|Outside Bedford Hall after the race|
The annual Thorney 5 mile race was back but in a Covid aware form, this is a road race covering the length of the village on roads closed to traffic and had the number of entrants reduced as well as a more staggered start. Nine athletes from Grantham Running Club took part, many of them regulars as the race returned to Bedford Hall.
During the time when there weren’t very many races on runners were able to concentrate of their training and come back with much improved performances. Yvonne Buckley’s time of 48:54 was an improvement of just over two minutes since the last time this race was run made all the more special by moving up an age category in the interim. Another big improver was Kate Marshall shaving 1:50 off her 2019 time to finish in 45:16. Making his impressive debut at the distance was Clive George in his best road race to date, His time of 38:09 was good enough to place him in the top 50 men of his age in 2021 in the UK at this distance! Another debutant at the 5 was Fraser Marshall with an on target time of 52:40.
As the race was part of the GRC Grand Prix series three athletes who had raced on Thursday night made a quick turnaround and race again albeit on slightly tired legs. This time round Peter Bonner (33:48) managed to pip Rob Howbrook (34:10) in the last half mile in a reversal of their 5k result with Chris Armstrong’s 35:56 more than enough to secure him the clubhouse lead for the trophy.
First woman home for our local club was Catherine Payne in a time of 36:25 to finish fourth lady and first veteran just over 30 seconds in front of Robert McArdle who clocked 37:03.