Sunday, 17 September 2017


Matt on the podium
Three athletes from Grantham Running Club made the short trip to Rutland Water on Sunday to take part in the 2017 Rutland Marathon & Half Marathon. Both races took place close to the water over undulating & mixed terrain courses including trails, paths & grass. The longer marathon course took in the scenic Hambleton Peninsula. The weather was mild, calm & dry with very little wind - ideal running conditions.

The duo of Matthew Williamson & Gav Meadows opted for the full 26.2 mile marathon distance with their main aim being to complete their final long run before they enter the final stages of their preparation for the Amsterdam Marathon in mid October. Gav said 'We didn't go into this race looking to run particularly fast times. It was more about training than it was about racing. Even with a racing mentality, the tough course meant we had no chance of running personal bests.'

Post race with medals
The pair set off together at a relaxed, steady pace of around 7:45 per mile before Matthew decided to adopt a slightly more aggressive approach & began to pull away around the 5 mile mark. He crossed the finish line in 3:19:01 placing 3rd overall to secure a surprising but well deserved podium finish. He received an unusual horseshoe trophy - a traditional Rutland emblem. An incredible result & Matthew commented afterwards that this was his best performance in any race to date.

Gav's pacing was a bit more up & down as he struggled on the tougher, hillier sections of the course. He said 'I could've felt fresher going into this race but I purposely didn't taper beforehand as the objective at this stage is still training, volume & mileage. My result in the upcoming Amsterdam Marathon is far more important than this one!' He averaged just under 8:15 per mile for the race & finished in 3:35:01 placing 8th in a field of 137. He also commented 'Despite it being one of the tougher sections of the course, I particularly enjoyed running around the Hambleton Peninsula. A very pleasant, scenic area that I haven't really explored before.'

New recruit Matthew Atter opted for the 13.1 mile half marathon course, taking on the distance for the first time in a race. Coming off the back of his impressive sub 40 minute performance in the East Coast Classic 10K the weekend before, he performed admirably. After a slightly quick first few miles, Matthew settled into a pace of around 7 minutes per mile. He maintained this until the finish line posting a time of 1:30:23 & finishing 14th in a field of 549. There is no doubt that he is well capable of breaking the 90 minute barrier on a flatter & more forgiving course.

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking

3 3:19:01 Matt Williamson
62.77% N/A
8 3:35:01 Gav Meadows
58.15% N/A

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking

14 1:30:23 Matthew Atter
66.33% N/A

Report: Gav Meadows

Ponton Plod 12 mile

Ponton Plod 27 mile

Sunday, 10 September 2017

East Coast Classic 10k

With cloudy conditions and only a slight breeze fast times were possible. Matthew took advantage of this to claim 13th position and a personal best time of 39.30, beating his old personal best by over 2 minutes. Next up is the Rutland Half, a distance Matthew has never raced before.

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking

13 39:30 Matthew Atter PB MV35
69.63% 1253

Simplyhealth Great North Run

Jaime, Brendon, Penny, Paul and Holly
Eleven members of Grantham Running Club made the journey to Tyneside on Sunday 10 September to take part in the iconic Simplyhealth Great North Run. 

Viva Chile!!! Jaime flies the flag

Starting on the edge of Newcastle upon Tyne city centre, runners headed down the motorway section, around the eastern side of the city centre crossing the symbolic Tyne Bridge into Gateshead and on towards South Shields, where they ran the last mile of the race along the seafront road to the finishing line. Runners enjoyed warm race conditions, with Jaime Garcia, Holly Durham and Penny Hodges enjoying a VIP start, beginning the race just behind the elite athletes.

Magaretta set a six minute PB
The warm conditions and gradual gradients were reflected in the times of participating athletes with few of the GRC runners achieving personal bests. Despite this Paul Davis maintained his recent run of solid performances, securing first GRC male home with a time of 1:31:59Following on from her recent successful local 10k performances Holly Durham upped her game, missing her half marathon PB by 20 seconds, but posting a good performance in a time of 1:32:18.

After a difficult race Penny  Hodges was second GRC female home in a time of 1:41:57. Running for the charity Diabetes UK, Penny raised over £700 for the charity after her son William was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes earlier in the year. Penny commented;
"The race was tougher than expected, but well worth it to raise money and awareness for such a life changing and complicated disease".

In his debut half marathon, newcomer Craig Drury showed potential for a sub 2 hour half in the future, finishing in a time of 02:02:31. Craig joined the club after entering the Great North Run to raise money for Cancer Research, and achieved his goal by raising over £800 for the charity. Craig was followed over the line 15 minutes later by Margaretta Murray who secured the only PB of the day and knocked over 6 minutes from her previous half marathon time.

