Sunday, 30 October 2016

Lincolnshire Runner Cross Country League Match 1

Making his GRC debut at Cross Country at Bourne Woods Peter Bonner was first home for the club in a time of 43:58 followed by Andrew MacAllister in 47:41 with Ben Mason completing the A team in 47:51. Next in was Marc Tremain in 52:15 with Andy Barradell, also making his debut, the final runner back in 57:39.

 Report of ladies race to follow:

Worksop Half

Some of the runners after the race
Grantham Running Club had ten runners taking part in this year’s Worksop Half Marathon which was established in 1982, The Worksop Halloween Half Marathon (also known as ‘the scenic one’) takes place on the last Sunday in October every year.  The course runs largely through Clumber Park, which provides beautiful scenery and is perfect for spectators to support their family and friends along the route. This is a hugely popular event which sold out well in advance and sharp 3 miles climb at the start marks the beginning of the tougher winter races after the flatter ones during the summer months. First home for GRC was Gav Meadows slightly down of where he would like to be after have run a full marathon last weekend closely followed by Matt Williamson setting an amazing third half marathon PB of the month on his toughest course yet! Ironman Paul Davis was next completing a multi-marathon month along with his wife Caroline which they finished off in style with Saturday’s parkrun complimented by a race that evening at Wollaton Park as a warm-up for this half, Caroline opted to run in fancy dress for the Worksop Half. Once again Paul Davidson sacrificed his race to act as a guide runner for a visually impaired athlete guiding her safely round the 13.1 miles route in just over two hours.

Postion Time Name
Grading AG Ranking

235 01:32:42 Gav Meadows
Male Senior 64.36%     N/A
267 01:33:29 Matthew Williamson Male Senior 63.34%     N/A
400 01:38:30 Paul Davis
66.84%     1461
451 01:40:05 Thomas Williamson MV45-49
64.16%     1500
484 01:40:52 Robert McArdle
70.60%       688
661 01:45:12 Mark Hillson
61.55%      N/A
888 01:48:20 Gordon Geach
63.99%      N/A
957 01:52:31 Neil Emerson
62.71%      N/A
1244 01:58:24 Caroline Davis
60.84%      N/A

Coalville 10K

Richard Payne
Grantham Running Club’s Richard Payne took part in the Coalville 10k as it returned for a fifth time in 2016 and this tough race has now really established itself on the local running calendar. The course uses the trails, footpaths and roads within Snibston Country Park, near Coalville. The challenging course makes the event ideal for Richard as he gained experience prior to representing the club for the first time at the National cross country championships next weekend. His time of 45:02, (60.32%) whilst well down on his best showed how challenging the race was.  

Fenland 10 – West Walton, Wisbech

Scott Jones with Andrew Pask in the chasing group
The pair after the race
Grantham Running Club's Scott Jones and Andrew Pask decided to test their recent Half Marathon training over the shorter 10 mile distance at the Fenland 10. The race which included the Eastern Veterans and Cambridgeshire county championships attracted a very strong field. In perfect running conditions, on a course that is usually at the mercy of the elements, the Grantham pair ran with the added pressure of a friendly inter-club rivalry. Andrew forced the early pace but at the 4 mile marker a confident Scott decided to take control of the GRC duel.  Scott, unable to shake-off the challenge of his club mate, was seen to have a worried look over his shoulder at 8 miles. With Andrew closing the gap late on, Scott found an extra gear for the final mile to finish with a 1min 40sec personal best in 67:02. Andrew was close behind with a time of 67:41, his third best over the distance. Andrew said; 'The weather today was perfect for fenland running so we had no excuses. We piled the pressure on ourselves to run well so I was glad we managed to post a couple of strong times.'

Time Name
Grading AG Ranking

54 01:07:02 Scott Jones
69.92%                     472
63 01:07:42 Andrew Pask
66.38%      N/A

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Spooky Sprint Wollaton Hall

Paul and Caroline dared  to run walk in the Spooky Sprint - a spine-tingling race with a difference! A run in the dark with only a head torch to light your way, which will test your nerve as well as your fitness. It's so good, it's scary. The race was to raise money for Parkinson’s UK as every hour, someone in the UK is told they have Parkinson’s. Because they’re here, no one has to face Parkinson’s alone. By taking part and raising money from this race, they’ll help them find a cure and improve life for everyone affected by Parkinson’s

