ATHLETICS: Abi is quickest of Grantham RC sextet in London Marathon

Abi Schofield on London Bridge k5zCUoT57Kw_aZ7EiOQB
Abi Schofield on London Bridge k5zCUoT57Kw_aZ7EiOQB

Six members of Grantham Running Club were in the country’s capital city on Sunday to take part in the 2015 Virgin London Marathon.

Held in near-perfect conditions for racing and with the streets lined from start to finish with tens of thousands of spectators, Abi Schofield was the first GRC runner home, finishing 175th overall in a sensational 3hr 7min 5sec.

GRC's quartet of runners celebrate completing Farmageddon.

GRC's quartet of runners celebrate completing Farmageddon.

This broke the club record of 3:13:18 set by Anna O’Hare at Manchester a week earlier and took nearly 18 minutes off Abi’s previous marathon best.

She was followed some minutes later in 3:17:44 by Matthew Kingston-Lee who, only resuming running three weeks ago after missing seven weeks of training due to injury, opted to run for fun rather than chase a time.

Catherine Payne made it a great day for Grantham’s ladies as she bettered her previous marathon best by 44 seconds, recording 3:20:30 to finish an impressive 44th in her age category.

It was a happy day too for Jez Page as he broke a long-standing PB, crossing the line in 3:24:26.

Dean Riggall, who had suffered injuries leading up to the race, followed soon behind in 3:29:21, and it was fine run from Andrew Spencer who narrowly missed breaking four hours, clocking 4:00:59.

l Grantham Running Club’s Paul Rushworth completed his world tour of running by taking part in the ‘Hard as Nayls’ mountain race in Hong Kong.

The event takes place in memory of Welsh runner Andy Naylor who lived in Hong Kong and died during the New York triathlon in 2013.

The 17km trail race included fast road sections, technical trails and steep ascents and descents, with a total elevation gain of more than 650 metres in the hills around the Clearwater Bay area of the city.

Paul finished the race in 26th place in a time of 2:12:06.

After the race, Paul said: “I’ve been lucky to be able to race in so many different countries. The races took me away from the tourist trails and into parts of the countries that I otherwise wouldn’t have seen.”

l A team of four GRC runners took part in the Farmaggeddon obstacle course on Saturday, raising more than £400 for charity.

The brutal 10km event in Melton Mowbray was a tough endurance run which included mud obstacles, testing terrain, woodland and a whole host of other nasty surprises.

Chris England, Paul Durham, Nikki Carr and Ruth Dunstan completed the distance in 2:19.

Before taking part, Chris had hoped to raise £100 in sponsorship as part of a year of fundraising, but has now smashed through the £200 mark.

Chris said it had been a tough event: “This is probably the hardest and most draining race I have done, it was even harder than a half-marathon distance.

“That said, I am thrilled to have gone the distance and will definitely be booking another one in the future,”

Chris is one of 40 people hoping to raise a minimum of £100 each throughout 2015 as part of RuthsFab40, and at the end of the year all money raised will be split between Barnado’s, Mind, Home Start and Combat Stress.

Pictured from left are Ruth Dunstan, Nikki Carr, Chris England and Paul Durham.