark Hillson M50 06:27, 19 Warren Stark M45 06:38, 20 Caroline Davis W50 06:48, 20 Craig Drury M45 06:48, 22 Naomi Jepson-Rivers SW 06:51, 22 Vicki Ball SW 06:51, 24 Michelle Parczuk W45 06:52, 24 Paul Jepson M65 06:52, 26 Keith Measures M65 06:57, 27 Tommy Napier M55 06:58, 28 Helen Brown W40 07:10, 28 Ben Mason M40 07:10, 30 Stuart Baty M45 07:11, 31 Edward Jepson M35 07:21, 31 Kristofor Blake M35 07:21, 33 Mark Rice M40 07:22, 34 Anthony Boyle M50 07:23, 35 Fraser Marshall M45 07:25, 36 Julie Gilbert W50 07:27, 37 Rosalind Sadler W45 07:31, 37 Jacqueline Anderson SW 07:31, 39 Rachel Pattison W50 07:35, 40 Vicki Hardy W35 07:39, 41 Phillip Crowcroft M45 07:46, 42 John Nevard M45 07:55, 43 Stephen Fay M55 08:20, 44 Kate Marshall W45 08:34, 45 Tracy Webb W50 08:51, 46 Sara Pask W35 08:53, 47 Yvonne Buckley W55 09:45, 47 Becky Rice W40 09:45, 49 Simon Hartley M50 10:52.0
After three rounds the series leader board is as follows..

1 Jenny McBain W40 599 points,
2 Gerry Hyde M55   595 points,
3 Paul Jepson M65 581 points

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

GRC Virtual Series, Round 2 - 10km

Paul Jepson during his effort
Round two of the GRC Virtual Series saw 40 runners grind out a 10K, the toughest event in the series to date. Whilst most runners regularly complete the 10K distance in training, this is usually at a much slower and comfortable pace than what’s expected in a race. As with all rounds of the of the series, runners were required to adhere to strict COVID-19 limitations which usually meant running alone in a quiet location. During the two week window many runners chose to use the famous GRC Summer Solstice route at Long Bennington which was due to take place on 19 June 2020 but cancelled due to the current situation.

The outright winners were Matthew Williamson and Jenny McBain, both running for GRC as their 2nd club being members of Newark and Alchester respectively. Williamson clocking an impressive 38:07 on his quest for full fitness was an impressive return to form following a lengthy injury and the fastest time of any runner. Jenny McBain who has also had recent injury struggles was first for the ladies with an outstanding 41:54, her fastest time over the distance since 2017. Jenny maintains her position a the top of the series leaderboard after another maximum points score for the round. Joe Diggins is another who’s on top of his game; he clocked an eyebrow raising 39:11, his first time under the golden 40min mark. This was enough to take the 2nd fastest overall runner and cements his place amongst the GRC elite runners.   

The standout performers for the round however were Paul Jepson and Michelle Parczuk who both made giant leaps in form. Paul who continues to defy the aging process having just turned 66 clocked his fastest time over the distance for over 4 years and an outstanding age graded score of 70.39% which is county level standard. Michelle also hit the county level standard with her super impressive 47:53, which beats her official best by over 1min and had she ran that time in an official race she would likely have ranked inside the top 500 in the UK for her age group.

Category winners were Matthew Williamson (Outright Mens), Jenny McBain (Outright Ladies, Age Grade and VF40), Dean Riggall (39:52, VM40), Caroline Davies (48:30, VF50), Gerry Hyde (42:21, VM50) and Paul Jepson (VM60).

Other results: Andrew Pask (41:15), Jack Dodwell (42:31), Stefan Latter (43:02), Ben Hatherly (43:05), Holly Durham (44:10), Gav Meadows (44:29), Alan Carley (44:40), Paul Rushworth (47:24), Mark Hillson (48:09), Chris Armstrong (48:18), Sam Jepson-Rivers (49:19), Warren Stark (50:15), Stuart Baty (50:50), Helen Brown (50:53), Keith Measures (51:42), Tommy Napier (51:56), Anthony Boyle (52:21), Kris Blake (52:49), Sarah High (54:42), Phillip Crowcroft (55:19), Jacqueline Anderson (55:37), John Southwood (56:39), Emma Duncan (57:01), Peter Storey (58:21), Stephen Fay (58:42), John Nevard (59:26), Fraser Marshall (1:01:16), Gordon Geach (1:02:50), Tracy Webb (1:04:21), Emma Fleet (1:08:34), Yvonne Buckley (1:10:35), Louise Kennedy (1:10:35).

Next up for the club is the 1 mile flat out, which pushes members well outside their comfort zones. This is already underway and providing some very impressive times.

Sunday, 31 May 2020

GRC Virtual Series – Round 1 (5K)

