Sunday, 24 April 2022

Longhorn 10K


The Thoresby estate provided the was the setting for the SBR Longhorn Running Event which ran over a multi terrain course of tracks, tarmac and woodland.  The event offered a range of distances from 5k up to the 60k ultra along with Cainicross.

The backdrop to the start and finish to all races was the majestic Thoresby Hall; formerly a private home built in the 17th century for the 3rd Earl of Manvers but more recently a luxury hotel set in tree studded grounds.

Grantham Running Club had 4 members participating this year with three in the 10k event which went off at 11.00am. First home for GRC was Rachel Deans with a fantastic time of 59:58 which gave her a PB of more than 4 minutes, made all the more impressive with the undulating course, ground conditions and the blustery wind.  Knowing her race was going well and the finish line was in sight, Rachel dug deep running into a head wind to push onto the finish line.Julia Hallam and Yvonne Buckley largely ran the race together enjoying the scenic course and the fantastic weather, finishing in 1:16:32 and 1:16:33 respectively.

The final GRC runner in the 5k event was Brendon Buckley in his first competitive race for over 3 years due to prolonged injury.  He was a little disappointed with his time of 38:36 but was happy to at last be on the long road back to full fitness. 

Everyone agreed that SBR once again put on a terrific day’s racing with each entrant receiving medals as well as category winners. The marshals were friendly and encouraged each and every runner and great event photos were provided for free, making it a favourite event for many GRC members.

Leicester Big 10k

 On a sunny April Sunday, Grantham Running Club members Natalie Hardwick and Emma Weighill ventured along the A46 to the Leicester Big 10k. 

The welcomingly flat route started and finished in the very pictureseque Abbey Park and consisted of a mixture park, closed road and the canal path with a repeated loop.

Natalie, having signed up to the covid-postponed GRC Couch to 5k in 2020, diy'ed her training program during the first lockdown. Progressing by herself to 10k in the 2nd lockdown, she debuted her first race at Lincoln in October in memory of her Dad. She then committed herself to her first half marathon, completing the rather undulating Rutland half at the beginning of April. Today, as a newly found Grantham Running Club member, she completed the Leicester 10k in 01:01:30. Emma tailed her, coming in at 01:02:20.

Run for Wildlife Spring 10k


On the 24th of April, 2 members of Grantham Running Club made the journey up the A1 to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park for the inaugural Run for Wildlife Spring 10k. Starting in the car park the route took the runners into the wildlife park with runners getting glimpse of the animals enclosed in the park from Sea Lions, Tigers, Zebras and even Polar Bears.  The Baboons were particularly amused/bemused by the runners in streaming by, some in rather eye-catching animal outfits.  Plus Tarzan.

 First home for GRC was Sam Dodwell making use of his current form clocking 41:19 which was a 38 second PB from Lincoln last year.  This was in the same week that he set a blistering PB at Boston Half Marathon and only 3 weeks since his PB at Manchester Marathon. Following a while later was Sylv Hull who only the day before participated in the Tough Mudder event, and was happy to clock a time of 1:01:07 on battered legs

The runners were awarded with a Tapir themed medal and a cupcake plus all participants got a free day pass to the wildlife park so had a great day out seeing all the animals out and about (some must have known it was a Sunday as they were having a lie in).  Highlights included seeing a Polar Bear having the time of his life bathing with a canoe.


1st Place Male – Stuart Spencer 33:17


2nd Place Male – Lee Varley 34:59


3rd Place Male – David Robinson 35:10


1st Place Female – Sarah Imbush 42:08


2nd Place Female – Georgia Hird 42:23


3rd Place Female – Louise Gossage 44:20

Monday, 18 April 2022

Boston Half and Full Marathon

On bank holiday Monday 18th April, 22 members of GRC took the trip along the A52 to Boston where twenty took on the Half Marathon and two ran the full Marathon.

Both races started in the Market Place with the race taking runners east through Freiston and then to Butterwick where the route splits with the Half marathoners heading back home going through Fishtoft and finishing at Boston College. The marathoners headed up to Old Leake before heading back towards Boston and re-joining the Half Marathon route back at Butterwick.  

First back for GRC was Sam Dodwell clocking 1:31:07 which was a 4:33 PB. Following closely behind was Robin Atter in 1:32:58 which was a 34 seconds PB. First lady home for GRC was Willow Stacey 1:43:47 which knocked a massive 17:33 of her previous PB. Following Willow was Kirsty Dickens 1:44:09 clocking an impressive 3:15 PB.

