Grantham Running Club’s Matthew Kingston-Lee finally claimed his first road race victory on Sunday when he came home first in the fourth edition of the Stilton Stumble 24k.
Conditions were best described as appalling at Cropwell Bishop for the runners lining up to take part in the rarely run distance, with heavy rain sweeping through the area on the back of a steady breeze, leaving parts of the rural course flooded. The race was run in conjunction with a 10k race, which was held in equally bad conditions.
From the off, Matthew took his place at the front of the field and as they left the small village he took the lead and eased out a gap over his rivals. As the weather deteriorated on the run down to Long Clawson, he set about increasing his lead with an even paced effort that saw him pass through 10k in 38min 3sec.
Passing half way in 45:46 and with his fellow competitors nowhere to be seen, it was a long and lonely run back to the finish. Thanks to the rain relenting and the breeze now at his back, Matthew ran the second 10km in a slightly quicker 37:38.
Although tiring in the final stages, his pace barely dropped as Matthew crossed the finish line in 1:31:35, over four minutes clear of second placed Alex Loach of Holme Pierrepoint Running Club.
“I’ve taken part in nearly 150 road races. It was a long time coming but I am very happy to have finally experienced the sweet smell of victory in a road race, even if it had a distinct whiff of blue cheese from the slab of Stilton I won!” joked Matthew after the race.
“The weather made it hard going, but once I established a lead I just focused on maintaining a good pace. I haven’t run much in the past month because of injury and the last few miles felt really hard,” he added.
“I was relieved when I finally saw the finish line – I couldn’t have run much further!”
l Grantham Running Club’s Robert McArdle took part in the Clumber Park 10k Trail Run.
This fantastic multi-terrain race around the beautiful tracks of Clumber Park is with little doubt one of the most picturesque settings for a 10km run in the autumnal colours, less attractive underfoot for the runners was the blanket of leaves on top of the mud which made things a bit slippy.
Robert finished in 48th position in a time of 47:03.
l Grantham Running Club’s Nev Chamberlain headed to the Peak District to run the 24.5-mile Goyt Valley Challenge.
Starting and finishing in Buxton, the off-road course which had a total ascent of more than 1,200 metres included the climbs of Axe Edge and Shining Tor, two of the highest points in the area, before returning via the trails running alongside the valleys reservoirs.
After finishing in 5hr49min, Nev said: “Conditions today were ideal and the recent dry spell meant the moors aren’t yet waterlogged.”