As the dust settles on the 3rd month and indeed first quarter of the year, it’s that time once again to look back over the performances that caught the eye and crown March’s member of the Month.
March saw the official start of the GRC Grand Prix Series – my thanks once again to Vicki Ball, Andrew Pask, Robert and Darren Harley for their part in helping me get it off the ground – with the first round at the Retford Half Marathon.
Retford, seems a logical place as any to start with some solid performances and a fantastic comeback/sign off race. It garnered three nominations, so a decent opening GP salvo I must say!
Tommy Napier was delighted with securing a sub two time in his first race as a V60 Vet, proving age doesn’t slow you down! 1:56:06 the final clocking.
Paul Rushworth recaptured some form as he clocked 1:35:41 to take into the rest of the year.
Undoubtedly, the biggest head-turning nomination came from Matthew Kingston-Lee , as alluded to early; it may well be his one and only race of the year, but what a performance it was. He threw down a gauntlet that may well see him challenge for the fastest half of the year – clocking 01:18:09 was enough to score 80.57% in age grading. All in all, a class performance from a fine runner.
One the same day across the same distance, Fraser MarshallMarshall showed the hard work he’s been putting on the back of a whirlwind 18 months or so is starting to pay dividends. His 02:04:00 was less than 2 minutes off his standing PB set in 2020, with his mojo back, it marks another positive step in the right direction.
I like Cambridge… We’ll be back…
A Mothering Sunday spent in Bourne Woods on the surface might sound idyllic, but chuck in a 10k trail race and you may think I’ve lost the bleeding plot, but you know us runners!
Put a medal round our neck at the end and we will go just about anywhere!
Melissa Hetherington was one such runner, besting a road 10k time by some two and half minutes – the undulating course doing little to hold her back. Her clocking of 57:36 her first sub 60 10k and first MoTM nomination too.
March was a largely nondescript month weather-wise, but when you haven’t raced for a couple of years you better believe it will be absolutely “minging” and “honking it down” when you do decide to race again. This, I believe, is called: ‘Sod’s Law’… maybe we should name it ‘Penny’s Law’?
Nottingham the location. Ghastly the weather. Perfect for a 5k along the embankment, right? Right!
A Covid hiatus and general lack of love for running was the chip on her shoulder, by my word Penny Hodges didn’t pay any heed; returning with 22:48 and a 2nd Category place isn’t a shabby return is it?
“A grand sixteenth-century English country house near Stamford” – not the first place you think when picturing a road race, but whaddya know, it’s a legit thing. The Burghley 7even starts and ends in the picturesque setting mention above. With eleven runners donning the Green & Black it proved to be quite a pull.
Robin Atter – 47:23, Martin Rodell – 56:44 and Marj Spendlow – 01:00:36 the names to draw acclaim on the undulating route.
Like a good rifleman or marksman, the key is not to take too many shots… but when you do: don’t miss.
This analogy is how I’d neatly summarise our Runner Up for March.
Burghley providing the backdrop:
As mentioned earlier the undulating course was far from straight forward which all points toward yet another storming run.
1st lady home for GRC (and 2nd back for the club), her journey gathers momentum with every race…
Congratulations to Rachel Hamilton.
I told you I quite like Cambridge…
Well, the 11th Annual Cambridge Half was the scene for our Winner to shine!
A sublime 2021, where perhaps she was more than once unlucky to walk away without the coveted MoTM award, told a remarkable story. If I’m not mistaken; a PB at every major middle and long distance race.
As we know, running is hard work and can take it’s toll on the body – so after a stunning year, a winter of injury perhaps would set back any runner… but her grit, determination and focus has meant early 2022 shows no signs that her meteoric improvement is slowing!
Her time of 02:01:33 was over 5 minutes faster (Yep! That said: Five. Minutes!) than her previous half marathon personal best, set at the previous October’s staging of the same race.
She has her eyes set firmly on ‘sub-2’ next!
March Member of the Month
Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding for March Member of the Month: Kate Marshall