Club runners take on the 'Plod'
The Ponton Plod is a challenge for both walkers and runners over either 12, 17 or 27 miles which starts and finishes at Great Ponton Village Hall.
All routes use footpaths, bridleways, tracks and minor roads towards the Vale of Belvoir, the longer routes passing through several picturesque villages including Harlaxton, Wyville and Harston. The 10th running of this event raised funds for CASY and the Besso Children’s Home in Hosur, India.
Grantham Running Club had a stellar line-up of endurance athletes for the longest event, leading the way despite it being his first attempt on this route was serial marathon runner Adam Wasiolka.
Although Adam has competed in almost 100 full marathons and regularly does a 26-mile workout along the canal, he was not as familiar with the route as his fellow runners in the lead pack and must have clocked up quite a few miles in excess of the planned 27.8 miles as he put speed in front of map reading. His time of 4hr 42min is sure to be bettered in 2019.
Next home was Paul Rushworth in ninth place with a time of 4:51. Paul is a former winner of this event and has been runner-up twice, so knows the route well.
The third of the GRC guys back was Robert McArdle in 10th position with a time of 4:58, pleased to get under the five hour mark again. The final runner home for the club was Nick Payne, a member of the 100 Marathon Club and a veteran of several 100-miles races, he was able to regard this as no more than a walk in the park as he strolled home in 5:14.
On the 17-mile route, GRC’s Nev Chamberlain was also able to use his experience of the course to finish in joint eighth with a time of 2:51. This year he was joined by Justyna Gill who completed the distance in 4:21.
The 12-mile route attracted six ladies from GRC. First back was Sinead McDonnell, running with her husband in a time of 2:06, just a few minutes slower than last year. Next in were Rachel Varela and Lucy Worthington, finishing in 2:32, with the final trio of Claire Pimlott, Lucinda Gamble and Claire Fritz coming home in 3:06, the latter two tackling the run for the second year in a row.