Grantham Running Club race is hailed as best ever
Last Friday's 10th running of the Long Bennington Summer Solstice 10K was hailed as the best edition of the Grantham Running Club-hosted race to date as 846 finishers enjoyed perfect conditions on an evening when the official course record was broken and numerous personal bests were set.
The 10km course, which has remained mostly unchanged since the race was first held in 2010, is gently undulating for the opening half of the race as it heads out of Long Bennington towards Staunton in the Vale.
The race’s second left turn saw competitors face a short, fairly steep climb past the Staunton Arms pub, followed by a long drag up to Normanton Lane before runners were rewarded with a quick, slightly downhill run back to the finish at Long Bennington.
An in-form Aaron Scott, representing JLF Racing, returned to Long Bennington for the first time since winning the Solstice back in 2016 and dominated from the start, winning the race in 30min 52sec and in so doing smashing the previous course record by 38 seconds.
Runner-up was Grantham local Jake Robinson (Lincoln Wellington AC) who clocked 32:02.
In the women’s race, Sarah Chynoweth claimed her second road race victory of 2019 in an excellent 40:57 – the third fastest ever 10K time by a Grantham Running Club member.
Former Grantham AC member Suzannah Fleming, now of West End Runners, was second in 41:16.
Notwithstanding the large number of club members who volunteered their services to allow the smooth running of the event, GRC was fortunate enough to allow 64 members, plus a number of those who took completed the club’s 10 Weeks to 10K programme, to take part in one of the region’s largest club-hosted road races.
First GRC runner home was Chris Limmer, whose season’s best 37:03 saw him finish ahead of Joaquim Jeronimo, who broke 38 minutes for the first time in a very fine 37:46 – the first of 19 GRC runners to set a personal best in the race: Jamie Walpole (39:04), Daniel Ancliffe (39:17), Ian McBain (41:24), Jack Dodwell (43:32), Sam Dodwell (43:53), Stewart Pick (44:45), Rick Dobbs (50:58), Rachel Pattison (55:09), Rachel Varela (55:13), Kate Marshall (57:26), Sylv Hull (57:14), Howard Rudder (59:51), Paula Ebbins (1:01:23), Sara Pask (1:01:59), Amanda Hetherington (1:03:43), Diana McDonald (1:03:33), Alexandra Platt (1:04:30), Gillian Cardus (1:08:14).
Once again GRC provided four pacers: Jonny Palmer, Stefan Latter, Matt Kidd, and Penny Hodges, who ably helped guide runners towards sub-40, 50, 60 and 70 minute performances.
Race director Ben Mason and volunteer coordinator Andrew Pask were full of praise for the 60 or so volunteers who helped with all aspects of the race’s operation.
Finishers of the race were presented with a bespoke medal and the now customary commemorative half pint glass with a choice of ale or cider provided by Grainstore Brewery and Oldershaw Brewery.
Official race photographs were made freely available courtesy of Richard Hall. Pre and post race refreshments were kindly provided by the Long Bennington Brownies unit.
GRC results: Chris Limmer 37:03, Joaquim Jeronimo, 37:46, Matthew Williamson 38:08, Jamie Walpole 39:04, Daniel Ancliffe, 39:17, Richard Payne 39:45, Gav Meadows 40:13, Joe Diggins 40:17, Sarah Chynoweth 40:57, Sam Clark 40:58, Ian McBain 41:24, Jack Dodwell 43:32, Sam Dodwell 43:53, Stewart Pick 44:45, Russell Maksymiw 44:58, Paul Kelly 45:09, Hannah San Jose 47:38, Daniel Howson 47:59, Matt Fryer 49:05, Phillip Crowcroft 49:46, Richard Smith 50:05, Nicola Cottam 50:35, Maxine Noble 50:42, Rick Dobbs 50:58, Paul Jepson 51:05, Nev Chamberlain 52:27, Claire Williams 52:51, Dale Towning 53:03, Wayne Baxter 53:11, John Nevard 53:36, Peter Storey 53:48, Nichola Webster 54:25, Rachel Pattison 55:09, Rachel Varela 55:13, Sylv Hull 57:14, Kate Marshall 57:26, Claire Martin 58:18, Emma Weatherhill 58:19, Carole Pigott 59:28, Howard Rudder 59:51, Alison Clark 1:01:14, Paula Ebbins 1:01:23, Sara Pask 1:01:59, Lisa Thomas 1:02:06, Suzanne Hardy 1:02:20, Diana McDonald 1:03:33, Amanda Hetherington 1:03:43, Jo Oliver 1:03:47, Amy Jameson 1:03:55, Tracey Gell 1:03:55, Vicky Platts 1:04:25, Alexandra Platt 1:04:30, Shona Ward 1:06:11, Emma Fleet 1:06:14, Fiona Vaughan 1:06:18, Emma Church 1:06:28, Samantha French 1:06:35, Simon Hartley 1:07:00, Louise Kennedy 1:07:19, Gillian Cardus 1:08:14, Judi Allsop 1:08:43, Vicky Willan 1:08:55, Kirsty Truesdale 1:09:30, Vivien Durham 1:18:39.