Ben Hatherley, June 21

Ahhh June – the height of the British summer; Wimbledon starts, Football was supposed to ‘Come Home’ and GRC saw the long overdue start of its popular Grand Prix series after a Covid hiatus. 

2021 has been another year of change and disruption, not least the largest of the spring marathons (London and Manchester) both postponing until October. Ergo, June also saw the start of marathon training blocks normally reserved for the winter months. Time will tell if this will be a blessing or a curse to many a club runner hitting the city streets come Autumn…

Races spluttered somewhat and so, in the wake of less organised races being available in the local area, GRC hosted a 10k in the aim of recreating race conditions using the Summer Solstice 10k course. 33 members ‘raced’ or used it as a strong tempo to paint the usually quiet country lanes of Long Bennington and Staunton a distinct green and black! 

The race was ably supported and marshalled by no less than 10 members who also gave up their Sunday morning too. Huge thanks to Adrian Walker, Brendon Buckley, Cj Walker Lees, Naomi Jepson-Rivers, Paul Davis, Paul Jepson, Rick Dobbs, Sam Dodwell, Simon and Yvonne Buckley for your work!

Living up to his moniker; ‘Flash’ Joaquim Jeronimo was the first man to complete the 10k course in a respectable 38:02. Catherine Payne showed her pedigree turning in a solid 44:45 to lead the ladies home.

Also running the Club Solstice (with a time of 47:45) and fresh from his Beeston 5 mile showing, Stuart Baty was the first nominee for June MoTM. His lockdown diet of miles, miles and more miles is plainly paying rich dividends as he continues to improve and better his pre pandemic levels. Stuart’s Beeston performance saw him score a fine opening gambit of 62.16%.

It’s in this event that we find our first Runner Up in June’s Member of the Month; Zoë Wragg. Having secured an illustrious London Marathon spot for last year (rolled to this year) Zoe is a relative novice – indeed there no entries on Power of 10 as of yet, an anomaly we’re confident she will quickly resolve. Despite this she showed a glimpse of what is to come with a well executed and paced 10k to raise the bar on what she herself thought was possible. Clocking sub 56 minutes in 55:47.

Our second runner-up is a tale of triumph over the runners nemesis ; injury. Having endured a pretty torrid time over the past 24-36 months or so, Simon Hartley‘s journey is a veritable rollercoaster chocked full of determination, renewed setbacks, sheer bloody mindedness and Simon’s infectious warmth and humour. In late April, for context, his running comeback saw him complete 1k. Fast forward 2 months and he is now beyond 5k and running faster and stronger than he did 3 years ago. 

June Member of the Month

Perhaps as a foreshadowing, Simon’s comeback blueprint can be justly applied to the winner of June’s Member of The Month. Racing officially again for the first time since 2018 and only the second time in 6 years, Beeston 5 Mile saw an excellent return for Ben Hatherley. His virtual exploits turned heads earlier in the year with frequent top 3 placings in a multitude of events, the confidence and chance to execute ‘race sharpness’ clearly proving to be beneficial.

The somewhat challenging course held at Wollaton Hall, covers undulating woodland, a mixture of terrain, severe gradient changes and numerous tree roots to make Ben’s performance all the more noteworthy. A time of 33:56 saw him dip under 34 minutes and scoop a richly deserved Member of The Month for June.

Great stuff, Ben!

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