A total of 12 runners from Grantham Running Club made the trip to Shipley Park in Heanor on Sunday to take part in the third fixture of the North Midlands Cross Country League.
The course was challenging to say the least with constant undulations and sticky mud which was no doubt made worse by the wintry weather during the week. The weather on the day was mild and overcast with very little wind.
The ladies raced first and tackled a two lap course of approximately 6km. They had no choice but to embrace the mud from the start. First home was Sarah High in a time of 37min 40sec. Justyna Gill put in a good run and was second lady back in 45:28. Nicola Cottam and Nicola Fahy, both nursing injuries, brought home the team in 46:00 and 46:06 respectively. The team are now ninth in the veteran ladies’ league with one more fixture remaining.
Next, the men took on a course of approximately 10km (closer to six miles), consisting of one short lap and two long laps. By this time, the course was even muddier thanks to the men’s race being last on the schedule.
Veteran Rob Howbrook led the way for GRC with a fine performance. He recorded a time of 43:30 and was closely followed by Dan Towey (43:37) and Gav Meadows (43:50). Next home was Matthew Williamson (44:41) who was disappointed with his run after suffering the effects of a stitch throughout the race.
Peter Bonner finished in 46:15 and commented afterwards that he may have started the race too fast and paid the price. He was followed by Kevin Kettle (51:06) and Daniel Howson (54:45).
Last, but by no means least, was Andrew McAllister who finished in 57:59.
Despite having four female and eight male runners taking part, GRC are struggling to be competitive across the different age/gender categories due to more numbers being required.
l Two members of Grantham Club took part in the Stockport 10 mile road race in South Manchester on Sunday.
The undulating course provided a stiff early winter test, mainly on the road, but with a short one-and-a-half mile muddy off-road section. There were two challenging climbs at five miles and eight-and-a-half miles.
The course, although well marshalled, was not traffic free and runners took responsibility for their own safety and awareness of hazards along the way.
This year’s event was run in dry conditions, however it was wet underfoot after significant rainfall the previous week.
A total of 994 runners finished the race. Paul came home in 160th position in a time of 1:10:00. Lizzie Potter, racing the distance for the first time, finished in 1:38:38.