Sunday, 30 September 2018

Robin Hood Half Marathon

Tony 88:19
Sophie first half
On Sunday 30th September a band of 10 merry men and woman from Grantham Running Club joined approximately 9000 runners for Nottingham’s 38th Robin Hood Half Marathon. The course, starting and finishing at Victoria Embankment and taking in various landmarks of Nottingham including the castle and the scenic Wollaton Park, while generally flat features two notable hills at around 3 kilometres and just after halfway to add interest. The city location drew competitors from a wide area and ensured that the event was very well supported by visitors and locals, with plenty of cheers and jelly babies offered to runners along the route. The crisp September morning saw some shivering on the start line but made for a comfortable run.

First home for GRC was Tony Johnson, who ran his fastest of four September half marathons, in a fine 88:19. Running the event for the first time since the 2016 course change, Tony noted the revised opening miles made for a tougher route. Next in was Peter Bonner at 95:42. Peter found the race well organised and the weather perfect, but unfortunately came down with a cold during the week before the race, scuppering plans of a quick time. As he was running to raise money for Barnado's, he was pleased to be able to at least keep his heart rate down and enjoy the run and hopes he will be sufficiently recovered in time for his next half marathon in Peterborough.

Julie Braker was first woman home for the club, finishing first in her age group in a fantastic time of 1:49:23. Almost two minutes faster than her 2017 time for the event, this represents a stunning age grade of 90.53%, just fractionally down on her club record best of 90.69% set at the Leicester Half Marathon in 2017.  Belinda Baker was next GRC woman to finish, running brilliantly to knock just over five minutes of her previous PB, clocking 2:15:51. Rachel Varela was hot on her heels at 2:15:58 and was delighted to have completed her first half marathon, an incredible achievement having joined the club’s beginner group in April. Rachel looks forward to attempting another half in the future. 
Sylv, Tracey and Belinda
Tracey Smith was close behind Rachel, coming home in 2:16:11. She was delighted to have gained a big PB, taking more than six minutes off her previous best. Next home was Sylv Hull, who finished her debut half marathon in an excellent 2:18:38. Sylv, a recent addition to the club, thoroughly enjoyed her first half and was pleased with her pacing, running a negative split having commenced her run cautiously. Kate Marshall followed with a personal best of 2:22:43, taking almost four minutes off the time she had achieved several weeks earlier in her half marathon debut at Rutland Water.
Two more runners made their half marathon
Rachel 2:15:58
debuts at the Robin Hood. Kim Ahrens ran not only her first half marathon distance but her first ever race over any distance, finishing in a commendable 2:36:19. Sophie Wingad was delighted to have overcome a knee injury to successfully complete her first half in 2:37:27 and noted that she loved the route and even enjoyed the hills! 

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