Solstice 10k proves to be the biggest and best yet

Runners get the Solstice 10k underway.
Runners get the Solstice 10k underway.
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Grantham Running Club

Grantham Running Club’s flagship event, the Summer Solstice 10k, took place last Friday evening along the quiet, gently undulating lanes around Long Bennington.

Sophie Stanley knocked almost 30 seconds off her 10k PB.

Sophie Stanley knocked almost 30 seconds off her 10k PB.

Now in its seventh year, the race attracted 1,000 entrants to make it the largest club-run race in Lincolnshire, beating the 2015 total by more than 200 finishers.

The intermittent rain certainly didn’t dampen the spirts in the sell-out event.

Finishers are rewarded with the Solstice Ale and commemorative glass, which was provided by Grantham brewery Brewsters.

From the off, Stamford AC’s Aaron Scott, 2015 Solstice winner Shane Robinson and James Straw (both Lincoln Wellington AC) proved they were the class of the field, distancing themselves from Adam Holland of Notfast RC and the remainder of the runners.

Aaron pulled clear of the Lincoln Wellington pair to win, just two seconds outside the course record, in a superb 31:32.

Shane Robinson (31:56) was second and James Straw (32:18) was third.

In the women’s race, Philippa Taylor (Stamford) put on a great demonstration of road racing to win by more than a minute in 37:50 from Rebecca Gallop (39:05) and Sophie Darling of Lincoln Wellington, third in 39:24.

Despite having more than 50 of their members marshalling the course, Grantham Running Club’s athletes made their contribution.

Matthew Kingston-Lee became the first GRC runner home in 14th place in a time of 35:27, just edging out Chris Limmer’s 35:35, almost a minute quicker than his previous best time.

Ben Hodgkin followed up from his excellent performance recently at the Woodhall Spa 10k with another fine run to finish in 34th place with a time of 37:58.

The second great battle to the line saw Chris Armstrong (39.43) just nudging ahead of Scott Jones (39.45).

This was Chris’s fastest time in 18 years and for Scott it was not only a personal best time but also the first time that he has crept below the sought-after 40-minutes mark.

Other notable performances saw father and son, Adrian and Nathan Walker, run their first 10ks in creditable times of 49:07 and 43:06 respectively.

Daniel Howson completed the course in 46:41, four minutes quicker than his previous best, and Tim Hodges recorded a PB of 59:40, taking almost nine mutes off his previous mark.

The first GRC lady home wasHolly Durham in 42:04.

Suzanne Britz ran well to beat her three-year best time by nearly five minutes to record 52:00.

GRC times: 14 Matthew Kingston-Lee 35:27, 15 Christopher Limmer 35:35 PB, 34 Ben Hodgkin 37:58, 65 Christopher Armstrong 39:43, 68 Scott Jones 39:45 PB, 113 Holly Durham 42:04, 134 Nathan Walker 43:06, 143 Thomas Williamson 43:34, 218 Daniel Howson 46:41 PB, 273 Warren Stark 48:02, 305 Adrian Walker 49:07, 313 Charnia Kirk 49:28, 342 Sinead McDonnell 50:18, 365 Paul Durham 50:55, 406 Martin Carter 51:54, 409 Suzanne Britz 52:00 PB, 494 Hazel Dunthorpe 54:10 PB, 577 Michelle Allbones 57:30, 629 Timothy Hodges 59:40 PB, 678 Sara Pask 1:02:08, 714 Chris England 1:04:00, 715 Lisa Sharp 1:03:57.

“The event has continued to grow in numbers and stature,” said race director Gordon Geach.

“We offer exceptional value for money for a fantastic race.

“I was backed up by an amazing team, some of whom booked annual leave to help set-up over the day.

“The race could not take place without the support of volunteers who marshal the race and ensure that everything runs smoothly.”

Grantham RC

Twelve Grantham AC members took part in the Summer Solstice 10k at Long Bennington last Friday night.

Sophie Stanley - who has already smashed her marathon PB this year - knocked 29 seconds off her best 10k time.

There were also some good results from the younger section, including Holly Youles and Saskia Hunt while Richard and Dona Hall both competed in their first 10k race.

Results: 55 Arthur Short 39:22, 120 Paul Davidson 42:30, 179 Sophie Stanley 45:09, Mark Tucker 46:35, 312 Janice Davidson 49:25, 339 Holly Youles 50:15, 454 Saskia Hunt 53:36, 472 Richard Hall 54:00, 586 Dawn Hunt 57:49, 670 John Ellerby 61:42, 679 Philip Hall 62:01, 708 Dona Hall 63:24.

The Club also had 10 athletes out at five parkruns on Saturday morning.

Ewan Rodell had a brilliant run at the Belton event, finishing in the top three despite being in the under 13 boys category.

Under 15 Isabel Hobday was the first female over the line by two seconds.

George Hatton continues his good form with a fourth place finish in a quality field at Lincoln, just two seconds outside his PB.

Results: Belton House - 3 Ewan Rodell 20:01, 6 Rori Rodell 20:48, 20 Isabel Hobday 23:10, 61 Joanna McGrath 26:54, 66 Janice Davidson 27:27; Kings Lynn - 96 Richard Hall 25:11, 195 Dona Hall 30:48; Lincoln - 4 George Hatton 18:44; Colwick - 10 Anthony Madge 20:25; Clumber Park - 15 Geoff Collier 22:11.