ATHLETICS: Grantham club runners out in force for Sleaford Half Marathon
The green vests of Grantham Running Club were out in force at the revamped Sleaford Half Marathon, with 21 club members attempting the distance.
The race, hosted by Sleaford Striders Running Club, relocated this year to Sleaford Football Club, using a new course through the villages of Kirkby la Thorpe, Evedon and Ewerby. The new course, more undulating than expected, proved increasingly difficult due to the 20mph northerly winds, with mile nine being uphill into the wind. This did not stop the GRC team from posting fast times, including many personal bests.
Gav Meadows, after a slight wrong turn at 10 miles, was first home in 16th position with a PB time of 1hr 28min 0sec. Matthew Williamson and Andrew Pask were next, racing to the line with Matthew overtaking Andrew on the finish straight to take 21st position with a huge PB 1:29:00, the first time he has finished under the prestigious 1:30:00 mark. Andrew, in 22nd, posted 1:29:04, his second fastest time over the distance.
Gav, Matthew and Andrew ran well enough for GRC to be awarded first place men’s team.
Next home for GRC was Paul Davis in 33rd place, only six days after running the Milton Keynes Marathon and 14 days after the London Marathon, making his PB time of 1:31:33 all the more creditable.
First GRC lady was SJ Willis with a return to form 1:43:35, closely followed by Stuart Reader (1:48:36) and Caroline Davis, also six days after a marathon with a PB 1:49:12. The ever-consistent Sarah High was next with a strong 1:49:56.
Next home with PBs were Sinead McDonnell (1:52:20), Martin Carter (1:52:44) and first-timer Rachel Smith (1:56:04). Nicola Cottam was next with a big PB 1:56:07, her first time under the magical two hour mark.
Tommy Napier was happy with his PB 2:00:27, despite narrowly missing out on a sub-two hour run. The PBs kept coming with Jacqueline Jacobs (2:02:03), Rosalind Sadler (2:10:51) and Lizzie Potter (2:13:04).
Strong times continued with Louise Fenton (2:19:31), Julia Colville (2:23:55), Vicky Willan (2:25:43), Sue Swann (2:25:45) and Magaretta Murray (2:26:10).
The GRC supporters were out in force for this race, with many club members who were not running choosing to come to support fellow clubmates.
The GRC cheerleading team was a welcome sight on the finish straight for every Grantham runner.