It was a case of polar opposites when more than 20 members of Grantham Running Club endured the searing heat of Lincoln on Sunday, for the re-arranged Run For All City of Lincoln 10k Road Race.
The original date for the event was 18th March, when the Beast from the East blew in - the temperature was -1C , with wind speeds of 24 mph, and snow was on the ground with more forecast. Fast forward 3½ months and conditions couldn’t be more different. 25C, a light breeze and an intense summer sun greeted some 5000 runners on the start line at the Yarborough Leisure Centre.
The course is laid out around the “uphill” area of Lincoln, and is described as fast and flat, where PB’s are a distinct possibility. The figure-of-8 route offers views of Lincoln Cathedral and the Roman Walls, with the finish line in the very welcome shadow of the Cathedral, with the finishing village within Lincoln Castle Square.
In its 22nd year, the race was very well organised with plenty of marshals, very good parking, although the walk back from the finish felt like a marathon in itself, and an extra water station was added this year, and the “sponge station” at 6.5km was an inspiration. The large and enthusiastic ribbon of spectators who lined almost the entire route were much appreciated as their calls of encouragement spurred on heat-stricken legs, especially on the final run-in to the picturesque Cathedral Quarter. Live music and the tropical weather lent a carnival-like atmosphere to the whole event. Most welcome to the overheating runners were the numerous residents who turned their garden hoses toward them for a moment cool respite.
The extreme heat took its toll on many, but several GRC runners still posted notable results. First home for the club were Richard Payne (00:39:38) and Matthew Atter (00:39:51), both within seconds of personal bests, as was Kevin Kettle (0:45:03) and Julie Braker (00:52:46) continues to excel, again coming first in her age group.
Paul Wenlock (00:54:47) and Anthony Boyle (00:56:37) posted excellent times in their debut runs for the club; Tony, having just completed GRC’s 10 Weeks to 10K programme, noted this was a great event, especially for novices, and would highly recommend it to others as a first 10k race.
The course, organisation and support so impressed, several members of the club have already signed up for next year.
Other GRC finishers: Rob Howbrook (0:42:12), Stuart Baty (0:50:56), Caroline Davis (0:51:55), Robert Braker (0:51:58), Suzanne Britz (0:53:20), Lucy Burgess (0:54:12), Gavin Skinner (0:54:57), John Nevard (01:00:27), Justyna Gill (01:01:05), Emma Weatherall (01:02:11), Brendon Buckle (01:02:48), Tracy Webb (01:05:11), Lucinda Gamble (01:05:31), Mark Jessop (01:07:13),Simon Hartley (01:08:13), Claire Fritz (01:11:48), Louise Kennedy (01:12:13), Steve Kennedy (01:12:13), Julia Hallam (01:12:31), Vicki Geeson (01:15:27).