Sunday, 11 March 2018

The Cambridge Boundary Run

Left to right: Catherine Payne, Gav Meadows, Nick Payne, Robert McArdle, Rob Howbrook. Front Row Olivia Payne.

The Boundary Run is a multi-terrain full and half marathon round the city of Cambridge and although the weather was bright and dry underfoot conditions were heavy especially along the river banks and ploughed fields. The race attracted a record entry of just under a thousand runners including five of GRC's members to get in a long B race in before the main event and at £14.40 it was good value.
Gav is heading to Rotterdam with hopes of going sub 3:05 on the same day that Rob strives to go sub 3:20 in Manchester. Catherine Payne and Robert McArdle are both doing Brighton the following week as a masters qualifier. Although the off road bits are spread over the whole course the first half tends to be about ten minutes faster than the second. Gav's plan was to set off at round about eight minute mile pace and see how long he could keep going without having to dig too deep. He fell into a decent rhythm until mile 21 when the terrain got a bit too tricky for normal running and he eased off dropping back by around 10 minutes over the final 10k to finish in 49th place in a time of 3:36:35. 

The next three jogged most of the course together going through the half way point at 1:50 and 20 miles at 3:00 After Gav next in was Catherine in 84th position with a time of 3:48:50 to finish as sixth lady closely followed by Robert McArdle one place behind in 3:49:08. With a week less to recover and having recently run the full Belvoir Challenge Rob Howbrook decided against increasing his pace in the closing miles to come in just outside the top hundred in a time of 3:53:44. Wearing the club shirt for the first time Nick Payne finished in 196th place in a time of 4:26:22.

Olivia trying hard not to outsprint her "old man"

Our reigning ultra-running champion Nick Payne passed a major milestone at the weekend as he completed his 50th race of marathon distance or longer at the Cambridge Boundary Run. These races have taken place in seven countries with the longest being 110 miles! In the last twelve months he has run twenty six of these marathon+ events. He currently holds the club record for the LDWA 100 miles event and the 69 mile Hadrian Wall Run. By completing his fiftieth long race he is now eligible for associate membership of the hallowed 100 Marathon Club which he intend to join as a full member next year after running 10 marathons in ten days to bring his total to exactly 100!

He started running marathons to fund raise for Pancreatic Cancer after his dad was diagnosed with the disease.  He soon became addicted to the sense of achievement after finishing a marathon - nowadays he can't think of many better things to do than go out running for most of the day exploring the countryside and new places. 

He didn't like cross country at school and doesn't consider himself a natural runner, however running marathons has taken him well out of his comfort zone, helped him grow as a person and increased his confidence.  It’s also improved his determination as even when his body wants to stop, his mind doesn’t let it!    Nick says “It's shown me that I can achieve what I never thought possible”. 

Nick was accompanied across the line by daughter Olivia as he finished in just under four and a half hours, Olivia having previously run with him at Belton parkrun as the middle part of his long training runs.

Nick was congratulated by fellow multiple marathon man, Gav Meadows, who himself had run a year’s worth of road marathon’s round Europe as part of a charity challenge. The picture was taken by Nick’s wife Louise, an Ironman triathlete who is currently injured but expecting to return to racing herself within a few months.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

East Midlands 10k

Tony digging deep
Scott just behind Peter

On Sunday 25th February 14 members of Grantham Running Club’s green army took part in the second annual East Midlands 10K race at the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont just outside Nottingham. With clear blue skies it looked lovely but there was a bitingly cold wind that blew straight through you. Despite the cold conditions there was a very large turnout - just three shy of a thousand runners.
The course was flat and involved two laps of the regatta lake alongside the canoe slalom course. With minimal twists and turns it was hoped that fast times would be possible.

Medals after the race
The group photo before
First home for GRC was Tony Johnson, still getting back to full fitness following a serious illness and a couple of minutes off where he would like to be, but all the signs are there that he could be in for a good season. Next back was Peter Bonner going sub 42 again with Scott Jones only 30 seconds behind him. Running only his second 10k Russell showed a huge improvement from his debut to finish a further two minutes behind Scott. There were also PB's for Emma Weighill, Claire Fritz and Melanie Taylor.

