Sunday, 24 September 2017

Robin Hood Half and Full Marathon – Nottingham, Sunday 24th September 2017

With a veritable army of Grantham Running Club members storming around Belvoir Castle at the Equinox 24 Hour Race, it was left to a smaller band of merry GRC men and women to conquer the Robin Hood Marathon and Half Marathon, which was taking place in Nottingham on Sunday 24th September. 
Retaining its title as host of the British Athletics Half Marathon Championships, the 13.1 mile race saw over 6100 finishers on a beautiful early autumn morning, which brought out great crowd support along the twisting, undulating course, beginning and ending on Victoria Embankment, and taking in such sights as the castle and Wollaton Hall and Deer Park
First home for Grantham Running Club was Matthew Kingston-Lee, who clocked a season's best 1:16:43. This earned him an impressive twelfth position overall and was the second V40 finisher. He may yet be declared the winner of this age category as the fastest veteran runner finished third overall. Matthew was generally pleased with the way the race unfolded, but was left a bit frustrated that the first of the winter colds caught midweek had left him feeling a little sub-par.
Next home was Julie Braker, who was making her race debut in a GRC vestJulie ran superbly to clock 1:51:05, which saw her finish second in the V65 age category, albeit with a faster chip time than the age category winner, as positions are determined by gun position. Her performance earned an age grade of 87.71%, which is an outright club record over any race distance, excluding parkruns. Husband Robert, also made his debut for the club, breaking two hours with a fine 1:57:41. 
Adrian Walker was competing in his second ever half marathon with wife CJ, who was making her debut over the distance. They were raising funds for the Hopewood specialist unit in Nottingham in memory of their son Nathan. Adrian finished in a highly creditable 1:51:44, and CJ completed the race in 3:14:14. CJ joked afterwards that she hadn't been in such pain since giving birth, but thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere, especially being hosed down by the supporting firemen when the temperatures warmed up!
Stuart Baty was the first of eight GRC runners making their half marathon debut at Nottingham, many of whom had committed to run the race before they actually became members of the club. He ran excellently to finish in 1:54:21. All with equally commendable efforts, Gav Skinner followed in 2:09:22 ahead of Lucinda Gamble, who had completed the multi-terrain New Forest Half Marathon on September 9th, finishing her first road half marathon in 2:22:10. Hayley Stafffollowed soon behind in 2:22:56; Julia Hallam came home in 2:33:38; Claire Fritz ran 2:39:15; and Chloe Amos finished in 2:51:28.
Taking part in the full marathon on a course renowned for its toughness, Neil Emerson ran a fine race to finish in 4:28:03, claiming a praiseworthy 13th in the M55 age category 
The half marathon was won by Chris Thompson of Aldershot, Farnham and District AC in 1:04:58. The winner of the women's race was Emily Waugh of Rugby & Northampton AC in 1:18:01. The marathon was won by Giles Harris of Anster Haddies RC with a gun time of 2:28:09. The winner of the women's marathon was Sonka Reimers in 2:55:00.
Position (Gun)
Chip Time
Age Grade
Matthew Kingston-Lee
Julie Braker*
Adyn Walker
Stuart Baty
Robert Braker*
Gavin Skinner
Lucinda Gamble
Hayley Staff
Julia Hallam
Claire Fritz
Chloe Amos
CJ Walker

Saturday, 23 September 2017


We can run like the wind blows.........

