ATHLETICS: Grantham RC contest Lincoln Half Marathon

Pictured from left are Richard Payne, Robert McArdle, Nichola Cottam, Charnia Kirk, Holly Durham and Tom Durham.
Pictured from left are Richard Payne, Robert McArdle, Nichola Cottam, Charnia Kirk, Holly Durham and Tom Durham.
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A handful of Grantham Running Club members made the trip to Lincolnshire Showground to take part in the Lincoln Half Marathon on Sunday.

This was the first staging of the race in this format and the first half marathon to take place in the city for 25 years. The 13.1-mile route entered the city via Burton Road then took in the historic part of the city including Lincoln Cathedral and Lincoln Castle.

Next was the descent of Yarborough Hill before doing a circuit of Brayford Wharf. Lastly was the most testing part of the course – climbing back up Yarborough Hill before exiting the city and heading back to the showground for the finish.

First to cross the line for GRC was Gav Meadows in a time of 1hr 32min 27sec.

He said: “I was very pleased with this performance after my tired and disappointing showing at the Robin Hood Marathon the weekend before.

“There were also some nice touches at the finish with free beer (alcohol free) and a free massage. I can’t recommend this race highly enough.”

Not far behind was Paul Davis, finishing in 1:35:37 and continuing his impressive and consistent recent form. Also performing very impressively was Caroline Davis, setting a new personal best of 1:55:49.

l Grantham Running Club had six athletes taking part in the end of season West Pinchbeck 10k round the very flat but exposed south Lincolnshire route.

The weather was dry and sunny but unfortunately the wind was stronger than ideal and was going to punish the runners on the final 3k straight into it.

Holly Durham was first home for the club in 42:36 and picked up the prize as third lady, which was amazing considering this was less than a week after she completed a 150k stint at a local endurance race. Next home was a not fully fit Richard Payne in his 10k debut, clocking 44:10 and showing there is a lot more to come, followed by Robert McArdle in 45:43.

Charnia Kirk then set an all-time best of 47:54 with Tom Durham clocking 53:06. The final runner for GRC was Nichola Cottam with 57:50.

l GRC’s Andrew Pask joined more than 17,000 runners for this year’s Cardiff Half Marathon.

In near perfect running conditions, the UK’s third biggest race started in front of the iconic Cardiff Castle.

Andrew ran the first 10k to Cardiff Bay in 42:00, slightly quicker than planned. Paying for the early fast pace, Andrew was forced to dig deep around the 10-mile Roath Park area when the 1:30:00 pace maker overtook him.

Knowing that a strong finish could still salvage his goal of a sub 1:30:00 race, Andrew found that extra gear for the final two miles to finish with a time of 1:29:53, placing him in the top four per cent of the field.

l Two GRC members took part in the 10th Mabletherpe Half Marathon on Sunday.

Father and son duo Thomas and Matthew Williamson ran their first half marathon together in very windy conditions. Thomas was first to finish in an impressive 1:34:38 for 39th overall, closely followed by Matthew with a PB of 1:35:38 and 42nd overall.

l GRC’s Catherine Payne and Robert McArdle joined a strong field for the 10th Meia Maratona in Portugal’s second city, one of the last major half marathons of the year.

Having missed the last three weeks of training due to an ankle injury, Catherine started the race in more hope than expectation, with everything going well for almost five miles before tearing a calf muscle on a sharp cobbled uphill section. After a couple of minutes, she re-joined the race determined to finish and managed to limp home in a gun time of 1:39:40 which was still fast enough on the day to win first prize in the Veteranas IV category.

Further back in the field, clubmate Robert McArdle was once again struggling to run through the heat. As the temperature rose above 40C on the exposed course, the only option was to slow down to avoid overheating, but despite that his time of 1:43:13 was respectable.