Sunday, 24 April 2016

London Marathon Report

 Sunday 24th April 2016.
Seven members of Grantham Running Club joined the 39,000 plus other runners taking part in the 2016 Virgin London Marathon. Fears of snows showers and arctic temperatures for the world famous 26.2 mile long race proved unfounded; runners enjoyed cool, but near perfect conditions for long distance running.
Matthew Kingston-Lee, started for the first time in the prestigious Championships start just behind the Elite runners on Blackheath. He looked on target to break 2:40 in the opening half of the race before hitting the dreaded wall at twenty miles. He was passed in the final stages of the race by fellow GRC runner Chris Limmer, who showed no ill effects from his recent tackling of the gruelling South Downs Way 50 Mile ultramarathon, coming home very pleased and just outside his PB in 2:53:14. Matthew trailed home a minute later in 2:54:50, disappointed to not be close to his best, but happy to break three hours for the ninth time at his eleventh London Marathon.
Dean Riggall, who won a Club Ballot place for the London Marathon, came home in a superb 3:09:40, which was incredibly his second 3:09 marathon in as many weeks, having finished the Manchester Marathon in a near identical time. 
"I really enjoyed itI'm very grateful to the club for the opportunity to take part in one of the world's greatest racesI was glad to see other club members in the start area and then seeing the GRC support team with their flags at eleven milesgave me a real lift. The last four miles were tough, but with the immense spectator support I managed a strong finish. London is something special!" commented Dean after the race.
Paul Rushworth was next home for Grantham Running Club, finishing a highly creditable 3:17:41 in his tenth London Marathon appearance. Scott Jones represented his second claim club (Grantham Athletics Club) in his London Marathon debut, but was thankful for the GRC marathon specific training sessions over the winter months which earned him a much deserved new PB of 3:22:14
Arguably the performance of the day came from Helen Brown who, after the birth of her second child, only began running again shortly before Christmas, and was sidelined for weeks before the race with a serious foot injury, relying on cross training to maintain fitness. Her 3:55:30 was a courageous, inspiring performance: 'Couch to marathon in 16 weeks is possible but I wouldn't recommend it!' joked Helen afterwards.
At 66 years young, Brendon Buckley made good use of a club entry to complete his first ever marathon. Raising money for St Barnabas and Macmillan Cancer Support, Brendon's time of 5:10:00 produced a surge in donations to push his fundraising total to beyond his £1000 target. Far from stating never again! Brendon is already looking forward to his next marathon.

Photo: Paul Rushworth in good spirits at mile 11.

Shakespeare marathon


GRC's Gav Meadows made the trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon on Sunday to compete in the Shakespeare Marathon. The annual charity race takes in the historic town &
the surrounding countryside & whilst mostly flat, does have a couple of testing hills & some trail sections for runners to contend with. Gav completed the course in a very respectable 3:12:19 finishing 37th in a field of 700.

He said 'The race presented some tough challenges - namely the hills &
particularly the very long, straight trail sections. These were a real mental
test with very little to focus on other than the runner in front for what felt
like miles on end! I was pretty pleased to cross the line 5 minutes outside my

This was Gav's 3rd marathon in as many months as he embarks on the challenge of
running a marathon in each calendar month for 12 months. He said 'If I make it
as far as month 10, I plan to start raising money for Sport Relief. I don't want
to get ahead of myself though - I must take this challenge one race at a time.'

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Grantham Cup

Grantham Running Club hosted the Grantham Cup 10k trail race at the world-renowned Belton International Horse Trials on Sunday 17th April.  The club was well represented, with ten of its members tackling steep inclines and undulating terrain to complete the challenging off road race through the Belton estate.
Bright sunshine and very little wind meant competitors enjoyed near perfect race day conditions, with the coursesformidable ascents and descents made tricky by recent heavy rainfall.
Gavin Meadows maintained his recent run of solid performances for GRC, securing 9th place overall after a thrilling sprint finish, with a time of 46:00. In a credible performance, Holly Durham firmly cemented her place as one of GRCs top female athletes, scooping the 3rd ladies overall prize in a time of 49:16, only a week after a convincingperformance and personal best at the Manchester marathon.
"I'm absolutely thrilled to have finished 3rd at my local trail event," Holly commented.  "It was a tough race, especially after just having run the Manchester marathon. Conditions were very slippery under foot and after falling on the first hill and allowing other competitors to overtake me I wasn't sure I'd be able to pull it back to claim a place. "
Behind Holly GRC teammates Thomas Williamson 51:54 (41st), Liam Vincent 54:54 (59th), Rick Dobbs 56:27 (73rd) & Julie Riggall 1:13:15 (185th) all finished strongly, with GRC newcomers, Lizzie Potter 1:06:23 (156th), Victoria Dexter 1:08:27 (164th), Michelle Allbones 1:09:06 (169th) and  Margaretta Murray 1:18:48 (202nd), all running the course for the first time.

Lincoln 10K and Boston Half Marathon

Lincoln 10K

This year's Lincoln 10K attracted a strong national field of nearly 5000 runners including three from Grantham Running Club. Paul Davis continued his recent good form with an excellent pb run of 41:01 placing him 14th in his M45 age category. Next to finish through the archway at the cathedral grounds was Laura Kettle 55:14 followed by 10K debutant Martin Carter with a strong 53:42. Martin was later heard to say "I really enjoyed my first 10K. The incredible crowds shouting encouragement and ringing bells really helped and Lincoln has a surprisingly flat course."

