Sunday, 6 May 2018

Sleaford Half Marathon

A total of 36 members of Grantham Running Club made the short trip to Sleaford on Sunday to take part in the Sleaford Half Marathon. The fairly low-key local race starts and finishes at Eslaforde Park on Boston Road & takes in the villages of Kirkby la Thorpe, Evedon, Ewerby, Ewerby Thorpe & Howell. Whilst very pleasant the weather on the day was far from ideal for running. The searing heat meant that most runners performances were slightly slower than they would normally expect when running on this relatively flat course. A total of 417 runners took part in the race.

The course offered little shade
The first three to cross the finish line for GRC were probably the least effected by the heat. Finishing second overall in the race was club chairperson MV40 Matthew Kingston-Lee. His time of 1:15:59 was only just over a minute slower than his personal best set in 2014. He was also only 51 seconds behind the winner of the race (Martin Dawson from North Derbyshire Running Club). His efforts were rewarded with a trophy and a £125 pair of Mizuno running shoes.

Next to finish was MV50 Tony Johnson in 25th position overall with a time of 1:27:44. Tony began the race at quite a pace and to the surprise of many of his club mates, was able to maintain this throughout. This result is only 80 seconds shy of his 2017 time and proves that Tony is well and truly on his way back to his best after recent health issues and battles with injuries.

The 3rd GRC finisher was MV40 Peter Bonner who produced an equally impressive performance. He ran a new personal best of 1:29:13 slashing some 2:50 off his previous mark smashing through the much sought after 90 minute barrier in the process. He placed 30th overall. A remarkable demonstration of focus given the conditions.

Paul Davidson as a guide runner
Not too far behind Peter were the MV35 pair of Andrew Pask (34th - 1:30:44) and Gav Meadows (35th - 1:31:59). Both runners were significantly slower than their personal bests and admitted after the race that the heat had taken its toll. However, neither can have any complaints about their performances given the conditions. It was a similar story for the majority of runners taking part.

The front runners in the ladies section were also veterans with Sarah High leading them home in 1:57:20,well outside her best but on balance a satisfying result given that she had to withdraw from London due to injury and has not been able to train hard since February. Sarah was third in her age category Next lady in was Caroline Davis enjoying a fine season in 1:58:26 with Julie Braker coming home in 2:00:53. 
Assisted runner taken ill

A special mention goes to Robert Braker who abandoned his own race to help assist a runner who took ill to a first aid point, after helping carry her to the first aid tent where her heat exhaustion was successfully treated he returned to the fray and finished in a time of 2:11:34.

Other notable performances included personal bests for Kevin Kettle (1:43:24), Stuart Reader (1:46:10), Russell Maksymiw (1:56:08) all dipping well below the two hour mark. Julie Gilbert (2:07:13) and Justyna Gill (2:18:39) also bagged PB's. Any PB performance deserves special praise but even more so when the heat on the day is taken into account. There were also half marathon debuts for Stefan Latter (1:42:46), Lucy Hardstaff (2:08:04), Belinda Baker (2:22:50), Tracy Smith (2:23:34), Nic Webster (2:24:06), Yvette Taylor (2:42:50) & Melanie Taylor (2:49:41). A real baptism of fire on a day that tested even the most seasoned competitors at this distance.

Other results: Craig Drury 1:48:10, Nev Chamberlain 1:50:41, Liam Vincent 1:53:36,:Suzanne Britz 2:03:38, Martin Carter 2:04:45, Claire Pimlott 2:10:20,  Emma Weighill 2:17:16, Jo Moore 2:18:54, Rosalind Sadler 2:21:52, Nicola Cottam 2:22:06, Kathleen Gray 2:23:39, Hayley Staff 2:24:59, Lucinda Gamble 2:34:20, Sue Swann 2:42:50, Claire Fritz 2:45:37

Position Time Name

2 75:59 Matthew Kingston-Lee MV40
25 87:44 Tony Johnson MV50
30 89:13 Peter Bonner MV40
34 90:44 Andrew Pask MV35
35 91:59 Gavin Meadows MV35
75 1:42:46 Stefan Latter MV40
80 1:43:24 Kevin Kettle MV50
97 1:46:10 stuart Reader MV45
110 1:48:10 Craig Drury MV45
120 1:50:41 Nev Chamberlain MV55
141 1:53:36 Liam Vincent MV45
156 1:56:08 Russell Maksymiw MV40
165 1:57:20 Sarah High FV55
180 1:58:26 Caroline Davis FV45
200 2:00:53 JULIE BRAKER FV70
212 2:03:38 Suzanne Britz FV45
233 2:07:13 Julie Gilbert FV45
241 2:08:04 Lucy Burgess FV35
260 2:10:20 Claire Pimlott FV35
266 2:11:34 Robert BRAKER MV65
304 2:17:16 Emma Weighill FV35
314 2:18:39 Justyna Gill FV35
331 2:21:52 Rosalind Sadler FV45
332 2:22:06 Nicola Cottam FV45
334 2:22:50 Belinda Baker FV55
337 2:23:34 Tracey Smith FV45
338 2:23:39 Kathleen Gray FV35
343 2:24:06 Nic Webster FV35
351 2:24:59 Hayley Staff FV35
374 2:34:20 Lucinda Gamble FV35
389 2:42:50 Sue Swann FV45
390 2:42:50 Yvette Taylor FV45
396 2:45:37 Claire Fritz FV35
399 2:49:41 Melanie Taylor FV35

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