Ten athletes from Grantham Running Club travelled to the fens to take part in the Boston UK Marathon. Originally held on the same day as the iconic World Marathon Major of the same name, the lesser known Boston UK Marathon boasts to be the flattest marathon in the country with full, half, 10km and relay options and cash prizes in each category.
The race was the pinnacle of months of training for many club members, with the recent rain clearing the way for favourable conditions and minimal breeze, which can hamper race conditions across the flat lands of the course. The grey conditions made way for bright sunshine and climbing temperatures later in the race, which hampered mid-race performance for many of the participants.
Balint Beni and Andrew MacAllister took on the challenge of the full marathon distance. First-time marathoner, Balint was proud to complete the race in 03:54:50 after encountering difficulties with leg cramps at mile 20 which meant maintaining pace was a challenge. Balint reflected that the race was a memorable experience with a scenic course, and the volunteers and spectators providing fantastic, encouragement and aid throughout the race. Long distance expert, Andrew Macallister crossed the line in a solid 04:37:58.
The first of the GRC’s seven half marathon runners home was club favourite Robin Atter, running the race for the third year and continuing his upward trajectory in a respectable personal best of 1:31:12, securing a fifth in age group placing. Robin was followed home a few minutes later by fellow club member Penny Hodges, who ran a well-paced race and was delighted with a personal best of almost two minutes, landing her a top ten overall finish position, as ninth female. Club member Ian Burridge was next home in 1:56:06.
Injury blighted GRC’s second lady home, Zane Wojtowicz, who experienced problems after 10km with her foot but despite this managed to secure a time of 02:02:57. Zane was followed home by Richard Urquhart, Joni Goodband and Rachel Deans, all running the half marathon distance for the first time. Joni was pleased to get to race day after a never-ending battle with injury and finished in a time of 2:13:31, recommending the race for first time half marathon runners as being great value. Joni was chased in by Rachel Deans, who found the race tough after mile seven due to the lack of shade on the flats, but commended the regular water stops and the enthusiasm of the marshals.
The 10km race option attracted only one GRC runner, Tracy Webb, who enjoyed the race and was pleased with her finish time of 1:02:51
The marathon was won by Richard Ollington of Thames Hare in a time of 02:30:00 with Johanna Oregan of St Neots Riverside Runners taking the female top spot in a time of 02:50:21. Unattached runner Thomas Sargeant took the HM first in 01:12:26, with Anya Culling securing third overall and the female first place in 01:14:41. Kristian Watson of Mansfield Harriers won the 10km race in 31:36, with Nicola Curtis winning the female 10km in 37:16.
Full Marathon GRC Results:
Balint Beni 03:54:50
Andrew Macallister 04:37:58
Half Marathon GRC Results:
Robin Atter 01:31:12
Penny Hodges 1:37:41
Ian Burridge 1:56:06
Zane Wojtowicz 2:02:57
Richard Urquhart 2:04:34
Joni Goodband 2:13:31
Rachel Deans 2:15:46
10km GRC Results:
Tracey Webb 1:02:51
Report by Penny Hodges