Saturday, 31 December 2016

Nos Galan Road Races

On New Year's Eve, Grantham Running Club's Andrew Pask competed in the prestigious Nos Galan Races in Mountain Ash, South Wales. The event which commemorates the life of legendary runner Guto Nyth Brân who died tragically during a race in 1737 draws athletes from across the UK and 12,000 supporters to the streets. Each year excitement builds for the arrival of a mystery runner whose always a famous person from the world of sport. This year was no disappointment with Wales football manager Chris Coleman given the honour. After the children's races, torch lighting ceremony and fireworks Andrew Pask in the elite race was anxious to get the 19:00 race underway. In a national standard field, Andrew finished the three lap 5k race in 135th with a PB time of 19:52. Speaking after the race he said 'I've never been in such a high quality race as Nos Galan and it was a real privilege to share the same start as the elites, the top ten all ran sub 15mins. My aim was sub 20mins so I was happy with my time. It was nice to sit back and enjoy the mass race which started just after I'd finished. It was a memorable New Year's Eve for sure.'

Position Time Name
Grading AG Ranking
135 19:52 Andrew Pask
66.34%       N/A

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Keyworth Turkey Trot Half Marathon

Gav (with soup), Catherine, Pasky, SJ, MKL and Robert

A turkey

Grantham Running Club managed to secure seven places at the very popular Keyworth Turkey Trot, an end of year half marathon on an undulating course around the quite rural roads surrounding Keyworth. Now in its 33rd year and a sell out on the day it opened for entries, the Turkey Trot attracts 1,100 runners all vying to win one of the select few Christmas turkey prizes on offer. Those who didn't win a turkey could content themselves with one of the event's famous post race mementos, which this year was a medal which doubled up as a multi-tool. The near perfect running conditions were reflected in the times posted with strong performances from the entire GRC contingency.

First home was GRC Chairman Matthew Kingston Lee, who clocked a fine 76:45 to take an excellent eighth place, earning him first position in the V40-44 category. After collecting and posing with his prize turkey he said: “I was pleased to end the year with a positive result - a top ten finish, a course PB and the V40 prize. The turkey will be enjoyed by all the family on Christmas Day! The race was uneventful but went to plan. I'm very content to have a 'season's worst' breaking 77 minutes".

SJ enjoying the run in
Next to finish was Andrew Pask with a season's best time of 89:19, just sneaking into the top 100 finishers in his 20th half marathon. Gav Meadows closely followed - although Gav set an official PB, he was an agonising 12 seconds off the prized sub 90 minute time. Catherine Payne, in her first race back after a three month layoff due to a serious injury, was pleased with her steady 96:05, which was good enough for runner up spot in the LV45 Category.

Despite getting held up in the crowds before the start line, Nick Payne worked through the field to grab a PB with a time of 99:04 finishing just behind was Robert McArdle, whose 99:19 was a season’s best. 

The star of the day however was Sarah Willis, with a fantastic run to knock almost four minutes off her PB set in October. Her time of 1:41:23 is an amazing achievement considering she only started running seriously six months ago. (Member of the month in red)

Position Time Name
Grading AG Ranking

    8    76:45 Matthew Kingston Lee
81.01%     107
100    89:19 Andrew Pask
66.80%   1698
107    89:38 Gerry Hyde
76.66%     588
115    90:11 Gav Meadows
66.16%     N/A
210    96:05 Catherine Payne
77.61%       79
275    99:19 Robert McArdle
71.70%     639
282    99:04 Nick Payne
61.78%     N/A
314  1:41:23 Sarah Willis
66.06%     N/A
720  2:03:48 Ruth Dunstan
55.29%     N/A

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Run Barbados Half Marathon

The race medal
Suzie after the race
Grantham Running Club's Suzanne Britz took part in the annual Barbados Half Marathon on Sunday 5thDecember as part of the Islands Run Weekend where they host a variety of different races over the two days. The chip timed race started at 5am in 26 degrees C with a cool sea breeze which allowed for a easy start. The race started in the dark on the Esplanade just south of Bridgetown and took her north along the coast through the city, past the harbour, National Heroes Square and the Port before briefly following an inland route along Spring Garden Highway then returning back to the coastal road to the point of turnaround at Holders Hill, St. James where she embarked on the return leg running into the rising sun and temperature. There was plenty of much needed water stations with pockets of supporting crowds and steel pan players along the route keeping her spirits up. Suzanne had set herself a target of coming in under 2hours with the hope of beating her previous half marathon personal best and whilst she managed to complete the race in 1hr 58mins, this was 4 mins outside per personal best but given the temperatures, she ran an excellent race. Overall she finished in 86th position from 344 local and international runners and was the 28th female from 188 ladies that took part. She received a t-shirt and finishers medal when she crossed the line and celebrated with some well earned rum later that day!

