Grantham club duo tackle half marathon
Grantham Running Club duo Tony Johnson and Gav Meadows took part in the St Neots Half Marathon.
The race, organised by Riverside Runners, started in Eynesbury just outside St Neots.
From there, the course headed south for a mile before a figure-of-eight taking in the villages of Lansbury, Abbotsley, Waresly and Eynesbury Hardwicke. The final mile was the first mile in reverse, taking the runners back to Eynesbury for the finish. The course was moderately challenging with a total climb of 411ft.
The weather on the day was perfect for running – a clear, sunny day with very little wind and temperatures well over 10 degrees Celsius.
Tony adopted his usual aggressive strategy of starting the race at a fast pace and trying to maintain it throughout. It was clear from the start that his impressive run of recent form was likely to continue.
Passing Gav at the one mile mark, he was clearly in a positive mood. Running an even paced race, Tony crossed the finish line in an outstanding time of 1hr 25min 32sec.
This was good enough for seventh position in the Male Veteran 50 category. Furthermore, it was a season’s best – bettering his already impressive time by almost two minutes.
Tony also played his ‘joker’ for the GRC Grand Prix Series, adding this race to the standard list of races included. His timing could not have been better, taking full advantage of his best age grade score of the year (78 per cent).
Gav was looking for continued improvement after his recent return to good form at the Amsterdam Half Marathon. This was also the first of a series of races to supplement his training for the Barcelona Marathon in March.
His day got off to a bad start as he felt a mystery niggle in his left shin throughout his warm-up. This continued to bother him for the whole race.
Gav said: "I have no idea where this problem came from. I felt no pain during my easy run on the Friday before the race. At mile eight, the pain reached a peak, to the point where I was doubting my ability to finish the race.
"Luckily, it eased off from there although my pace slowed significantly."
Despite his troubles, Gav battled on to a season’s best, finishing in 1:30:38 which bettered his Amsterdam time by a little more than a minute.