There was a record number of runners taking part in round five of the Grantham Running Club’s Grand Prix series at Woodhall Spa last Sunday.
With several withdrawals due to injury, the club still managed to field 43 runners. This is a very popular race, selling out months in advance and attracting runners from right across the Midlands to compete on this flat course through the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside.
Despite being without some of their fastest runners, the GRC team gave a good account of themselves with five athletes going sub-40 minutes and eight runners in the top 100 out of a starting line-up of almost 1,200. GRC also picked up two of the Ladies’ Age Category prizes.
First home for the club was the experienced Tony Johnson in 38min 42sec, closely followed by Ben Hodgkin. Next in was Rob Howbrook to set a club age grading record for 10k, with Andy Atter and Matt Williamson setting PBs as both went sub-40 for the first time.
Although it is too early in the season for the more experienced runners to PB, the newer runners such as Richard Payne and Peter Boner not only took a huge chunk off their previous bests but laid down a marker as to what there could be yet to come.
First female runner for the club was Holly Durham on her way back from an injury lay-off, with Catherine Payne not far behind, also setting a new age grading club record for the ladies’ 10k.
Nicola Cottam continues her good performances this year and, despite starting near the back of the field, made excellent progress to get a sub-50 finish, as did Martin Carter.
Tracy Footitt’s 10k debut finished in a respectable 1:12:59, giving her a solid foundation to build upon. Both Ros Sadler and Jacqueline Jacobs knocked minutes of their 10k PBs.
CJ Walker-Lees, a graduate of the club’s couch to 5k course in 2016, achieved a PB. She said she was “chuffed and elated” and attributed her success in part to the support of fellow runners and spectators.
Results: 40 Tony Johnson 38:42, 48 Ben Hodgkin 39:06, 54 Robert Howbrook 39:30, 57 Andy Atter 39:33, 69 Matthew Williamsonn 39:59, 75 Paul Davis 40:31, 85 Richard Payne 40:58, 101 Scott Jones 41:35, 103 Peter Bonner 41:36, 121 Holly Durham 42:48, 135 Catherine Payne 43:23, 143 Dean Riggall 43:57, 151 Thomas Williamson 44:28, 166 Robert McArdle 44:57, 190 SJ Willis 45:45, 219 Nev Chamberlain 47:11, 225 Liam Vincent 46:54, 292 Tommy Napier 49:33, 303 Andrew McAllister 49:44, 305 Martin Carter 49:48, 306 Paul Durham 49:38, 340 Sarah High 50:49, 343 Caroline Davis 50:57, 354 Nicola Cottam 49:47, 381 Sinead McDonnell 52:09, 509 Jacqueline Jacobs 56:14, 532 Rosalind Sadler 55:48, 596 Andy Barradell 58:51, 606 Bianca Parnaby 58:58, 619 Sue Swann 58:44, 639 Tom Durham 59:44, 677 Karen Carling 1:00:38, 686 Vicky Willan 1:00:57, 734 Jonathan Lill 1:03:32, 737 Yvette Taylor 1:03:11, 739 Brendon Buckley 1:03:18, 747 Julia Colville 1:04:12, 808 Belinda Baker 1:05:47, 829 CJ Walker 1:07:33, 834 Angela Carr 1:07:52, 874 Lynn Fisher 1:09:44, 920 Tracy Footitt 1:12:59, 937 Sarah Pask 1:15:31.