Grantham club runners make up a fifth of the field
Representing nearly a fifth of the field, 52 members of Grantham Running Club completed the Newton’s Fraction Half Marathon last Sunday.
Rescheduled from March when it was a victim of the ‘Beast from the East’, Grantham’s only road running race was held in very warm and sunny conditions that had many of the runners longing for a Baltic blast to cool their overheating bodies.
At a race, like many in the warmest English summer on record, where just finishing was a mightily impressive feat, there were many fine performances from GRC runners on a course that is infamous for its tough climbs at Woolsthorpe and Casthorpe, six and 10 miles into the 13.1-mile race respectively.
First home for GRC was Chris Limmer, finishing a fine sixth in 1hr 24min 44sec. He thanked the vociferous home crowd support that kept him going and attributed his recent honeymoon spent in tropical climes to help him cope with the warm conditions.
Next to finish and arguably the performance of the day came from 13th placed Piers Pye-Watson who, with 1:29:15, broke the magic 90-minute barrier on his debut race for the club, in his first half marathon, and his first race since 2012.
Piers was followed by Grant Davies, also making his half marathon debut and clocking a very respectable 1:31:04 – a time he will undoubtedly smash with better conditions. The ever consistent Andrew Pask ran a smart race to finish just behind in 1:31:22, 11 seconds ahead of Peter Bonner. A little further down the field, Adam Wasiolka, Ian McBain, Russell Love and Joaquim Jeronimo all made their half marathon debuts and all did very well in the conditions to break 1:40.
The first GRC woman to finish was Helen Brown who, in her first half marathon for two-and-a-half years, ran well in the tough conditions to clock 1:54:23. She was followed by half marathon debutante Hannah San Jose who suffered in the heat to the point of collapsing post race (thankfully with no lasting damage) in her efforts to finish in 1:56:40. With Caroline Davis finishing just behind in 1:56:42, the trio won the Women’s Team Prize.
They were followed by the ever incredible Julie Braker, who finished in 2:00:19 and claimed the V65+ age category prize with an age graded performance far in excess of any other club member (and better than the race winner).
Claudette Joint and Julie Gilbert were the fifth and sixth GRC women to finish, both breaking 2:10. Joanne Moore was the second fastest female GRC half marathon debutante, clocking a fine 2:15:57.
The race was won by Ben Evison of Skegness Tri Club in 1:16:58, with the women’s race won by Natalie Teece of Stilton Striders in 1:30:16. There were 306 finishers.