Forecast heavy rain did not put off many heading to the eighth annual Ponton Plod on Sunday.
Entries to this year’s event were slightly down on last year, with 212 taking part. Thankfully, the heavy rain never arrived, with runners instead enduring just two showers during the day.
They chose between a 27-mile route, 17-mile route and 12-mile route, all starting in Great Ponton. The longer of the two passed through Stoke Rochford, Skillington, Buckminster, Sproxton, Saltby, Croxton Kerrial, Harston, Denton, Harlaxton, Hungerton and Wyville, before heading back to Great Ponton.
First home on the 12-mile route was Chris Smith from Ancaster, running for Toonie Express, and in eighth place was Abigail Schofield, of Grantham Running Club.
On the 17-mile route, the first local runner home was Graham Henderson from Long Bennington, in fourth position.
The 27-mile route featured several local runners. First home was Paul Rushworth, followed by Arthur Short, both of Grantham Athletic Club.
In 12th position were Robert McArdle, Catherine Payne and Ben Mason, from Grantham RC, who were treading on each other’s heels at the finish line.
For one entrant, this year’s Ponton Plod was a very special one indeed. It was the 150th marathon for Norman Gosbee, of Ropsley Road Runners.
Entrants came from as far as Cheshire, Newcastle upon Tyne, Essex, Hertfordshire, Warwickshire, Sussex and Dublin. One woman came from Australia for her second Plod – having enjoyed the run two years ago, she vowed to return.
Food and drink were served at checkpoints, while at the finish line runners tucked into homemade soups, apple pie and lemon meringue.
Organiser Stuart Ashley said: “Our thanks go to all those who helped on the day which for many was a 12-hour non-stop shift, especially those serving the food in the kitchen.”
Of the money raised, £200 will go to children’s charity World Vision, while the remaining £1,500 will go to Besso Children’s Home in Hosur, India.
* For full results visit: www.thepontonplod.co.uk