GRC had three members of 2021’s Beginners program, with two taking the next step and running their first Half Marathon. Under the tutelage of coach Chris Limmer who had given them all training plans to help them prepare for the race and spent his race supporting them all throughout the race. The three members were: Marj Spendlow 1:57:40, Chloe Amos 2:27:43 (23:45 PB) & Holly Wragg 2:28:19.

Other mentionable PBs:

Fraser Marshall 1:58:05 (3:56 PB)

Louise Kennedy 2:22:21 (10:19 PB)

For the Full Marathon, 2 members took on the 26.2mile race with Robert McArdle clocking 3:44:08 and Caroline Davis following behind with a time of 3:54:13.

Full GRC results:

Sam Dodwell – 1:31:07

Robin Atter – 1:32:58

Darren Coats – 1:38:08

Gav Meadows – 1:38:18

Willow Stacey – 1:43:57

Kirsty Dickens – 1:44:09

Martin Rodell – 1:51:08

Anthony Boyle – 1:51:28

Chris Limmer – 1:57:37

Marj Spendlow – 1:57:40

Fraser Marshall – 1:59:05

Mark Rice – 2:04:22

Mark Edwards – 2:08:02

Sylv Hull – 2:13:40

Andrew Bawden – 2:13:45

Kate Marshall – 2:15:36

Emma Hopkinson – 2:20:26

Louise Kennedy – 2:22:21

Chloe Amos – 2:27:43

Holly Wragg – 2:28:19

Tracy Webb – 2:35:34


Robert McArdle – 3:44:08

Caroline Davis – 3:54:13

Everyone was extremely impressed with the excellent organisation of the race with friendly marshalls and fantastic local support and a rather unique race t-shirt for finishers.

The Half Marathon was won by Simon Birch of Hinckle Running Club (1:09:03) and first female Lindsay Skinner of Off That Couch Fitness (1:19:35)

The Marathon was won by William Strangeway of Lincoln Wellington AC (2:25:11) and first female Natasha White (2:59:07)

Sunday, 10 April 2022

Belvoir Half Marathon

Wendy set a PB of 2:32:28

 On the 10th April, Wendy Smith took part in the Belvoir Half Marathon, her second half marathon since joining Grantham Running Club. There are normally about 700 runners for the event though for some reason which the organisers could not understand, there were only 400 entries this year.

On the day the sun was shining, and the course began at the village of Hose, taking on a scenic route through villages in the Vale of Belvoir, which included Harby, Langar, Colston Bassett, Long Clawson and then back Hose.

The course was relatively flat with a couple of inclines, making it ideal for a PB.Wendy ran on behalf of the British Heart Foundation in memory of her Dad who passed away a year ago. Wendy achieved a PB, shaving off over seven minutes from her previous half marathnShe’s now planning her next half!

Millennium Way Ultra Marathon

Chris Limmer lined up at the start line of the 41mile Millennium way ultra marathon just a week after running the Manchester marathon dressed as Tinkerbell. The two events could not be more different with just 99 starters standing in the bus station of the town of Newport near Telford on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border. The race itself took runners along disused railways, various waterways as well as farmland before arriving in Burton on Trent just under 41 miles later. The lack of course markers meant that Chris and the other runners had to rely on looking for the red and white national trail markers and carefully reading the pre-event course information.

The first part of Chris’ race was largely uneventful as he passed through Stafford town centre and along the river Sow before getting to the second check point just after Rugeley. At this point halfway through the race Chris was around 20th place and was feeling comfortable despite the fatigue from the previous weekend. It was soon after this check point the course diverted off the Trent and Mersey canal and across farmland. With no markers Chris ran with a couple of other competitors who had either run the course before or were able to use the maps on their phone. The teamwork meant that they reached the final checkpoint in good spirits and relieved to have just 10 miles to go with the main navigational challenges out of the way. Soon after this final checkpoint the course re-joined the Trent and Mersey canal for the final 5.5 miles to Burton. At this point Chris upped the pace using his experience of a similar tactic in other ultras. This largely worked and Chris left the canal one final time then sprinted towards the leisure centre that marked the finish. With full results yet to be confirmed Chris provisionally finished 11th place and little over 6hrs and 40minutes.