Snowdonia Marathon

Chris Limmer
GRC’s Chris Limmer ran the Snowdonia Marathon on Saturday. It is billed as one of the toughest marathons in the UK and it certainly lived up to this. The first 5 or so miles took you high into the mist before some sharp descents. As the race progressed pass half way there were further long gradual inclines. The worst however was from just after mile 21 to mile 24. It was so steep Chris like many others was forced to walk. The relief didn't come at the top either, the descent back into Llanberis was slippy, gravelly and had some super steep tarmac sections too. His own race was very much a case of 'if he wasn't enjoying it then slow down.' I was inside the top 100 early on but cramps in my chest (probably from too small a breakfast) and the dull thud of fatigue in my hips slowed me dramatically over the latter stages. As it was he finished 220th out of 2062 in 3:34:48

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Thoresby 10

Some of the GRC Beginners 2016 class with their finishers medals.

Grantham Running Club stormed to success at Thoresby 10 trail race on Sunday. The club was well represented, with seventeen of its members tackling challenging inclines and undulating terrain to complete the off road race through the beautiful grounds of Thoresby Hall, north Nottinghamshire.
Participants chose to run a distance of 10k or 10 miles along the old military roads, woodland tracks and grassed paths of the country estate. Bright sunshine and very little wind meant competitors enjoyed near perfect race day conditions, with the courses ascents made tricky by recent rainfall.

Penny, Paul and Mark
The club dominated the 10 mile race, led home by Paul Rushworth in a time of 1:14:27. In a sound performance, Penny Hodges was first lady home for the club, securing the prize for third female overall, closely followed by Mark Hillson. Between them the trio claimed first prize for team performance, with Sarah High, Jaime Garcia and Adrian Walker claiming the second prize for the 10 mile team performance. Sarah High maintained her recent run of solid performances for GRC with a first in her age group, with Peter Bonner putting in a credible performance in his 10 mile debut securing 14th place overall.

Graduates from GRC's 2016 beginners programme overcame the challenging 10k course, their achievement all the more impressive as six months ago they were all new to running. Grantham Running Club beginner's co-ordinator Penny Hodges says; "Their progress has been absolutely phenomenal. When they started the 10 week programme they were unable to run continually for more than a minute. In only 6 months they have progressed enough to complete a challenging 10k. It's gratifying to see just how much their hard work and perseverance has paid off and they did it all with huge smiles on their faces."

10 mile Results:

Sarah getting her prize
Paul Rushworth 1:14:27, Peter Bonner 1:14:45, Penny Hodges 1:18:01, Mark Hillson 1:19:23, Adrian Walker1:20:08, Jaime Garcia 1:24:21, Sarah High 1:24:44.

10k Results:

Jonathan Lill 59:45, Andy Barradell 1:00:47, Sue Swann 1:03:21, Adam Jacobs 1:03:23, Angela Carr 1:09:17, Belinda Baker 1:12:36, Sally Exley 1:12:35, Yvette Taylor 1:12:54, CJ Walker 1:18:15, Helen Barradell 1:21:54.

Leicester Marathon

GRC's Gav Meadows & Paul Davis took part in the Leicester Marathon. The moderately challenging course starts & finishes in the city taking in various parks & surrounding villages climbing 419ft along the way. The pair are no strangers to the 26.2 mile distance after completing numerous marathons in recent weeks & months.

Gav crossed the line first in 3:31:38 finishing 143rd in the field of 672 runners. This was his 9th marathon since February as he closes in on his target of completing 12 marathons over a 12 month period. It was also his last long race before the Valencia Marathon next month (his main target race for the autumn). He said 'I set off with the intention of trying to maintain a pace of around 7 mins 30 secs per mile. I managed to stay below 8 mins per mile until mile 20 then my pace gradually dropped off. This result could've been better but wasn't a disaster by any means!'

Paul finished soon after in a time of 3:38:09. A very solid performance especially when you consider that he's been doing marathons most weekends of late. Over a 15 day period he completed this race, the Yorkshire Marathon & the Spires & Steeples Challenge (26 miles) not to mention several other marathons beforehand.

He said after the race 'I was glad to get to the end of this race as I began to suffer with a bad stomach in the last few miles. I was also delighted to be awarded another pink medal!' he joked.

