|For his return to racing after the Covid enforced hiatus Peter opted for possibly the most exposed circuit in England along the runway at Elvington Airfield near York. His plans for a relaxed start with even paced miles were thrown into disarray when he noted that a 2k stretch into the wind was around 30 seconds slower than the same effort gave him with the wind behind him. He was pleased to be able to accelerate up to parkrun pace for the final 5k overtaking the only two runners in sight on the last bend before the lonely mile long sprint to the finish. Delighted to get that first race back without any setbacks Peter has races planned for May where he is hoping to regain the sort of form he had in early 2020.|
Sunday, 25 April 2021
Sunday, 18 April 2021
When a running event leads its publicity with the name of the course measurer you get an idea of the type of runner they are trying to attract. In the case of the Essex Marathon at Saffron Walden last weekend they named Hugh Jones as the man with the trusty bike. Among Hugh’s credits are not only measuring the London Marathon, where he is a former winner of the same event, but of the 2012 Olympic one. To meet the Covid secure conditions required for the license he had to design a route within the confines of Debden Airfield, an old RAF base from the Second World War. He managed to get the runners to trace the shape of a bomber aircraft over the multi-lap course and with the Race Director issuing warnings in advance not to use GPS devices to question the accuracy of the distance. As well as the usual UK Course Measures certificate there was the additional AIMS certificate for those wanting to use their time to gain entry to Boston or Berlin.
|The course traced the shape of a bomber|
anniversary of her first ever marathon and the experienced Robert McArdle joining her for what was only their second race in over a year. The rolling start format which spread the starting times over a two hour period meant they only had each other to assist with the pacing over the first half of the race and without any recent racing experience coupled with the optical illusions of the gradient changes on the runways pacing was the biggest challenge of the day. Conditions underfoot would have been frightening for anyone with expensive carbon plate shoes as the surface looked to have broken up since the end of the cold war and railway ballast chunks of debris littered the course in certain parts.
Although both of the GRC runners faded in the final laps they were happy to hold on for respectable times to start their delayed season. Catherine Payne’s 3:24:30, whilst well short of her recent best was good enough for an age grading of over 84% and more importantly a number one ranking in her age group with UK Athletics. Robert’s 3:36:03 gave him just over the 71% in his age grading and a top ten ranking.
Michelle Parczuk said afterwards "I think I was the only green shirt at the Oundle 10K today given the other races on. Great to be racing again and really lovely race atmosphere in the sunshine. Really pleased with 49.20, not quite a PB" but close Michelle was 19th lady overall and 5th in her age category and scored a WMA age grading of 69.65%. Her runbritain ranking is expected to be comfortably in the top 30 for her age group in the UK.
|Andrew Pask, Sam Jepson-Rivers, Sam Clark and Aaron Smith|
On the first big weekend since lockdown restrictions lifted enough, Grantham Running Club sent a team of 6 to compete in the Mallory Park Races in Kirkby Mallory. With 5k races taking place on the Saturday and 10k on Sunday there was something available for all appetites. Both days benefiting form beautiful spring weather, ideal for racing with very little wind runners were aiming for a fast early season opener.
Opting for the 5k race Alan Carley and Stuart Baty were the
first to don the famous green vest of GRC. Trying to capitalise on some good
virtual racing form, Alan Carley led the way on the 3 lap course. His finish
time of 20:22 was his first attempt at a road 5k but was good enough to beat
his 5,000m best on the track by over 1min and give him a UK ranking of 54 for
his age category. Next across the line was Stuart Baty with a superb PB time of
23:04, beating his previous best set in 2018 by a huge 30s.
In the Sunday 10k race four members were looking to prove a
successful winter spent training hard. Sam Jepson-rivers was the hot favourite
having ran so strongly over the lockdown virtual series. His 6 lap race could
not have been executed any better. Resisting the urge to start too fast, he
expertly paced himself to a 1min PB with an eye-catching 38:54, giving him a UK
ranking of 469 over the distance. Next was arguably the performance of the day,
Aaron Smith. Pacing this race like a man who’d been competing for years when in
fact he’s only taken up running in the past 2 years. His confident approach to
this distance earned him a whopping 5min PB with a time of 39:42, earning him
his first UK ranking over 10K. Then followed Sam Clark and Andrew Pask who were
both hoping for faster finish times. Sam crossed the line in 40:18. Although
still an official 40s PB and whilst his time was still impressive, his time did
little to reflect the sub 40 time that he clocked on the winter virtual series.
Andrew also hoping to run better, had aspirations of pushing much closer to the
40min barrier but his 40:40 time is still his best since 2018.
With races very much back on, runners will be looking to
build on their Mallory performances in the coming weeks.
Report: Andrew Pask
|Sarah coming in at
2:02:07 and Nev (2:04:14) in the half|
The lifting of lockdown restrictions fell perfectly for ‘The Longhorn 2021’ race events to take place on Sunday 18th April. Held in the beautiful grounds of Thoresby Park in Nottinghamshire, the lap event allows for many distances to take place including 5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon, 50k or a 60k Ultra trail run.
Running over old military roads, cleared tracks through ancient woodland and grassed paths around the country estate, the route involves ‘laps’ of the course depending on the distance selected, which includes a few hills to offer a small challenge in the scenic course. A dry week before meant the trail route remained firm for all those taking part.
13 members of GRC made the journey, taking part in the 10k, half marathon and marathon.
The only member to enter the 4-lap marathon was Warren Stark, who was pleased with his time of 4:08:12, he was especially pleased as with the nature of trail courses saw it measure slightly longer than the famous marathon distance, at 27.2 miles. Had the course been 26.2 miles, it would’ve seen him record a sub 4 hour time.
Sarah High, Nev Chamberlain and Claudette Joint took on the half marathon distance with 2 laps of the course, Sarah coming in at 2:02:07 and Nev (2:04:14) and Claudette (2:04:27) separated by just 13 seconds.
The most popular distance was the 10k, involving 1 lap of the course with 9 members taking part. Again most measured the course long with distances anywhere up to 10.3k.
Sam Dodwell 49:35
Stuart Baty 50:52 *course pb
Dale Towning 53:18
Vicki Ball 53:30
Sylv Hull 55:51
Martin Carter 56:06
Yvonne Buckley 1:10:07
Sammi French 1:10:07 *course pb
Vicky Honey 1:14:53
Vicky unwittingly provided some humour to end proceedings, as her race drew to a close she was mistakenly guided to complete another lap, a quick correction courtesy of help from the Marshall’s saw her end without having to face the possibility of a unplanned half marathon or longer!
With no one speaking a negative word of the day/event and organisation, all who attended were glad to be out ‘racing’ again, it was all rounded off with calorie replenishing cake after!
|Warren finished in 4:08:12|