|Catherine and Robert in front of the Pier after the race|
Two athletes from Grantham Running Club took part in this year’s Brighton Marathon joining almost 20,000 other entrants in the 26.2 mile race through the city itself before going out to Hove and finishing along the Promenade at iconic Palace Pier. The runners were well supported all along the route by 150,000 spectators taking advantage of the zig zag route to see the runners on more than one occasion. As well as being the UK’s second largest Marathon this year it was also a qualifying race for England Athletics Age Group which meant that the winners in each Masters Division would be given the opportunity to represent their country at an autumn international.
Although this is neither the flattest nor the fastest course on the calendar this doesn’t matter as it was all about position rather than time. Catherine Payne was first home for GRC narrowly missing out on a PB but her time of 3:19:19 saw her five minute clear of the runner up in her age group as she secured her England Vest by winning her category, she was 33rd lady to finish out of more than seven and a half thousand. This is the first time Catherine had won her age category at a major UK marathon having previously picked up prizes for third place at both Manchester and Edinburgh. In his return to road marathons after a year out Robert McArdle was just delighted to finish the race without having to walk especially during the slight incline on the last three miles along the esplanade and although his time of 3:26:54 allowed him to just sneak into the top 800 finishers out of 19,803 entrants he is confident that he is on his way back to full fitness.