ATHLETICS: Grantham RC take on Halloween Half Marathon

Chris Limmer, Matthew Kingston-Lee, Peter Bonner and Robert Howbrook.
Chris Limmer, Matthew Kingston-Lee, Peter Bonner and Robert Howbrook.
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Nineteen members of Grantham Running Club took part in the 36th edition of the Worksop Halloween Half Marathon on Sunday.

The race, the majority of which takes place in Clumber Park, manages to combine a highly competitive race atmosphere, partly thanks to a generous and extensive prize structure, with an infectious party vibe.

Julie Gilbert, Rosalind Sadler, Nicola Cottam, Nicola Fahy, Shelly Daulhaug;= and Mags Murray.

Julie Gilbert, Rosalind Sadler, Nicola Cottam, Nicola Fahy, Shelly Daulhaug;= and Mags Murray.

First home for GRC was Matthew Kingston-Lee. A week on after winning the Thoresby 10, Matthew put in another strong performance to finish fifth overall and second V40, clocking a season’s best 1hr 16min 24sec. “I was really pleased with how the race unfolded,” commented Matthew. “I was in around twelfth position after the first mile then suffered a side stitch which had me struggling until it thankfully disappeared at around five miles.

“Feeling much better, I was able to start picking off runners one by one. Given that there is barely a flat section along the course, I was really happy with the finishing time.”

Also very pleased with his performance was Chris Limmer who finished 38th in 1.22.15. This was despite his right trainer falling apart before the start of the race and having prepared for the event by running from Grantham to Nottingham along the canal six days earlier.

Rob Howbrook was third home for GRC in 1.30.08. Happy to be two minutes quicker than his last half marathon at Peterborough, he appears to be returning the form which sees him lead the club’s inaugural Grand Prix Series with four rounds remaining.

New club member Dan Towey was prised off his sick bed to finish in 1.33.23, just ahead of Peter Bonner, who ran another strong race to finish just half a minute off his recent personal best in 1.33.47.

Catherine Payne was the first GRC female to finish, clocking 1.36.44, and taking second in the V50-54 category. Catherine has shown remarkable consistency thus far in 2017. This was her slowest of three half marathons, but only 14 seconds slower than her fastest and arguably the strongest performance given the undulating nature of the course.

Behind Catherine, Paul Davis was next to finish in 1.40.51. Both he and wife Caroline looked distinctly weary at the finish having raced the day before and extensively over the past month.

Mark Hillson finished ahead of Kevin Kettle, who bettered his HM PB by two minutes, running 1.46.06. A frustrated Tony Johnson was next to finish, hobbled by injury and recent illness. He finished ahead of an elated Russell Maksymiw, who broke two hours on his half marathon debut, finishing in a fine 1.56.22.

Another half marathon debutant, Chris Gearren, also broke two hours, finishing in 1.57.24.

Of the club’s other finishers – Nicola Cottam, Nicola Fahy, Margaretta Murray, Julie Gilbert and Ros Sadler – special praise was lauded to Shelly Dalhaug who completed the race despite suffering a nasty chest infection. She in turn thanked Julie and Ros who all ran together and collectively crossed the line as one in 2.25.50.