|Gerry was first home for GRC|
On Sunday 18th October the Thoresby Estate in Nottinghamshire welcomed more than a thousand runners (both human and canine) from all over the UK for the rare opportunity to run in a multi-terrain trail race. The ten runners from Grantham Running Club had been holding their collective breath waiting to see if the event would be able to go ahead but SBR Events worked incredibly hard to ensure that the day was Covid safe, with staggered starts, social distancing and hygiene measures. A happy side effect of the reduced flow of competitors was that the normally inevitable toilet queues were absent.
Runners had a choice of distances around the tracks through the beautiful ancient woodlands and parkland which were just muddy enough to be challenging. It was noticed by everyone that the course was a touch long which made the dash for the finish harder to judge but it was nice to get a little extra distance thrown in for free.
In the 10K race, Gerry Hyde was the first back for GRC with a scorching time of 43:43 which earned him first place in his age category and sixteenth overall out of more than four hundred finishers. The winning streak continued as his team TBR also came first. He commented that he enjoyed the challenge of pacing the race and was very pleased to manage a strong finish.
Next back for GRC was Russell Maksymiw who also had an excellent run, managing even to knock two minutes off his (very quick) time at Caythorpe 10k the previous week. His time of 45:06 netted him 23rd place overall and fourth in his age category. Sam Dodwell followed a couple of minutes later, taking part in his first race in six months. A fast start took its toll in the middle of his race but he managed to regain momentum in the latter half to finish in a respectable time of 47:53 and 41st overall.
Martin Carter finished next, 131st, in a time of 56:10 which exceeded his expectations having mentioned at the start that anything under an hour would be a good result given his lack of racing this year. Dale Towning followed soon in 151st past the finish line in 56:53, which was a touch behind his time in 2019 due to having to nurse an injured calf muscle. Despite his disappointment, he thoroughly enjoyed the run.
Chasing Dale down was Sylv Hull who was very pleased to better her 2019 time by over two minutes to come in at 57:50 which left her in 158th overall position and ninth in her age category. Sam French was next in a time of 1:20:51, which was not her fastest race but one of the most enjoyable with many compliments for her brightly coloured leggings which clearly cheered up all those around her.
Three GRC ladies took on the longer ten mile race. First back was Katie Bland who finished in a very respectable 1:35:02 which brought her neatly halfway up the field – 134th out of 238 runners. Next was Kate Marshall who has spent much of 2020 battling a knee injury which has seen her training mileage seriously curtailed. Though she didn’t feel race fit and had to deal with a throbbing knee towards the end, Kate was not unhappy with her time of 1:46:40. Having never raced this distance on a multi terrain course (which generally tend to be tougher than roads), Kate was happy with how close her time was to her road PB. Kate finished 191st, with Tracy Webb following a couple of minutes after in 1:48:55, which netted her ninth place in her age category and 202nd overall.
All the runners were full of praise for the organisers and marshals who had clearly worked incredibly hard to make the event happen safely. The support and atmosphere around the course was fantastic, as was the setting. A particular highlight for runners was catching a glimpse of the adorable Longhorn calves in the fields as they passed.
A super wooden medal and free event photographs made this event one that everyone thoroughly enjoyed and would definitely return to next year. All agreed that it felt like a real treat to be able to run in a race with club mates once again.
Race report c/o Sylv Hull. Photos: SBR Events / Mark Dewhurst Photography