Thursday, 20 May 2021

Chase The Sun Race Events at Prestwold Hall – 1 mile, 5k, 10 and 10 mile

Some of the runners before the race

 The old footballing adage of “can they do it on a cold, rainy Thursday night in…” has never been put more to the test than in the case of the ‘Chase The Sun’ at Prestwold Hall on Thursday 20th May. Indeed, it may even be a contender for the most ironically named event! 

With ominous grey skies and chastening winds circling the disused airfield a couple of hours before the event, it became very apparent that the weather gods were not going to be kind.

With different events taking place on the 1.55 mile looped course throughout the evening, it attracted a wide variety of runners. As with other events over the past month or so, the starts were managed through ‘waves’ with social distancing encouraged and monitored in the runners village beforehand.

First up in the out and back mile was Robert McArdle. A fierce headwind blighted the chance of any serious challenge on his best, but his clocking of 06:56 still represented an accomplished effort. 

Next in the 10 mile race and making his debut for GRC was Mark ‘Elly’ Ellison.
With the start of the 10 mile race came the driving rain that would colour the rest of the evening but Elly paid no heed and attacked the race with vigour, only slowing slightly in the 2nd half. His strong 01:11:07 was a little outside his best, but enough to secure a top 15 spot in UKA rankings for the distance and an age grading of over 70%.  

PB for Sam
 With the 5k and 10k proving to be the most popular, the wave style starts saw both sets of runners off at the same time in a rough pairing of 5k and 10k predicted times.

 Leading the pack home and defying the conditions was Sam Jepson-Rivers. Starting in what he now considers the wrong wave, Sam found it challenging having to weave through the other runners. However he quickly hit his stride, continuing his momentum throughout to finish in 18:26 – a 14 second PB and also his first 70% age grading in any race. 

 Chris Armstrong in his first official 5k for 5 years, was pleased to finish in 22:27, finishing strong and smiling despite the wet and wind.
Separated by less than 200m, Robert McArdle followed Chris to cross the line in 23:09 to conclude a solid and well controlled night of racing.

  First lady home in the 5k was Naomi Jepson-Rivers, her time of 24:20 was down from her best, but pleasing after an injury layoff and in tough conditions.
Naomi’s Father-In-Law Paul Jepson, kept a close reign on Naomi throughout the race, eventually clocking 10 seconds behind with 24:30 and his own UK ranking in his age category.
Vicki Ball rounded off the 5kers with her own close fought battle with Paul, finishing just 2 seconds behind in 24:32, it represented a fine season opener despite the unfavourable conditions.

In the 10k, first home was Andrew Pask, his first race in his new age category was unfortunately one to forget from his point of view. His clocking of 42:32 some way off his best.
By contrast, Sam Dodwell was left feeling elated with his own performance. Quickly assessing that his current standing PB was not going to be bettered he turned it in to a tempo session to at least derive some benefit, finishing in 45:55.
Turning in his own strong performance, prolific racer Stuart Baty was more than thrilled to bag his 4th fastest 10k time in a solid 48:38 – his consistent ‘lockdown’ mileage again coming to the fore.

Sylv Hull completed her own fabulous race, flying in the face of the aforementioned conditions. With well-judged and consistent pacing throughout she crossed the line in 54:59 to secure a
two minute and 31 second PB – a superb showing and arguably the performance of the day for GRC. 

Big step forward for Sylv


The various races were won by: 

(2nd Claim GRC) Matthew Williamson of Newark AC – 05:30

Matthew Bowser of Lincoln Wellington in 15:33
Abbie Donnelly of Lincoln Wellington in 16:37 

Lewis Budgen of Lincoln Wellington in 33:39
Charlie Nurse – no club given in 39:27


10 mile:
Namir Batavia of Coventry Godiva in 58:01
Julia Matheson – no club given in 01:05:51

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