Wednesday, 6 November 2019

The Nottingham 5k Winter Series - Race 1 2019

Chip Time Athlete Surname Category Cat Pos Gen Pos Gender

18:17 Joaquim Jeronino SM 3 4 M
19:52 Peter Bonner MV40 1 9 M
20:11 Jack Dodwell SM 9 11 M
21:08 Sam Dodwell SM 11 18 M
21:19 Russell Maksymi MV 40 5 20 M
22:33 Penny Hodges FV 40 4 12 F
22:40 Kate Yates SF 5 13 F
23:42 Michelle Parczuk FV 45 2 16 F
24:13 Stuart Baty MV 45 4 30 M
25:27 Sylv Hull FV 40 5 22 F
28:34 Kate Marshall FV 40 9 34 F
29:23 Tracy Webb FV 50 5 35 F
31:04 Claire Fritz FV 40 10 37 F
31:14 Yvonne Buckley FV 55 2 39 F
33:11 Cj Walker FV 40 12 46 F

Saturday, 2 November 2019

ECCA English Cross Country Relays – Berry Hill Park, Mansfield

Sam goes sub 22:00

There was unprecedented Grantham Running Club participation at the Saucony English Cross Country Relays on Saturday 3rd November, with three teams apiece competing in the fiercely competitive Men’s and Women’s Senior races. The club indeed could have entered more teams such was the demand. Thankfully the gracious actions of some runners who volunteered to give up their place meant a ballot for positions for the maximum allowable three teams per club wasn’t required.
Berry Hill Park, Mansfield, has hosted the English XC Relays since 1989 and was thankfully the venue once again after a successful campaign to save the park from closure in July. The course is known for being a good test of cross country skills with a 2.5K long lap featuring a mixture of parkland and undulating woodland sections. The recent heavy rainfall of recent weeks meant the going underfoot was far more challenging than in previous years, with much of the course very muddy and deteriorating over the course of the day with over 700 teams taking part in the various age group races prior to the 350 entered to take part in the Senior races.
Great running by Michelle
The GRC women were first off at 1:50pm with three ladies per team each tackling a 3km long leg. The ‘A’ team saw Caroline Davis open with a solid 15:05.35. This was backed up with Michelle Parczuk running a fine 15:04.20 which brought the the team into the top 100. Michelle handed over to Sarah Chynoweth, who ran an excellent 12:51.70 to see the team finish in a very respectable 71st position with 43:01.25. This was comfortably the best ever position by a GRC team at the relays, with neither the men nor women having ever finished inside the top 100 prior to this performance. The race was won by Aldershot Farnham & District ‘A’ in 31:09.
The women’s ‘B’ team saw Sylv Hull run 16:22.55, Sarah High 16:39.00 and Naomi Jepson-Rivers complete the team with 15:47.95 They finished 113th (exactly the same position as the GRC women’s team finished in 2018) in 48:49.50. The ‘C’ team comprising Kate Marshall (18.15.75); Yvonne Buckley (21:24.30) and Tracy Webb (19:43.35) were the last finishers in 127th place, but it should be pointed out that some 21 teams failed to finish the race on a day when conditions were very testing. 

Setting off at 2:40pm the Men’s Senior Race brought the day’s proceedings to a close with four runners per team each running a 5km leg. Jonny Palmer, making his XC debut for the club, ran a superb opening leg of 18:30.15 to set Grant Davies off in 65th position. Grant backed this up with a fine 21:05:30. The team had dropped to 90th position but Chris Limmer with 21:15.75 picked off some places to hand over in 84th place. Phil Devine, also making his XC for GRC, ran 21:57.30 in questionable footwear to bring the team home 83rd in 1:22:48. This was agonisingly close to a prized top half finish - it probably would have been if the twenty nine teams who failed to finish had managed to do so. Interestingly the team were only five places behind one of the region’s local giants Lincoln Wellington AC. 

Sarah runs fastest lap (12:52)
The ‘B’ team ran pleasingly strongly with all four members putting in excellent runs. Joaquim Jeronimo ran the first leg in 21:15.95. He was followed by Matthew Williamson (21:59.05); V60 runner Robert Howbrook with an awe inspiring 22:38:20; and Peter Bonner, who closed with 22:36:30 to see the team finish 114th in 1:28:29, just three places behind the ‘B’ team of the region’s other big hitters Notts AC.
The ‘C’ team performed admirably with Sam Jepson-Rivers clocking a very fine 21:58:55 before handing over to Jack Dodwell who equipped himself well with 24:11.95 and then Gav Meadows who ran a solid 23:04.20. It was a tough baptism for XC debutant Wayne Baxter on the anchor leg. Admitting to not staying upright in the toughest sections and lamenting afterwards that he should have worn Wellingtons, he did manage to finish in 30:14.60 bringing the team home 145th in 1:39:29. The race was won by Leeds City AC ‘A’ in 1:05:14.
After the event Team Captains Chris Limmer and Sarah High were full of praise for the camaraderie shown and the support offered to all who ran. It is hoped this team spirit is carried forward to the forthcoming cross country fixtures over the course of the next few months.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Lincolnshire Cross Country League – Race 2 – Ostler’s Plantation

