ATHLETICS: Grantham RC’s marathon men tackle Leicester event

Gav Meadows and Paul Davis.
Gav Meadows and Paul Davis.
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Grantham Running Club’s Gav Meadows and Paul Davis took part in the Leicester Marathon.

The moderately challenging course started and finished in the city, taking in various parks and surrounding villages climbing 419ft along the way.

The GRC pair were no strangers to the 26.2-mile distance, having completed numerous marathons in recent weeks and months.

Gav crossed the line first in 3hr 31min 38sec, finishing 143rd in the field of 672 runners. This was his ninth marathon since February as he closes in on his target of completing 12 marathons over a 12 month period. It was also his last long race before the Valencia Marathon next month – his main target race for the autumn.

Gav said: “I set off with the intention of trying to maintain a pace of around 7min 30sec per mile. I managed to stay below 8min per mile until mile 20, then my pace gradually dropped off. This result could’ve been better but wasn’t a disaster by any means.”

Paul finished soon after in a time of 3:38:09, a very solid performance especially considering that he’s been running marathons most weekends of late. Over a 15-day period, he has completed the Leicester Marathon, the Yorkshire Marathon, and the Spires and Steeples Challenge (see below), not to mention several other marathons beforehand.

l Four members of Grantham Running Club took part in the Spires and Steeples trail event on Sunday.

Opting for the 26-mile route (there is a 13-mile option), which started at Wickham Gardens in Lincoln, the race followed public footpaths and bridleways through the Lincolnshire countryside and several villages to the National Centre for Art and Design in Sleaford.

The start of the race coincided with the onset of heavy rain which persisted all morning. This resulted in the route being slippy and hazardous in some places, generally tough going, and appalling underfoot across four recently ploughed fields in particular.

Despite the muddy, wet conditions and it being hard going, Paul Davis was first back for the club in a great time of 3:51. Sarah High finished in 4:37, followed by Caroline Davis in 4:56 and Nev Chamberlain in a time of 5:21.

Sarah commented: “If you like trail events, this is definitely one to do; despite the weather conditions and mud, I’ll still enter again next year.”