Sunday, 23 September 2018

Market Rasen 10K

Grantham Running Club’s Tony Johnson took part in the Market Rasen 10K on Sunday 23rd September. The multi-terrain race began and finished on the racecourse (thankfully avoiding the jumps!) taking runners on and out and back route combining road and a short section of trail just after halfway. With the recent bad weather and dire warnings midweek for more of the same on Sunday, racers were relieved to race in perfect cool autumnal conditions, although the grass on the racecourse was very wet.
In a field of 156 finishers, Tony put in another excellent performance to finish eighth and first V50 in a time of 40:56.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Rutland Marathon & Half Marathon

On Sunday 16th September a small group of Grantham Running Club athletes made the short trip down the A1 for the Rutland marathon and half marathon. The trails and paths around the reservoir make for some stunning views across the water and offer runners the chance to spot some of the wildlife that call Rutland their homes. The route started at Sykes lane and goes clockwise around the reservoir before looping back. After passing the Sykes lane car park the half marathoners then make a final 180 turn soon after with a couple of miles to go in order to complete the 13.1 miles. Full marathoners continue through the Barnsdale car parks and the around the peninsula before making the run for home.

Chris - Runner up
The events have increased massively in popularity over the past three years and on race day there were double the participants compared to 2017 across the half and full marathons. Such were the queues to collect numbers and drop bags that both races were delayed by about 15minutes. When the start did come runners soon crossed the dam and began running clockwise around the reservoir the athletes were greeted with strong gusty headwinds and faint drizzle in the air. The rain cleared but the winds remained leaving runners having to deal with another challenge on top of completing the distance.

In the full marathon GRC had third place finisher from 2017 Matthew Williamson hoping to put in a solid well-paced run similar to that which helped him podium last year. Unfortunately, through a combination the unrelentingly windy conditions taking their toll and missing a turning meant he crossed the line in a still none too shabby 3:47:18. Following closely behind was Russell Love whom was taking part in his first ever marathon. Despite struggling from 20miles (which even a seasoned marathon runner will find happening) he finished a truly commendable 3:47:54. Given the conditions and the twists/turns/hills of the peninsula this was a very impressive debut and hopefully not his first 26.2 miles in the green and black of GRC. The same could also be said for new member Clive George whom completed the marathon in 4:57:30 which placed him 11th in his age category.

Also running the marathon was Chris Limmer. When he last ran the event in 2016 he was in the leading group only for a lack of long training runs to take its toll before dropping back massively. This time he approached it a little more cautiously and decided to take the race at a comfortable pace which it was hoped would leave him coming off the peninsula with 6 miles to go with enough in the tank to gain rather than lose positions. As it transpired he passed 15miles in 5th and picked up a place without having to up the pace too much during the next 9 or so miles. Coming into the final mile he felt happy to be coming into finish 4th in a marathon. However, as he crested the last hill of note he spied an athlete whom he thought was a marathoner. Sensing his chance of a podium he picked up the pace and cruised by and used the choice words the runner said to himself as motivation to up the pace further. A direct consequence of speeding up was that the runner in second began getting nearer. Entering the final straight it was a sprint for the line. With metres to go Chris eeked ahead. Chris was overjoyed with finishing second and the time (5 minutes improvement on 2016). He felt glad that he could add to the haul of trophies which GRC had collected during September and on a real high for future races in the final months of 2018.
Kate's first Half

All in all the small band of GRC runners were pleased with their performances and really enjoyed their morning run by the reservoir.

