Daniel Pearce, June 22

Oooof! Well, what can I say? Sorry, sorry and “Sorry” again!

Not exactly my usual introduction, Dear CR, but I feel I must again sincerely apologies for the unusually long time it’s taken to get around to write this months (last months) Member of the Month – the one for June! Remember June?

Yet another busy, packed month full of wonderful running exploits across the board.

Kicking off the month, a merry band of Green made for the historic Prestwold Hall in neighbouring Leicestershire to ‘Chase The Sun’ a multi-distance running event held on the airfield. 

This year was at least dry and warm… however, runners discovered a strong headwind that made the final stretch of the 1.5 mile circuit, extremely challenging.

The 10k and 5K races were started in unison with Alan Carley (5k) the first of the GRC athletes to cross the line, in a time of 21:41 and a top ten spot.

Prolific racer, Stuart Baty ran 23:03, only 17 seconds adrift of his PB, set in less challenging conditions at the August 2021 CTS event. 

Fraser Marshall completed the 5k in 25:43, a personal best at the distance! Following recent good form, it’s fair to say he felt slightly disappointed not clocking ‘sub-25 minutes’.

Fraser’s better half, Kate Marshall was the only female GRC runner to make the journey.

The Ultra Runner wouldn’t usually get out of bed for 5k so her time of 27:38 showed the quicker stuff shouldn’t be forgotten just yet… it was a PB, but again her own goal of a sub-27-minute time, left her dissatisfied.

In the 10k race, Stefan Latter was the first in for GRC, taking 10th place with a time of 42:32, Gav Meadows finishing two places later in 43:11.

Marj Spendlow and newcomer Peter Jennings took on the 5k and 10k Great Estates races at Belvoir Castle.

Having done this race last August, Marj was thrilled to finish the undulating course in 30:45 giving her 3rd place.

Peter took on the 10k, finishing in a swift 49:04.

The Peterborough Midsummer 10k race held on a very warm Sunday morning, saw Vicki Geeson running 1:11:04 and Gillian Cardus clocking 1:12:08 respectively.

Harking back to medieval times, the House of Green and Black staged an invasion of Grimsthorpe Castle when 21 members descended to take part in the multi event Grimsthorpe Gallop. Taking in the roving grounds of the estate, the event hosted 4 distances: 5k, 10k, 10 mile and half marathon, again held on a beautiful, but hot summers day.

Competing in the 10-mile race. Inseparable trio: Julie Gilbert, Rachel Pattison and Rosalind Sadler used the race to kick start their London Marathon block.

Rival trio (they aren’t rivals, but I like to add some needless spice, just to watch the world burn) Cj Walker Lees, Yvonne Buckley and Julia Hallam utilised the race to build up distance in preparation for several longer exploits on the horizon. 

Simon Allsopp, Rach Deans and the inexhaustible Sylv Hull made the 10-mile event the most popular.

Proving to be the backdrop for some (long overdue) returns to racing and running; Dale Towning enjoyed his return, following a recent acute back injury.

The 5k saw Zoë Wragg make her own comeback after sustaining a stress fracture in her foot during winter marathon training. Becky Rice the other 5k racer.

Only Alex Curtis had entered the half-marathon, his 1:36:39 resulted in 4th place.

The 10k participants were the last to depart. First to return was Mark Rice followed by Nicola Cottam, Wendy Fraser, Tracy Webb, Judi Allsopp and Samuelle French.

Finally staging his own quicker-than-planned comeback Brendon Buckley completed the 10k after some ill health and a long battle with injury.

June also saw the return of the ‘Summer’ Solstice, the crowning glory in the club’s race offering. The popular 10k sees the cumulation of months of hard work and organisation.

Universally praised, it saw some 550+ runners, spectators, medics and suppliers take to the blistering streets of Long Benington and surrounding villages.

Again, I’ll use this platform to heap praise and sincere thanks to the most important piece of the puzzle; the volunteers. Simply put, without YOU it wouldn’t go ahead!!

In the race itself; First of the GRC members home Russel Whittaker ran a time of 37:24, his first official 10k road race. Some debut that!

Alex Curtis continued his run of excellent results with a time of 40:44.

May’s MoTM, Sam Dodwell was next back in 41:11, a little off his PB but given the conditions he was still happy.

The first GRC lady Penny Hodges who had been turning in some amazing results suffered in the heat, her time of 45:42 reflecting that. 

Following were Cameron Hoggan (47:58) and Mark Toms (48:15).

Continuing June’s ‘comeback’ theme Russell Maksymiw returned to racing with an impressive 48:23 with plenty more to come.

Hannah Whittaker was another victim of the heat, slowing in the latter stages to post 49:47.

Esther Fraser-Betts defied all logic to post a PB of 53:02 in the heat.

