ATHLETICS: Grantham Running Club take on Belvoir Challenge

Pictured from left are Grantham Running Club's SJ Willis, Gav Meadows and Penny Hodges.

Pictured from left are Grantham Running Club's SJ Willis, Gav Meadows and Penny Hodges.

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Eighteen hardy members of Grantham Running Club took on the Belvoir Challenge, a 15- or 26-mile cross country race through the Vale which promised lots of mud and a few hills too.

In the 15-mile event, Matthew Williamson continued his fine form, coming in first for GRC in 66th in a fantastic 2hr 19min 56sec. First lady in was Penny Hodges who ran it as part of her continued build-up for the London Marathon and came home 129th in 2:37:46.

The cake stops en route lightened the mood among the other runners on course as they battled the mud and afterwards there were many remarks about one particular muddy hill at six miles in.

Meanwhile in the 26-mile event, Chris Limmer was first home for the club.

Starting nearer the front and seeing how the race unfolded, he was catching up with the second placed runner only to take a silly wrong turn around the 13-mile point and dropped to seventh. Thankfully he dug in and reeled the other competitors in and had to dig in to keep hold of his third place in 3:34:13.

First lady in for Grantham was SJ Willis who, much like Penny, enjoyed the mud and scenery and is herself building up to a spring marathon.

SJ ran it alongside seasoned marathoner Gav Meadows who completed the final part of his challenge of 12 marathons in 12 months. Gav is raising money for Sport Relief and is hoping to accrue £500.

The link to Gav’s fundraising page is www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gavs12marathons365

There were some fantastic perfomances and a real club spirit at the finish and on the course and, despite the conditions, many even said that they would be there again next year.

Other results: 26-mile – 30 Paul Davis 4:12:41, 33 Robert Howbrook 4:14:41, 80 Paul Rushworth 4:51:49, 114 Mark Hillson 5:06:27, 121 SJ Willis 5:09:53, 122 Gav Meadows 5:09:53, 129 Sarah High 5:12:48, 150 Andrew Spencer 5:23:32, 163 Nick Payne 5:32:27; 15-mile – 107 Dan Howson 2:33:29, 159 Caroline Davis 2:46:52, 214 Sinead McDowell 2:55:54, 444 Paul Durham 3:48:38, 456 Brendon Buckley 3:50:14, 459 Yvonne Buckley 3:50:29.