Sunday, 25 September 2016

Robin Hood Half Marathon & Marathon

Subject: Robin Hood Half Marathon & Marathon

There was prize winning and personal bests for Grantham Running Club as six members headed to Nottingham on Sunday 25thOctober 2016 to take part in the Robin Hood Half Marathon and Marathon. 

First to finish for GRC in the half marathon, which incorporated the British Athletics National Half Marathon Championships, was Matthew Kingston-Lee, who initially was not overly enthralled with his 1:16:33 performance until the final race positions were announced. They saw him finish an impressive third in the V40 age category and 29th overall in a race of over 6000 finishers:

"I went into the race feeling a little under the weather and my legs didn't feel good from the moment the starting gun fired. The new opening half of the race was particularly hilly and twisty and I wasn't really enjoying myself." commented Matthew after the race. 

"I was able to sit in a group of around five for quite a few miles midrace. When we joined the old, familiar, half marathon course at around ten miles I felt comfortable that I could push on. I left the group and finished strongly, picking off a number of runners in the last few miles.

"When I heard I'd finished third in my age category I was extremely pleased, especially considering the race incorporated the National Championships. The top two were out of sight for me, even if I'd run better than I've ever done, so I'm happy to have achieved the best possible result with the minimum amount of effort!"

Finishing together in 1:33:19 were Nick Rossington and Andy Atter. The two worked as a team through the race pacing each other. Andy was delighted to secure a big new PB, taking over five minutes from his previous best set in 2011: 

"I knew I was in good shape - I had in target a time of around 1:34:30, so I am delighted to have run as quick as I did on a challenging course.  The target race for both Nick and me is the Great Eastern Half on October 9th, where hopefully we can both bag new personal bests," stated Andy after the race.

Competing in the marathon with over 1100 other finishers was Paul Davis, Nick Payne, and Gav Meadows. Paul ran a very solid marathon on his debut over the testing 26.2 mile course, coming home in a highly respectable 3:38:18 for 197th position. Nick also ran a fine race, demonstrated in his final mile being the quickest, to slice just shy of five minutes from his old PB, clocking 3:50:45. Gav, who is targeting the Valencia Marathon in November, felt the efforts of the Equinox a week earlier in the closing miles of the race. Nonetheless he did well to finish in 3:52:05.

Photo: Half marathon runners Matthew Kingston-Lee, Nick Rossington and Andy Atter

Sent from my iPhone

Rutland Marathon


Last weekend, Grantham Running Club's Chris Limmer ran the scenic Rutland Marathon at Rutland Water. Encouraged by last year's beatable winning time, Chris was aiming for a good finish position and approached the race confidently. Taking the lead for the first 18 miles, he failed to shake-off the chasing pack before his lack of endurance training took its toll. Chris said: "The first 13 are deceptively quick and the peninsular was tough, especially after 16 miles of running.  I pushed on at this point but by the 18mile water station I lost the lead and my race went downhill from there. I ambled my way around the final 8 or so miles greedily gulping water at any water station just to keep me in one piece. I found a bit for the final couple of miles crossing the line in 5th in 3:11:55 (1:25 first half and 1:47 second half)".

Photo: Chris Limmer

West Pinchbeck 10k

  West Pinchbeck 10k

Grantham Running Club had six athletes taking part in this end of season 10k round the very flat but exposed south Lincolnshire Route. The weather was dry and sunny but unfortunately the wind was stronger than ideal and was going to punish the runners on the final 3k straight into it.

Holly Durham was first home for the club in 42:36 and picked up the prize as third lady which was amazing considering this was less than a week after she completed a 150k stint at a local endurance race. Next home was a not fully fit Richard Payne in his 10k debut clocking 44:10 and showing there is a lot more to come followed by Robert McArdle in 45:43. Charnia Kirk then set an all-time best of 47:54 with Tom Durham clocking 53:06. The final runner for GRC was Nichola Cottam with 57:50

Photo (left to right) Richard Payne, Robert McArdle, Nichola Cottam, Charnia Kirk, Holly Durham, Tom Durham

Berlin Marathon

GRC's Neil Emerson was not sure what to expect of the 43rd Edition of the Berlin Marathon on September 25, 2016. This was his fifth International marathon and the first Marathon Major and both the event and the city were superb. Berlin wasn't what he anticipated from a capitol city - welcoming, pavement cafes, relaxing and friendly. The breakfast run on Saturday morning was on of the highlights, with runners from all over the world making the 6KM warm-up ending in the historic 1936 Olympic stadium - inspiration if ever you needed it! Didn't realise how much of a thing In-line Skating is in Germany, with the skaters rolling the course on Saturday afternoon as they visited the Berlin Wall memorial.

