|Paul Jepson during his effort|
Round two of the GRC Virtual Series saw 40 runners grind out a 10K, the toughest event in the series to date. Whilst most runners regularly complete the 10K distance in training, this is usually at a much slower and comfortable pace than what’s expected in a race. As with all rounds of the of the series, runners were required to adhere to strict COVID-19 limitations which usually meant running alone in a quiet location. During the two week window many runners chose to use the famous GRC Summer Solstice route at Long Bennington which was due to take place on 19 June 2020 but cancelled due to the current situation.
The outright winners were Matthew Williamson and Jenny McBain, both running for GRC as their 2nd club being members of Newark and Alchester respectively. Williamson clocking an impressive 38:07 on his quest for full fitness was an impressive return to form following a lengthy injury and the fastest time of any runner. Jenny McBain who has also had recent injury struggles was first for the ladies with an outstanding 41:54, her fastest time over the distance since 2017. Jenny maintains her position a the top of the series leaderboard after another maximum points score for the round. Joe Diggins is another who’s on top of his game; he clocked an eyebrow raising 39:11, his first time under the golden 40min mark. This was enough to take the 2nd fastest overall runner and cements his place amongst the GRC elite runners.
The standout performers for the round however were Paul Jepson and Michelle Parczuk who both made giant leaps in form. Paul who continues to defy the aging process having just turned 66 clocked his fastest time over the distance for over 4 years and an outstanding age graded score of 70.39% which is county level standard. Michelle also hit the county level standard with her super impressive 47:53, which beats her official best by over 1min and had she ran that time in an official race she would likely have ranked inside the top 500 in the UK for her age group.
Category winners were Matthew Williamson (Outright Mens), Jenny McBain (Outright Ladies, Age Grade and VF40), Dean Riggall (39:52, VM40), Caroline Davies (48:30, VF50), Gerry Hyde (42:21, VM50) and Paul Jepson (VM60).
Other results: Andrew Pask (41:15), Jack Dodwell (42:31), Stefan Latter (43:02), Ben Hatherly (43:05), Holly Durham (44:10), Gav Meadows (44:29), Alan Carley (44:40), Paul Rushworth (47:24), Mark Hillson (48:09), Chris Armstrong (48:18), Sam Jepson-Rivers (49:19), Warren Stark (50:15), Stuart Baty (50:50), Helen Brown (50:53), Keith Measures (51:42), Tommy Napier (51:56), Anthony Boyle (52:21), Kris Blake (52:49), Sarah High (54:42), Phillip Crowcroft (55:19), Jacqueline Anderson (55:37), John Southwood (56:39), Emma Duncan (57:01), Peter Storey (58:21), Stephen Fay (58:42), John Nevard (59:26), Fraser Marshall (1:01:16), Gordon Geach (1:02:50), Tracy Webb (1:04:21), Emma Fleet (1:08:34), Yvonne Buckley (1:10:35), Louise Kennedy (1:10:35).
Next up for the club is the 1 mile flat out, which pushes members well outside their comfort zones. This is already underway and providing some very impressive times.