October 2018 saw a record number of nominations for GRC member of the month, so many that that there were a good number of runners who were not nominated purely because the shortlist had become too long already!
A large swathe of the nominations came from runners who ran excellently at the very wet Perkins Great Eastern Half at Peterborough. Penny Hodges was the only nominee who didn’t PB there, but was just fourteen seconds shy of her best and joined a very exclusive club of GRC women who have broken 1:40 in 2018. Maxine Noble technically only established a PB as it was her first attempt at a Half Marathon at Peterborough – her time of 1:43:40 was a most impressive debut. Sylv Hull was nominated for bettering her PB by four minutes (2:14:16), a time she had only set two weeks earlier at Nottingham. Joe Clarke dropped his HM PB by nearly two minutes clocking 1:25:54 and Peter Bonner sliced 80 seconds off his best with 1:27:51 to add to his impressive tally of personal bests in 2018.
Ian McBain was another runner who set a PB at Peterborough, his 90 minute barrier breaking 1:29:04 came just a week after clocking a six minute PB 1:31:43 at the Bournemouth Half Marathon. Another runner who did brilliantly to double up on HM personal bests in October was Julie Gilbert. Julie clocked 2:02:52 at Peterborough and then went nearly a minute faster (2:01:56) on the more challenging Worksop Halloween Half Marathon course. Also racing at Worksop, Tracey Smith impressed with her big new PB of
2:11:31 – a 12 minute improvement on her first half marathon at Sleaford in May.
Piers Pye-Watson was one of just two nominees who weren’t nominated for a performance over 13.1 miles. The relatively recent addition to the club impressed with his ninth place finish at the second round of the Lincolnshire Clive Cross Country League. Grant Davies surprised many, perhaps not least himself, with an excellent 3:06:43 PB at the Yorkshire Marathon; a run made more impressive as he hadn’t actually specifically trained for it.
There was a three way tie for runner up spot for MOM. Joss Smith, in only her second road race and second half marathon, smashed her PB by two seconds shy of five minutes at the Perkins Great Eastern Run. Her time of 1:35:01 looks set to be the fastest half marathon time of the year by a GRC woman. Kevin Kettle was the third GRC runner to double up on HM personal bests in October. He bettered his old PB by over three minutes at Peterborough. His 1:40:01 was agonisingly close to breaking the 100 minute barrier, but Kevin wasted no time putting that objective to bed with a great run of 1:39:31 at the Worksop Half Marathon two weeks later. Matthew Williamson had a fantastic half marathon at Peterborough, smashing his PB by over four minutes. His time of 1:24:40, I believe, ranks him #2 over the HM distance in 2018 (at the time of writing) for GRC. He backed this up with a solid performance at the Worksop Half two weeks later.
When asked about his Peterborough performance, Matthew cited our October MOM winner as the main source of inspiration for his performance. Unlike many of the October nominees, Andrew Pask has many years of running and racing experience behind him, performing at a very consistent level for as long as I’ve been at the club. It was therefore something of an unexpected but fully deserved surprise when news came through, a week before the Great Eastern Half, that Andrew had clocked 1:25:54 at the Cardiff Half
Marathon. This fantastic run bettered his three year old PB by very nearly two minutes and kick-started the wave of HM personal bests that followed for the club in October. Proving it was no fluke, Andrew ran his second fastest ever half a week later at Peterborough, less than a minute slower than at Cardiff.
Congratulations to Andrew on being the October 2018 Grantham Running Club Member of the Month!