Eighteen members of Grantham Running Club made a great start to the 2017 road racing campaign with a strong showing at the Folksworth 15-mile race on Sunday.
Runners were treated to blue skies, albeit with temperatures barely above freezing for the popular early season test for distance runners.
First home for GRC was Matthew Kingston-Lee, who bettered his previous best time set in 2014 by 18 seconds, finishing seventh overall, and second V40 finisher, in 1hr 28min 21sec.
Matthew commented: “It was a fairly lonely race to be honest. I passed a runner at two miles, pulled clear, but barely saw another competitor for the rest of the race. All I had to keep me concentrated was my watch and the support of the marshals and spectators.”
Chris Limmer followed in 1:32:09, pleased with 13th place and a time several minutes better than his pre-race prediction. Also happy with his run was Gav Meadows – 1:44:34 was four minutes faster than his effort in 2016, whilst Matthew Williamson was thrilled with 1:47:33 – the furthest he has ever raced.
Andy Atter showed great form as he concentrated on marathon pacing, yet still clocked an assured 1:48:23. Rob McArdle (1:54:30) was a fine fifth in the V55 category, just beating Pete Bonner (1:55:25) home, who a day earlier celebrated his 200th parkrun finish at Belton House.
Holly Durham was the first of five female GRC finishers, clocking an excellent 1:49:58, which placed her 14th female and fourth in the FV35 age category. She was followed by Catherine Payne (1:51:13) who ran superbly to be 17th female and first in the FV50 age category.
SJ Willis (2:00:38) was ninth in the FV35 category, Sarah High (2:05:00) a highly creditable fourth in FV40, and Caroline Davis was 10th in FV45, clocking 2:10:21.
Other GRC finishers: Paul Davis 1:53:33, Ben Mason 2:00:34, Gordon Geach 2:05:22, Andrew Spencer 2:05:24, Neil Emerson 2:10:57, Liam Vincent 2:14:07.
The race was won for the fourth year in succession by Aaron Scott of Lincoln Wellington AC in 1:19:16, with Suzy West of Eye Community Runners the first woman to finish in 1:37:45. There were 426 finishers.