Thanks to Gav for the report

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Spires & Steeples Trail Event

Four members of Grantham Running Club took part in the Spires and Steeples trail event on Sunday.  Opting for the 26 mile route (there is a 13 mile option) which started at Wickham Gardens in Lincoln, the race followed public footpaths and bridleways through the Lincolnshire countryside and several villages to the National Centre for Art and Design in Sleaford.  The start of the race coincided with the onset of heavy rain which persisted all morning resulting in the route being slippy and hazardous in some places - it was tough going and appalling underfoot across four recently ploughed fields in particular.  Despite the muddy, wet conditions and it being hard going Paul Davis was first back for the club in a great time of 3.51.  Sarah High finished in 4.37, followed by Caroline Davis in 4.56 and Nev Chamberlain in a time of 5.21.  Sarah Commented, "If you like trail events this is definitely one to do, despite the weather conditions and mud today I'll still enter again next year ".

Photo: Paul Davis

Rowbotham's Round Rotherham International Trail Event

Most runners are happy to trim a few seconds off their previous best but GRC’s ultra runner Nick Payne managed to chop a massive four hours forty eight minutes and eighteen seconds off his previous mark for the 50 mile Round Rotherham International Trail event. It is an undulating route with, overall, 800 m of climb through the South Yorkshire Forest although the area designated as The South Yorkshire Forest is mainly rural land rather than a vast area of woodland. The course was made tougher by the preceding rain ensuring there was plenty of mud underfoot. Despite the difficulties of self-navigation the new layout Nick pushed on fuelled by the checkpoint cakes and just managed to get in before dusk in a time of 10:30:05 in 68th position well up the field.

Stilton Stumble 24k

Grantham Running Club's Matthew Kingston-Lee finally claimed his first ever road race victory on Sunday 16th October when he came home first at the fourth edition of the Stilton Stumble 24K. 
Conditions were best described as 'appalling' at Cropwell Bishop for the runners lining up to take part in the rarely run 24K distance, with heavy rain sweeping through the area on the back of a steady breeze, leaving parts of the rural course flooded. The 24K race was run in conjunction with a 10K race, which was held in equally bad conditions.
From the off Matthew took his place at the front of the field and as they left the small village, famous for its Stilton cheese production, he took the lead and eased out a gap over his rivals. As the weather deteriorated on the run down to Long Clawson he set about increasing his lead with an even paced effort that saw him pass through 10k in 38:03. 
Passing half way in 45:46 and with his fellow competitors nowhere to be seen, it was a long and lonely run back to the finish. Thanks to the rain relenting and the breeze now at his back, Matthew ran the second 10km in a slightly quicker 37:38. Although tiring in the final stages, his pace barely dropped as Matthew crossed the finish line in 1:31:35, over four minutes clear of second placed Alex Loach of Holme Pierrepoint Running Club. 
"I've taken part in nearly 150 road races. It was a long time coming but I am very happy to have finally experienced the sweet smell of victory in a road race, even if it had a distinct whiff of blue cheese from the slab of Stilton I won!" joked Matthew after the race.
"The weather made it hard going, but once I established a lead I just focused on maintaining a good pace. I haven't run much in the past month because of injury and the last few miles felt really hard. I was relieved when I finally saw the finish line – I couldn't have run much further!"

Photo: Matthew collecting his prize

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Clumber Park 10K Trail Run

Grantham Running Club's Robert McArdle took part in this fantastic multi-terrain race around the beautiful tracks of Clumber Park. Although Clumber Park is with little doubt one of the most picturesque settings for a 10km run that you are ever likely to race in the autumnal colours were less attractive underfoot to the runners as the blanket of leaves on top of the mud made things a bit slippy on a course that was by no means easy, with its numerous twists, turns and undulations within the parkland. Robert finished in 48th position in a time of 47:03.

Photo: Robert McArdle

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Great Eastern Run (Peterborough Half)

Last Sunday was the Perkins Great Eastern Run, the largest half-marathon in the East Midlands. Thirty two members of Grantham Running Club ran in the event, the highest number the club have had in a UKA Licensed Event. Many of them are recent members of the club and running this distance for the first time. The course is flat and fast, offering runners a good chance of getting a personal best time. 

A chilly start to the day with light rain made waiting for the event start rather dismal, unless you had the foresight to bring an umbrella, or a bin bag to use as a poncho. Once the race started, the weather proved perfect for running. 

The course, a single loop from the Embankment to Werrington village and back, going through the city centre. It is well supported, with many people along the route clapping and cheering, offering hand slaps and snacks to runners - Jelly Babies and Haribos being ever-popular choices.

