Sunday, 27 March 2022

Bourne Run in the Woods 10k


On Mothering Sunday, 27th March - five members of Grantham Running Club ventured to Bourne Woods to run the ‘Run in the Woods’ hosted by the Rotary club of Bourne. The event hosted a 3k and 10k option, with all five GRC’ers opting for the 10k.

As the name suggests, it’s an off-road looped route through the woods on fairly undulating compact trail. Whilst not terribly technical (indeed most of the field elected for road shoes, with one intrepid bod running barefoot!) the stony track and logging debris provided one or two patches of tricky terrain to traverse.  First home for GRC was Samuel Jepson, placing 2nd overall, he was happy enough with 37:25 off-road. 
Next home, Cameron Hoggan was delighted to finish under 45 minutes for the distance for the first time! Clocking 44:47, his slightly quicker start clearly paid dividends as he ticked off a time he’s been working toward recently. His strong finish making sure he went under his desired time.

Paul Jepson was rightly chuffed with his 49:59 as he continues to build fitness and race sharpness after a winter of injury, niggles and illness. In doing so, he surpassed his own expectations and predictions.
In perhaps the performance of the day, first lady past the post was Melissa Hetherington – again, despite the nature of the course she was able to clock a fabulous hour-busting; 57:36, her fastest time over the 10k distance!
She was especially pleased given the challenging undulations throughout and her hitherto best times were on “much quicker road courses in 2018”.
Again, keeping it in the family, Melis’ mother Amanda rounded out a fab day for the household as she completed her run in a very commendable 01:05:02.

The race was won by Peterborough & Nene Valley athlete, Ben Heron in 33:55.
First lady was Katie Arnold of Stamford Striders in 43:35.  


Sunday, 13 March 2022

Burghley 7


Eleven members of Grantham Running Club joined a field of over 1400 taking part in the Burghley 7 road race on the 13th of March.

A sensational course linking Burghley and Stamford which started and finished within the grounds of Burghley house. The event allowed incredible access to the private areas of the Burghley estate, a traffic free St Martins High Street and a 7 mile course that explores countless beautiful and unique locations following an undulating route.

The first GRC runner to cross the line was Robin Atter, finishing in 47:23; a new PB beating his time in 2020 by 8 minutes. Second home for the club and first lady back was Rachel Hamilton finishing in an impressive 53:15, closely followed by Clive George finishing third for the club in an equally impressive 54:09. Also coming in under the hour, Martin Rodell finished strong in 56:44.

Next, we saw several club members finishing within minutes of each other. Marj Spendlow who has been focusing on longer training runs ready for her first half marathon later in the year finished within her target time crossing the line in 01:00:36. Following on from an impressive month running a month of Miles for Diabetes UK, Nichola Webster finished in 01:03:48. Only a week after running the Cambridge half marathon Kate Marshall tackled the hills to come back in 01:04:05.

Rachel Deans was next home for the club in a great time of 01:07:34. Joni Goodband ran the race with an injured ankle but still impressed with a time of 01:07:54.  Tracey Webb finished in a great time of 01:13:59, closely followed by Yvonne Buckley 01:15:05.

The men’s race was won by Aaron Scott in 37:20. The women’s event was won by Hannah Rounds in 45:39.

All runners received a medal and free event photos, the race also provided a great opportunity for club members to meet together both pre and post-race on the day.

Sunday, 6 March 2022

Retford Half Marathon


The 2022 edition of the GRC Grand Prix series got underway with the Retford Half Marathon this weekend. The race over the quiet, fairly flat Nottinghamshire roads drew in a high-quality field all hoping for a good early season benchmark. However only 4 GRC runners entered the race due to numerous clashes and marathon work-ups.

First in for the club was Matthew Kingston-Lee who returned from a 2-year race absence to clock a surprising 1:18:09, an impressive 4 minutes beyond his pre-race prediction. Setting off at a faster pace than planned with a ‘just go with it’ approach he was delighted to finish 38th in this high-quality field and earning an impressive Gold Club Standard with 80.57%.

