ATHLETICS: Grantham ultra-runners tackle Bullock Smithy

From left, Grantham Running Club's Ben Mason, Ben Hatherley and Paul Rushworth await the strike of the anvil ahead of the Bullock Smithy.
From left, Grantham Running Club's Ben Mason, Ben Hatherley and Paul Rushworth await the strike of the anvil ahead of the Bullock Smithy.
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Three members of Grantham Running Club took part in the 40th anniversary of the 56-mile Bullock Smithy ultra-running event in the Peak District.

Distance runners Ben Hatherley, Ben Mason and Paul Rushworth travelled to Hazel Grove to run the circular route which has more than 8,000ft of ascent, including climbs of Chinley Churn, Edale Cross and Cave Dale.

Entrants have 24 hours to complete the event which begins at noon with the traditional strike of a smithy’s anvil. The conditions for ultra-running were ideal with a cool breeze during the day and a bright moon illuminating the night sections as the trio descended from the hills back towards the distant lights of Manchester.

Each of the Grantham runners returned to finish before 1am, with Paul arriving in 11hr 22min and the two Bens running home together in 12.31.

Ben Hatherley said. “It was good to run strong and return with a personal best time for my third completion. The event has a great atmosphere and the organisers serve a good fried breakfast for each finisher, which is a welcome gesture after 56 miles.”

l Grantham RC’s Gav Meadows started a very busy month of races in the build-up to the Robin Hood Marathon with the Northampton Half-marathon on Sunday.

He ran a new personal best of 1.32.55, beating his previous best by almost three minutes. He finished 64th in a field of 530. Gav said. “I knew at the start of this race that I had a very good chance of running a new PB as this course was relatively easy compared to some of the races I’ve ran recently. However, I didn’t expect to beat my old PB as convincingly as I did. I’m very pleased with my progress and it really feels like things are starting to come together at just the right time.”

Gav is running the Robin Hood Marathon in aid of Dementia UK and you can sponsor him at

l Holly Durham won Grantham RC’s annual handicap race, held on the Summer Solstice course at Long Bennington.

Results. Holly Durham 45.43, Mark Wilson 40.35, Tony Madge 43.29, Louise Fenton 1.00.02, Jamie Garcia 46.56, Richard Dobbs 48.16, Magaretta Murray 1.00.28, Lorna Fox 50.30, Andy Atter 42.21, Neil Emerson 46.55, Lizzie Potter 57.25, Andrew MacAllister 46.47, Anthony Chamberlain 46.57, Gwenda Williams 53.52, Justyna Gill 1.01.19, Catherine Payne 44.12, Scott Jones 40.57, Mark Hillson 51.24, Ben Mason 51.26, Paul Rushworth 51.32, John Ellerby 48.44, Simon Ashworth 54.15, Phil Hall 54.22, Penny Hodges 43.35, Arthur Short 39.00, Gavin Meadows 41.16, Robert Howbrook 40.40, Emma Weighill 1.03.08, Sarah High 50.07, Chris Armstrong 41.52, Matthew Kingston-Lee 35.57, Andrew Pask 42.41, Chris England 1.03.51, Paul Durham 50.26, Keith Measures 49.17, Brendon Buckley 1.02.56.

l Normally seen putting the shot or coaching the hammer at The Meres stadium, Grantham Athletic Club’s Phil Garner this week ran the Newark 5km parkrun and was rewarded with a PB, knocking 35sec off his previous best.

Results: Newark – 103 Phil Garner 30.06; Cannons Hill – 17 Naomi Collier 18.41; Melton Mowbray – 31 John Ellerby 25.37.