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking

1453 91:59 Paul Davis
72.17% 1017
982 92:18 Holly Durham
72.26% 179
2412 01:41:57 Penny Hodges
66.34% 299
10637 01:53:12 Caroline Davis
63.64% 551
7033 02:00:28 Jaime Garcia
50.06% N/A
13970 02:02:31 Craig Drury
51.99% N/A
25692 02:18:19 Magaretta Murray
FV55 PB 59.02% N/A
18883 02:22:01 Paul Durham
53.03% N/A
25125 02:21:47 Nic Webster
48.98% N/A
34728 02:35:59 Brendon Buckley
50.21% N/A
32861 02:38:00 Vivien Durham
39.04% N/A

Two Counties Half Marathon

Training for the Cardiff Half
Andrew Pask was Grantham Running Club's sole representative at the Two Counties Half Marathon in Corby. The new event held at East Carlton Country Park attracted a modest 89 runners most of whom were using this as an early autumn fitness test. On an undulating course, Andrew set off hard but in the later miles the hills eventually took their toll. After an uphill final mile, Andrew was pleased to finish in 8thplace with a time of 1:31:57. He was rewarded with an excellent finisher's medal and t-shirt.  Andrew's attention now turns to his main focus of the Cardiff Half Marathon on 1st October.

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking

8 91:57 Andrew Pask
65.20% 1304

New Forest Half Marathon

Lucinda with her medal

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking

1570 02:21:50 Lucinda Gamble
47.03% N/A

Saturday, 9 September 2017

GRC Grand Prix Round 15a Melton parkrun

Despite only having six runners out for this event there was no lack of quality with the three leading men in the standings, the leading woman and the highest scoring member of the club. Four of the runners would be averaging over 80% by the end of the run. A delayed start and muddy underfoot conditions contributed to none of our runners setting a new PB on the day but this did not stop the new leaderboard taking on a familiar shape. Rob Howbrook's 80% score took him to the top where he could easily remain for the rest of the year with MKL moving up to second place. Chris Limmer was not quite on the pace following a hard run at the handicap 36 hours previously but is looking good for third place if he can fit the races in before December. Catherine Payne stretched her lead at the top of the ladies' Championship to just under 100 points but the debut of Julie Braker for GRC marked a new way we have to look at what is a top runner for the club. Julie's 87% was well short of her best on this course but her 2017 times such as 1:49 for the Sleaford Half will challenge some younger member's of the club.

Here is the post from the parkrun website;

"186 runners attended event number 142, the fifth highest number at Melton Mowbray ever. The speedy Matthew Kingston-Lee was first finisher in 17:28, followed by Adam Swallow in 18:21 and Christopher Limmer close behind in 18:25. The first female finisher was junior Lexie McLoughlin in 19:46, followed by Natalie Teece in 21:28 and Catherine Payne in 21:38. The best age grade performance was by Julie Braker, who achieved 87.02% by finishing 54th in 25:10".

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Bassingham 5

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking

34     32:02 Rob Howbrook
82.09% 70
44     33:24 Peter Bonner
68.09% N/A
46     33:40 Paul Davis
71.87% 461
55     34:31 Catherine Payne
80.41% 22
72     36:41 Robert McArdle
71.06% 312
73     36:52 Ady Walker
62.63% N/A
109     40:31 Caroline Davis
65.36% N/A
118     41:30 Sinead McDonnell
62.02% N/A

Bullock Smithy

Paul completed the 56 miles in 11:47

How it feels to finish!
Granthan Running Club's Paul Rushworth took part in the 56 mile Bullock Smithy event through the Peak District. The ultra run includes over 7,000ft of climb across mixed terrain. The route visits Hazel Grove, Bow Stones, Chinley, Edale, Castleton, Peak Forest, Millers Dale, Chelmorton, Earl Strendale, Brand Top, Cumberland Cottage before returning to Hazel Grove via Walker Barn. This year's event took place in particularly hot conditions with runners needing to avoid dehydration by replenish their salts regularly with electrolyte drinks. Paul said "I struggled to get going in the first half, probably because of the warm te
mperatures. It was a relief when the sun went down and I managed to find a better groove over the final 15 miles". Paul finished the event just before midnight in a time of 11 hours 47 minutes, a time which was almost three hours behind the leader but was good enough for 9th place. 