The race was superbly organised and the course, whilst not the most picturesque compared to Rome or Paris, was flat, well supported throughout and devoid of switchbacks (hurrah). The day started for 42,000 runners in the Tiergarten in front of the impressive Reichstag building. The cloudless sky made for warm, but not uncomfortable, weather. Family positioned themselves at the 20KM and 32KM points and his daughter ran alongside him during the last 400 yards to an emotional finish through the Brandenburg gate. They were greeted with beer - but unfortunately it was alcohol free (why?). Later that evening they found where they'd hidden the alcohol!

"Berlin is worthy of its position as one of the Marathon Majors and, given the opportunity, I'd run it again in a heartbeat. It gives everything to both novice and experienced marathoners. With so much recent focus on London, remember that most major European cities offer incredible scenic and cultural running experiences within reach of most budgets" said Neil.

"The picture attached sums it up for me. It was taken with about 400 yards to go and because Adidas co-sponsored the race, you'll see that the blue line is in fact the Adidas 3 stripes. Next up for me is likely to be Switzerland on April 09" continued Neil

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Cransley Hospice Half Marathon

Cransley Hospice Half Marathon

Grantham Running Club's Andrew Pask made the trip to Cranford Nr Kettering for the Cransley Hospice Road Races. The fundraising event which hosts both a 10k and a half marathon are run over notoriously challenging courses. Andrew, opting for the half marathon finished in 11th place with a time of 1:33:11, his best over this course. Attention now turns to his main focus which is the Cardiff Half Marathon.

Photo: Andrew Pask with his finishers medal

Porto Half Marathon

Porto Half Marathon

Grantham Running Club athletes Catherine Payne and Robert McArdle joined a strong field for the 10th Meia Maratona in Portugal’s second city, this is one of the last major half marathons of the year. The route along both banks of the Douro crosses the iconic Maria Pia Bridge, designed by Gustave Eiffel, twice and goes through the Ribeira tunnel. On an unseasonably hot day, even for Southern Europe, the course was at its most challenging with Uganda’s Daniel Rotich winning in just under 61 minutes with the next five men all representing Kenya also well down on their usual times. In the ladies race the shock winner was Nao Isaka from Japan in 72:12 relegating world number one Martha Akeno to the runner’s up prize in a time three minutes slower than expected. Having missed the last three weeks of training due to an ankle injury GRC’s Catherine Payne started the race in more hope than expectation with everything going well for almost five miles before tearing a calf muscle on a sharp cobbled uphill section causing her to stop and try and walk it off. After a couple of minutes she re-joined the race determined to finish even though she knew it would exacerbate the injury and put her out for weeks. With her running now compromised she dropped down the field but still managed to limp home in a gun time of 1:39:40 which was still fast enough on that day to win first prize in the Veteranas IV category. Further back in the field teammate Robert McArdle was once again struggling to run through the heat, as the temperature rose above 40C on the exposed course the only option was to slow down to avoid overheating but despite that his time of 1:43:13 was respectable considering the state of the cobbled section of the run and the overcrowding on route.

(Photos Catherine Payne, winner Veteranas IV category and Robert McArdle at the finish)

Saturday, 17 September 2016


Last weekend the Equinox24 race was held in the grounds of Belvoir Castle. Starting 12pm on Saturday, the event lasts until 12pm Sunday – this gives the runners 24 hours to complete as many laps of the 10km course as possible. The motto of the event is "one more lap" – the faster you run the more laps you complete. The balance between sleep and speed, and the need to run in the dark (head torches are essential), are unusual challenges so many members of the club took the chance to take part in this race. The morning of the race was wet, causing the off-road sections to be particularly slippery. Fortunately it was dry during the race,
Two eight-strong Large Teams were entered, one with long-term members and one comprising mainly of recent members of the club. The established team (called I thought you said Rum, not Run! – Gav Meadows, Sarah High, Penny Durham, Rob Howbrook, Mark Hillson, Jamie Garcia, Paul Davis, Jez) ran a total of 29 laps, placing 9th in this category. The beginners team (called Cider, Pizza and a wee bit of running – Martyn Carter, Louise Fenton, Lizzie Potter, Jacqueline Jacobs, Ros Sadler, Paul Durham, Nik Jones) managed 23 laps, placing 58th in this category.
A number of members ran as pairs, with recent member SJ Willis running 10 laps as her share.
Some members bravely entered as Solo runners – with no-one to share the running, this is a true test of determination and stamina. Four members entered, an injured Suzanne Britz (2 laps), Ruth Dunstan (8 laps) and Marc Tremain (10 laps) all putting in good efforts. Star of the club was Holly Durham, doing 15 laps (150km, over 93 miles) and somehow managing to finish with a smile on her face. This earnt her 6th position, a sterling effort.
Many members are already planning how to improve their tactics for next year…