Just a week after the opening race, the second Lincolnshire Cross Country League Race of 2019 took place on Sunday 27th October 2019 at Ostler’s Plantation, near Woodhall Spa.
On a fine autumnal morning, a largely flat and surprisingly dry 8649 meter long course led to some fast times being produced over the loose stony trails. Chris Limmer was first in for the three strong Grantham Running Club’s men’s contingency. Having set off within sight of the eventual winner Jordan Carlisle from Cleethorpes he soon settled into a pack of runners about 20 seconds back as the race began the second of three laps. Positions changed a few times over the remaining laps, with eventually Chris finishing fourth (First Senior Male) in 32:22 - his highest ever finishing position in a cross country race.
Not far behind was Grant Davies who battled admirably despite his cross country spikes not being the best footwear for the loose gravel. Finishing just over a minute behind Chris in tenth (Third Senior Male) he was fairly happy with his performance. Finally for GRC was experienced cross country campaigner Chris Toon who also completed his third cross country race in as many weeks, crossing the finish line fiftieth in a time of 42:56. There were 66 finishers in the men’s U20/Senior/Veterans race.
The only female representative from GRC was Joss Smith who, despite limited training over the summer months, ran a really strong consistently paced race to finish fifth (third Senior Woman) in the 5766 meter long women’s U20/Senior/Veterans race. There were 28 finishers, with Katie Ball of Boston Triathlon Club the overall winner.

Worksop Halloween Half Marathon

Grantham Running Club sent a bumper team of 29 runners to the 38th Worksop Halloween Half Marathon held on Sunday 27st October. Bolstered by GRC members who entered the race having been left disappointed by the start line cancellation of the Great Eastern Half in Peterborough two weeks earlier, the already popular race saw a record turnout for the Grantham club who had made it a round of their Grand Prix Series. In stark contrast to the Peterborough race, the Halloween themed half marathon once again took place in near perfect autumnal conditions.
Starting at Outwood Academy Portland, the race has one of the toughest starts of any with the first mile up to the top of Sparken Hill before rolling to Clumber Park and continuing on a constantly undulating course that culminates with a swift descent back down Sparken Hill to the finish.
Matthew Williamson led the green army for the opening miles and was the first GRC runner to encounter the road being flooded at the four mile point courtesy of recent heavy rain causing the River Poulter to burst its banks. This left runners with little option but to run through the ankle-deep water for around 30 meters.
Undeterred, the green vests pushed on when a confident Joe Clarke took the race on as if the first five miles were just a warm-up. Pushing on through Clumber Park, Clarke was gaining speed mile after mile, finishing with a downhill blast of pace to grab a PB by 29 seconds with 1:25:26 - a fine achievement on a course not normally associated with Personal Best times.
Next up was promising young new club member Barney Stretton, who was making his road race debut. Prior to the event he was encouraged by club mates to consider adjusting his original target time of beating the 1:45 his Dad had run over the course in 2018. Running free of the pressures of wearing a GPS watch and perhaps taking advantage of some local knowledge of the course having grown up in Worksop, Barney ran a perfect negative split to clock an outstanding 1:27:36. There was double cause for celebration for the Strettons with dad Barny, who has also recently joined the club, coming home with a new PB of 1:42:44.
Catherine was first FV50
Veteran Catherine Payne was first home for the GRC ladies, winning the FV50 category with a season’s best time of 1:38:09, placing her seventeenth woman overall and earning a age group ranking of 140th in the country over the distance. Next across the line for the ladies was the ever-reliable Caroline Davies with 1:47:59 close to her best on a hilly and testing course.
Additionally there were personal bests for Sam Clarke, who established a much more representative half marathon personal best time of 1:33:03 having previously run an injury affected 1:50:41 at the 2018 Newton’s Fraction Half Marathon, and Vicki Geeson, whose 2:32:51 saw a twelve minute improvement on her half marathon debut at last year's edition of the race.

2019 bests were set by: Andrew Pask (1:28:05) and Jason Blair (1:33:57). 

Making their debuts over the 13.1 mile distance were: Aaron Smith (1:37:41); Alison Clark (2:24:46), Heather Welbourne (2:24:45); Carole Pigott (2:31:57); and Emma Church (2:32:51).

Other GRC results: Matthew Williamson (1:28:18); Tony Johnson (1:29:30); Robert Howbrook (1:30:59 – 2nd V60); Matthew Atter (1:34:22); Richard Payne (1:38:35); Gav Meadows (1:39:38); Simon Smith (1:43:28); Robert McArdle (1:44:45); Paul Kelly (1:51:20); Katie Bland (1:58:12); Wayne Baxter (2:01:21); Kate Marshall (2:13:59); Tracy Webb (2:16:39); Claire Fritz (2:36:05); and Yvonne Buckley (2:36:05).

The race was won by Stuart Spencer of Notts AC in 1:08:28 with Phillipa Williams of Sheffield Running Club the winning woman in 1:25:26. There were 2416 finishers.

Harby Clockback 10K

Seven members of Grantham Running Club took part in the Harby Clockback 10K on Sunday 27th October. The low key local off-road race was made more all the more challenging by the volume of rainfall experienced in recent weeks, although the race itself was run on a fine, sunny autumnal morning. 

First home for GRC was Daniel Howson, who ran well to finish 27th overall in 52:50. He was followed by Michelle Parczuk in 54:11 who was 33rd overall and seventh female finisher. Sinead McDonnell was 62nd in 60:30; Rachel Varela 84th (66:46); and Victoria Ball one place behind in 66:46.

The race marked a most welcome return for the club’s outstanding runner of 2018 Julie Braker, making her first race appearance of 2019 having suffered a very serious leg injury back in March. Running with her husband Robert, they finished together in 112th and 113th positions respectively in 75:03.

The race was won by Oliver Matharu in 37:49 with Hannah Simpson the winning woman in 47:08. There were 128 finishers.