|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