Position Time Name
Grading  AG Ranking

88 1:58:56  Suzanne Britz
58.40%        N/A

The HOKA ONE ONE Stockport 10

Grantham Running Club's Paul Rushworth travelled to his home town to complete in the Stockport 10 mile road race. Over 1200 runners took part in the event. The race followed an undulating route over roads and urban trails around the town in South Manchester. Paul finished the race in 237th position with a time of 1:13:44, his time was only 2 minutes outside his previous attempt at the course in 2011 but over 8 minutes behind his personal best time set in 2002.  

Position Time Name Category Grading AG Ranking
267 1:13:44 Paul Rushworth MV40 63.57%          N/A

Saturday, 3 December 2016

QEOP Winter 10K Series

On Saturday Grantham Running Club's Andy Atter took part in the winter 10k series in London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a phenomenal setting following in the footsteps of the London 2012 greats.
The race consisted of three laps around the confines of the park running alongside the Olympic Stadium, Copperbox Arena, Aquatic Centre and the iconic ArceloeMittal Orbit.
Andy ran a strong race finishing in a time of 42:02, just outside his PB, in 52nd position out of the 450 runners. He said 'the conditions were perfect and it was a spectacular venue - the short steep inclines made some parts pretty tough but I would recommend it to anyone' Andy has now finished his races for the year but has plenty in store for 2017 including the Greater Manchester Marathon in April.

Position Time Name
Grading AG Ranking

52 42:02 Andy Atter
65.26%      N/A

Sunday, 27 November 2016


Showing off the race hoodies

On the morning of Sunday 27th November, seven members of GRC lined up with almost 2,000 others to run a10km course around East Midlands Airport. With the airport being fully closed for maintenance, an occurrence that only happens once every twenty years or so, this was certainly a unique opportunity. Due to the time of year the weather was expectedly chilly, but luckily also sunny and dry. This, coupled with a surprisingly light breeze for the location, made for fairly optimum running conditions.
Martin's medal
The course started and finished in front of the departures hall and took in some of the restricted areas of the airport grounds that members of the public do not usually see. The course included a trip around the Fire Station and some of the private and commercial hangars, including a hangar containing  a Spitfire on display for the race.
First over the line for the club was Martin Carter with a time of 48:52 and a new PB, followed by Sinead Mcdonnell just outside her own PB with a time of 50:19. Third home was Sue Swann in 58:54. Angela Carr was next over the line, also with a PB time of 1:00:26 and Justyna Gill came in at 1:06:16. Yvette Taylor came in at 1:08:43 with a new pb and CJ Walker also achieved a new pb of 1:12:21.

All involved found the race to be well organised with a great atmosphere

(Member of the month in red)

Position    Time    Name
Grading AG Ranking

399    48:52 Martin Carter
55.84%    N/A
478    50:19 Sinead McDonnell FV40
63.60%    N/A
1071    58:54 Sue Swann
57.63%    N/A
1177 1:00:26 Angela Carr
58.30%    N/A
1471 1:06:16 Justyna Gill
47.93%    N/A
1557 1:08:43 Yvette Taylor
46.57%    N/A
1647 1:12:21 Carole Walker
43.32%    N/A

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Lincolnshire Cross Country League - Match 3

Sarah High

Rob, Liam, Peter and Paul
Grantham Running Club was represented by eleven of its members at Match 3 of the Lincolnshire Cross Country League on Sunday. The course at Castledyke Equestrian Centre near Boston, although flat, was very wet, muddy and slippery underfoot and there was also the joys of a water crossing (several times) to add to the mix. Rob Howbrook was the lead GRC man for the first two laps of the 4 lap, men's race before suffering a calf injury and having to retire. The team was then led home by Peter Bonner who continues his recent good form, closely followed by Paul Davis and Liam Vincent who both put in strong performances. In the ladies race, Sarah High achieved her best result to date in this season's league finishing 12th overall, with good performances from Caroline Davis and Justyna Gill completing the first GRC ladies team. Vicky Willan, Vicky Dexter and CJ Walker, who are still relatively new to cross country, put in great efforts and brought home the second ladies team for the club. Unfortunately, team mate Angela Carr was forced to retire during the race due to injury.

