Thursday, 24 December 2015

Nene Valley 10 mile Road Race

Nene Valley 10 mile Road Race

Grantham Running Club had four athletes in this twisty urban two lapper round the housing estates of North Peterborough. It is a technically demanding race with tight turns, underpasses and overbridges which prevent the runners getting into any sort of rhythm, all of which was compounded by the high winds. First home for the club was Matthew Kingston Lee who after a swift start found himself running alone and so eased up a bit to allow a group of runners to catch him and offer shelter from the wind. He went through halfway in 28:45, but slowed a little in the second half as the wind and recent injury problems took their toll eventually finishing seven seconds outside the prizes. After the race he commented that “Considering the conditions and lack of running miles under the belt I was fairly pleased with my second fastest ever ten mile race time.". Next home for GRC was Gav Meadows who had exactly the opposite problem with a lot of recent races and a heavy training block still in his legs, he was still delighted with his first performance at this distance. Making up the GRC contingent were injured pair Catherine Payne, who finished as 12th lady, and Robert McArdle, although both were well down on their best were pleased to complete some race miles as part of their rehabilitation. Full results below;

Kingston Lee

Bullock Smithy 56 mile Fell Race

John Fraser 10 mile Race, Leicester

Grantham Running Club's Lucy Worthington entered her first 10 mile race last Sunday in Leicestershire. It was a perfect cloudy day for this event with minimal wind and the odd light spattering of rain to help her along the looped course on rural roads, up and down hill with a particularly challenging up the hill for the last mile! The run ended with a sprint finish across a playing field to the chip timing mats. The best thing about your first race over any distance is you are guaranteed a personal best and Lucy's time of 92:24 set her up for next month's Peterborough half marathon.
Bullock Smithy 56 mile Fell Race
Grantham's Paul Rushoworth tackled this 56 mile challenge in the Peak District for the 21st time having completed it on 17 occasions, The event is one of the toughest on the UK Ultra distance championships as it includes over 7,000' of ascent and decent across the Dark and White peak Districts. This year the race was about coping with the heat as well as finding your way and, of course, stamina. Paul's experience and recent hard schedule prepared him well and he picked up fourth place in ten hours thirty six minutes. Foe more information on what it is like to run these sort of distances why not read his blog?

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Run Barbados Marathon Weekend

Run Barbados Marathon Weekend

Grantham Running Club’s Neil Emerson flew out to Bridgetown Barbados to take part in their local running festival, taking into account both the temperature and the humidity Neil wisely opted for the half marathon not having done any hot weather running on his usual training routes round the Vale of Belvoir. The starting gun was fired at 05:00 to minimise the effect of the rising sun and the brief rain shower an hour later was certainly welcomed as they ran from the Bay Esplanade out of the city before dawn. The course was flat with a couple of sharp inclines to test the legs and would have been a lot easier had Neil not picked up a chest infection in the days leading up to the race. The upsides of the race was the friendliness of the locals and the superb organisation of the event, the only downside is that by going for the shorter distance Neil arrived back before the crowds arrived to cheer home those doing the full. (Pictures enclosed are Neil in the home straight and Neil with his medal) Neil is now training for his three 2016 marathons in Barcelona, Berlin and Prague.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Turkey Trot Half Marathon

Although this Nottinghamshire based half marathon is the final big race of the year attracting well over a thousand entrants there wasn't an end of season feel to the event with the nine Grantham Running Club athletes all giving a good account of themselves on this hilly course as they all began the build up to their spring marathons in 2016. First home in GRC was Barcelona abound Gavin Meadows knocking an unbelievable 12 minutes off his time for this race 12 months previously and setting another new Personal Best in the process. He was closely followed by Andrew Pask also in 1:31 who has begun his preparations for the Rotterdam Marathon. Next home was Catherine Payne in 1:37 who finished third lady in her age category with Ultra runner Nick Payne a tantalising 9 seconds outside his all-time PB in 1:41. Robert McArdle folowed in a season's best of 1:42 with Lucy Roberts narrowly missing her 2014 mark by less than a minute in two hours dead. Gwenda Williams recorded her second fastest ever half marathon despite the hills and rain in 2:10. Completing the line-up was Brendon and Yvonne Buckley crossing the line together in 2:27 almost three and a half minutes inside their 2014 time on the same course.

