On a bright and sunny spring morning, members of Grantham Running Club ventured the short distance down the A1 to Stamford for the Burghley 7. This popular event in the running calendar is hosted in the grounds of Burghley House where the race starts before taking to the streets of Stamford. Runners then go out into the countryside before returning after approximately 5 miles onto the estate roads through some of the finest grounds with its lake and river, until finally finishing in front of the majestic Burghley House which is best known for the being the backdrop for the famous horse trials.
A question mark had hung over the race starting only 48 hours before due to the freezing weather conditions and snow. Thankfully it started as scheduled at 9.00am in perfect spring like conditions with little to no breeze, a temperature of +7C and no sign of what had preceded on the Friday morning. The breeze did however pick up shortly after the start and created a few issues for runners particularly along the 1 mile straight prior to the return onto the grounds of the Burghley estate.
Being a local event, which has always proved popular in the East Midlands the race started with a capacity entry of 1,600 runners. Needless to say, GRC always enjoy a good representation and 2023 was no exception with no less than 14 members entering and delivering a number of personal bests.
First home for Grantham and proving age is no barrier was Clive George who improved on last year’s time to clock an impressive 51:53. Dale Towning who only 24 hours earlier had completed an 18.5-mile training run in preparation for his upcoming marathon, finished in an amazing 55:48.
A steady stream of the green army followed to cross the finish line including Jon Whittaker in 57:18, Daniel Wallace just missing out on a sub 60min with 60:00:24, Debbie Bennett was the first Grantham lady home in 1:06:17 just in front of Rach Deans who improved on last years’ time to finish in 1:06:27. Following was Catherine Wallace in 1:07:30, Gayle Smith who scored a PB with 1:15:08, Louise Hirst 1:15:20, Christine Sawyer 1:15:35, Yvonne Buckley 1:15:43 and Brendon Buckley 1:22:58. Running closely together were Gillian Cardus 1:23:14 and Vicky Geeson 1:23:35 who both scored new personal bests.
The race was won by Elliot Smales in a time of 36:13 with first female Natasha Martin completing the course in 44:24.