Nim inside her PB
An impressive 55 members of Grantham Running Club took part in the opening event of the club’s 4 race series. With no races on the horizon due to COVID-19 restrictions the club has looked for other ways to motivate its runners and the virtual series has proven a popular solution. Tasked with the unusual prospect of ‘racing’ alone, members were given a two week window to cover the distance as fast as they could on a course of their choosing.  Not allowed to choose routes in the town centre or along the canal towpath where social distancing is difficult, most runners opted to run along the surrounding lanes of Grantham.
The outright winner was the ever impressive Johnny Palmer with a time of 16:33, over a minute ahead of his nearest rival Grant Davies (17:38). Despite running the course around 4seconds long by his watch, Johnny was pleased with the win and to be running fast again. Grant, running for his 2nd club was delighted with his time which was well ahead of his official PB set in 2018.
Also running for her 2nd club was Jenny McBain who opted for a course near her home in Bicester.  Jenny was the standout performer, claiming maximum points, snatching the Outright Ladies, Age Grade (79.98%) and the VF40 age category.  Her time of 19:12 was a massive return to form despite struggling with a persistent hip injury which is hampering her speed training.  Taking the
Great time for Jonny
number 2 spot outright was Holly Durham who was pleased with her time of 21:27 which is within range of her 2019 best. Then it was the fast improving Naomi Jepson-Rivers who stormed to a 22:55, nearly a minute ahead of her official best and clearly reaping the rewards of her recent high training mileage.
Age category winners were Dean Riggall (VM40, 19:30), Caroline Davies (VF50, 23:34), Gerry Hyde (VM50, 19:40) and Paul Jepson (VM60, 23:19).
Other results;  Phil Devine (18:27), Matthew Williamson (18:59), Joe Diggins (19:01), Andrew Pask (19:09), Sam Jepson-Rivers (19:21), Ben Hatherly (19:39), Andy Atter (20:09), Jack Dodwell (20:12), Stefan Latter (20:12), Gav Meadows (20:41), Alan Carley (21:08), Richard Payne (21:19), Paul Rushworth (21:22), Stuart Pick (21:27), Sam Dodwell (22:14), Mark Hillson (22:55), Warren Stark (22:57), Hannah San Jose (23:57), Chris Armstrong (24:01), Antony Boyle (24:52), Vicki Ball (24:53), Helen Brown (25:25), Sarah High (25:29), Tommy Napier (25:33), John Nevard (25:37), John Southwood (25:49), Peter Storey (26:03), Jacqueline Anderson (26:11), Sylv Hull (26:36), Alison Clark (26:56), Fraser Marshall (27:30), Stephen Fay (28:13), Mark Rice (28:21), Hayley Staff (28:27), Kate Marshall (28:55), Emma Duncan (29:35), Henrietta McCabe (30:08), Sara Pask (30:10), Tracy Webb (30:17), Diana McDonald (31:06), Vicky Willian (32:10), Edina Burns (33:12), Emma Fleet (33:28), Yvonne Buckley (35:16), Becky Rice (35:37).
Next up for runners is the daunting prospect of ‘racing’ a 10k alone where another round of points will be all to play for. 

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Oundle 20 -

With the cancellation of so many races both locally and nationally in the 48 hours prior to the start of the third Oundle 20 on Sunday 15th March there was a weird atmosphere amongst the runners that stood on the start line. A number of runners were just wanting to enjoy what they (rightly) felt was to be their last organised race for a number of months given how the pandemic had developed in other countries like Italy. A few others were grateful that the spring marathons they had entered were no longer happening as their training had been less than ideal and it meant they could run the challenging undulating course without any pressure of having to run a certain pace.
Sub 2 for Jonny
It is fair to say that these thoughts were on the minds of a number of the Grantham Running Club members taking part as the race started. Featuring very little flat sections but no significant climbs instead containing rather long gradual uphills that went on for several miles. Particularly the four miles between Wansford and King’s Cliffe which runners would take on around the halfway point into the race.

First in for GRC a week after his excellent run at the Cambridge Half Marathon was Jonny Palmer. Taking part in his first 20 mile race, he set off with the leading pack in sight and ran as high as third. Finishing fourth in 1:56:49, just over a minute and a half behind the race winner Phil Martin of Peterborough and Nene
Warren smashed his PB
Valley AC, Jonny set the tone for some great performances and personal bests, which were all the more remarkable when the weather turned about an hour into the race with driving wind and rain right into the faces of the runners.
Next in for the club was Chris Limmer - one of the few from the club to neither PB or run their first 20 mile race. Starting towards the back of the field Chris Limmer chose to run his way though the field and see what would happen. Keen to enjoy the last race for a while he crossed the line in 2:11:45.

FIrst of the GRC PB runners was Dean Riggall who finished 31st and in doing so beat his previous 20 mile best by seven and a half minutes with 2:20:16. Next was Darren Harley who, on his 20 mile race debut, hung on to finish just five minutes behind Dean in a fine 2:25:30.
Still nursing a minor injury niggle in the build up Sarah Chenowyth gave the race a controlled effort and to clock 2:39:31, finishing 20th female and 114th overall. The women’s race was won by Sophie Darling of
Lincoln Wellington AC in a new course record 2:13:22. Warren Stark was next in and he smashed his previous PB from last year’s Oundle 20 by an amazing nineteen minutes with 2:50:49
Caroline Davis was another to set a PB crossing the line in 2:52:25, shaving 31 seconds off from her year old previous best set at Ashby. Four minutes later in 2:56:25 was Women’s Captain Sarah High who remarkably managed to equal to the second her PB set back in 2016.
Tracy clocked 3:55:20
GRC had six participants who had entered the race as part of their training for their first ever marathon and were taking part in their longest race to date. This included Dale Towning (3:09:45) who was followed by Rachel Varela (3:22:00), who had marathon experience having completed the Rutland multi terrain marathon in September 2019. Claire Martin (3:41:26) led home four runners who were rarely out of sight of each other. CJ Walker (3:49:10) was full of praise for her club mate Belinder Baker (3:48:35) for supporting her and she was delighted to break four hours.  Kate Marshall (3:48:26) and Tracy Webb (3:55:20) both enjoyed their first runs at Oundle too even if Kate then felt a sharp pain in her thigh attempting to stretch afterwards! 

With all races postponed or cancelled for the foreseeable future Kate and the rest of the runners have plenty of time to recuperate and hopefully be fit and able to enjoy the pleasures of running while the world battles more pressing matters.