Sunday, 13 January 2019

Oundle New Year 10k

A 2-3 finish at the Oundle 10K on Sunday 13th January ensured a small piece of history was made for Grantham Running with two runners in green claiming podium places in the same race for the first time. Kicking the New Year off with a bang, the club also won the Men’s Team Trophy and there were several new personal bests from the twenty one GRC runners who took part in what was the opening round of the club’s 2019 Grand Prix Series.
Hosted for the first time, the Oundle 10K took runners out of the historic market town of Oundle on a scenic, mildly undulating two lap triangle shaped anticlockwise course between Oundle, Cotterstock, and Glaphorn. On a reasonably mild, mostly cloudy morning, conditions were made challenging by a bracing stiff westerly wind which made for a brutally tough near mile long steady incline, heading directly into the wind, shortly after the opening kilometre. This served to sap the energy reserves, especially when the exercise was repeated on the second lap with the wind, if anything, strengthening in intensity.
Finishing second in the race was Matthew Kingston-Lee in 00:36:42, with club mate Ian Williams coming home third just six seconds behind in 00:36:48. In an exciting race, Matthew initially pulled out a gap on Ian as he moved into third place with an extravagant surge of pace into the headwind at 2km and then worked hard to close down and overtake the second placed runner at just after halfway.
With Matthew still in sight and sensing a chance to finish third, Ian closed down and also passed the ailing fourth placed Mathias Martinez into the headwind section. Matthew then dramatically stopped with around two kilometres left to run to retie his laces that had come undone at halfway, allowing Ian to briefly take second spot. With right trainer now firmly reattached to foot, Matthew immediately retook the position on the final climb of the race and was just about able to eke out a small gap by the finish.
All this action meant that Ian bettered his old PB, set at the November 2018 Leeds Abbey Dash 10K, by over 30 seconds. This is an outstanding performance, especially when considering that both the winner, John Uff (35:13) and Matthew were both two minutes down on their best 10K times set late in 2018 partly due to the windy conditions. 
Another excellent performance came from eleventh placed Joaquim Jeronimo in a time of 00:40:45, which secured the club an emphatic victory in the Men’s Team Competition. Next home for GRC was Ian McBain, who was pleased with his time of 00:43:58 given the challenging weather conditions, which was within seconds of his personal best.
Samuel Jepson-Rivers followed and was delighted to have achieved an impressive 00:46:02, establishing an official 10K PB and bettering a previous 10k time by almost eight minutes. It was a great day for the Jepson-Rivers family as Samuel’s wife Naomi Jepson-Rivers was delighted to better her personal best by more than two minutes, coming in at 01:00:21, and Samuel’s father Paul ran well to finish fifth in the V60 category, clocking 00:53:31. The Dodwell’s were another family to return home happy with Jack Dodwell clocking 00:47:01 and his brother Sam thrilled to finish in 00:50:17, bettering his old 10K PB by nearly seven minutes.
Nichola Webster was first woman home for GRC at 00:56:45, enjoying the day despite battling the strong wind. Tracy Webb, who continues to chip away at her 10k race times, reduced her personal best on the road by more than a minute, with an excellent time of 00:58:15. Kathleen Gray was next finisher for the club in a time of 00:59:15, a personal best denied by the challenging winds.

Kathleen was followed by Sylv Hull (01:00:03) just ahead of Sue Swann (01:00:05). Kate Marshall (01:02:00) struggled with the wind, especially on the second lap. New club member Sue Hardy finished in 01:03:29, Claire Fritz clocked 01:04:48 ahead of Edina Burns (01:07:25), with Louise Kennedy just behind in 01:07:27 and Yvette Taylor hot on Louise’s heels with 01:07:33. Paula Ebbins, in what may be her first ever race for the club, completed the GRC finishers with a time of 01:10:28. Unfortunately, Vicki Geeson was forced to withdraw mid-race due to injury but praised the first aid assistance provided to her and hopes to be back up and running soon.
With a few shortcomings addressed the Oundle 10K is surely set to be a popular early year fixture on the local race calendar and provided a great opening round to what promises to be a competitive 2019 GRC Grand Prix Series.
Emily Foran of Sleaford Striders AC was the winning woman in 00:40:51. There were 472 finishers.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Lincolnshire Cross Country Championships, Biscathorpe

