ATHLETICS: Grantham RC pair race in Northern Ireland

Sara Pask crosses the finish line in Portrush.

Sara Pask crosses the finish line in Portrush.

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Grantham Running Club’s Andrew and Sara Pask competed in the inaugural Portrush Five-mile Road Race whilst on holiday near Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.

The scenic race started in front of the famous Royal Portrush Golf Club, home of the 2019 Open Championship.

With a steady climb for the first two miles, the Grantham pair gritted their teeth knowing that the second half of the race would be easier with the course running along the stunning Causeway Costal Route.

Andrew was first to finish on Portrush East Strand with a time of 33min 12sec. GRC beginners’ course graduate Sara finished strongly to post a time of 50:08.

Sara said: “The course was incredible and the views really kept me going. I’d like to have ran a faster time but having recently returned from injury I was just pleased to be on the start line again.”

l Grantham RC’s Gav Meadows made the short trip to Billingborough on Bank Holiday Monday to take part in the first staging of the village’s 10km race.

This was basically a test event and was kept small and low key with only 100 runners lining up on the start line. There was also 5km Fun Run which set off just before. The whole event was a huge success and next year should see a much bigger affair.

Gav crossed the finish line comfortably in a time of 43:52. He said: “This was a pretty challenging 10k with some long, steady climbs and some fairly hot weather too. I felt that I paced it quite well and couldn’t have performed much better on the day, all considered.

“Although small, this was a very enjoyable and well organised event, and I have no doubt that it will become a fixture on the local race calendar when it expands next year.”

l Grantham RC were represented at the inaugural Gilberdyke 10 road race, and event promoted as an ideal stepping stone for the autumn big city half marathons.

Unusually for a 10, the course was a single lap and took advantage of some flat land on the banks of the Humber, making it an exacting route. Humber Tri Club were delighted to welcome more than 300 entrants to the race which was well supported by the local clubs.

GRC’s Catherine Payne started well but was unable to sustain the pace over the final two miles, despite this she finished in a personal best time of 71:03 to finish as fifth lady and collect the prize for first in her age group. Continuing his return from injury, Robert McArdle finished in a time of 74:43 in his fastest 10 for almost two years.