Summer Solstice race attracts 900 to Long Bennington
Grantham Running Club welcomed nearly 900 runners to their sold-out flagship Summer Solstice 10km event at Long Bennington last week.
Now in its ninth year, the event has reached cult status on the local running scene and this year it did not disappoint.
Runners and spectators were fortunate to enjoy warm, wind-free conditions, making the scenic course even more enjoyable.
Local businesses were on hand to help, with one in particular getting involved; The Staunton Arms, one of the landmark locations on the course at 6km, helped cool the runners by placing a water sprinkler by the side of the road.
Despite needing to provide more than 70 volunteers to stage the event, GRC were still able to allow 74 runners to take to the start line, many of them graduates from the recent 10 weeks to 10km beginners' programme.
With a fairly flat, fast course which straddles the Lincolnshire/Nottinghamshire border and in great conditions, personal bests were a certainty.
The top end of the race was run in unusual circumstances. After stopping to help an injured runner at 3km, the lead pack returned to the race. Martin Dawson, Jake Richardson and pre-race favourite Shane Robinson made up the top three respectively.
First home in a GRC green vest was the ever-consistent Chris Limmer who finished an impressive 12th with a time of 36min 4sec, just outside of his PB which he set on this course two years ago.
Next was the ever-improving Grant Davies, beating his PB which he set in the Woodhall Spa 10km three weeks ago by around a minute, with an outstanding 37:58. Returning from injury and back amongst the PBs was Matthew Williamson with 39:01.
First lady home, also returning from injury and running her first 10k race was Hannah San Jose with 49:06, a time which even she was surprised with given the amount of training she was able to do.
Suzanne Britz was next with 52:23, closely followed by Julie Braker in 52:25. Julie, also returning from injury, was first in her V70 age category, scoring a national standard age grade score of 85.7 per cent.
A total of 19 PBs were posted by club members which included: Sam Clark (40:49), Stefan Latter (43:56), Kevin Kettle (45:04), Chris Toon (45:41), ), Wayne Baxter (51:41), Robert Braker (50:20), Chris Gearren (52:31), Bianca Parnaby (53:11), Nic Webster (54:22), Tracey Smith (57:27), Kathleen Gray (58:46), Rachel Pattison (1:00:53), Belinda Baker (1:00:44), Jonathan Lill (1:01:43), Amanda Mumby (1:04:53), Suzie Smith (1:06:4) and Vicki Geeson (1:12:14).
Many members made their debut over the 10k distance, including Joaquim Jeronimo (42:56), Jack Dodwell (45:35), Matt Fryer (46:10), Mark Edwards (50:26), Richard Taylor (51:47), Peter Storey (52:19), Claire Pimlott (56:45), Sophie Wingad (56:52), Vicki Ball (56:56), Emma Weatherhill (57:49), Samantha Clark (59:39), Melissa Hetherington (1:00:04), Rachael Kettle (1:00:40), Vicky Platts (1:02:28), Wendy Fraser (1:08:42), Lyndsey White (1:14:47), Kirsty Carter (1:23:49) and Sharon Wyatt (1:31:32).
Richard Payne (39:42), Matthew Atter (39:48), Matthew Kidd (40:09), Stuart Sinclair (40:24), Andrew Pask (40:57), Nick Rossington (41:54), Scott Jones (41:54), Ian McBain (43:53), Nev Chamberlain (48:00), Stuart Baty (49:11), Paul Jepson (50:02), Martin Carter (50:36), Tommy Napier (51:23), Marc Tremain (51:56), Adam Kettle (52:18), Rick Dobbs (52:48), Gavin Skinner (53:16), John Nevard (53:41), David Lewis (54:13), Hazel Dunthorne (55:55), Hayley Staff (57:08), Jon Whittaker (57:43), Nicola Fahy (58:52), Simon Hartley (1:03:50), Lucinda Gamble (1:04:31), Yvonne Buckley (1:04:46), Janette Dunderdale (1:05:00), Claire Fritz (1:05:25), Amanda Hetherington (1:06:56), Mark Jessop (1:08:21), Julia Hallam (1:09:20), Chloe Amos (1:10:21), Viv Durham (1:19:26).