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Runners face cauldron of heat at Lincoln race




Grantham Running Club at Lincoln. (2876965)
Grantham Running Club at Lincoln. (2876965)

It was a case of polar opposites when more than 20 members of Grantham Running Club endured the searing heat of Lincoln on Sunday, for the re-arranged Run For All City of Lincoln 10k Road Race.

The original date for the event was March18, when the Beast from the East blew in – the temperature was -1C with wind speeds of 24mph and snow was on the ground with more forecast. On Sunday, temperatures of around 25C with a light breeze and an intense summer sun greeted some 5,000 runners on the start line at the Yarborough Leisure Centre.

The course was laid out around the uphill area of Lincoln and was described as fast and flat, with personal bests a distinct possibility. The figure-of-eight route offered views of Lincoln Cathedral and the Roman walls, with the finish line in the very welcome shadow of the cathedral, and the finishing village within Lincoln Castle square.

In its 22nd year, the race was very well organised with plenty of marshals and very good parking, although the walk back from the finish felt like a marathon in itself. An extra water station was added this year and the sponge station at 6.5km was an inspiration.

The large and enthusiastic ribbon of spectators who lined almost the entire route were much appreciated as their calls of encouragement spurred on heat-stricken legs, especially on the final run in to the picturesque Cathedral Quarter.

Live music and the tropical weather lent a carnival-like atmosphere to the whole event. Most welcome to the overheating runners were the numerous residents who turned their garden hoses toward them for a moment's cool respite.

The extreme heat took its toll on many, but several GRC runners still posted notable results. First home for the club were Richard Payne (00:39:38) and Matthew Atter (00:39:51), both within seconds of personal bests, as was Kevin Kettle (0:45:03) and Julie Braker (00:52:46) continues to excel, again coming first in her age group.

Paul Wenlock (54min 47sec) and Anthony Boyle (56:37) posted excellent times in their debut runs for the club. Tony, having just completed GRC’s 10 Weeks to 10K programme, noted this was a great event, especially for novices, and would highly recommend it to others as a first 10k race.

The course, organisation and support so impressed, several members of the club have already signed up for next year.

Other GRC finishers Rob Howbrook (42:12), Stuart Baty (50:56), Caroline Davis (51:55), Robert Braker (51:58), Suzanne Britz (53:20), Lucy Burgess (54:12), Gavin Skinner (54:57), John Nevard (1:00:27), Justyna Gill (1:01:05), Emma Weatherall (1:02:11), Brendon Buckle (1:02:48), Tracy Webb (1:05:11), Lucinda Gamble (1:05:31), Mark Jessop (1:07:13),Simon Hartley (1:08:13), Claire Fritz (1:11:48), Louise Kennedy (1:12:13), Steve Kennedy (1:12:13), Julia Hallam (1:12:31), Vicki Geeson (1:15:27).

+ More than 500 people including eight members of Grantham Running club took part in the newly named Grimsthorpe Gallop last Sunday.

The event, held in the grounds of the beautiful Grimsthorpe Castle, comprised of four race distances ranging from 5k, 10k, 10 miles and half marathon. In very warm conditions, it was difficult to run fast times.

The four routes took runners past various delights within the private grounds including the castle, lake, tree-lined tarmac avenues, ancient woodland along grassed paths and a Victorian railway culvert. The train line no longer exists, but the 10 and 13.1 mile routes travelled along this section to a part of the world generally unseen by the public.

The race started and finished in front of the castle along the driveway, offering a unique venue. It certainly could not be described as flat.

In the longer event, the half marathon, first home was the ever reliable Tony Johnson in fourth overall and first in his age category with an excellent time of 1:35:18, given the conditions. He was followed by Roz Grindey and Luke Turner who ran together and were both given the same time of 2:21:39.

In the 10 mile, the club was represented by Lucy Hardstaff who finished in 1:42:30.

First home in the 10k was Claudette Joint who finished 13th overall and first lady home in a time of 49:31. She was followed by Stuart Baty in 53:34 and Emma Weighill in 1:02:23.

In the 5k, Louise Kennedy finished in a time of 36:00 on her return from injury and admitted finding the going tough.



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