Grantham Running Club begins virtual series to boost motivation during lockdown
An impressive 55 members of Grantham Running Club took part in the opening event of the club’s four race series.
With no races on the horizon due to COVID-19 restrictions, the club has looked for other ways to motivate its runners and the virtual series has proven a popular solution.
Tasked with the unusual prospect of ‘racing’ alone, members were given a two week window to cover the distance as fast as they could on a course of their choosing.
Not allowed to choose routes in the town centre or along the canal towpath where social distancing is difficult, most runners opted to run along the surrounding lanes of Grantham.
The outright winner was the ever impressive Johnny Palmer with a time of 16:33, over a minute ahead of his nearest rival Grant Davies (17:38).
Despite running the course around four seconds long by his watch, Johnny was pleased with the win and to be running fast again.
Grant, running for his second club, was delighted with his time which was well ahead of his official personal best set in 2018.
Also running for her second club was Jenny McBain who opted for a course near her home in Bicester.Jenny was the standout performer, claiming maximum points, snatching the Outright Ladies, Age Grade (79.98%) and the VF40 age category.
Her time of 19:12 was a massive return to form despite struggling with a persistent hip injury which is hampering her speed training.
Taking the number two spot outright was Holly Durham who was pleased with her time of 21:27 which is within range of her 2019 best.
Then it was the fast improving Naomi Jepson-Rivers who stormed to a 22:55, nearly a minute ahead of her official best and clearly reaping the rewards of her recent high training mileage.
Age category winners were Dean Riggall (VM40, 19:30), Caroline Davies (VF50, 23:34), Gerry Hyde (VM50, 19:40) and Paul Jepson (VM60, 23:19).
Other results:Phil Devine (18:27), Matthew Williamson (18:59), Joe Diggins (19:01), Andrew Pask (19:09), Sam Jepson-Rivers (19:21), Ben Hatherly (19:39), Andy Atter (20:09), Jack Dodwell (20:12), Stefan Latter (20:12), Gav Meadows (20:41), Alan Carley (21:08), Richard Payne (21:19), Paul Rushworth (21:22), Stuart Pick (21:27), Sam Dodwell (22:14), Mark Hillson (22:55), Warren Stark (22:57), Hannah San Jose (23:57), Chris Armstrong (24:01), Antony Boyle (24:52), Vicki Ball (24:53), Helen Brown (25:25), Sarah High (25:29), Tommy Napier (25:33), John Nevard (25:37), John Southwood (25:49), Peter Storey (26:03), Jacqueline Anderson (26:11), Sylv Hull (26:36), Alison Clark (26:56), Fraser Marshall (27:30), Stephen Fay (28:13), Mark Rice (28:21), Hayley Staff (28:27), Kate Marshall (28:55), Emma Duncan (29:35), Henrietta McCabe (30:08), Sara Pask (30:10), Tracy Webb (30:17), Diana McDonald (31:06), Vicky Willian (32:10), Edina Burns (33:12), Emma Fleet (33:28), Yvonne Buckley (35:16), Becky Rice (35:37).
Next up for the runners is the daunting prospect of ‘racing’ a 10k alone when there will be another round of points all to play for.