Position Time Name

45 40:48 Tony Johnson 
64 41:59 Peter Bonner 
69 42:29 Scott Jones 
108 44:26 Russell Maksymiw
MV40 PB 64.91%
212 48:46 Stuart Baty 
270 50:16 Martin Carter 
547 58:01 Nic Webster
655 1:01:08 Simon Hartley 
699 1:02:08 Mark Jessop 
704 1:02:02 Emma Weighill 
SW PB 49.02%
707 1:03:04 Lucinda Gamble 
752 1:04:01 Claire Fritz
FV40 PB 49.99%
820 1:07:23 Melanie Taylor 
FV35 PB 46.01%
939 1:16:48 Viv Durham 

Tarpley 20

2016 '10 weeks to 10k' graduate Ady Walker represented Grantham Running Club in the Tarpley 20 mile race near Bury St Edmunds in Sussex. The race is named after Bert Tarpley who is a former president of the St Edmund Pacers Running Club. With temperatures only just above freezing point runners seemed reluctant to head outside onto the undulating course in the picturesque Suffolk countryside.

Ady set off aiming for a sub 3 hour finish in his first race at this distance. Feeling strong in the early stages of the race, he reached the 10 mile mark in 1hr 24min (over 5 minutes ahead of schedule). Unfortunately this was to prove his downfall as he found the going tougher from mile 13 and his pace began to drop. In mile 17 cramp set in and a sub 3 Hour finish was now looking doubtful. Trailing runners started to pass Ady on a regular basis and he eventually crossed the line in a time of 3.04.55.

After the race Ady commented “I learned a hard lesson today on the importance of pacing the race correctly and sticking to the original race plan. I went off too fast and then paid the price but on a positive note I have to remember that less than 2 years ago I would struggle to run three miles never mind twenty." Ady is now preparing for his first ever marathon in Manchester on 8th April.

Position Time Name

197 3:04:55 Adrian Walker

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Belvoir Challenge

Rushie, Chris, Mark and Penny at the start
The lighter mornings and longer days are a sign that spring is on the way. For members of Grantham Running Club the races which take place around this time are another sign that spring is almost here. One of these races is the Belvoir Challenge a 15 or 26 mile run around the beautiful countryside which we have pretty much on our doorstep. To make things more interesting the route is only revealed within 2 weeks of the event, though the course is always marked well enough to avoid any navigational errors.
Caroline, Sinead and Mark in the early stages
GRC had a number of runners taking part across the two distances which both began and finished in the village of Harby and although the conditions were cold and a bit breezy it was at least dry which for regular runners of this made it an improvement on last years race where the rain later in the morning made it quite the mud fest!
Why the event sells out so quickly
In the 15 mile race there were eight runners taking part. They were led home by Daniel Howson in a very good time of 2:18:45 which placed him 80th out of the 732 that completed the shorter distance. First lady home was Sinead McDonnell who finished in 3:01:13 just outside her 2016 time but still an impressive performance on a course that was quite rutted in places and had its fair share of mud. Next home was Julie Riggall in 3:25:01. Other members embraced the spirit of the event by enjoying the well-stocked aid stations on the course that had lots of local homemade cakes and treats. Finishing together in 3:51:48-3:51:54 were Nicola Cottam, Julie Gilbert, Jacqueline Jacobs and Ros Sadler. They remarked afterwards that about a quarter of the race time was taken up just enjoying the hospitality on route and were full of enthusiasm for what is a great event. Following them in a few minutes later was Paul Durham in a time of 3:57:48.

Eight runners also took on the challenge of the full marathon distance. The longer route went out further to Woolsthorpe and took competitors through long stretches of thick muddy fields, though as with the shorter event the aid stations provided welcome relief and wonderful support. Though it did at least lack quite as many arduous hills as previous editions of the race.
Rob was well inside last year's time
After finishing 3rd last year Chris Limmer was hoping to place highly again this year and was running inside the top 10 at half way feeling comfortable. However disaster struck soon after as the soles of his shoes began coming away. Frustrated and with a few choice words to himself cursing his luck he dropped back but ultimately like others in the race would rather any minor mishaps happen here than in the many races which runners are training for later in the spring. In the end Chris was able regain a few spots in the closing stages finishing in 3:50:58 and in 16th place.
Following Chris closely and in 43rd place was Rob Howbrook who finished in 4:14:33, he was followed by Paul Rushworth in 4:18:54. Mark Hillson followed in 4:35:19 in 74th with Nick Payne soon after but narrowly missing the top 100 as he finished in 101st in a time of 4:46:30. Caroline Davis was next back in Harby in 5;00:37. The final two runners both agreed that the final 5 miles were the toughest as the thick mud that greeted runners for the final stretch stuck to their shoes making them feel like lead weights. They did both do brilliantly though with Claudette Joint in 5:07:12 and Penny Hodges in 5:13:21.
The race was won by Stephen Shanks whom repeated his win from last year but with very little prizes on offer the event is all about just getting a bit muddy and enjoying the treats on route. Paul Durham summed it up by saying ‘Great run...why would you do a road race when you can have a and more food’.