Sunday, 22 April 2018

Virgin Money London Marathon

MKL: Best ever position

Nineteen members of Grantham Running Club finished the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 22nd April. With temperatures reaching 23.2C in St James’ Park, the 38th edition of the race was officially the hottest on record, making the already not insignificant task of running 26.2 miles markedly more challenging.  The legendary crowd support made the task slightly more bearable but ultimately it was for most runners, be it debut makers or seasoned campaigners, a race where just finishing was a fantastic achievement.
First home for GRC was Matthew Kingston-Lee, who paced himself well to finish 329th overall, eighty places better than twelve months earlier and his best ever placing at London.  He was also a highly creditable 60th in his age category.
“I knew within the first minute of the race that conditions were too warm for a PB effort, so I went off conservatively, picking up the pace gradually over the first three miles and thereafter aimed to maintain a consistent pace to the finish.” commented Matthew after the race. Going through halfway in 1:23:20, Matthew hardly slowed at all in the second half of the race, coming home in 2:47:27.
Holly: Ranked well inside top 100
“The conditions made it incredibly hard going and honestly I cannot say I enjoyed the race, although the crowd support was immense, as always. Given the conditions I am very content with my time, even if it was six minutes slower than my PB.” Matthew continued.
Next home for GRC was Holly Durham who put in an equally determined effort to clock 3:22:26, placing her 293rd in the women’s race.  Holly stated after the race: “Not a PB, but I’m fairly pleased with my time considering the heat. By mile ten I knew it wasn’t going to happen which took the pressure off and meant I could just enjoy it!”

Second claim GRC runner Mark Wilson finished in 3:35:03. Like Dean Riggall, who finished in 3:35:27, Tony Johnson (3:36:44), Gerry Hyde (3:49:37) and many others on the day, they suffered particularly in the second half of the race, mainly due to the heat.  Dean’s wife Julie, taking part in her first ever marathon, ran well to clock 5:31:02.
Mark Hillson, perhaps mindful of his temperature related collapse at the 2017 Manchester Marathon, abandoned any thoughts PB attempt before even starting and ran a superbly judged, even paced, race to finish (upright and walking!) in 3:53:04.

Penny Hodges, who described her London Marathon as ‘horrific’ and was ‘glad just to finish at all,’ suffered from a fast start and the cumulative effects of the heat. Despite being physically sick shortly after halfway, Penny battled on resolutely to break four hours, clocking 3:56:36.
Dean found it hot
Nick Rossington, running with his son Charlie, finished in 4:06:32, but more significantly raised over £11,000 for CLIC Sargent, who supported Nick’s daughter Alice and the family during her battle to overcome bone cancer. Describing the atmosphere as ‘electric’ Nick reflected the stark contrast to the stifling heat of the day compared to training in the coldest, longest winter in living memory. Julie Gilbert and Rachel Pattison also completed the London Marathon in support of CLIC Sargent, raising just shy of £4000 to date. Running together from start to finish, they both finished in 6:25:37.
Following Nick, Liam Vincent was the next GRC finisher in 4:33:39. Jason Walker, running his first marathon, chose to do so in costume as Deadpool , raising funds for Hospice UK. His finishing time of 4:48:40 is an hour or slower than he will run in more suitable attire and with better conditions, but his efforts and those similarly dressed are part of what makes the London Marathon so special as an event.
Wayne Baxter, competing in his first marathon, ran a fine race to finish in 5:05:22. Marc Tremain, running his second ever marathon, suffered badly in the conditions, but did manage to break his old PB by two minutes with his 5:41:02 clocking. Based on other recent performances Marc can look forward to smashing that time by well over an hour. 

Awaiting picture of Jason
Amanda Mumby, who ran to raise funds for Marie Curie, was the only other GRC runner on the day to clock a PB. Running the second half of the race almost as fast as the first and speeding up from 30K through to the finish, Amanda took an impressive 16 minutes off her previous marathon effort, clocking 5:57:58. Suzanne Angeloni, taking part in her first ever marathon, was soon to follow in 6:02:00, with another debutante Beverley Toon, finishing just a few minutes later in 6:15:05. They both took part raising funds for Phabkids.
Last, but by no means least, to finish for Grantham Running Club was Rebecca Jones. Becks, raising funds for NSPCC, was not in the best of shape to take part in the race, but having already deferred her entry in 2017, was aware that this may be the last opportunity to take part in a race that is hugely oversubscribed. Finishing hand in hand with her supporting husband Scott, she can rightfully claim that she successfully finished the hottest ever London Marathon to date!

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Brighton Marathon

Catherine and Robert in front of the Pier after the race

Two athletes from Grantham Running Club took part in this year’s Brighton Marathon joining almost 20,000 other entrants in the 26.2 mile race through the city itself before going out to Hove and finishing along the Promenade at iconic Palace Pier. The runners were well supported all along the route by 150,000 spectators taking advantage of the zig zag route to see the runners on more than one occasion. As well as being the UK’s second largest Marathon this year it was also a qualifying race for England Athletics Age Group which meant that the winners in each Masters Division would be given the opportunity to represent their country at an autumn international.