Maratón Valencia Trinidad Alfonso

Gav Meadows
Grantham Running Club's Gav Meadows took part in the Valencia Marathon in south-east Spain on Sunday 20th November. Notable sights on the 26.2 mile route include the Jardin del Turia, Mercado de Colon and Palua de la Musica, finishing at the stunning Museo de las Ciencias Principe Felipe. There's also live music to keep runners entertained. The course is very flat and is suited to running fast times.

Gav set himself a pretty lofty goal for this race, targeting a new personal best and also the 'good for age' time required for the London Marathon in his age/gender category (under 3:05). In the end he came up short of this difficult target but finished in a very respectable 3:14:35 placing 2409th overall in a field of over 18,000 runners. He also placed 626th in his age/gender category and was 7 minutes over his personal best time.

He said 'I really enjoyed this race. It was my second outside the UK and certainly won't be my last! Highlights were getting my name called out by an announcer over the loudspeaker at mile 21 & a very crowded and noisy finish. The crowd were practically on the course for the last 2 miles! It was just a corridor of noise - they were so close to the action!'

'I can't really complain about my performance. I knew that what I was trying to achieve would be very difficult indeed and was fully aware that it might not happen. All I could do was give it my best shot. I knew the pace required & for 17 miles things went according to plan. Unfortunately fatigue took over from that point. Things got pretty desperate at miles 21 and 22 where I was a minute per mile off the pace. However, I managed to dig deep for the last 4 miles & salvage a sub 3:15 time.'

Position Time Name
Grading AG Ranking
2409 03:14:35 Gav Meadows
All 64.20%        812

Clowne Half Marathon

Matt Williamson
The race hoody
GRC’s Matthew Williamson finished his first year of road racing with a bonus race courtesy of the injured Nick Rossington who he replaced in this year’s Clowne Half Marathon. It is incredible that less than 10 months ago Matt struggled to run even a few miles and now he is able to finish in 63rd position in a strong field. There was one other new experience for Matt and that was that this was the first race he did not set a PB in! That was no reflection of his progress as this was the toughest and hilliest half to date and on a flatter course he would certainly has claimed a quicker time. A winter of hard training will ensure that 2017 not only bring more PBs at 10k and half but his first outing at the Manchester Marathon.
Postion Time Name
Grading AG Ranking
63 1:34:07 Matthew Williamson Male Senior 62.92%      N/A

Skegness 10k

Jolly Fisherman Medal
Yvonne and Brendon

When GRC’s Brendon and Yvonne Buckley booked their places in the sell-out race that is the Skegness 10k they may have had visions of a pleasant run enjoying the sea air along the coast. Unfortunately the weather was pretty much like damp weekend in Skeggy with the breeze definitely just the wrong side of refreshing for anyone trying to race round the exposed roads. Despite the weather they enjoyed the well organised race and finished within seconds of each other in just over the hour.

Position Time Name Category Grading AG Ranking
274 01:01:05 Brendon Buckley MV65 57.65%    N/A
2280 01:01:17 Yvonne Buckley FV55 59.76%    N/A

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Seagrave Wolds Challenge

The Seagrave Challenge was devised to encourage exploration of the rolling countryside around Seagrave, and to raise money to help towards the refurbishment and upkeep of Seagrave Memorial Hall and to support other good causes. Now in its 12th year it uses footpaths, bridle ways, some private farm land, minor roads, and have been allowed to make our own route through other private land not normally available to the public. Perhaps due to the bad weather 159 of the 672 registered either failed to start or retired during the race. This year GRC’s Rob Howbrook took part in a very wet and muddy event finishing in 38th place in a time of 2:11:54. Also competing was former member Jez Page who came out of retirement to finish in 119th place in a time of 2:32:31.

