The Darling Buds of May, May Day Bank Holiday/s, the blossoming spring and longer, lighter evenings… Traditionally May is a transitional month, one full of expectation and hope. Indeed in a running sense, it normally marks the end of Marathon season (for a couple of months at least) and attentions divert to the athletics world as events like the Diamond League commence.
As it is part of all our daily lives now; the pandemic also took a positive turn as further restrictions were eased in May. Indeed, this had a direct impact on the running calendar as yet more events were deemed safe to proceed.
The first of the events saw GRC descend en masse for the Run Through Chase The Sun at Prestwold Hall, a stone’s throw from Loughborough. Hosted on a Thursday evening at the adjoining abandoned air strip, it promised a flat multi distance event. It did not promise pleasant conditions… in fact it laughed in the face of that idea! Howling winds and driving rain proceeded to batter runners on the looped course.
Mark Ellison drew the first nomination for May’s MoTM for his assured GRC race debut in the 10 mile event with 01:11:07. His 70% age graded performance in the midst of those conditions, whilst not quite a PB, drew deserved praise regardless. More to come from Elly in Green and Black!
Also coming out shining (quite the oxymoron we know!) in the 10k race was Sylv Hull. Her renewed training focus clearly paying rich dividends as she seemingly strutted her way to a PB of two minutes and 31 seconds in the distance to clock: 54:59.
Boston Half and Full Marathon were also awash with the Green and Black of GRC, the lure of a mostly flat course that DID NOT consist of laps was a refreshing change to the formula of races of late.
Next on the nomination list was Kate Marshall, the victim of multiple cancelled and rearranged marathons was finally able to shake the mara monkey off her back. And quite the debut it was too, clocking 04:42:00. Warmer than anticipated conditions served to make the final few miles tougher than usual. She also managed to raise over £1000 for the John Van Geest Cancer Research Centre.
Sharing the spoils in the runner up spaces, Martin Rodell and Matthew Williamson both improved their half marathon PB’s by large chunks at Boston Half.
Martin has been stoically chipping away at the half for a period of years now, it was especially pleasing for him given his lack of racing since March 2020. His 01:46:10 knocked a minute and 27 seconds off his previous best.
The multi-dimensional Williamson raised several eyebrows in his own Boston Half showing. Coming off the back off a Mile victory at Chase The Sun, he showed his impressive range to better his PB that he set in March of 2020. His 81:56 was 1 minute 23 seconds better than his previous HM at Retford Half.
Well done chaps!
May Member of the Month
The runaway… or rather ‘RunHome’ winner of May’s Member of The Month, set about his plan to run from his childhood home in Hinkley to his adopted ‘Home’ town of Grantham, an homage to a charity close to his heart. He casually had designs to raise a few pounds and maybe run with someone not planning anything the Sunday of a Bank Holiday weekend. To put it bluntly, he was wrong! Supported by no less than 12, largely GRC friends, the experienced ultra-runner dug deep in warm conditions to maintain a quite staggering pace throughout.
With a finish time of circa 10 hours and 10 minutes he was greeted by wife, Katie and even more well-wishers at the Wyndham Park finish line.
To add to the mix he also raised over £1500 for Refuge, a charity helping those escaping Domestic Violence.
The winner of May Member of the Month is the very worthy Chris Limmer.