Although this is neither the flattest nor the fastest course on the calendar this doesn’t matter as it was all about position rather than time. Catherine Payne was first home for GRC narrowly missing out on a PB but her time of 3:19:19  saw her five minute clear of the runner up in her age group as she secured her England Vest by winning her category, she was 33rd lady to finish out of more than seven and a half thousand. This is the first time Catherine had won her age category at a major UK marathon having previously picked up prizes for third place at both Manchester and Edinburgh. In his return to road marathons after a year out Robert McArdle was just delighted to finish the race without having to walk especially during the slight incline on the last three miles along the esplanade and although his time of 3:26:54 allowed him to just sneak into the top 800 finishers out of 19,803 entrants he is confident that he is on his way back to full fitness.

Position Time Name

544 3:19:19 Catherine Payne
794 3:26:54 Robert McArdle

Grantham Cup

Grantham Running Club welcomed a record 309 runners as it hosted the Grantham Cup 10K trail race, part of the Belton Horse Trials weekend. The event is proving increasingly popular with CaniCross runners (running with a dog) of which a bumper 47 dogs and companions completed the course.
The tough 10K cross country course which included the climb up to Belmont Tower not once but twice was made even more challenging after recent rain had turned the park extra muddy. Most runners opted to wear trail shoes or spikes to give extra grip in the slippery conditions, where staying on your feet was a priority.
First GRC runner to complete the tricky course was new member Piers Pye-Watson in 14th position with a time of 43:32. He was followed by Stuart Sinclair who returned to the racing scene with 45:51. First female, only a week after her massive Manchester Marathon PB, was Caroline Davis with 1:00:01.
Runners were rewarded with a commemorative medal and bottle of Real Ale. For the dogs there was some free treats and a well-deserved drink of water. Most participants and organisers, although somewhat muddy, went on to enjoy the remainder of the Belton Horse Trials.
Other results; Andrew Pask 48:31, Stefan Latter 49:51, Christopher Toon 52:16, Russell Maksymiw 52:23, Kevin Kettle 55:02, Stuart Batty 58:20, Gavin Skinner 1:00:35, Andrea Ward 1:02:18, Suzanne Britz 1:06:52, Justyna Gill 1:11:02, Simon Hartley 1:18:59.

Boston Marathon

PB for Richard
Three members of Grantham Running Club ventured east to Boston for the Boston Marathon and Half Marathon. After a couple of weeks of damp drizzly weather the runners taking part were graced with near perfect running conditions.

Taking part in the half marathon were Joe Clarke and Richard Payne. Both were hoping for personal bests on what is a flat but slightly exposed route. Joe came in less than a minute outside his PB after tiring in the latter stages but still ran a very impressive 1:27:40 and finished in 21st place. Not far behind was Richard running a PB by over a minute and delighted with his result of 1:30:57 and 36th place. 

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking 

21 1:27:40 Joe Clarke
67.55% 3172
36 1:30:57 Richard Payne
MV35 PB 65.60% N/A

GRC’s only participant in the marathon was Chris Limmer who is focused on the Thames Path 100 race which is now only weeks away. After running a conservative first half he pushed on in the second half to run a faster second 13.1 miles to eventually complete the course in 3:00:46 and finishing in 22nd place.

A really good friendly local event on a super fast course (wind permitting). Definitely one to recommend for those wanting a cheaper local race instead of the more costly big races that take place around the country at this time of year.

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking 

22 3:00:46 Chris Limmer
69.10% 1290

Corri Genova 13km road race

Grantham Running Club's Paul Rushworth travelled to Genoa in Italy to take part in the Corri Genova 13km road race. The event was run alongside the city's half marathon and attracted a large international field of athletes. Both races started and finished in the shadow of huge Mediterranean cruise liners alongside the city's fashionable Porto Antico where Genoa's residents gathered to support the runners. 

The weather for the race was warm but overcast providing pleasant conditions for road running. The race passed landmarks including Piazza de Ferrari and via Septembre. Paul finished the unusual race distance of 13km in a time of 1hour 1 minute and 38 seconds and was rewarded by Peroni and ice cream.   

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Belvoir Half Marathon

A total of  ten runners from Grantham Running Club took part in the Belvoir Half Marathon on Sunday 8th April. The annual race takes place on a flat but often exposed course which starts & finishes at Hose village hall. Conditions on the day were good for running with light drizzle & very little wind.
Notable performances for GRC included Tony Johnson who returned to form after recent health problems by breaking the ninety minute barrier. He finished with a time of 1:29:22 with an age grade score of 76.23%. Craig Drury bagged another half marathon PB by bettering his recent performance at the Keyworth Turkey Trot, he crossed the line in 1:43:06. Julie Braker continued her impressive string of age grade performances by yet again scoring almost 85%. She recorded a time of 1:56:33 scoring 84.97%.

Position Time Name

47 1:29:22 Tony Johnson
65 1:33:02 Tom Fowler
119 1:43:06 Craig Drury
MV45 PB 62.28%
147 1:46:03 Simon Smith
209 1:53:08 Gavin Skinner
225 1:54:37 Robert Braker
240 1:56:33 Julie Braker
317 2:13:00 Claire Pimlott
318 2:13:00 Kathleen Gray
349 2:21:42 Julie Riggall