Six Dales Circuit

Sarah, Mark and Paul
Yvonne and Brendon
Five Members of Grantham Running Club travelled to the Peak District to participate in the Six Dales Circuit event. The 25 mile circular route started and finished in the village of Biggin near Hartington. The runners visited Biggin Dale, Wolfscote Dale, Beresford Dale, Lathkill Dale, Bradford Dale and Long Dale. There were treacherous conditions underfoot after rain the previous week had left the ground sodden and boggy in parts. Three members of the team, Sarah High, Mark Hilson and Paul Rushworth were delayed by about 40 minutes after assisting the evacuation of a female runner who had slipped on wet limestone in the first dale and broken her wrist. The rain continued for most the day and there was fog on higher ground. Despite the delay and the inclement conditions, all Grantham athletes made it home safely. Mark Hilson, Paul Rushworth and Sarah High finished in 6 hours 48 minutes and Brendon and Yvonne Buckley returned for their second completion of the event to the finish in 7 hours 42 minutes.        

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Leeds Abbey Dash 2016

GRC’s Emma Weighill was rightly proud of completing the Abbey Dash joking perhaps they should rename it the “Emma Abbey Plod”!!

Despite the wind and rain she actually enjoyed the first 8½ kilometres before finishing in a time of 1:05:18, here she is pictured with fellow runners after the race.

Position Time Name
Grading AG Ranking
6382 01:05:18 Emma Weighill
48.00%    N/A

Lincolnshire Runner Cross Country League Match 2

Ladies Squad

Grantham Running Club sent Ladies and Mens teams to Match 2 of the Lincolnshire Cross Country League at Belton House; many of whom had never run a cross country event before. On firm ground but with the weather closing in, Penny Hodges led the ladies team home with a 10th place finish in a time of 29:10. Pushing Penny all the way was team mate SJ Willis with 29:25 in 12th place. Completing the ladies team A was Ros Sadler with 37:56. Next to finish in front of the famous house was Justyna Gill 38:14, Victoria Dexter 41:13, Angela Carr 43:22, Belinda Baker 45:08 and CJ Walker 49:00. Caroline Davis tbc. 

Andrew Pask
For the second time in two days Andrew Pask led home the GRC X/C team with time of 40:52 on the Belton course, he was closely followed by debutant Matt Williamson whose time of 41:15 was impressive for a man who had never run cross country before. Next back was Peter Bonner in 42:30 continuing his recent good form to give the club their best ever men’s team result. The B team were led in by Ben Mason coming home in 45:31 then Neil Emerson (47:43) closely followed by Marc Tremain (48:19). Nathan Walker’s time of 52:23 was good enough to grab fourth place in his age category. Paul Davis had to withdraw from the race due to a calf injury picked up at the National Relays the day before.

Rockingham 10k

Martin Carter

Members of Grantham Running Club traveled to the Rockingham Speedway Circuit in Corby for the Rockingham 10. With three members all keen to capitalise on this excellent running surface and hoping for personal best times. The event which is now in its second year holds a duathalon, a 10 mile and 10k race distances all at the same unique venue.

After a delayed start because of torrential rain, the GRC trio were under away with the 10k race. Despite the poor weather continuing throughout the race, all three posted very strong performances

Having braved the wind and rain throughout the course, Scott Jones was first into the 'Pit Lane' Finishing in 7th position and an incredible new personal best time of 39.33. His 2nd PB in as many weeks.

Second in was Martin Carter with another romping performance and another PB of time of 49:05.

And thirdly, Keiron Atter a very respectable time of 56:20, just outside of his PB.

Scott added ' I raced this last year in slightly worse conditions so wasn't expecting much today with it being similar. But once the Klaxon went i was concentrating on keeping position rather than time. I realised early on that I could finish within the top 10 so just held on and stuck to the plan. I'm pleased with my performance today and was even more thrilled to have come 7th and 3rd in my age catagory. This concludes my season of PB's over every distance I've raced, I'll have a well earned rest over Christmas and plan for next year!

Position Time Name
Grading AG Ranking
7 39:33 Scott Jones
72.39%    1265
57 49:05 Martin Carter
55.59%     N/A
113 55:46 Keiren Atter
48.15%     N/A

Lancaster Half Marathon

GRC’s Andrew MacAllister took part in this year’s Lancaster Half Marathon and made the most of his day in the sunshine by bagging a massive PB slicing almost 3 minutes off his Peterborough time to finish in 1:41:19 to record not only his first ever ranking at the distance but to also go over 70% age grading for the first time. This season Andrew has recorded PB’s at every race distance he has run.