Boston Half Marathon

In perfect weather conditions the Boston full and half marathon returned after an absence of 25 years with a bang. The capacity field of 300 runners was roughly split equally between the two distances with Grantham Running Clubs Neil Emerson competing in over the half. The course started in the Market Place and continued over a flat rural course ideal for a personal best. Neil Emerson arrived Boston College grounds to finish with an fantastic pb time of 1:45:33 which has served as a great marker for his upcoming Prague Half Marathon. Local dignitaries were on hand to make the presentations after the race. Boston are keen to promote the relationship with its more famous US namesake and the fact that the medal ribbon was red, white and blue wasn't lost.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Belvoir Half Marathon


A selection of Grantham Running Club members who weren't taking part in
marathons on Sunday at the Belvoir Half
Marathon. The annual race starts & finishes at Hose Village Hall in the Vale Of
Belvoir & is often used as a preparation event for late-April marathon runners.
The moderately hilly course is very exposed & is often affected by wind even on
a relatively calm day.

Tom Fowler, was the first green vest home with a strong time of 90:17 in what was his 6th outing at this event. He was closely  followed by Gavin Meadows in 91:36 and a pb run from Paul Davis with 95:47.

Gav Meadows said 'This course was tougher than I remember from last year
although not quite as windy this time around! It was good to see a few from GRC
running as I expected to be the only one from the club involved with everyone's
marathon commitments elsewhere. There were some top performances too!'

GRC results were as follows: Tom Fowler 1:30:17 (58th), Gav Meadows 1:31:36
(71st), Paul Davis 1:35:47 (111th), Nick Payne 1:39:29 (146th), Andrew Spencer
1:39:58 (149th), Ruth Dunstan 1:49:31 (255th).

South Downs 50

Last Saturday GRC's Chris Limmer embarked on the epic South Downs 50 mile race, running from Worthing to Eastbourne. On an incredibly tough course with 85% being trail and with 5700ft of incline Chris covered the huge distance in an incredible 8:19:19 placing him 32nd overall. After the race Chris was heard to say "At the 4th aid station at mile 34 I still felt pretty good and was in 45th place. I ignored the pain in my quads as I tackled the last few hills and managed to finish bang on schedule. Despite not wanting to do another event like that again, I'm now thinking about trying to take on a 100mile race in the next year or so."

Photo: Chris Limmer at the finish line

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Asics Greater Manchester Marathon

Grantham Running Club was well represented at last weekend's Greater Manchester Marathon despite three athletes having to withdraw due to injuries sustained in the gruelling training block leading up to it. On a revised course designed to cope with the 15,000 field and with the weather perfect, first home for the club was a fit again Dean Riggall in is personal best of 3:09:22 knocking almost five minutes of previous time. Next in for GRC was the experienced Catherine Payne whose metronomic pacing saw her overtaken by 505 runners on the way to the half way mark but then went on to pass more than that number as she secured not only a PB of 3:19:25 but the club's first ever 80% marathon age grading and a UKA ranking of 5th. Despite a poor position on the staring grid Holly Durham was able to force her way through the field with powerful final sector that saw her cruise past over 450 runners on the way to her first PB since the birth of her second child in a time of 3:20:07. Capitalising on lessons learned last year Nick Rossington managed to clip almost six minutes of his previous mark to finish in 3:21:12, finishing strongly, overtaking many in the run-in. Making his debut at the distance Rob Howbrook had to dig deep as this race was twice as long as any he had ever ran before and despite the challenge of the final six miles he was still able to come home in 3:21:42. Next in was Robert McArdle, also securing a PB in a time of 3:22:38 followed by first timer Andrew Macallister in 3:54:26. Another debutant Yvonne Buckley was delighted to finish well inside her target time with 5:03:28 setting a challenge for her husband Brendon who is also making his marathon debut in two weeks' time in London. Marc Tremain was going well until 14 miles when a thigh problem caused him to stop running, unable to give up he decided to hobble for 12 miles crossing the line in 5:43:46. Injuries to her toes meant Wendy Tremain has little chance of matching last year's fantastic time on this route but also unable to allow herself to pull out Wendy finished in pain in a time 5:57:26

(Picture: Catherine Payne at Greater Manchester Marathon)

Rotterdam Marathon

Grantham Running Club was represented at this year's NN Rotterdam Marathon by Andrew Pask. With a flat, fast course attracting an international field of 20 000 runners, Rotterdam is one of Europe's most popular marathons. Aiming to run a sub 3:10 time, Andrew was on the required pace until mile 23 when the energy supply unexpectedly ran out. Approaching the finish on the famous Coolsingel, Andrew was forced to 'dig in' in-order to salvage what he could out of the race; crossing the line with a very credible 3:17:50. Andrew was heard to say "Conditions were perfect out there today and the atmosphere from the crowds was incredible so my late struggles could be down to a poor fuel strategy. I'll certainly take lots of learning points from today into my next marathon".

Photo: Andrew Pask approaching the finish

Monday, 4 April 2016

Notts AC Easter 10K

"Grantham Running Club's Paul Davis and Daniel Howson made the short journey to Nottingham's Woolaton Park to compete in the multi-terrain Notts AC Easter 10k. Some very strong times were posted with both members competing at the 10K distance for the first time. First home in 75th place was Paul Davis in a time of 45:04. He was followed by GRC debutant and new member Daniel Howson with a speedy 50:33."