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Runners battle the heat in St Ives 10

Pictured from left are Robert McArdle, Catherine Payne, Tracy Webb and Julia Hallam. (3142350)
Pictured from left are Robert McArdle, Catherine Payne, Tracy Webb and Julia Hallam. (3142350)

Four members of Grantham Running Club travelled to St Ives in Cambridgeshire for the 26th annual running of the St Ives 10K on Sunday.

The field of just over 400 runners was well down on the previous year mostly due to the hot conditions with a large number of no shows. The course was an undulating 10k out-and-back course with a steady long incline leading up on to the top of the exposed airfield. A combination of the late starting time and the absence of shade made it very tough for runners.

First runner home for Grantham was Catherine Payne in a time of 45min 18sec, giving her first place in the FV50 category by more than five minutes and showing a 20-second improvement on last year. Next home for GRC in a time of 47:26 was Robert McArdle, dropping only five seconds from the previous year’s mark to finish third in his age category.

Third back for GRC was Tracy Webb, tackling the race for the first time, and while her time of 67:54 was outside her best it was still a tremendous run in the heat. Having set off to run with the more experienced Julia Hallam, she was “instructed” to push on when the effects of the direct sun took its toll on Julia just before 4k.

Despite coming into the race short of training and with the pressure of a very good run at this event last year, Julia was determined to finish and had to dig deep to do so; reduced to a walk just after the hill, she managed to get going somehow and bravely finished in 76:21.

It was a harsh reminder that personal bests are often the easiest runs but when you are having a bad day it tests you even more, and this was not a day you wanted to be on the course for a minute longer than you had to be.

All of the Grantham runners enjoyed the challenging course and said that they look forward to next year's event but would appreciate an earlier start, a cooler day and a smaller hill.


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