ATHLETICS: Grantham runner Atter just misses PB at Olympic setting

Andy Atter poses in front of the ArcelorMittal Orbit.
Andy Atter poses in front of the ArcelorMittal Orbit.
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Grantham Running Club’s Andy Atter took part in the winter 10k series in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday.

Set in a phenomenal setting, following in the footsteps of the London 2012 greats, the race consisted of three laps around the confines of the park, running alongside the Olympic Stadium, Copperbox Arena, Aquatic Centre and the iconic ArcelorMittal Orbit.

Some of the Grantham Running Club team prior to the race at East Midlands Airport.

Some of the Grantham Running Club team prior to the race at East Midlands Airport.

Andy ran a strong race, finishing in a time of 42min 1aw, just outside his personal best, in 52nd position out of the 450 runners.

Andy said: “The conditions were perfect and it was a spectacular venue. The short steep inclines made some parts pretty tough, but I would recommend it to anyone.”

Andy has now finished his races for the year but has plenty in store for 2017, including the Greater Manchester Marathon in April.

Seven members of GRC lined up with almost 2,000 others to run the first and possibly only East Midlands Airport 10k.

With the airport being fully closed for maintenance, an occurence that only happens once every 20 years or so, this was certainly a unique opportunity. Due to the time of year the weather was chilly as expected, but luckily also sunny and dry. This, coupled with a surprisingly light breeze for the location, made for optimum running conditions.

The course started and finished in front of the departures hall and took in some of the restricted areas of the airport grounds that members of the public do not usually see. The course included a trip around the fire atation and some of the private and commercial hangars, including a hangar containing a Spitfire on display for the race.

First over the line for the club was Martin Carter with a time of 48:52 and a new PB, followed by Sinead McSonnell just outside her own PB with a time of 50:19. Third home was Sue Swann in 58:54.

Angela Carr was next over the line, also with a PB time of 1:00:26, and Justyna Gill came in at 1:06:16. Yvette Taylor finished in at 1:08:43 with a new PB and Carole Walker also achieved a new PB of 1:12:21.

All involved found the race to be well organised with a great atmosphere.