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Grantham Running Club trio take on Leeds Half Marathon

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Grantham Running Club's Esther Fraser-Betts and John Nevard made the trip up the A1 for the Leeds Half Marathon last Sunday, along with second claim member Alex Curtis.

The route started in The Headrow, with runners heading out of the city centre, taking in a section of the ring road and returning via Abbey Road and Kirkstall Road, past historic Kirkstall Abbey before finishing at Millennium Square. The final couple of miles being the same fast segment as the Leeds 10k Abbey Dash.

The course was moderately hilly with a steady incline from miles 2.5 to 4.5 and a shorter one at 6-7 miles. The second half was a mix of downhills. Around 700ft of incline overall, it was probably not the easiest HM course but not the worst either.

Grantham Running Club's John Nevard in action at the Leeds Half Marathon. (56691715)
Grantham Running Club's John Nevard in action at the Leeds Half Marathon. (56691715)

The city centre sections were very well supported and there were plenty of sweets being handed out to runners, with motivational signs aplenty. It was warmer than predicted and the garden hoses and water pistols were a welcome addition.

Esther ran an excellent race, chalking up a personal best of 2hr 4min 34 sec, which was nearly three minutes quicker than her Robin Hood Half last September, and so a sub two hour HM is well within reach.

After running with Esther until around the 10-mile mark, John drifted off the pace and crossed the line 2:08:36, but he was nevertheless was generally happy with the race after limited training.

The performance of the day, though, was by GRC second claimer Alex Curtis (Werrington Joggers) who ran a massive four minute PB, finishing in 1:21:42.

Grantham College student Alex was especially pleased with his result, as he is still recovering from Covid, which has moved him into the top 40 half marathon runners in his age group in the UK.

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