Simon Allsopp was next in 54:03, then Peter Storey in 59:37. Carol Storey followed closely behind in 1:01:15.

Holly Wragg was pleased to cope with the intense heat to complete in 1:08:20.

Elsewhere, the Peterborough 5k Series, returned after a three-year break due to Covid. The first of 5 races held in Eye, by Eye Community Runners.

First back for GRC was Sam Dodwell who despite the high temperature managed to best his 5k time from Lincoln by 2 seconds, crossing the line in 19:08. 

Next back was Peter Bonner in 19:55. Following Peter was the evergreen Rob Howbrook in 20:45.

Closing out the comeback flavour of June, Catherine Payne was the first female back for GRC running 22:09 in her first race this year following an injury!

Robert McArdle clocking 22:55 posted a season’s best time.

Vicki Ball made her own return to racing, following illness, happy to post 26:48.

2 days after the Peterborough race for the 2nd year running, the club hosted its 5K race at Harrowby Hall Lane. It also serves to welcome graduates of the ‘Begin to Run’ course. Furthermore, it acted as Round 9 of the Club’s GP Series.

First home in the men’s race was Joaquim Jeronimo continued his form with a brilliant 17:31. ‘Flash’ was also the highest GP points scorer of the day with a near national standard 77.92%.

Second home the lesser spotted but exceptionally talented Piers Pye-Watson who clocked 17:55 in his first 5k race!

In 3rd place legend, Matthew Kingston-Lee. Struggling with injury his time of 18:40 is some way off his official 5k time.

In the ladies’ race Holly Durham took the spoils with 20:38, only 4 seconds outside her official best.

Next was Holly’s big sister Penny Hodges in a time of 21:15.

In 3rd place, Rachel Hamilton clocked an impressive 22:15.

Moreover, the appeal of the event is the opportunity to delight in a cold drink that waited for all 54 runners, and 11 volunteers, which neatly embodies the club spirit.

The other of the local 5k series, returned with its second fixture; The LWAC 5k series.

Just 8 seconds separated Peter Bonner (20:01), Gav Meadows (20:04) and Stefan Latter (20:09).

Catherine Payne recorded a stonking Seasons Best and massive 84.06% age grading in 21:32!!

Duo Robert McArdle (22:48) and Paul Jepson (24:00) both posted Season bests and finally a personal best for Sarah High, saw her cross the line over 20 seconds faster than she had ever run the distance!

Runner Up

Right, that’s the round up done.

Now on to the job of announcing the Runner up for June from what you can plainly see, is a stacked month!

Like a fine wine, it takes time and a measured approach to make it just right. So, it’s not a bad comparison to make when describing this fine runner.

Back in 2019, over 5k he ran a credible 21:57 that secured a credible 68.5% age grading.

We fast forward just under 3 years and that is almost laughable now.

His new training and particularly careful and well thought out approach given his body’s apparent fragility is a prime example of knowing and maximise your ‘limitations’… In fact, turning them into a strength!

A recent 5k time – that also fulfilled a long ambition to burst through the ‘sub 20-minute mark’- of 19:45 shows what I mean. It represents a 10%+ increase in age grading to equal: 79.13%!

His June showing at the club 5k shows it wasn’t a fluke – on a tougher course in tougher conditions he clocked a superb 20:03 and netted a 77.29% age grade.

Congratulations June’s Runner up: Stewart Pick!

Member of the Month

You may disagree with me here, but it stands to reason that a large proportion of this club like running… some (me included) are running badgers and love it … some take this to new heights…

until quite recently, not much was known of this particular member.

Perhaps I can best capture this in one of the most famous running quotes all all-time:

“I just felt like running”.

Now say that in a thick ‘Deep South’ American accent and you’ll correctly identify it was Forest Gump who coined that phrase. Well, our winner ‘felt like running’ – he felt like running approximately 2 and half years ago and hasn’t stopped!

Running every day since Boris said “You must stay home” he has shown remarkable dedication, determination and energy for the sport we love.

Starting with six windy, possibly mind-numbing laps of the Chase The Sun 10-mile event, He finished in 6th place with a time of 01:10:51 and first in his age category of V35. A great opening salvo for the month.

Perhaps having one eye on the end of the month his 20:27 at the GRC ‘Covid 5k’ was again another solid performance and secured a top ten finish.

Then perhaps his best performance to date was his race at 2nd fixture at Lincoln Welly 5k series, having come extraordinarily close at the first fixture and again having showed he was ever-so-nearly there at the aforementioned club race, he finally managed to dip under the magical sub 20-minute securing 19:59!

June Member of the Month

With an upward trajectory on the horizon, Ladies and Gentlemen, put your hands together for Daniel Pearce – the June Member of the MAs ever, much love and respect to all runners and nominees!

Daniel Pearce, RAF Museum, 2022

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