Position Time Name
Grading AG Ranking
130 01:41:19 Andrew MacAllister MV55
70.92%        711

Derby 10 Report

Gav Meadows
For the second week running, a duo of Grantham Running Club athletes travelled to compete in a 10 mile race suited to running fast times. This time it was Chris Limmer and Gav Meadows who took on the flat course at the Derby 10 Mile. Starting at the Pride Park Stadium, the route takes in Alvaston Park & Elvaston Castle Country Park before returning to the stadium for the finish. This was the first staging of the event.

Despite his younger age, Chris has many more years racing & training experience under his belt and was fully expected to cross the line first for GRC. He didn't disappoint, finishing in 1:00:24, approximately 1 minute slower than his personal best. His final position was an impressive 17th in a field of 775 runners. This was even more remarkable when you consider that only a week earlier he ran the Snowdonia Marathon - one of the toughest in Britain. He said 'This race went well until mile 8 when I paid the price for my efforts the week before. My quads tightened up & my pace slowed right down costing me a new PB'.

Gav also performed well, finishing in 63rd position with a time of 1:07:09 setting a new personal best by almost 2 minutes. This was his final race before a 2 week taper leading up to the Valencia Marathon on 20th November. He said 'I was very pleased with this performance for 2 reasons. Firstly I set a new PB which speaks for itself. However, I was more thrilled with the way I executed my race plan. My pace didn't vary by any more than 10 seconds per mile until my push for the finish line at mile 9. I've generally struggled to get my pacing right up to now so this was very pleasing indeed.'

Postion Time Name
Grading AG Ranking
17 01:00:24 Chris Limmer
73:48%       912
62 01:07:09 Gav Meadows
66.92%       N/A

Saturday, 5 November 2016

National Cross Country Relays

L-R: Andrew Pask, Rick Dobbs, Nev Chamberlain and Paul Davis

Grantham Running Club made their first appearance at the prestigious National Cross Country Relays at Berry Hill Park, Mansfield. The event which attracts the very best distance runners that England has to offer was run in unusually dry conditions. The GRC team which was made up of Rick Dobbs, Paul Davis, Andrew Pask and Nev Chamberlain ran the 5k relay event with a light hearted approach, just being happy to be there. Finishing with a combined time of 1:33:57, which in the incredibly strong field was good enough for 159th place. Andrew said; "the standard at this event was unbelievable. During my lap GB Olympian Andy Vernon overtook me at what seemed like 100mph. It really was a pleasure to be running with these guys".

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Lincolnshire Runner Cross Country League Match 1

Making his GRC debut at Cross Country at Bourne Woods Peter Bonner was first home for the club in a time of 43:58 followed by Andrew MacAllister in 47:41 with Ben Mason completing the A team in 47:51. Next in was Marc Tremain in 52:15 with Andy Barradell, also making his debut, the final runner back in 57:39.

 Report of ladies race to follow:

Worksop Half

Some of the runners after the race
Grantham Running Club had ten runners taking part in this year’s Worksop Half Marathon which was established in 1982, The Worksop Halloween Half Marathon (also known as ‘the scenic one’) takes place on the last Sunday in October every year.  The course runs largely through Clumber Park, which provides beautiful scenery and is perfect for spectators to support their family and friends along the route. This is a hugely popular event which sold out well in advance and sharp 3 miles climb at the start marks the beginning of the tougher winter races after the flatter ones during the summer months. First home for GRC was Gav Meadows slightly down of where he would like to be after have run a full marathon last weekend closely followed by Matt Williamson setting an amazing third half marathon PB of the month on his toughest course yet! Ironman Paul Davis was next completing a multi-marathon month along with his wife Caroline which they finished off in style with Saturday’s parkrun complimented by a race that evening at Wollaton Park as a warm-up for this half, Caroline opted to run in fancy dress for the Worksop Half. Once again Paul Davidson sacrificed his race to act as a guide runner for a visually impaired athlete guiding her safely round the 13.1 miles route in just over two hours.

Postion Time Name
Grading AG Ranking

235 01:32:42 Gav Meadows
Male Senior 64.36%     N/A
267 01:33:29 Matthew Williamson Male Senior 63.34%     N/A
400 01:38:30 Paul Davis
66.84%     1461
451 01:40:05 Thomas Williamson MV45-49
64.16%     1500
484 01:40:52 Robert McArdle
70.60%       688
661 01:45:12 Mark Hillson
61.55%      N/A
888 01:48:20 Gordon Geach
63.99%      N/A
957 01:52:31 Neil Emerson
62.71%      N/A
1244 01:58:24 Caroline Davis
60.84%      N/A