Eighteen members of Grantham Running Club took part in the rescheduled Keyworth Turkey Trot on Sunday.
The 35th running of the popular Christmas-themed half marathon was originally postponed on December 10 due to poor weather and although conditions were far from ideal come the rearranged race day, there was never any real danger of the race being called off for a second time. To the disappointment of some, Father Christmas was not available to hand out the post race memento. He did, though, send one of his elves to perform the duty on his behalf.
Attired arguably more appropriately for PyeongChang than South Nottinghamshire, first home for GRC was a well wrapped-up Matthew Kingston-Lee, who improved on his previous best Turkey Trot position by one place to finish sixth overall, clocking 1hr 18min 6sec, in so doing retaining his V40 winner’s title.
“The rescheduled race comes early in my training build-up for the London Marathon, so I went into the race with the mentality of it being a good, hard training run,” commented Matthew. “The stiff, cold wind made the going tough, especially from mile 10 onwards to the finish, but I was pleased with my performance considering the time of year and my limited running in recent months due to injury.”
Second over the line for GRC was Rob Howbrook, another runner in training for a spring marathon, who struggled in the conditions but still finished in a highly praiseworthy 1:33:04. Peter Bonner was next, enjoying an excellent performance to clock 1:33:42, less than a minute outside his half marathon personal best.
Paul Rushworth continued his comeback to full fitness with a fine 1:34:39, ahead of Richard Payne who ran well to 10 miles before struggling with the conditions, terrain, and lack of fitness due to injury in the closing stages, clocking 1:35:58.
Nick Payne ran a very solid 1:42:11, and there was delight for Craig Drury whose 1:47:47 smashed his old PB by just shy of 15 minutes. Chris Toon who sliced more than five minutes off his previous best with 1:48:40. They gave thanks to their pacemaker Chris Limmer (1:48:42) who was using the race as a training run for his upcoming 100-mile ultra race and had run 25 miles the day before.
It was perhaps a baptism of fire for Claudette Joint to experience such tough conditions in her first ever half marathon, but her perseverance was rewarded with a sub-two hour 1:56:18, just ahead of Robert Braker who clocked 1:56:53. Sinead McDonnell (2:01:28) and Suzanne Britz (2:01:33) were separated by just a few seconds at the finish, ahead of Marc Tremain (2:02:52) and Hazel Dunthorne (2:07:26), who ran excellently to take nearly four minutes off her previous best.
New club member Luke Turner took part in his first ever race, running well to finish in 2:13:59, ahead of Brendon Buckley who ran well to finish just three seconds slower than his PB with 2:21:27.
Unfortunately, Penny Hodges had to drop out at around three miles, suffering the lingering effects of a heavy cold, but hoped to be back out marathon training in the next few days.
The race was won by Matthew Nutt of Holme Pierrepont in 1:15:26, with the women’s race won in 1:26:41 by Nicola Stevenson of Poplar Running Club. There were 695 finishers.