Greater Manchester Marathon

There were smiles and personal bests all-round for Grantham Running Club runners at the Greater Manchester Marathon on Sunday. Anna O'Hare, at her first attempt at the distance completed in an awesome 3:13:18, which is a championship qualifying time and put her 74th this season for women. Meanwhile, Rob McArdle beat his long-standing PB in 3:23:21 and 31st in his age group; and Iain Brown took another slice of his PB in 3:07:31.

The remainder of the results showed the benefits of group training and supportive colleagues. We had Lucy Roberts in 4:04:55, Ruth Dunstan in 4:07:06, Wendy Hobson in 4:10:40, Nikki Carr in 4:24:53 and Wendy Tremain in 4:30:05. All were either first-timers or took tens-of-minutes off their bests.

Grantham Cup 10k trail race

A record number of runners took part in this year’s Grantham Cup. The race takes place as part of Belton Horse Trials and starts within the historic grounds of Belton House. This year 276 runners took part.

Race director Andrew MacAllister said: “This event is really quite unique as runners have the chance to take in the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside, visit a historic stately home and, once they have finished the race, enjoy the horse trials as part of their entry fee.”

A quirk to the event is a‘lead horse’ instead of a lead car. The rider wears a Grantham Running Club vest and shortly before the race is positioned in front of the runners ready for the off. The race starts when the adjacent horse course is clear.

Andrew added: “The Grantham Cup is perhaps unusual for a number of reasons. The course is a 10k but over rough, unforgiving rutted terrain. It also involves a hill. Not a hill by Lake District proportions, but a hill enough to test the resolve of the participants. In a word, it’s steep, but the view from the top is staggering.”

The route tracks through the splendour of the grounds of Belton House before crossing Five Gates Lane and up the hill to the folly of Belmount Tower at the summit. It then follows through the woods at the top where runners can find a bit of pace on the woodland tracks. A steady descent of the same hill eventually brings runners back to Five Gates Lane. Finally the course comes back into Belton grounds to the finish where competitors are rewarded with a bottle of beer specially commissioned for the event from a local brewery.”

All of the profits from this year’s race will be donated to Kesteven RideAbility.

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