Pictured Gavin Meadows

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Lincolnshire Cross Country Gainsborough

Grantham Running Club put out 2 teams for the third match of the Lincolnshire x-country league which was held at Gainsborough Academy in rather chilly conditions. Rob Howbrook put in another strong performance to be the first man home for GRC, and 17th overall, in a time of 35.15. He was closely followed by Chris Armstrong in his first x country race for the club this season. Nev Chamberlain and Andrew MacAllister completed the team's performance. There was a large, strong field for the 6K ladies race where Ruth Dunstan was first home for the GRC ladies in a time of 25.08. She was followed by Sarah High and Nikki Carr. Great efforts were put in by everyone. The ladies and the men's teams are both currently 7th in their respective leagues with one more race to go.
Pictured (attached) Rob Howbrook.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Worksop Halloween Half Marathon, Worksop, Nottinghamshire

Six members of Grantham Running Club made the short journey north on Sunday 25th October to join 2000 other competitors taking part in the ‘spooktacular’ Worksop Halloween Half Marathon.
The race, now in its 34th year, begins in the heart of Worksop with a one and a half mile climb heading out of town and into the National Trust’s Clumber Park, which was looking resplendent in perfect autumnal conditions. There is barely a flat stretch of road on the 13.1 mile course, but runners are rewarded with a mile long downhill stretch to the finish line.
The race’s Halloween theme is embraced by many of the competitors and the enthusiastic marshals, which helps give the bona fide serious race (It incorporated the Nottinghamshire Half Marathon Championships) a feel good party atmosphere. The race represents excellent value with all roads closed to traffic, the most extravagantly lauded sponge station in the land - with signs stretched out over a mile of signs extolling its (dubious, given the cool conditions) value to the race - and a goody bag that featured both a suitably ghoulish technical t-shirt and finishers’ medal.
Matthew Kingston-Lee, who only finally decided to take part in the race on the morning of the event after recommencing running three days earlier following a calf strain sustained at the Chester Half Marathon, benefited from a cautious start to run a solid race, albeit tempered with some injury niggles, to finish 25th overall in a chip time of 1:18:59.
Catherine Payne had another strong run to claim a prize for finishing second V45 and 26th female in 1:36:30, less than half a minute slower than her recent performance at the Great Eastern Half Marathon. Holly Durham was delighted to finish her first half marathon following the birth of her son in 1:41:50 and Robert McArdle ran an impressive 1:43:30 given his injury problems of late. Nick Payne had a strong race to secure a best for 2015 of 1:45:33.
Ruth Dunstan and Louise Payne made a last minute (and totally unplanned!) decision to take part after missing a flight to Slovenia the day before. The hills of Worksop made scant consolation but both showed great determination in the face of disappointment to finish in 1:49:50 and 1:57:20 respectively. Nikki Carr successfully finished her second half marathon of the month, coming home in 2:18:54.
The race was won by Stuart Spencer of Notts AC in 1:09:31; the winning woman was Nicola Gleadall of Sheffield RC in 1:21:34.

(Photo left to right, Catherine Payne, Robert McArdle and Holly Durham after the race)

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Robin Hood Marathon Race Report 2015

Robin Hood Marathon Race Report

Grantham Running Club's Gav Meadows completed his first marathon on Sunday - the Robin Hood Marathon in Nottingham. Gav, 34, only started competing in races in December last year. However, he has been running fairly consistently since he began training for his 4 year stint in the army at 18 years of age.

He has put in a lot of hard training since committing to this race in March, clocking up a total of 525 miles. This included several preparation races & events both locally & in the challenging hills of the Peak District. He also cross-trains by swimming once a week & lifting weights regularly at the gym.

He completed the 26.2 mile course in 3 hours 23 minutes 4 seconds finishing 139th in a field of 1238 competitors. Gav said 'Considering that this was my first marathon, I'm very happy with my performance overall! I wanted to finish quicker than 3:30 & managed to achieve that goal. However, this was definitely a learning experience! I made some mistakes & I will be making some changes for my next marathon.'

