ATHLETICS: Grantham RC GP series kicks off at Lincoln

Grantham RC at Lincoln.
Grantham RC at Lincoln.
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The Lincoln Wellington 5k series kicked off this week at Yarborough Leisure Centre, Lincoln.

The season opener attracted 10 members of Grantham Running Club, all hoping for personal bests and aiming to gain crucial points in the GRC Grand Prix series.

Grantham Running Club's quartet at the Deepings 10k.

Grantham Running Club's quartet at the Deepings 10k.

In a quality field on a warm evening, which included 2hr 17min marathon man Ben Livesy, some GRC runners found the early pace difficult to hold.

Matthew Kingston-Lee put his injury troubles aside for an impressive time of 16:57, only 2sec outside his previous best and placing him in ninth position.

Next home was Gav Meadows, making an eye-catching debut in a 5k race with 18:41. Gav was closely followed by veterans Rob Howbrook and Gerry Hyde. Rob continued to defy the age barrier with an outstanding PB time of 18:57, placing him second in the VM55 age category and bagging himself more than 80 points in the series. Gerry produced a confidence-boosting 19:17 and is sure to go quicker in races to come.

The in-form Matthew Williamson was next, making his 5K debut with a very strong 19:32. Following on was Andrew Pask who was disappointed to miss out on a sub-20min run with 20:12, whilst seasoned parkrun competitor Peter Bonner ran a PB time of 20:25. The ever-consistent Catherine Payne continued her fine performances with 20:42, placing her first in the VW50 age category.

GRC's Louise Fenton, Lizzie Potter and Rosalind Sadler at Edinburgh.

GRC's Louise Fenton, Lizzie Potter and Rosalind Sadler at Edinburgh.

Robert McArdle was third in the VM55 age category with a solid 21:46 and Suzanne Brize made an impressive debut with 25:07.

GRC members now turn their attention to the next event in the Grand Prix series which is the Woodhall Spa 10k.

l Four members of Grantham Running Club made the trip to Deeping St James on Sunday to take part in the Deepings 10k.

The charity race, organised by the Deepings Rotary Club, takes place on the country lanes around the village. The course is very flat, meaning there was potential for personal best times. However, there was a moderate breeze which slowed runners down slightly on the day.

First to finish for GRC was new but experienced member Tony Johnson with a very impressive time of 39:12, placing him 11th overall in the field of 239 runners. Just five places behind was Gav Meadows who narrowly missed out on going under 40 minutes with a time of 40:25.

Gav said: “I knew that Tony was one to watch in this race and unfortunately I made the mistake of trying to stay with him. This cost me dearly and led to a very poorly paced race. I ran the first mile far too quickly and paid the price.”

Next over the line for GRC was Peter Bonner who continued recent good form with a PB of 42:33. This bettered his previous best by 21 seconds, and without the wind he may well have gone under 42 minutes.

Despite having to stop for a break due to feeling unwell, Vicky Willan soldiered on and made it to the end, recording a time of 1:05:50. There is no doubt that she is well capable of going under 60 minutes, but it just was not to be on the day.

l A trio of runners from Grantham RCtravelled north to take part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival.

Louise Fenton, Lizzie Potter and Rosalind Sadler contested the half-marathon, the largest race any of them had taken part in, with more than 9,000 runners.

An early start time of 8am was appreciated due to a very warm and sunny day. The race took in a few miles of the historic city, including Holyrood Park, before heading east along the stunning coast which provided a much welcomed sea breeze, taking in Portobello Beach and Musselburgh racecourse before looping back at mile 11 towards the finish. There was plenty of fantastic support from the crowds and well-placed water stations at regular intervals.

Rosalind and Lizzie were only a second apart with finish times of 2:17:30 and 2:17:31 respectively. Louise Fenton finished in 2:21:56.

All thoroughly enjoyed the well-organised race, especially the goody box which included a brilliant medal and T-shirt.