In the half marathon GRC had 4 athletes taking part. Despite suffering from a virus in the run up to the extent that she was thinking of pulling out Kate Marshall finished her first ever half marathon in 2:26:38. Despite the conditions leaving her slightly windswept it left her in good spirits. She is running a number of half marathons in the coming months and to date has raised over £300 for the make a wish foundation and is looking forward to running her next one in two weeks-time. Three GRC men also took part with the first of these being Simon Smith in 1:48:34. He was followed by Steven Green in 2:02:05 with Neil Emerson completing the trio in 2:06:09.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Cransley Hospice Half Marathon

This was Tony Johnsons third HM in 3 weeks and best time so far this month - 01:29:40. Good enough for 2nd V50 and 17th pace overall despite a strong headwind for the last 5 miles or so. Over 50 miles for the week including this race.

"Well done to everyone else racing today whatever the distance-it was tough out there!"

Reach Mansfield 10k

Grant, Caroline and Paul

Sunday 16th September saw three members of Grantham Running Club make the journey to Nottinghamshire to take part in the prestigious Mansfield 10k. Grant Davies, Caroline Davis and Paul Davis joined over six hundred other competitors to take on the undulating two lap course that passes some of the picturesque towns most iconic landmarks. The race took place in mild but increasingly blustery conditions that would hamper attempts to achieve personal best times.

From the start it was Grant that set a cracking pace near to the front of the field passing through the market place to start lap 2 in 11th position. A solid second lap saw him make up another place to finish in 10th position overall in a great time of 37:34.

Using the race as a taper run for next weeks Loch Ness marathon, Caroline was aiming to finish in around 50 mins. Paul decided to enter the race that morning to help pace her run. The pair kept a steady pace throughout the race and finished in 50:28 and 50:29 respectively.

After the race Grant remarked "I thought the course was fairly flat but we were straight into a hill after the first bend! And as for the wind.......! But given the conditions and the lumpy course I'm very pleased with my time today".

Grimsthorpe Castle 10k

Ponton Plod

12 mile start

The Ponton Plod is a challenge for both walkers and runners over either 12, 17 or 27 miles which starts and finishes at The Village Hall, Great Ponton, all routes use footpaths, bridleways, tracks and minor roads towards The Vale of Belvoir, the longer routes passing through several picturesque villages including Harlaxton, Wyville and Harston. The tenth running of this event raised funds for CASY (Counselling and support for young people) and the Besso Children’s Home in Hosur, India. The event takes place at this time of year so the entrants can enjoy traversing freshly ploughed field just to make it that bit tougher.

Adam, first home in the 27 miler
Grantham Running Club had a stellar line up of endurance athletes for the longest event, leading the way despite it being his first attempt on this route was serial marathon runner Adam Wasiolka, although Adam has competed in almost 100 full marathons and regularly does a 26 mile workout along the canal he was not as familiar with the route as his fellow runners in the lead pack and must have clock up quite a few miles in excess of the planned 27.8 miles as he put speed in front of map reading. His time of four hours and forty two minutes will be bettered in 2019! Next home was Paul “Rushie” Rushworth in 9th place with a time of 4:51, Paul is a former winner of this event and has been runner up twice so knows the route well, as a new parent he is finding making the time to train for his ultra-running more of a challenge but was delighted to
Nick at checkpoint 1
be on his way back. The third of the GRC guys back was Robert McArdle in 10th position with a time of 4:58 pleased to get under the five hour mark again but commented afterwards the increased signposting was making it easier than previous years! The final runner home for the club was Nick Payne, a member of the 100 marathon Club and a veteran of several 100 miles races he was able to regard this as no more than a walk in the park as he strolled home in 5:14.

On the 17 mile route GRC’s Nev Chamberlain was also able to use his experience of the course to finish in joint 8th with a time of two hours and fifty one minutes, this year he was joined by Justyna Gill who completed the distance in four hours and twenty one minutes.

The 12 mile route attracted six ladies from GRC, first back was Sinead McDonnel, running with her husband in a time of 2:06 just a few minutes slower than last year. Next in were Rachel Varela and Lucy Worthington finishing in 2:32 with the final trio of, Claire Pimlott, Lucinda Gamble and Claire Fritz coming home in three hours and six minutes with the latter two tackling the run for the second year in a row.