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Gilberdyke 10

Catherine with 200m to go

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking

88 73:01 Catherine Payne
78.04% 30
117 76:47 Robert McArdle
MV55 SB 70.35% 275

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

LWAC August Race #4

Four members of Grantham Running Club took part in the final race of this year's Lincoln Wellington AC 5k series at Yarbrough Leisure Centre, Lincoln. The four race series which draws the county's best track and road running athletes was completed in near perfect running conditions. Medals were awarded to all the runners who completed the fourth and final race and as all four are run over the same course it gives those competing a chance to gauge their improvement. First home for GRC was Matt Williamson out sprinting Rob Howbrook over the last 800m to set a new PB. Having recently returned from holiday and short of speed training Rob had to settle for a time some 15 seconds short of the mark he set earlier in the season. Less than a minute behind came the fast finishing Andrew Pask setting a season's best. Another runner returning from holiday was Peter Bonner whose time of 20:30 was a full minute away from where he was when he was racing and training regularly earlier in the month.
Position Time Name
Grading Ranking

37 19:00 Matt Williamson
MSEN PB 67.89% 4166
40 19:12 Rob Howbrook
82.10% 79
46 20:10 Andrew Pask
MV35 SB 65.75% N/A
54 20:30 Peter Bonner
67.09% 705

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Thorney 5

Grantham Running Club’s Matthew Kingston-Lee took an unexpected victory at the Thorney 5 Mile Road Race, held in the small village east of Peterborough on Sunday 20th August. There was further success for the club at the race with Catherine Payne winning her age group category again.
MKL with his trophy
The out and back course, utilising the old A47, is flat and potentially very fast, tempered somewhat by the winds that regularly blow across the open fens. The weather on race day was sunny with temperatures in the high teens with a moderate breeze making the going challenging in the second half of the race.
Returning from a two week summer holiday, Matthew Kingston-Lee was unsure of his form going into the race. He sat off the fast opening pace, lying in around tenth place for the opening minutes of the race. Feeling better than he feared he made the juncture from the second chasing pack to join a group of three who were chasing the lead runner around ten seconds further up the road. The group dropped a runner as they approached the halfway turning point, and began to reel in the ailing lead runner, passing him as they approached 5km.
Facing a headwind for the final two miles of the race, the battle for the lead between Matthew, Nene Valley Harriers’ Robert Brownlee, and Peterborough ACs’ John Pike became a tactical affair, with the pace surging and then slowing as the runners appeared to take turns to break the tow of the following runners. Entering the final mile, Pike slipped off the back of the group as Brownlee made a concerted bid to take victory. Matthew was able hold onto the heels of Robert and was able to pull alongside as the Nene Valley Harrier tired, Sensing his chance for victory, Matthew maintained the pace set and was able to pull clear, crossing the line first in 27:30 (a new PB by 23 seconds), ten seconds clear of second placed Robert Brownlee, with John Pike third in 27:46.
MKL turns the tables on Pike who shone at LWAC's 5k
“I certainly wasn’t expecting such a good result!” commented Matthew after the race. “I’d not run as often as I’d liked on my holidays and felt sure the late nights, good food and plenty to drink would have left me rather unfit. The race though went perfectly. I raced well tactically, sheltering myself as much as possible from the wind and not surging as hard as the others when I hit the front during the race, saving myself a little more energy for the final mile which I knew would be the hardest because of the headwind. "It’s only my third race victory and is definitely the most satisfying. Maybe I should holiday more often!”

To add to the successful morning for GRC, Catherine Payne on her way back from injury claimed first place in the V50 age category, clocking a fine 34:40, just over a minute slower than her 2016 time at the same race, held in arguably better conditions. Behind Catherine, Sinead McDonnell made an impressive five mile debut, clocking 41:42 to finish 36th female. She too lamented jet lag and that two weeks spent on holiday may have adversely affected her concentration and fitness.
Another five mile debutant was Richard Payne. Continuing his fine run of ever improving form, Richard finished a fine 35th overall in 31:45. Robert McArdle was the other Grantham Running Club to complete the race, coming home ninth in his age group, clocking 37:06.
The winner of the women’s race was Philippa Taylor of Nene Valley Harriers in 31:00.

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking

1 27:30 Matthew Kingston Lee
MV40 PB 82.70% 37
35 31:45 Richard Payne
68.28% 2050
63 34:40 Catherine Payne
80.06% 20
90 37:06 Robert McArdle
70.26% 323
147 41:42 Sinead McDonnell
61.72% N/A

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Race the Train

Tony Johnson has run his 17th Race The Train, Tywyn, Wales. He completed the Rotary Challenge, a distance of approx. 14 miles of mostly off-road, hilly terrain and this year extremely wet and muddy in a time of 2:09.02.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Barney Memorial 5k

The final Peterborough 5k race of the season incorporates the prize giving for the recent Grand Prix series. With the positions from your three best races to count these races have been popular for over 25 years giving a high level of competition at the very reasonable price of £5 a race. The biggest problem facing the organisers is overcrowding and coping with 200+ finishers in 5 minutes. Grantham Running Club’s Catherine Payne once again collected the prize for FV50 whilst Rob Howbrook earned his prize as fastest MV55.

With regard to the stand alone Barney 5k  race Catherine picked up her second trophy of the evening when she came first in the FV45 category in a time of 21:01 round the now very familiar Ferry Meadows course.

Position Time Name
Grading Ranking

77 21:01 Catherine Payne
80.77% 31
104 22:21 Robert McArdle
70.53% 307