Photo: Some members of team GRC

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Great North Run

Eight members of Grantham Running club joined 41,000 other runners for this year's Great North Run. The world's largest half marathon which runs from Newcastle to South Shields was run in unusually warm conditions this year but that didn't stop the fast times from being posted. The race which was won by athletics legend Mo Farah, his third win in a row was supported by Lincolnshire's very own Red Arrows display team who provided the iconic photo opportunities for runners. First home for GRC was resident Chilean Jaime Garcia with a time of 1:44:34. Jamie who was invited by the organisers to represent his native country was treated to pre-race VIP treatment which included a chance meeting with Mr Farah himself. Liam Vincent was next across the finish line with a personal best 1:54:17 followed by Paul Durham with 2:00:40 who completed his charity challenge of running 10K every day for 50 consecutive days. Ruth Dunstan, returning to fitness was the first Grantham lady with a solid 2:08:29 followed by first timer Amy Saggers 2:16:24 and Michelle Allbones who ran an impressive 2:18:09, almost a 10min PB. Marc Tremain 2:22:54, then first timer Margaretta Murray 2:24:30 was next to receive their finisher medals.

Photo: Jaime GARC√ćA with Mo Farah, PB runner Liam Vincent and Margarerra Murray happy with her half marathon medal.

East Coast Classic 10K

Grantham Running Club's Nick Rossington made the long trip to the Lincolnshire seaside town of Mablethorpe for the East Coast Classic 10K. The race was run in near perfect conditions on an out and back course along the famous promenade.  Nick ran a strong race to finish 3rd in his age category and 37th overall with a time of 42:39. Nick was rewarded with a finishers medal and a goodie bag full of random local produce which included a stick of rock, an ice-cream van voucher and some eggs.

Photo: Nick Rossington

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Handicap Race 2016 over the Classic Solstice 10k Course

Many thanks to all who took part in this year’s event – the biggest ever! Our winner (on right) was Sue Swann. We had 28 PB’s or SB’s and nine people with 30 seconds of their best.

    Bib No
                         Actual Time
Sue Swann
Tracy Newman
Yvonne Buckley
Louise Fenton
Jon Lill
Adam Jacobs
Andy Barradell
Nik Jones
Paul Durham
Jacqueline Jacobs
Rosalind Sadler
Shelly Dalhaug
Frances Shelton
Lizzie Potter
Kieran Atter
Nicola Cottam
Caroline Davis
Saskia Hunt
Rachel Birch
Keith Measures
Martin Carter
Chris Hunt
Nick Rossington
Sinead McDonnell
Nev Chamberlain
Jan Anderson
Sarah High
Adrian Walker
John Ellerby
Charnia Kirk
Warren Stark
Tommy Napier
S J Willis
Mark Hillson
Penny Hodges
Scott Jones
Chris Armstrong
Matthew Williamson
Thomas Williamson
Nathan Walker
Paul Davidson
Dean Riggall
Richard Payne
Paul Davis
Aaron Hunt
Robert Howbrook
Stuart Sinclair
Ben Hodgkin
Chris Limmer

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Wilne 10k

Grantham Running Club's Christopher Armstrong and Nick Payne raced in the Derbyshire Wilne 10k which took place on Sunday 4th September. With a wet and windy start to the day, the rain soon cleared and the sun came out as the runners started to gather in a busy and buzzing atmosphere. There was a great turnout with 940 starters in a high quality field. Chris was first to cross the line with an incredible time of 39:37, his fastest over the distance for 19 years. Nick was next with a speedy pb time of 44:56.

Photo: Chris Armstrong