Meet 3 and County Championships
The third in the series of 5K races run by Lincoln Wellington AC saw a bumper 20 members of Grantham Running Club showing up to rub shoulders with some of the region’s most elite athletes.
A 4 lapper round the less than scenic Yarborough Leisure Centre grounds, the course offers little in the way of distraction from the pain of running full tilt for just over 3 miles; the appeal lies in the race forming part of the club’s own GP series and a decent surface to run on.
On the humid and muggy Tuesday evening, the first event GRC took part in was the Memory Mile. Playing this as his ‘Joker’ in the GP, Joaquim Jeronimo (“Flash” to his friends) stormed round to come 2nd in 05:01. Amazingly he characterised this performance is just “Ok”.
Peter Bonner, a glutton for punishment, ran 07:07 as a gentle starter before the 5K.
Next up was the 5K which was the main event for the rest of the club members.
First back for GRC in a very fast field, Russel Whittaker set a blistering official road race time of 17:12 which equalled his parkrun PB so cementing an official result. He also scored 1st place in his category in what was a Lincs Athletic Association County Championships race.
Fresh off the back of his 1 mile ’jog’ was Peter Bonner in 18:46, improving on his previous race in the series by nearly a minute. He found the course damp and twisty but was pleased to run consistently and his resultant time for the GP.
Robin Atter smashed a new PB with a time of 19:37, beating his previous time set in 2021 which he was very happy about.
Matthew Atter followed in 19:41, improving on his last two attempts at this series and setting his fastest official 5K in 3.5 years following a return to regular training. He’s set the bar high for the next and final race of the series in August!
Dan Pearce scored a hard-won (read: distinctly unpleasant) season’s best with 19:49 and continues to improve as he moves through the series.
Taking the role of pacer for another young runner in the 5K, having expended his energy on the Memory Mile, Joaquim Jeronimo crossed the line in 19:57.
Chris Limmer was happy to finish in 20:22, a little slower than his previous attempt but enjoyed himself, having run an evenly paced race and spectated the Memory Mile.
Alan Carley continues to put in the fast times with 20:45, quicker than his time at the same venue in 2022.
First of the GRC ladies was Rachel Hamilton in her first official foray into the 5K distance. She continues to impress with a time of 21:12 which secured her a new official result.
Hannah Whittaker stormed over the finish line in a fantastic 21:22, smashing a new PB of over a minute. This also netted her 2nd place in her age category.
Club newcomer Carlene Veasey made a very impressive debut at the 5K road distance with a new PB of 21:45.
Continuing her comeback from injury was Catherine Payne who posted a time of 22:21.
Another club newcomer making his 5K road debut was Kev Wallace who set the bar for himself at 23:06 with more to come.
In his third race of the series, Rob McArdle set his fastest time so far with 23:14.
Sylv Hull improved on her previous series effort by around a minute to match her official PB of 24:29 set in 2021.
Holly Wragg set off with low expectations but following her upward trajectory absolutely smashed her previous 5K times set at parkrun to cross the line in a fantastic 24:39, setting a new official road race time.
Next back was a slightly off-form Paul Jepson who ground out a still impressive 24:46, a little slower than his race 2 time.
Zoe Wragg didn’t particularly enjoy this race and although it just wasn’t her day, she still crossed the line in 24:57, some 13 seconds faster than her previous attempt. A measure of her improvement is that she was disappointed with this time!
Marj Spendlow was another runner who scored a PB, knocking a huge 28 seconds off her previous best in the series to record a time of dead on 25:00.
Sarah High has competed in all 3 of the series events so far and recorded her fastest time with 25:12 and 3rd in her age category and only a little way off her official PB.
The winner of the men’s race was Tom Straw of Lincoln Wellington Athletic Club in an incredible 14:53. The fastest lady was Sophie Wallis, also of Lincoln Wellington AC in 16:09.
County Championships – Medal Winners
The race also doubled up as the 2023 Lincolnshire Athletic Association 5K Road Running County Championships.
A total of 124 runners from the county participated in the 5K Road Championships and GRC had a total of 4 medal winners.
Russel Whittaker became the Road Running County Championship gold medal winner for the V40 age category.
Hannah Whittaker won the silver medal winner for the V40 age category.
Catherine Payne and Sarah were the bronze medal winners in the V50 and V60 age categories respectively.
Well done to the Fantastic Four!