Saturday 23rd September saw Grantham Running Club and their entourage of partners, pets and paracetamol pour into the grounds at the foot of Belvoir Castle for the fifth annual Equinox 24 hour endurance race. The race attracts a massive spectrum of participants who have the opportunity to run as few or as many 10km laps as they can in a relay as part of a team, a pair or solo. The field is diverse and so is the pace. 
Shortly before twelve noon on Saturday the green army made the procession from their camp to the start line. Among them: a Forrest Gump doppelganger and a rather butch looking Wonder Woman. Paul Durham, who was part of the team, "Nathan's Runners and Walkers." The team had an emotional return for their second year, tragically with one very special member missing, Nathan Walker. Dedicating each of their laps to their much loved team mate, each of them wore a cape with the hashtag #runbymyside in Nathan's memory. Ahead of their half marathon in Nottingham the following morning, Nathan's parents, CJ and Ady made a special visit to the camp and the run family spirit of the club was palpable. 
Adding to the magic of the weekend was the kindness of the weather, the sunset over the vale of Belvoir is stunning from the side of "that hill" and the howling Belvoir hounds and swirling mist at Dawn is goosebump inducing as runners can finally dim their head torches after bobbing, regimentally along like a parade of fireflies.
By morning the camp had leapt back to life although some runners had already retired and collected their medals. With the cut off for the beginning of the last "one more lap" being 12 noon on Sunday, still we kept on moving forward, be that, running, walking or crawling. The sight of a flock of sheep "laying down" in the dewy morning grass was tantalising and felt somewhat like a middle finger from nature to all those that were still willing themselves and each other to achieve their goal.
Fuelled by Gordon's Grasmere gingerbread and a beer delivery from Edina, GRC were victorious. Pairs, Paul and Caroline Davis narrowly missed out on a podium place despite Paul's screaming knee pain. SJ Willis aka Forrest Gump topped last years ten laps with help from her pit crew totalling almost 75 miles. SJ commented, I couldn't have done it without the support of my partner, family and the club. I was so tired at one point in the night that I took a wrong turn after a stop at a portaloo but didn't realise until I'd run a hundred metres in the wrong direction! Then I had to explain to the marshalls that I wasn't cheating, just delirious and disorientated!"
Andrew McAllister, inspired by Thunder Run earlier in the summer, completed a heroic 15 laps, earning himself the coveted silver pin. His running watch and gadgets had all run out of charge by his last lap but Andrew's legs, however, had not. He opted for recording the number of laps in marker as a five bar tally on his forearm.
Nicholas Jones, part of Nathan's Runners and Walkers, found his second wind and steamed around the course after teammates had, in his words "emotionally blackmailed", him into getting back before noon so his teammates could walk a final lap together. Heroin of the weekend goes to Holly Durham though who did not disappoint. Supported by sister Penny Hodges and Dad, Paul Durham, Holly overcame an upset stomach and knee injuries to produce a truly epic and inspiring distance of ninety nine miles. Topping last year's fifteen laps with sixteen Holly said she had hoped to reach seventeen to reach 100 miles. With a glass of prosecco in one hand and a link to Strava in the other she said, "Maybe I'll have seventeen laps in me next year!" 

Sunday, 17 September 2017


Matt on the podium
Three athletes from Grantham Running Club made the short trip to Rutland Water on Sunday to take part in the 2017 Rutland Marathon & Half Marathon. Both races took place close to the water over undulating & mixed terrain courses including trails, paths & grass. The longer marathon course took in the scenic Hambleton Peninsula. The weather was mild, calm & dry with very little wind - ideal running conditions.

The duo of Matthew Williamson & Gav Meadows opted for the full 26.2 mile marathon distance with their main aim being to complete their final long run before they enter the final stages of their preparation for the Amsterdam Marathon in mid October. Gav said 'We didn't go into this race looking to run particularly fast times. It was more about training than it was about racing. Even with a racing mentality, the tough course meant we had no chance of running personal bests.'

Post race with medals
The pair set off together at a relaxed, steady pace of around 7:45 per mile before Matthew decided to adopt a slightly more aggressive approach & began to pull away around the 5 mile mark. He crossed the finish line in 3:19:01 placing 3rd overall to secure a surprising but well deserved podium finish. He received an unusual horseshoe trophy - a traditional Rutland emblem. An incredible result & Matthew commented afterwards that this was his best performance in any race to date.

