ATHLETICS: Grantham RC trio sharpen up at marathon distance

Pictured from left are Robert McArdle, Paul Rushworth and Catherine Payne.
Pictured from left are Robert McArdle, Paul Rushworth and Catherine Payne.
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Three of Grantham Running Club’s distance runners took part in last weekend’s Cambridge Boundary Run to sharpen up for the April road marathons.

The 26.2-mile route traversed roads, footpaths and trails, including a very muddy off-road section, accompanied by several reasonably sized hills.

The three athletes used different strategies to get the most from their day. Ultra-runner Paul Rushworth, who was short of miles following a recent illness, blasted the first half of the course to work on his speed and relaxed the final 13 miles as he concentrated on getting some time on his feet, finishing in 3hr 43min 43sec.

Treating the event as a progression run, to aid recovery in next for next week’s race, Catherine Payne and Robert McArdle started steadily before accelerating from the mid-point to overtake almost 10 per cent of the field in the second half, finishing at above the pace they would expect to run a standard marathon. Catherine’s time was 3.52.09, with Robert clocking 3.52.25.

l On the other side of the world in Australia, GRC clubmate John Blair faced a hot day of 36 degrees for the annual early autumn race – Mountain of Fun Run – a 12.5km event which included the ascent of Mt Warrenheip, near Ballarat.

Luckily for John, the day was still warming up at the 8am start time and the undulating hard course gave runners beautiful views of the surrounding landscape as they climbed to the summit.

John Blair finished in 45th position, sixth in his age category, with a time of 1.07.56.