Sunday, 19 December 2021

Winter Solstice 10k Race


The Solstice Podium

After a delay of exactly 18 months Grantham Running Club were finally able to stage their 11th 10k road race, this event was a much different affair from previous editions  not only because of Covid but

the cool foggy winter morning was a far cry from the balmy summer evening position it normally held in the calendar. This was the final time for outgoing Race Director Ben Mason the be in charge having originally signed up for three years he was only able to retire after one and a half times that having fulfilled his task not only to raise funds to help the club operate but in giving GRC the chance to be seen to be paying back the local running community by taking their turn to stage a top quality race.

Jan as a guide runner
Ben the RD

One of the hardest working members of the Race Crew was treasurer Gordon Geach who had been liaising with the runners who entered in Spring 2020 and offering them the choice of carrying their entry forward or having a refund on two occasions and although the last minute concerns of the Omicron variant meant a flurry of last minute drop outs there were still over 550 hoping to start out of an initial target of around a thousand athletes. The reduction in the number of finishers neither lightened the load for the seventy odd GRC members turning up over the weekend to help out nor the joy at so many runners being able to compete of this classic course and end the year on a running high. Sam Jepson was not only the lead marshal but also the club’s fastest 10k runner this year who led by example giving up his chance of home glory for to make sure the race was staged safely. The fastest women in the club this year, Sarah Chynoweth turned down the certainty of a race win to help out with a road closure on the Junction of the A1. Although there were too many helpers to mention individually Vicki Ball was medical director, Paul Rushie

Joe helped out before and after his race

Rushworth for setting up and clearing down the course and finally Kate Marshall and her junior parkrun team who volunteered at the 9:00 event in Grantham and still managed to be in position for the race start on Long Bennington

The race was won by Elliot Smith-Rasmussen in a course record of 31:47 well clear of Marlon Dunkley of Rushcliff AC the runner up with Sleaford’s Alan Oliver just a few seconds further down the road. Anna-Marie Thompson also of Sleaford was first Lady 14 seconds clear of runner up Alison Dunphy of Eye Community Runners with the final place on the podium going to Shantelle Gaston-Hird.

First home for the home Club was Joe Diggins less concerned with clocking a PB of 36:02 than in getting back to continue helping out by welcome the other runners home with the usual goody bag of beer and cider as well as the Winter Bling. The current plan is for this race to return to its normal mid-summer date for 2022.

A foggy first place for Elliot


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