Gav's pacing was a bit more up & down as he struggled on the tougher, hillier sections of the course. He said 'I could've felt fresher going into this race but I purposely didn't taper beforehand as the objective at this stage is still training, volume & mileage. My result in the upcoming Amsterdam Marathon is far more important than this one!' He averaged just under 8:15 per mile for the race & finished in 3:35:01 placing 8th in a field of 137. He also commented 'Despite it being one of the tougher sections of the course, I particularly enjoyed running around the Hambleton Peninsula. A very pleasant, scenic area that I haven't really explored before.'

New recruit Matthew Atter opted for the 13.1 mile half marathon course, taking on the distance for the first time in a race. Coming off the back of his impressive sub 40 minute performance in the East Coast Classic 10K the weekend before, he performed admirably. After a slightly quick first few miles, Matthew settled into a pace of around 7 minutes per mile. He maintained this until the finish line posting a time of 1:30:23 & finishing 14th in a field of 549. There is no doubt that he is well capable of breaking the 90 minute barrier on a flatter & more forgiving course.

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking

3 3:19:01 Matt Williamson
62.77% N/A
8 3:35:01 Gav Meadows
58.15% N/A

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking

14 1:30:23 Matthew Atter
66.33% N/A

Report: Gav Meadows

Ponton Plod 12 mile

Ponton Plod 27 mile

Sunday, 10 September 2017

East Coast Classic 10k

With cloudy conditions and only a slight breeze fast times were possible. Matthew took advantage of this to claim 13th position and a personal best time of 39.30, beating his old personal best by over 2 minutes. Next up is the Rutland Half, a distance Matthew has never raced before.

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking

13 39:30 Matthew Atter PB MV35
69.63% 1253

Simplyhealth Great North Run

Jaime, Brendon, Penny, Paul and Holly
Eleven members of Grantham Running Club made the journey to Tyneside on Sunday 10 September to take part in the iconic Simplyhealth Great North Run. 

Viva Chile!!! Jaime flies the flag

Starting on the edge of Newcastle upon Tyne city centre, runners headed down the motorway section, around the eastern side of the city centre crossing the symbolic Tyne Bridge into Gateshead and on towards South Shields, where they ran the last mile of the race along the seafront road to the finishing line. Runners enjoyed warm race conditions, with Jaime Garcia, Holly Durham and Penny Hodges enjoying a VIP start, beginning the race just behind the elite athletes.

Magaretta set a six minute PB
The warm conditions and gradual gradients were reflected in the times of participating athletes with few of the GRC runners achieving personal bests. Despite this Paul Davis maintained his recent run of solid performances, securing first GRC male home with a time of 1:31:59Following on from her recent successful local 10k performances Holly Durham upped her game, missing her half marathon PB by 20 seconds, but posting a good performance in a time of 1:32:18.

After a difficult race Penny  Hodges was second GRC female home in a time of 1:41:57. Running for the charity Diabetes UK, Penny raised over £700 for the charity after her son William was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes earlier in the year. Penny commented;
"The race was tougher than expected, but well worth it to raise money and awareness for such a life changing and complicated disease".

In his debut half marathon, newcomer Craig Drury showed potential for a sub 2 hour half in the future, finishing in a time of 02:02:31. Craig joined the club after entering the Great North Run to raise money for Cancer Research, and achieved his goal by raising over £800 for the charity. Craig was followed over the line 15 minutes later by Margaretta Murray who secured the only PB of the day and knocked over 6 minutes from her previous half marathon time.

