Aaron Smith, Sept 21

Hello Constant Reader and a warm welcome to September Member of the Month.

September saw the last throes of summer cling on like a toddler clutching a favoured toy to their bosom. It provided the ideal last few weeks of preparation for the fastly approaching October/Autumn marathons – the last long runs, the chance to hone final race tweaks. Oh and of course the building ‘maranoia’…

It also saw the welcome return of the Club 10k Handicap at Ropsley. Well received, well supported, well organised and well run. It’s kinda what we do at GRC, right? 

The podium places on this hot and humid evening were:

1.       Neil Jameson

2.       Sara Pask

3.       Wayne Baxter

With notable performances from Joaquim Jeronimo, Julie Gilbert, Hannah San Jose and her brother Russell Whittaker (Russell making his green vest debut).

Edit – I’ve been told that yours truly did ok too – but I don’t count!

A swathe of Great North Runners also turned in some very competent runs with one eye obviously on the approaching race.

 So on to the aforementioned ‘GNR’.

It’s here we saw our runner up (although his official nomination was for the same distance raced later in the month) and the winner of September MOTM make the journey to the North East to pound the streets of Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead.

They were joined by no less than three other nominees in what proved to be a stellar showing by the boys and girls in Green and Black:

Stefan Latter was delighted to set a new PB by over 2 minutes in 01:38:44.

Stuart Baty continued his cracking 2021 clocking 01:49:26 shaving another 60 seconds+ off his best.

Vicki Ball was rightfully thrilled to smash the 2 hour barrier and improve her best by over 4 minutes finishing in 01:58:44.

Our time in the North East isn’t quite finished Constant Reader, so let’s promise to come back soon…

Elsewhere Jason Walker had the bit between his teeth as he ran, jogged and probably crawled his first Ultra distance with a solid and gritty showing at Equinox 24hr at Belvoir Castle. 12 laps is really not to be sniffed at.

Alex Curtis’s race debut no doubt set tongues wagging as he clocked a superb 01:28:28 at the multi-terrain Rutland Half Marathon.

Final nominee, Simon Allsopp went slightly earlier than most in his own marathon conquest, busting out a very competent debut of 04:33:04 at the Rutland Marathon.

Still a relative newcomer but making strides and turning heads at every race he rocks up too, our next runner enjoyed his time in ‘The Toon’ but saved his ‘A game’ for the slightly closer setting of Nottingham.

The 40th edition of the Robin Hood Half Marathon saw the sun dappled collection of runners excel – none more so than Robin Atter whose 6 minute+ improvement on his previous half marathon best saw him scoop the Runner’s Up berth.

His clocking of 01:33:32 will no doubt feed a desire to break 90 minutes in the not too distant future.

Robin also notched up a parkrun Pb of 19:44 at Rutland Water and a podium position performing superbly well to place 2nd at the Enigma Milton Keynes 5k in 20:39.

Good show Robin!

Finally, we make the trip back up to Newcastle – I did say we’d be back – and celebrate another runner having a fantastic 2021.

Earmarking this famous race as a last hard push for the busy marathon schedule planned in October, he perhaps exceeded his own expectations by posting an eye-opening half marathon time of 01:25:25. A course not exactly renowned for its fast times made it even more remarkable.

The summer packed full of miles, more miles and yes; even more miles, has come to fruition for this runner and he shows no sign of resting on his laurels as his journey continues to garner praise and success.

September Member of the Month

Ladies and Gents lets all say a big “Howay The Lad!” to September’s Member of The Month; Aaron Smith (Sorry – I had to drop a Geordie joke in somehow, Constant Reader)

Well done Aaron and all nominees!

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