Sunday, 21 November 2021

Lincolnshire Cross Country League: Match 1

 A cool but bright morning greeted the Lincolnshire Cross Country League faithful at Madges Farm, Stroxton on Sunday 21st November.Jointly Hosted by both Grantham Running Club (GRC) and Grantham Athletic Club it served as the 2nd round of the Lincolnshire XC League.

The largely dry weather in the run up to the XC season resulted in good to firm underfoot conditions in large swathes of the course, with only small patches of mud and water to traverse. The challenge came from a rolling course on farmers’ fields.The Men’s race saw a small but competitive field take on 10.5k spread across 3 laps of the course.

Finishing first and the sole senior in attendance for GRC, Samuel Jepson-Rivers came home in 7th place overall, pleased with his consistent pacing. Coming next, off-road fan Jason Walker had a great performance following his extended warm up to run to the venue! He led the first of the Vet’s Team and secured 20th place.

Growing into the discipline, Robin Atter was next to take home 23rd place. Again, he was able to progress through the field as his XC strength and confidence grows. In a tight tussle Craig Drury pipped Andrew MacAllister to 31st to complete the first Vet team places.

Andrew securing 32nd place was the first of the next Vet Team and he enjoyed his time on the fields south of Grantham. Trail loving ‘twins’ Dale Towning and Wayne Baxter had a hoot in their preferred setting and off-road conditions finishing in 37th and 40th respectively to round out the scoring for the second Vets Team.

 The GRC ladies fielded two teams in their race which was over a distance of 7.3k.Rachel Hamilton in her debut cross country race for the club put in an impressive performance to finish first for the team and 4th overall.Next home, and in 8th place overall was the ever-consistent Caroline Davis. She was closely followed by Michelle Parczuk and Sarah High in 10th and 11th place.

 Vicki Hardy finished next having had a strong run in her first cross country race of the season.Andrea Ward and Kate Marshall, also competing in their first cross country race of the season, both put in a fine effort completing a great performance overall for the ladies.

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Don Dinis 10k

 Grantham Running Club's Paul Rushworth participated in the Don Dinis 10km night Race in Lisbon, Portugal. The event began at 9pm in the suburb of Odivelas some 7 miles out of the city centre. Runners competed under the glow of street lamps on roads closed by the local police force. The course ran through an undulating residential area before continuing to an 'out and back' mile in the industrial zone. There was then the challenge of a stiff climb back to the finish. Paul crossed the finish line in 46 minutes and 25 seconds, in position 53 out of a field of 177 runners. The race winner was local runner, Hugo Rodrigues in 33 minutes 10 seconds.  

Sunday, 14 November 2021

The Derby 10

Grantham Running Club’s athletes were delighted to return to the classic and picturesque 10 mile course from the Derby Arena for the first time since 2018 with an alternative course replacing the flooded one in 2019 and 2020 being a victim of Covid. There were some spectacular performances by the returning runners with a handful of personal bests and a few runners making their debut at the distance.

Huge PB for Lou
The day’s biggest improver was Louise Kennedy taking 17 minutes and 25 seconds of her previous
Derby time and setting a new PB of 1:53:03, another huge improvement was recorded by Kate Marshall over eight minutes off her previous mark on this course with a PB. Also recording Personal Bests were Caroline Davis with a near five minute improvement and Sara Pask, the former having represented GRC in a cross country event less than 24 hours earlier. Sam French was the final PB of the day with a 1:58:18. Another two runners from Saturday’s X/C race had great results with Peter Bonner setting a season’s best and Sarah High recording her fastest time for over eight years! Making their debuts at the distance were Craig Drury finishing disappointing a few seconds adrift of his target time as he learnt about how to pace this event but despite a hip injury Sinead McDonnel managed to keep her run respectable with a time just over the 90 minutes.

The other finishers were Holly Durham on her way back from a bout of Covid, Catherine Payne and Robert McArdle. Full results below;



Gun time

Chip time

Peter Bonner




Holly Durham




Catherine Payne




Robert McArdle



Craig Drury




Caroline Davis




Sarah High




Sinead McDonnell




Kate Marshall




Sara Pask




Tracey Gell




Louise Kennedy




Fraser Marshall




Samantha French




CJ Walker




Saturday, 13 November 2021

Lisboa Green Trail Race

 Representing Grantham Running Club in a rather more exotic location, Paul Rushworth travelled to Portugal to take part in the Lisboa Green Trail race. The 12 Mile Trail event took place in the city's largest park, Parque Florestal de Monsanto.

The race included 685 metres of elevation, and runners were treated to spectacular views towards Ponte 25 de Abril Bridge in the city below.

Paul finished the run in 2 hours in a position of 43 place overall.

X/C Kettering


Dam Buster 10

 On the 13th November 6 members of Grantham Running Club set their alarms extra early to make the journey to the Derwent Valley in the north of Derbyshire to take part in the Dam Buster 10 mile trail race. 

Taking place around the Derwent and Howden Reservoirs, the race is named after the famous 617 Squadron who practiced the low-level flights needed for Operation Chastise (more commonly known as the Dam Busters raids) over the dams due to their similarity to the dams in Germany.

Surrounded by the elevated fells of the Peak District National Forest, the massive and imposing dam of the Howden Reservoir provided a dramatic backdrop to the start and finish of the race which was organised by Peak Runners.  

The GRC contingent (who provided the biggest club representation) were quite happy to start at the back of the pack of around 140 runners and intended to take it easy to allow them to take in the breath-taking scenery and autumnal colours.  There were numerous stops during the early part of the race to take pictures as surroundings were too good to miss in the autumnal sunshine, so the pace was certainly more leisurely in the first five miles during which the runners were steadily climbing to approximately 550ft.

Wayne Baxter and Dale Towning ran the entire race together, enjoying an easy first half which was on the road.  As the miles increased, so did their pace on the second half of the route which was trail.  Winding up to a sprint at the end, they crossed line within a second of one another at 1:43:01 for Dale and 1:43:02 for Wayne.

Hot on their heels was Sylv Hull who also had a very easy start to the race but started to pick up the pace in the second half as she enjoyed the slight descent back to the finish and the trail conditions.  Chasing Dale and Wayne towards the end, she finished on a time of 1:44:17 on the course which measured nearly half a mile long, though nobody was unhappy to spend a little extra time out on the trails.

Also finishing strongly were Alison Clark and Zoe Wragg who ran most of the race together after enjoying the sightseeing mood of the first half.  Alison crossed the line in style with a time of 1:51:13.

Zoe took it steady (and plenty of photos) to begin with but gained momentum alongside Alison and finished in 1:52:03.  An extra bonus for the day was learning what a dam looks like.

Rounding off the GRC representation was Yvonne Buckley who maintained her pace throughout the run and finished in 2:02:02 and second in her category.

Every single GRC runner was blown away by the surroundings and thought the event was extremely well organised and friendly, with a wooden medal and amazing free event photographs to take away.  The 5am alarm call was certainly worthwhile, and we will be back, with lots more GRC members in tow.