ATHLETICS: Grantham club members take on Great North Run

Five of Grantham Running Club's 11-strong contingent at the Great North Run.
Five of Grantham Running Club's 11-strong contingent at the Great North Run.
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Eleven members of Grantham Running Club made the journey to Tyneside to take part in the iconic Great North Run last Sunday.

Starting on the edge of Newcastle upon Tyne city centre, runners headed down the motorway section, around the eastern side of the city centre, crossing the symbolic Tyne Bridge into Gateshead, and on towards South Shields where they ran the last mile of the race along the seafront road to the finishing line.

Runners enjoyed warm race conditions, with Jaime Garcia, Holly Durham and Penny Hodges enjoying a VIP start, beginning the race just behind the elite athletes.

The warm conditions and gradual gradients were reflected in the times of participating athletes, with few of the GRC runners achieving personal bests. Despite this, Paul Davis maintained his recent run of solid performances, securing first GRC male home with a time of 1hr 31min 59sec.

Following on from her recent successful local 10k performances, Holly Durham upped her game, missing her half marathon PB by 20 seconds, but posting a good performance in a time of 1:32:18.

After a difficult race, Penny Hodges was second GRC female home in a time of 1:41:57. Running for Diabetes UK after her son William was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes earlier in the year, Penny raised more than £700 for the charity.

Penny commented: “The race was tougher than expected, but well worth it to raise money and awareness for such a life changing and complicated disease.”

In his debut half marathon, newcomer Craig Drury showed potential for a sub-two hour half in the future, finishing in a time of 2:02:31. Craig joined the club after entering the Great North Run to raise money for Cancer Research, and achieved his goal by raising more than £800 for the charity.

Craig was followed over the line 15 minutes later by Margaretta Murray (2:18:20) who secured the only PB of the day and knocked more than six minutes from her previous half marathon time.

Other GRC results: Caroline Davis 1:53:13, Jaime Garcia 2:00:28, , Paul Durham 2:21:01, Nic Webster 2:21:47, Brendon Buckley 2:35:59, Vivien Durham 2:38:00.

l Matthew Atter made his Grantham Running Club debut in the East Coast Classic 10k at Mablethorpe.

With cloudy conditions and only a slight breeze, fast times were possible and Matthew took advantage of this to claim 13th position and a personal best time of 39:30, beating his old PB by more than two minutes.