A total of 16 runners from Grantham Running Club took part in the Stamford Striders St Valentine’s 30K last Sunday.
The undulating road race, which equated to 18.6 miles, was the second of a trio of races regularly used by local runners preparing for a spring marathon. The course started at Stamford Welland Academy and made its way through Little Casterton before the runners embarked on a loop taking in Great Casterton, Holywell, Careby, Aunby and Tolethorpe. The route then went back through Little Casterton before the finish at the academy.
Conditions on the day were very windy, making an already challenging race a little tougher.
First to finish for GRC was Joe Clarke in a personal best time of 2hr 8min 58sec – knocking a huge 21 minutes off his previous attempt at the distance back in 2014.
Matt Kidd crossed the line 22 seconds later in his debut race in the green and black of GRC, and his first attempt at the distance. He clocked an impressive 2:09:20, narrowly beating Matthew Williamson who was seven seconds behind, setting a new PB of 2:09:27 – bettering his 2017 result by more than seven minutes.
The fourth finisher in this close group of runners was Andrew Pask. He also set a new PB of 2:10:21 – more than three minutes quicker than his previous best.
The next two runners provided a thrilling finish, with Gav Meadows chasing down Dean Riggall for the last two miles, narrowly failing to beat him to the line. Dean continued the string of impressive GRC PBs in less than ideal conditions with a time of 2:12:58. Gav was 28 seconds outside his PB, clocking 2:13:04.
Holly Durham was next with yet another PB of 2:18:10. She also finished an impressive third in the Female Veteran 35 category. Next was Sam Clark – another GRC debutant. He finished in a solid time of 2:22:44 in his first attempt at the distance.
Catherine Payne and Robert McArdle both recorded impressive age grade performances – they were the only two GRC runners on the day to break the 70 per cent barrier. Catherine finished in 2:23:15 with an age grade score of 77.86 per cent and also placed second in the Female Veteran 50 category. Robert was seconds behind, clocking 2:23:37 which gave him an age grade score of 72.62 per cent. He placed fifth in the Male Veteran 55 category.
Given the windy conditions, it was a good day at the office for GRC with some hard earned PBs and impressive performances all round.
Attentions now turn to the Ashby 20 and various other races that club members have chosen as they look to complete the longest runs of their marathon training block.