Eleven members of Grantham Running Club made the journey to the Lincolnshire Wolds to take part in the Lincolnshire Cross-Country Championships at Biscathorpe near Louth on Sunday 6th January. On a cold and overcast morning the runners faced a challenging course that had something for everyone including hills, marshland, stream crossings, and lots of mud.
First to toe the start-line were the Senior and Vet men who would tackle a 10.16 km course. It wasn't
Paul in full flight
long after the starting gun fired that the field encountered their first sticky obstacle in the form of a marshy dip which claimed several running shoes including that of Simon Smith. Unfortunately, Simon was unable to rescue his shoe and had to retire from the race and borrow a spade to dig it from the mud! Simon was more fortunate than Chris Moore, who irretrievably lost his footwear in the deep mud and was also forced to retire.
Setting the pace for GRC were Joaquim Jeronimo and Peter Bonner, running closely together throughout and seemingly having little trouble navigating a route through the water and mud. Joaquim finished in a fine 12th position (42:05) and Peter in 13th (42:24). Next home for Grantham was Paul Davis in 37th place (47:21). The trio of Joaquim, Peter and Paul earned themselves fifth position in the team competition. Also putting in solid performances in the difficult conditions were Chris Toon (43rd, 50:01), Russel Maksymiw (50th, 51:32) and Clive George (53rd, 53:03).
The Women’s Vet event was held later in the day over a 5.82 km course with conditions underfoot deteriorating with each successive race run. From the off it was Caroline Davis who lead the GRC charge making light work of the challenging conditions. Finishing a fantastic 10th place overall
Carline emerges with two shoes (unlike some!)
Caroline completed the course in 29:47. Next in for GRC was Justyna Gill having a great race to finish 25th in a time of 38:05. Hot on her heels were the pair of Donna Hall and Yvonne Buckley who ran the entire race together and looked as though they were enjoying every minute! Both were given a time of 42:42 in 28th and 29th places respectively. Caroline, Justyna and Donna also took 5th position in the team competition.
After the race Caroline Davies remarked: "Having run here before I knew roughly what to expect from the course but the mud this year was quite hard work in places. That said, I think we all enjoyed the event and will probably be back to take part next year."

Virtual Runner Live – Nottingham

Three members of Grantham Running Club welcomed the New Year with their first races of 2019, participating in the Virtual Runner Live event in Nottingham on Sunday 6 January. The annual event, organised by virtual running specialists Virtual Runner, included opportunities to race over 2k, 5k and 10k with participants able to pre-register or enter on the day for their chosen combination of events. The races, commencing in West Bridgford, followed the course of the River Trent, where runners enjoyed superb views of the river along the river paths and popular Victoria Embankment.

First up for the GRC runners was the 10k, with a course which crossed the river several times and took in Nottingham landmarks including Trent Bridge and the Nottingham City Ground. First home for the club was Tracy Webb, in a time of 58:59, followed by Kate Marshall in 01:00:01, and Claire Fritz in 01:05:05. The race was won by Paul Bakewell in 39:35.

After a break for refreshments, the intrepid group were soon ready for their next challenge, the 5k race. Again, the course took in the sights of the Trent up to Trent Bridge, with the views of the river bathed in welcome winter sunshine. Tracy Webb was first again for GRC in a time of 29:18, followed by Claire Fritz in 30:43 and Kate Marshall in 31:36. The race was won by in Damian Nadin in 21:04.

The GRC runners found the day well organised and enjoyed the challenge of competing at both 5k and 10k on the same day, which provided a great start to the 2019 running season.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Winter Enigma Marathon

Nick Payne of Grantham Running Club completed the Winter Enigma Marathon on Saturday 5th January. This event is based at the scenic Caldecotte Lake in Milton Keynes and consists of 7 ½ laps around the lake.  It was a very cold morning, but the conditions were generally good for running with only a light wind and no rain. The event was well organised with an aid station at the end of each lap offering home-made cakes and fudge.

Nick maintained a consistent pace with each lap being completed in a similar time. Nick finished the marathon in a time of 3:54:58 which placed him a fine twelfth out of fifty seven finishers.  For his efforts, Nick received a finishers’ medal in the shape of a snowman.

Nick commented after the race: “I am pleased to run under four hours in my first marathon of 2019.  It shows that my winter training is going well and will stand me in good stead for longer events later in the year.  Even though running laps can be mentally tough, the lovely scenery helped the laps fly by.”

The race was won by Paul Davies of Centurion Running Club in 03:09:54.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Cleethorpes AC New Year’s Day 10K

The Cleethorpes AC 10K takes place on New Year’s Day each year and starts and finishes at the seafront. Just over 400 entrants took to the closed roads for the 2019 edition, completing two small loops before heading away to complete a larger lap. 
Classed on the website as a flat and fast course, Rick Dobbs, who was a local in his youth, booked this as a first race returning from a summer injury. Rick confirmed the course is flat and had potential for being a PB course, finishing with a chip time of 53.39. 
The finishers’ T-Shirt is unique in that each year a band album cover is used. This year’s shirt was the cover of Joy Division’s debut album ‘Unknown Pleasures.’ 
The race was won by Lewis Jagger of Sheffield Running Club in 30:19; Jo Williams of Lothian AC was the women’s winner in 36:48.