ATHLETICS: Grantham runner misses his target at Spanish marathon

Gav Meadows

Gav Meadows

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Grantham Running Club’s Gav Meadows took part in the Valencia Marathon in south-east Spain last Sunday.

Notable sights on the 26.2-mile route included the Jardin del Turia, Mercado de Colon and Palua de la Musica, finishing at the stunning Museo de las Ciencias Principe Felipe. The course was very flat and suited to fast running times.

Matthew Williamson

Matthew Williamson

Gav set himself a pretty lofty goal for this race, targeting a new personal best and also the ‘good for age’ time required for the London Marathon in his age/gender category (under 3:05).

In the end he came up short of this difficult target but finished in a very respectable 3hr 14min 35sec, placing 2,409th overall in a field of nearly 18,000 runners. He also placed 626th in his age/gender category and was seven minutes over his personal best time.

Gav said: “I really enjoyed this race. It was my second outside the UK and certainly won’t be my last.

“Highlights were getting my name called out by an announcer over the loudspeaker at mile 21, and a very crowded and noisy finish. The crowd were practically on the course for the last two miles. It was just a corridor of noise.

“I can’t really complain about my performance. I knew that what I was trying to achieve would be very difficult indeed and was fully aware that it might not happen. All I could do was give it my best shot.”

n GRC’s Matthew Williamson finished his first year of road racing with a bonus race courtesy of the injured Nick Rossington who he replaced in this year’s Clowne Half Marathon.

It is incredible that less than 10 months ago Matt struggled to run even a few miles and now he is able to finish in 63rd position in a strong field. There was one other new experience for Matt which was his time of 1:34:07 meant this was the first race he did not set a PB in!

That was no reflection of his progress as this was his toughest and hilliest half to date and on a flatter course he would certainly have claimed a quicker time.

A winter of hard training will ensure that 2017 not only brings more PBs at 10k and half marathon, but also a successful debut at the marathon in Manchester.