The Langtoft 10k Road Race (and 3k fun run) ran once again on the 1st of May after a two year ‘you-know-what’ hiatus, for its 31st incarnation.
A flat, fast course set over picturesque Lincolnshire countryside beckons a small field every year – with numbers capped at 400.
Well-practiced and slick organisation keeps runners coming back year after year, it was a combination of all these factors that made it a GRC GP series inclusion a veritable no-brainer.
The small field is surprisingly competitive, with local elite level and excellent club runners taking to the small village near Bourne.
First home for GRC was Sam Jepson. Finishing tenth overall, he had a lonely race after the opening kilometre. Clocking 35:39 it still represented a 10 second improvement on his previous personal best.
With perhaps the performance of the day, Sam Dodwell stormed home in a fantastic 39:37 to become the latest to break the magical sub-40-minute barrier.
Taking a staggering 2 minute 20 seconds off his PB from Lincoln in October 2021, coupled together with a quite unbelievable 5 weeks of multiple PB’s over multiple distances, this though, probably represents his finest race to date! Gav Meadows was pleasantly surprised with his result of 40:48.
First lady for GRC, the incomparable Holly Durham shaved 6 seconds of her long standing best from 2018 and secured the Female Vet prize too.
Relative racing novice Daniel Pearce was elated with his 41:37, representing a 55 second PB as was Stef Latter with his own clocking just 9 seconds behind in 41:46 a PB of 49 seconds. The legendary Rob Howbrook posted a season opening 42:56 and took the V60 age win. Alan Carley (43:13) was under a minute outside his best, a good return for someone bearing a long-standing niggle.
Nicola Ruston-Lichfield ran solidly to post 46:19. ‘Fresh’ from Boston Marathon, Robert McArdle dug deep into his well of experience to post a very credible 46:23. A welcome return for Tony Johnson saw him clock 46:36. Stuart Reader ran a rather neat 47 minutes flat.
Ultra and trail runner Andrew MacAllister was rightly thrilled with his showing of 47:49. Ben Mason will no doubt use his 48:14 as marker for the remainder of the year, he pipped the prolific racer Caroline
Davis to the line – again a (UK) Boston Marathoner less than 2 weeks prior – she finished 48:17, staggeringly, her second quickest 10k ever.
Caroline was an unwitting pacer/marker for Michelle Parczuk, who was thrilled at clocking a ‘mojo boosting’ PB, despite coming in a little unprepared. Running 48:49 it took 19 seconds off her previous best at the Stilton Stumble in October of 2019. Paul Jepson was rightfully, very pleased with his day’s work as he set his fastest time for 6 years, crossing the line in 49:33.
Just behind was Philip Crowcroft, enjoying his run he posted sub 50 in spite of less-than-ideal preparation the previous day. 49:46 the final clocking. Mark Rice ran his own superb race to shave 4 seconds off his hitherto PB, clocking 51:03 he continues to improve race after race.
Pleased to be back racing again after injury, Martin Carter was chuffed with his efforts and performance. Racing a solid 51:53 it set a line in the sand to springboard back to form again throughout
Next, Fraser Marshall put his own claim in for the performance of the day to rival Sam. His impressive comeback continues to bear fruit as his discipline and new training regime comes to the fore.
Thinking more conservatively than perhaps he should have, his game plan was quickly revised and revised again as he defied his own expectations. A finish time of 52:20 he was clearly elated – it
represents a 2 minute and 38 second improvement from Oundle 10k in 2020.
Paul Davis, Wayne Baxter and Tommy Napier were separated by just 20 seconds. All three off their best but happy with racing again and looking to improve over the rest of 2022. They ran; 52:23, 52:37 and 52:43 respectively.
Naomi Rivers was happy to comeback after a long injury layoff and run 52:56 and finish under her target 54 minutes. Yvonne Buckley continues to fly in the face of age slowing her down – her 60:08 was
her second fastest 10k to date coming close to her best set in 2015!
Emma Hopkinson, a relative newcomer but with the running bug firmly having taken hold, was happy to finish in 61:19 despite setting off a bit too quick.Racing only for the second time with the Green Army, Holly Wragg 62:36 was ever so delighted to take an impressive 1 minute and 15 seconds off her previous quickest time.
Tracy Webb another pleased with her work as she finished in 66:28 nursing some niggles and fitness setbacks recently. All in all, a pretty great day for GRC. Many concluding that the small but competitive field of 283 is surely set to return to pre-pandemic numbers next year!
The race was won by Ben Herron of Peterborough & Nene Valley AC in 31:43. the leading lady was Philippa Taylor of Helptson Harriers AC in a time of 39:49.