Sunday, 20 August 2017

Thorney 5

Grantham Running Club’s Matthew Kingston-Lee took an unexpected victory at the Thorney 5 Mile Road Race, held in the small village east of Peterborough on Sunday 20th August. There was further success for the club at the race with Catherine Payne winning her age group category again.
MKL with his trophy
The out and back course, utilising the old A47, is flat and potentially very fast, tempered somewhat by the winds that regularly blow across the open fens. The weather on race day was sunny with temperatures in the high teens with a moderate breeze making the going challenging in the second half of the race.
Returning from a two week summer holiday, Matthew Kingston-Lee was unsure of his form going into the race. He sat off the fast opening pace, lying in around tenth place for the opening minutes of the race. Feeling better than he feared he made the juncture from the second chasing pack to join a group of three who were chasing the lead runner around ten seconds further up the road. The group dropped a runner as they approached the halfway turning point, and began to reel in the ailing lead runner, passing him as they approached 5km.
Facing a headwind for the final two miles of the race, the battle for the lead between Matthew, Nene Valley Harriers’ Robert Brownlee, and Peterborough ACs’ John Pike became a tactical affair, with the pace surging and then slowing as the runners appeared to take turns to break the tow of the following runners. Entering the final mile, Pike slipped off the back of the group as Brownlee made a concerted bid to take victory. Matthew was able hold onto the heels of Robert and was able to pull alongside as the Nene Valley Harrier tired, Sensing his chance for victory, Matthew maintained the pace set and was able to pull clear, crossing the line first in 27:30 (a new PB by 23 seconds), ten seconds clear of second placed Robert Brownlee, with John Pike third in 27:46.
MKL turns the tables on Pike who shone at LWAC's 5k
“I certainly wasn’t expecting such a good result!” commented Matthew after the race. “I’d not run as often as I’d liked on my holidays and felt sure the late nights, good food and plenty to drink would have left me rather unfit. The race though went perfectly. I raced well tactically, sheltering myself as much as possible from the wind and not surging as hard as the others when I hit the front during the race, saving myself a little more energy for the final mile which I knew would be the hardest because of the headwind. "It’s only my third race victory and is definitely the most satisfying. Maybe I should holiday more often!”

To add to the successful morning for GRC, Catherine Payne on her way back from injury claimed first place in the V50 age category, clocking a fine 34:40, just over a minute slower than her 2016 time at the same race, held in arguably better conditions. Behind Catherine, Sinead McDonnell made an impressive five mile debut, clocking 41:42 to finish 36th female. She too lamented jet lag and that two weeks spent on holiday may have adversely affected her concentration and fitness.
Another five mile debutant was Richard Payne. Continuing his fine run of ever improving form, Richard finished a fine 35th overall in 31:45. Robert McArdle was the other Grantham Running Club to complete the race, coming home ninth in his age group, clocking 37:06.
The winner of the women’s race was Philippa Taylor of Nene Valley Harriers in 31:00.

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking

1 27:30 Matthew Kingston Lee
MV40 PB 82.70% 37
35 31:45 Richard Payne
68.28% 2050
63 34:40 Catherine Payne
80.06% 20
90 37:06 Robert McArdle
70.26% 323
147 41:42 Sinead McDonnell
61.72% N/A

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