First member across the line was Rob Howbrook with another impressive national standard run in a time of 1:28:50, closely followed by Dean Riggall in 1:28:51, Scott Jones in 1:30:22, Andy Atter in 1:31:02 and Gav Meadows in 1:31:06. First lady member was Holly Durham in 1:31:49, just three weeks after her 150km Equinox24 performance. But the days standout age grade performance was from Sarah High with a superb 1:46:48, her fastest for 3 years. 

Other finishers were Matthew Williamson (1:33:38), Nick Rossington (1:36:23), Rob McArdle (1:42:06), Gordon Geach (1:43:46), Mark Hillson (1:43:55), Andrew McAllister (1:44:18), SJ Willis (1:45:10), Sarah High (1:46:48), Liam Vincent (1:47:04), Paul Durham (1:48:43), Sinead McDonnell (1:52:36), Suzanne Britz (1:54:48), Rachel Birch (1:56:02), Martin Carter (1:58:06), Hazel Dunthorne (2:02:19), Nik Jones (2:03:25), Nicola Cottam (2:08:47), Jacqueline Jacobs (2:09:03), Louise Fenton (2:10:42), Frances Shelton (2:11:10), Ros Sadler (2:13:08), Kieran Atter (2:14:59), Lizzie Potter (2:15:00), Suzanne Angeloni (2:37:53), Beverly Toon (2:37:53). 

All the finishers were given a goody bag including t-shirt, medal, gels, pens, bananas and flapjack. Overall the event was a great success for the club, with many members achieving personal best times.

Photo: GRC members before the start 

Goyt Valley Challenge

Grantham Running Clubs Nev Chamberlain headed to the Peak District to run the 24.5 mile Goyt Valley Challenge. Starting and finishing in Buxton the off-road course which had a total ascent of over 1200 metres included the climbs of Axe Edge and Shining Tor two of the highest points in the area before returning via the trails running alongside the valleys reservoirs. After finishing in 5hrs 49mins Nev said " conditions today were ideal and the recent dry spell meant the moors aren't yet waterlogged".

Photo - Nev Chamberlain 

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Cardiff and Mablethorpe Half Marathons

Cardiff Half Marathon

GRC's Andrew Pask joined over 17,000 runners for this year's Cardiff Half Marathon. In near perfect running conditions, the UK's 3rd biggest race started in front of the iconic Cardiff Castle. Andrew who was captured briefly by the BBC cameras at start ran the first 10k to Cardiff Bay in 42:00, slightly quicker than planned. Paying for the early fast pace, Andrew was forced to dig deep around the 10 mile Roath Park area when the 1:30:00 pace maker overtook him. Knowing that a strong finish could still salvage his goal of a sub 1:30:00 race, Andrew found that extra gear for the final two miles to finish with a time of 1:29:53 placing him in the top 4% of the field.

Photo: Andrew during a sprint finish on left and above before the race

Mablethorpe Half Marathon 

The 2nd of October saw the 10th year of the Mablethorpe Half Marathon where two members of GRC took part. Father and son duo, Thomas & Matthew Williamson ran their first half marathon together in very windy conditions. Thomas was first to finish in an impressive 1:34:38, 39th overall. Closely followed by Matthew with a pb of 1:35:38 and 42nd overall. 

Photo: Matthew and Thomas 

Lincoln Half Marathon

Lincoln Half Marathon

A handful of Grantham Running Club members made the trip to the Lincolnshire Showground on Sunday to take part in the Lincoln Half Marathon. This was the first staging of the race in this format & the first half marathon to take place in the city for 25 years. The 13.1 mile route enters the city via Burton Road then takes in the historic part of the city including Lincoln Cathedral & Lincoln Castle. Next is the descent of Yarborough Hill before doing a circuit of Brayford Wharf. Lastly is the most testing part of the course - climbing back up Yarborough Hill before exiting the city & heading back to the showground for the finish.

First to cross the line for GRC was Gav Meadows in a time of 1:32:27. He said 'I was very pleased with this performance after my tired & disappointing showing at the Robin Hood Marathon the weekend before'. Closely following was Paul Davis, finishing in 1:35:37 & continuing his impressive & consistent recent form. Also performing very impressively was Caroline Davis, setting a new personal best of 1:55:49.

Gav added 'This was probably the most enjoyable race I've done in the local area. It was very well organised, the route was very well planned & the crowd support was fantastic! Highlights for me were running through the 'historic' part of the city & the Brayford Wharf circuit where my pace increased significantly because of the crowd. There were also some nice touches at the finish with free beer (alcohol free) & a free massage! I can't recommend this race highly enough!'