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking

1453 91:59 Paul Davis
72.17% 1017
982 92:18 Holly Durham
72.26% 179
2412 01:41:57 Penny Hodges
66.34% 299
10637 01:53:12 Caroline Davis
63.64% 551
7033 02:00:28 Jaime Garcia
50.06% N/A
13970 02:02:31 Craig Drury
51.99% N/A
25692 02:18:19 Magaretta Murray
FV55 PB 59.02% N/A
18883 02:22:01 Paul Durham
53.03% N/A
25125 02:21:47 Nic Webster
48.98% N/A
34728 02:35:59 Brendon Buckley
50.21% N/A
32861 02:38:00 Vivien Durham
39.04% N/A

Two Counties Half Marathon

Training for the Cardiff Half
Andrew Pask was Grantham Running Club's sole representative at the Two Counties Half Marathon in Corby. The new event held at East Carlton Country Park attracted a modest 89 runners most of whom were using this as an early autumn fitness test. On an undulating course, Andrew set off hard but in the later miles the hills eventually took their toll. After an uphill final mile, Andrew was pleased to finish in 8thplace with a time of 1:31:57. He was rewarded with an excellent finisher's medal and t-shirt.  Andrew's attention now turns to his main focus of the Cardiff Half Marathon on 1st October.

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking

8 91:57 Andrew Pask
65.20% 1304

New Forest Half Marathon

Lucinda with her medal

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking

1570 02:21:50 Lucinda Gamble
47.03% N/A

Saturday, 9 September 2017

GRC Grand Prix Round 15a Melton parkrun

Despite only having six runners out for this event there was no lack of quality with the three leading men in the standings, the leading woman and the highest scoring member of the club. Four of the runners would be averaging over 80% by the end of the run. A delayed start and muddy underfoot conditions contributed to none of our runners setting a new PB on the day but this did not stop the new leaderboard taking on a familiar shape. Rob Howbrook's 80% score took him to the top where he could easily remain for the rest of the year with MKL moving up to second place. Chris Limmer was not quite on the pace following a hard run at the handicap 36 hours previously but is looking good for third place if he can fit the races in before December. Catherine Payne stretched her lead at the top of the ladies' Championship to just under 100 points but the debut of Julie Braker for GRC marked a new way we have to look at what is a top runner for the club. Julie's 87% was well short of her best on this course but her 2017 times such as 1:49 for the Sleaford Half will challenge some younger member's of the club.

Here is the post from the parkrun website;

"186 runners attended event number 142, the fifth highest number at Melton Mowbray ever. The speedy Matthew Kingston-Lee was first finisher in 17:28, followed by Adam Swallow in 18:21 and Christopher Limmer close behind in 18:25. The first female finisher was junior Lexie McLoughlin in 19:46, followed by Natalie Teece in 21:28 and Catherine Payne in 21:38. The best age grade performance was by Julie Braker, who achieved 87.02% by finishing 54th in 25:10".

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Bassingham 5

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking

34     32:02 Rob Howbrook
82.09% 70
44     33:24 Peter Bonner
68.09% N/A
46     33:40 Paul Davis
71.87% 461
55     34:31 Catherine Payne
80.41% 22
72     36:41 Robert McArdle
71.06% 312
73     36:52 Ady Walker
62.63% N/A
109     40:31 Caroline Davis
65.36% N/A
118     41:30 Sinead McDonnell
62.02% N/A

Bullock Smithy

Paul completed the 56 miles in 11:47

How it feels to finish!
Granthan Running Club's Paul Rushworth took part in the 56 mile Bullock Smithy event through the Peak District. The ultra run includes over 7,000ft of climb across mixed terrain. The route visits Hazel Grove, Bow Stones, Chinley, Edale, Castleton, Peak Forest, Millers Dale, Chelmorton, Earl Strendale, Brand Top, Cumberland Cottage before returning to Hazel Grove via Walker Barn. This year's event took place in particularly hot conditions with runners needing to avoid dehydration by replenish their salts regularly with electrolyte drinks. Paul said "I struggled to get going in the first half, probably because of the warm te
mperatures. It was a relief when the sun went down and I managed to find a better groove over the final 15 miles". Paul finished the event just before midnight in a time of 11 hours 47 minutes, a time which was almost three hours behind the leader but was good enough for 9th place.