Next across line was Manchester Marathon bound Andrew Pask with an ‘on target’ 1:28:07. Squeezing this race in during a busy period of marathon training his legs were never going to be fresh but Andrew was happy enough post-race to scrape a Silver club standard with 70.01%.

Returning to some form was seasoned racer Paul Rushworth with a confidence boosting 1:35:41, his fastest time since 2019. Paul favours the longer distance races and will certainly be running fast times in the year ahead.

Without doubt the performance of the day came from Tommy Napier. Now in the V60 age category, Tommy has been agonisingly close to breaking the magical sub 2hr barrier before but this time he left it beyond any doubt. Smashing his PB by over 4mins, Tommy clocked an outstanding 1:56:06 and bagged a Copper Club standard in the process.

Essex 20

 Robert McArdle completed the Essex 20 in 2:37:32.

Cambridge Half Marathon

Four members of Grantham Running Club joined a field of 14,000 taking part in the 11th annual Cambridge Half Marathon on 6th March.

Having moved to October for the 2021 event, due to ongoing pandemic restrictions, the race returned to its spring home for 2022.

The varied route, starting and finishing at Midsummer Common, takes in the impressive architecture of Cambridge, with many University of Cambridge colleges along the course, and the route passing through the beautiful King’s College grounds. The runners appreciated the great support from the crowds of spectators who lined the route.

The first GRC runner to cross the line was rising star Alex Curtis still finding his way back to full fitnessfollowing a Covid illness just outside his PB in a time of 1:25:32.

Second home for the club was Gav Meadows, with an impressive 01:32:46. Gav was pleased to have run his fastest half marathon for two years.

Next GRC runner over the line was Mark Rice. Returning to fitness after injury issues, Mark was pleased to have got so close to the 2 hour mark, with 02:00:10. Mark noted “Closed road races are always a bit special, and, a closed road race in Cambridge city centre was a particularly special occasion. The support from the spectators was fantastic.”

Next home was Kate Marshall. Kate’s time of 02:01:33 was over 5 minutes faster than her previous half marathon personal best, set at the previous October’s staging of the same race. Having struggled with injury in the autumn, Kate had worked hard over the winter to regain her fitness and was delighted with her result. She has her eyes set firmly on breaking the 2 hour barrier next.

Hot on the heels of his wife was Fraser Marshall, who completed the GRC cohort with 02:04:00. Another athlete who has struggled with injury and fitness problems since the first lockdown, Fraser was delighted to see strong progress towards a return to form, finishing within 2 minutes of his personal best, set in 2020.

The race is extremely well organised and resourced, with free energy gels at each water station, a quality medal, a souvenir bag filled with drinks and snacks for finishers, pacers, live runner tracking and free race photos.

The race was won by Nick Bester of Best Athletics, in 01:06:19. First female finisher was Lucy Reid of Tonbridge AC in 01:11:15.


Saturday, 5 March 2022

Benidorm 10k


On Saturday 5th February Louise Kennedy donned the green and black vest to represent Grantham Running Club in a more exotic location than usual.  The Benidorm 10k (and half-marathon) are run at sunset along a spectacular circuit by the sea closed roads.  Accredited by the Royal Spanish Athletics Federation (RFEA) the event is included in the official race calendar.

The route took in the most emblematic streets of Benidorm route as well as the town’s two main beaches, then a run-down Avenida del Mediterraneo to an uphill finish at the Town Hall.  The race is known for its amazing crowd support and had 3 music points and ligyhts en route adding a party atmosphere.   

Runners were treated to both pre and post-race goodie bags with official race t-shirt, vouchers, medal snacks (including tea bags) and 1kg of salt from the local sponsor of the event.

 Louise clocked a brilliant personal best at 1:04.04, knocking 4 minutes off her previous Benidorm time. AS one of her favourite events, Louise has completed the race 4 times now.