ATHLETICS: Grantham RC graduates celebrate success

Penny Hodges (sitting) with graduates of the Grantham Running Club Couch to 5k and 10 Weeks to 10k schemes. Photo: Matthew Kingston-Lee
Penny Hodges (sitting) with graduates of the Grantham Running Club Couch to 5k and 10 Weeks to 10k schemes. Photo: Matthew Kingston-Lee

Grantham Running Club celebrated the graduation of its 2016 ‘Couch to 5k’ and ‘10 Weeks to 10k’ runners with a barbecue and presentation evening at Great Ponton Village Centre on Friday.

The two schemes, first run by the club in 2015, attracted 66 novice runners who took part in twice weekly runs on Mondays and Wednesdays, beginning on April 4 and ending just before the club’s Summer Solstice 10k race on June 17.

An impressive 52 successfully completed one of the two courses, the majority of whom were present at the barbecue to collect their commemorative technical T-shirts, applauded by club members, friends, and family.

Penny Hodges, who was one of a team of GRC Run Leaders who assisted with the schemes, presented the T-shirts to the graduates with fellow Run Leader Michelle Allbones, who herself was a graduate of the club’s 2015 ‘Couch to 5k’ campaign. The pair was assisted over the 10 weeks by numerous club members including Lizzie Potter, Gordon Geach, Rick Dobbs, Sarah High, and Paul Durham.

Penny said: “I’m so proud of our runners who completed either of the schemes, they all did brilliantly and it’s great to see that half of the graduates have decided to join the club, with more set to follow.”

Grantham Running Club chairman Matthew Kingston-Lee was equally full of praise for the runners and for the club members who helped set up and run the two courses: “When I saw over 60 runners attend the first session on a cold, wet Monday at the leisure centre, I was simply blown away. It was an evening grim enough to deter the most seasoned of runners, but from the first evening there was an enthusiasm and determination to succeed that was infectious and inspiring.

“These two schemes are great as they gradually increase the volume of running when a common mistake by newcomers is to do too much, too fast, too soon – which often results in either getting injured or finding it too exhausting. Having experienced runners on hand to offer encouragement and advice when required is a massive help for those new to running.

“For our runners to achieve the milestones of 5km and 10km is a brilliant effort by all and I hope that these 10 weeks prove to be the foundations of a lifetime of running fitness ahead of them.”