'For the first 18 miles I felt like I was running at a comfortable pace that I would be able to maintain for the whole race. I was averaging about 7:15 per mile. Then, at mile 19, fatigue hit me like a punch in the face! It was so unexpected! The last 8 miles were incredibly tough & my pace dropped right off. Although I did manage to pick it up again for the last mile! I need to learn to curb my racing instincts & pay more attention to my watch!'

'I will also be making some significant changes to my training next time around. My longest training run was 20 miles &, in hindsight, that's definitely not enough! In future I will be training up to 23 miles.'

On completing Sunday's race, Gav made the decision to commit to a spring marathon in 2016 & he also intends to complete one later in the year. He has already entered the Barcelona Marathon in March & plans to travel around Europe & the rest of the world incorporating marathons into his holidays. He said 'Now that I have this unquenchable thirst for competing in races & events I can't think of a better way to travel & see the world! After all, most major cities have a marathon so I can pick & choose my destinations! I just wish that I'd decided to do this ten years ago!'

Gav ran Sunday's race for Dementia UK & you can still sponsor him at  So far he's raised over £200 & is hoping to clear £300 in the next few weeks.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Woodhall Spa 10k & Derby Half Marathon

Woodhall Spa 10k

The Woodhall Spa 10k is one of the largest races in the county attracting over a thousand runners to the main event, this fast course appeals to runners in good shape as it offers one of the summer’s top Personal Best Chances. The seven runners from Grantham Running Club were led home by Rob Howbrook slashing a full two minutes of his previous best and coming with 3 seconds of winning his age group medal. He was followed closely by Chris Armstrong who is showing signs of regaining his best form with his fastest time for 10k in several years. Scott Jones was not far behind recording a season’s best and his second fastest time ever. For Andrew MacAllister it was a case of another race and yet another PB as he lowered the time he set in May.  Janette Dunderdale made an impressive debut for GRC in her first road race with Super Vet Brendon Buckley taking an astounding 5½ minutes off his previous best! Full results below;

Chip Time
Cat. Pos.
Christopher Armstrong

Derby Half Marathon

A strong performance by GRC’s runners at Sunday’s half marathon from saw the ladies team finish in sixth place in a very strong field and despite the heat all three ladies and Super Vet Paul Durham smashed their PBs, in Paul’s case by just under 11 minutes.

Chip Time
1:39:39 PB
1:45:28 PB
1:47:47 PB
1:48:38 PB

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Grunty Fen Half Marathon, Witchford, Cambridgeshire,

Matthew Kingston-Lee celebrated his fiftieth half marathon in style with a new Personal Best and a seventh place finish at the 25th Grunty Fen Half Marathon on Sunday 13th September 2015. His time of 1:14:46 betters his old best of 1:15:29 set at last year’s Robin Hood Half Marathon. It sets a new Grantham Running Club record and will be his final race before he embraces the dubious honour of becoming a veteran runner.
Conditions in Witchford, Cambridgeshire, could hardly have been better for the 13.1 mile race, with temperatures in the mid-teens and, mercifully, barely a breath of wind on a mostly flat fenland course, which is often compromised by strong winds.
Matthew, who is in a block of heavy training for the forthcoming Chester Half Marathon in early October and had finished third in a Lincolnshire Services 10K race just four days earlier, was further compromised with a bout of catarrh, which was thankfully not too serious, but bad enough just to take the edge off his peak performance.
With this in mind, Matthew ran a solid, but controlled, race, passing halfway in 37:10 and staying strong all the way to the finish, culminating in a sprint to the finish line to finally break the 1:15 barrier.
The race was won by Aaron Scott of Notts AC in a new course record of 1:08:04. The winning lady was Felicity Milton of Woodford Green Essex Ladies, who clocked 1:19:57. There were 455 finishers.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

St Ives 10k


Grantham Running Club’s Catherine Payne won first prize for her age group at this year's St Ives 10k in Cambridgeshire on a an undulating course that climbed up to the exposed taxiways of RAF Wyton before looping back to the town itself. Although Catherine's time of 44:23 was well down on 2014 it was a pleasing return to this distance after a gap of 10 months concentrating on much longer races as well as her third win in the last five years at this event. Also running was team mate Robert McArdle also in his first 10k of the year who was delighted with a time of 47:33 as he returned from injury.