Sunday, 10 October 2021

Royal Parks Half Marathon


Three members of the Grantham Running Club made the journey to London on Sunday to take part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon. Originally due to take place in October last year, Julie Gilbert, Rachel Pattison and Ros Sadler were all running and raising money for Young Lives v Cancer.

All three ladies went into the event off the back of running solo at Equinox24 and the virtual London Marathon the previous weekend so there were no great plans to bank any PBs.

 The race started on The Mall and took in a couple of miles of iconic London streets and then into the very picturesque St James’s Park, Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. The course then worked its way to the finish back in Hyde Park.

Approximately 16000 people took part which did result in a fair bit of congestion at times and the weaving in and out resulted in the girls all covering more than the 13.1 miles they signed up for.

 The event was really well supported throughout the course, in the race village afterwards and a great medal, T-shirt and goody bag were just rewards.


> First home was Julie in a time of 2:02:28, Ros in 2:11:59 and Rachel in 2:42:51.

> The race was won by Oscar Bell in a time of 1:09:14.

Manchester Marathon

PB for Sam


On Sunday 10th October a large contingent of Grantham runners headed north for the Manchester marathon. 

The race like many others had been postponed several times and those who had made the start were greeted with perfect weather for running. Even for those starting in one of the later groups of runners the temperature didn't climb too high and there was barely a noticeable breeze.

The course itself started and finished next to the old Trafford cricket ground and featured a loop of the city centre after around 5 miles before heading southwest to sale and Altrincham before finishing back near the start.

The GRC runners in the first few waves set the tone for what was to follow. With 3 of the first 4 runners set impressive pbs and in doing so nearly broke the magical 3hr barrier. None closer than Joe Diggins whom had a phenomenal run. Smashing his official marathon pb by over 50minutes and narrowly missing sub 3 by just 9 seconds. He ran most of this alongside Joe Clarke who also set a big pb of 3:03:41 by 10minutes.

Dean Riggall had been struggling with a minor niggle in the final week or two before the race and was aiming to run close to sub 3 and much like the two Joe's he got close and in doing so ran a personal best in 3:01:28. This just ahead of Chris Limmer who faded in the last 5 miles but still ran a credible 3:02:16

In the hours followed the fantastic GRC performances kept on coming. There were pbs for many including a massive improvement in his second official marathon by Sam Dodwell (3:40:52) who ran an incredible 2hrs and 50min quicker than he did in the heat of London in 2018. Holly Durham bounced back from falling ill with Covid two weeks before the race to run 3:33:10. Hannah San Jose paced her own race perfectly to break 4 hours for the first time and running a 15minute pb in doing so (3:56:46). John Nevard too ran an 11minute PB (4:36:09).

There were a number running their very first marathons and these debutante ably demonstrated the strength of character to complete the 26.2 miles. Rick Brewer was the first of these running 3:23:59 in an impressive first marathon. Other first timers included Dale Towning who ran his first only 2years after finishingthe GRC 10wk to 10km (5:22:13) who already has his sights firmly set on beating this at next April's Manchester marathon. Sylv Hull (4:49:46) and Sian Mills (4:40:32) ran a fantastic debuts too and we're both delighted to run sub 5 hours. GRCs final debutant was Esther Fraser Betts in 5:03:49.

Though for some Manchester wasn't even their first marathon of October. With 4 running just a week after finishing the London marathon. Matthew Atter and Aaron smith ran dressed up in super Mario outfits (complete with fake moustaches) and not only ran a highly impressive time of 3:32:57 but raised over £1000. Not to be outdone Warren Stark bought a bit of the carribean to Manchester hobbling home in 4:18 in fancy dress. Just as impressive was Caroline Davis who ran just 21 seconds slower than her time in London the week before (3:56:38)

The pbs kept coming. Those in the latter waves having the additional challenge of managing their pre race meals and fuelling around a 12 o clock start. Amongst these were Suzanne Angeloni who ran 5:13:36 a pb by 48 minutes! 

