Cambridge Boundary Run, 2023

Sunday 12 March saw four runners from Grantham Running Club meet up to take part in the Cambridge University Hare & Hounds annual Boundary run. This offers runners the chance to follow a waymarked course either halfway or fully around Cambridge, with approximately 30% of the course being offroad and the rest being on pavement, urban footpaths, cycleways and quiet roads.

This is a relatively cheap way to earn a medal, but due to the course conditions it doesn’t show on power of ten, so everyone taking part was doing so as a stepping stone to greater challenges.

First to finish for the club was Craig Drury who, like just over half the competitors, opted to stop at the half-marathon finish, then follow the map on a trip through the centre of Cambridge, arriving back at the start point in time to cheer on the other runners. Craig was doing the run as preparation for a fell race in May, so the muddy conditions following the snowmelt were considered a feature not a bug.

The next two finishers ran together for the first 20 miles, with Peter Bonner taking advantage of Robert McArdle’s experience in the race to avoid any navigation issues and to maintain a steady pace. At that point, Peter had planned to race the final 10k as practice for the Manchester Marathon next month. This plan was sorely tested when Peter missed a turning almost immediately (though other runners were alert and called him back to the right course), and the conditions underfoot meant that although race effort was achieved, target pace wasn’t. Despite this, Peter was pleased to overtake multiple other runners during this time and finished the marathon in 44th place in 3 hours 52 minutes.

Robert meanwhile was taking part in his first race this year, having had time off for two eye operations, so his target was to assess his condition and use this to guide future plans. He finished in 76th place in 4 hours 10 minutes.

The final runner was Nick Payne, who arrived at the event fresh !?! from running 32 miles the previous day at the Waterways 30 event. His purpose in running was to get used to back-to-back hard days in advance of a Lands End to John O’Groats run in June. Nick finished in 4 hours 43 minutes and was pleased that at the end his legs felt better than they had when he started the run.

The marathon race was won by Daniel sexton in 3 hours 7 minutes, with the first female (and third overall) being Katie Godoff in 3:17. The half marathon was won by Peter Molloy in 1 hour 13.

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