ATHLETICS: Grantham RC duo sharpen up at marathon distance

Grantham RC's Catherine Payne and Robert McCardle lead the way. Photo: www.charleswhittonphotography.co.uk
Grantham RC's Catherine Payne and Robert McCardle lead the way. Photo: www.charleswhittonphotography.co.uk

Two of Grantham Running Club’s endurance runners took part in last weekend’s Cambridge University Hare and Hounds Club’s Boundary Run to sharpen up for the April road marathons.

The 26.2-mile route traversed roads, footpaths and trails, and incorporated some beautiful and not-often-seen areas of the city. Around a third of the distance was very muddy off-road and there were several reasonably sized hills on the course – significant enough to surprise those who are used to the flat terrain of Cambridge. The strong wind was a bonus this year, drying some of the muddier fields to just merely sticky, but on the flipside there were several fallen trees blocking the normal route, as well as branches all over the footpaths.

One of the highlights is always racing against the rowing eights along the banks of the Cam.

With a record entry of just under 1,000 runners taking part, with the option of stopping halfway, both the GRC athletes opted for the full challenge.

Despite the race coming at the end of another hard week of training, the GRC pair were able to stick to their planned pace, working their way through the field, especially in the final two miles as others faded, to finish in 78th and 79th places respectively. Catherine Payne’s time was 3hr 47min 15sec and Robert McCardle recorded 3:47:50.