Other GRC finishers were: Ian Mcbain (3:30:35),  Sarah High (4:04:27), Simon Smith (4:06:49) and Yvonne Buckley (5:53:18).


Silverstone Races

 Sunday 10th October saw the rescheduled date for the Silverstone races. The weather reports said it was a good day for racing. The track was busy with runners taking part in the 5k, 10k and half marathon events and Grantham Running club had 3 members taking part over the 10k and Half Marathon, although the wind was gentle it had picked up on the exposed parts of the course.

First back in the 10k event in a time of 46:48 and still showing some of the lockdown form was Rick Dobbs, saying the the course and the surface made for a quick race. Stuart Baty was next back in a time of 47:13 and a new 10K personal best, making full use of the flat course and running a very even race.

In the half Marathon Phillip Crowcroft with his first event for nearly 2 years and a personal best of 1:53:17, Phillip was raising money for Bristol and Western Hospitals charity and so far his total is at over £1600, this charity is close to his heart.

The 10k winner was James Orrell Of BRJ Run and Tri in a time of 33:36 and the women’s winner was Gabriella Moriarty of Northampton AC in 37:29

The Half Marathon winner was David Brewis of Sphinx AC in 1:12:59 and the women’s event was won by Lucie Custance of Clapham Chasers in 1:23:48

Nottingham Holme Run 5K

 Robin Atter did 5k in 19:48 came 6th

Sunday, 3 October 2021

Baxters Loch Ness Marathon

Two Grantham Running Club members, Tracey Lattimore and Belinda Baker, travelled to Inverness for the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon on 3rd October. This marathon had been a long-held aspiration for them both.

The route is arguably the most appealing of any marathon. The 26-mile experience takes in the beautiful Highland scenery along the shores of Loch Ness, before crossing the River Ness and reaching the finish line in Bught Park in Inverness.

The runners are transported by coach to the start line between Fort Augustus and Foyers. They then follow the route (B852) down to the edge of the loch at Foyers. Participants then follow Loch Ness’s south-eastern shore, making their way north-eastwards towards Dores at the northern edge of the loch. After Dores, the runners head into the centre of Inverness, following the River Ness for the last half mile to the finish line at Bught Park.

After restricted training, Belinda was comfortable and satisfied to complete the race in a time of 5:18:45. She enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow runners for the whole of the scenic course.

Tracey was pleased to find that Belinda’s promise of a downhill run was actually true, at least for the first part. However, she found the course challenging in sections, although beautifully scenic, and all in all an amazing experience. Starting the race with absolutely no expectations, Tracey was pleased to finish in a time of 4:39:17.

The weather was changeable, with rain and cloud at the start, but then beautiful rainbows and sun over the loch, and once again rain and wind towards the finish line. Runners all received a welcome cup of Baxters soup at the finish.

The race was won by Stuart Livingstone of Corstorphine AAC in a time of 2:32:21, and the first female was Megan Crawford of Fife Athletics Club in 2:48:15.

Sunday, 26 September 2021

Robin Hood Half Marathon


On Sunday 26th September  seven members of Grantham Running Club made the journey to Nottingham to take part in the 40th anniversary event of the Robin Hood Half Marathon. The sun shone on almost 5,000  runners, all taking their place at the start line on Victoria Embankment.

The global pandemic put a pause to the race in 2020; it was a return from testing times but together Nottingham came alive. The city lit up with thousands of runners and supporters. Cheers flooded the course and finish line making for a great atmosphere. The course took in Nottingham city centre, Nottingham castle and Wollaton Park with a start and finish on the Victoria Embankment making for a memorable weekend.

First Home for GRC was Robin Atter finishing in 01:33:32, a new PB for Robin by 6 minutes. Next home was Robert Howbrook finishing in 01:43:19. Richard Litchfield came home next at 01:48:57. Stuart Reader finished with a time of 01:49:59. John Nevard 02:06:49. Esther Fraser-betts finished with a time of  02:07:27 a PB by almost 7 minutes, and Mark Edwards finished with 02:17:02.