On Sunday 31st March a record 339 runners and 46 Canicross (CaniX) participants with their four-legged friends took part in the tenth Grantham Cup - one of the region’s favourite and most unique off-road running experiences. This challenging 10K race, hosted by Grantham Running Club, starts within the historic grounds of Belton House and takes place alongside the Belton International Horse Trials. More than just a race, the Grantham Cup allows participants the unique opportunity to take in the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside, visit a historic stately home and, once they have finished the race, enjoy the horse trials as part of their entry fee.
The course is considered very challenging, held on rough, unforgiving, cross country terrain, and includes several ascents of the hill upon which the National Trust owned Bellmount Tower stands at the top. The steep incline tests the resolve of even the hardiest of runners but the spectacular views over Grantham from the summit make the jelly legs worthwhile. Moreover, there are sections around the surrounding woodland and in the grounds of Belton House itself that allow runners to catch their breath and recover somewhat.
|Jeronimo was first home for GRC|
The race was won by local junior athlete William Tucker of Grantham Athletic Club, who serenely galloped past the finish line in an impressive 00:36:46. Having finished runner up in 2018, Will was delighted to take the top spot on the podium in 2019. Aaron Harris of RAF Cranwell was second in 00:38:13 and Paul Massingham of Stamford Striders was third in 00:40:50.
Former GRC member Emma Johnston now of Helm Hill Runners was first female in a time of 00:44:53. Eva Wilkes of Norwich Road Runners was second in 00:46:34 and Grantham Running Club's own Joss Smith took an excellent third place in 00:47:27, bettering her 2018 time by over four minutes.
|Sam sums up the hill|
The male V40 prize went to Simon Daniel, who clocked 00:42:09. Martin Waite (00:44:33) won the MV50 category, with the MV60 prize going to David Babbs (00:48:34).
The winning CaniX runner home was Christopher Taggart in 00:42:09, followed by Clarke Midgley, second in 00:44:33 and Ben Pearson, third in 00:42:58. The winning female CaniX runner was Joanne Bitcliffe, who clocked 00:46:47. She was followed by Sue Brewin 00:47:21 and Jillian Boys, third in 00:51:07.
The event was well supported by athletes from Grantham Running Club, 26 of whom competed with some attempting the challenging course for the first time. First to finish was Joaquim Jeronimo who finished in 5th place on his Grantham Cup debut with an excellent time of 00:41:28. Joining Joaquim in the top thirty were Gav Meadows (23rd, 00:45:08) and Russell Love (29th, 00:46:13).
GRC also had a pair of CaniX entries with Caroline Davis and four-legged friend coming home in 00:53:31, with Claire Williams following in 00:58:03.
Having spent many long months coordinating the event before passing over responsibility to willing GRC volunteers on the day, Race Director Hayley Staff joined the field and was delighted to have completed the challenging course in under the hour, recording a time of 00:59:45.
|Great run by Joss|
Grantham Running Club give grateful thanks to the large number of volunteers who made the event possible, working tirelessly behind the scenes and on the day to make the event a success, including those who provided medical support to the event, and to local photographers ParkRey Photography and Shaun Parkes who photographed the race.
Grantham Running Club results in full:
Position Time Name
5 00:41:28 Joaquim Jeronimo
23 00:45:08 Gav Meadows
29 00:46:13 Russell Love
38 00:47:17 Stefan Latter
40 00:47:27 Joss Smith
43 00:47:46 Samuel Jepson-Rivers
51 00:48:28 Christopher Moore
64 00:50:18 Stuart Reader
68 00:51:12 Craig Drury
93 00:53:31 Caroline Davis (CaniX)
97 00:54:21 Stuart Baty
129 00:56:27 Anthony Boyle
142 00:57:01 Richard Winter Noon
152 00:58:03 Claire Williams (CaniX)
157= 00:58:13 Paul Kelly
177 00:59:45 Hayley Staff
178 00:59:46 Christopher Toon
215 01:03:26 David Lewis
230= 01:05:23 Rachel Varela
245 01:06:24 Kate Marshall
257 01:07:17 Claire Martin
278 01:09:21 Diana McDonald
303 01:14:49 Vicky Willan
310 01:15:47 Rebecca Angel
320 01:17:18 Simon Hartley
335 01:23:32 Louise Kennedy