The Thoresby estate in Nottinghamshire provided the setting for the final SBR Longhorn Running Event over a multi terrain courses of tracks, tarmac and woodland.  Runners started and finished in front of the gothic Thoresby Hall; formerly a private home built in the 17th century for the 3rd Earl of Manvers but more recently a luxury hotel.

Grantham Running Club had 15 members participating this year, with 10 in the 10k event, 4 in the half marathon and 1 in the 5K.

It cannot be overstated how horrific the weather was that morning, with chilly temperatures and torrential rain and wind, causing most runners to hide out in their cars in the boggy carparking field until they were forced to get out and face the music.  The Canicross competitors more closely resembled water skiers and the casualty rate echoed the Grand National with fallers and busted limbs all over the place. 

The GRC-ers, who had been hopeful of a lovely trail run with a nice ice cream afterwards when they entered, initially took off on tarmac which then transferred over to woodland trails which were either underwater or resembled melted chocolate.

The 10K (which was closer to 10.5K) runners were the first to merrily trundle off for a spot of trench warfare.  Daniel Wallace was first to return from the front in a time of 53:41, impressively improving on his time the previous year despite the rotten conditions and 3rd in his age category.

Next to return from the trenches was a bespattered Tommy Napier, who enjoyed slumming it at a shorter distance having recently concentrated on half marathons.  He was happy to grind out a time of 56:23 on a “proper” course and stay upright.  Coming third in his category was the icing on the cake and he went home smiling (and filthy).

Next back was Robert Pask who dealt with the trauma by pretending he was enjoying a spa day.  He spent 55:53 wallowing in the mud bath to net 4th in his category and pretended to enjoy the tough conditions.

A somewhat soggy and soiled Sylv Hull returned in 59:59, not exactly setting the world alight but she enjoyed the post-race debrief in McDonalds afterwards.

Briarny Hayes rose to the challenge of the mud and huge puddles and knocked out a 10K PB of 1:06:17 and the medal which was top notch bling.

Catherine Wallace followed in 1:08:05, happy to survive unscathed and 10th in her category.  Clare Mitchell was next in 1:08:20, looking remarkably happy in her photos as she made light work of the swampy conditions.

Jennifer Compton had an absolute whale of a time, enjoying the run and finishing smiling in a time of 1:11:53.  Clearly the muck had addled her mind.  Not long after was Tracey Gell who mistook the event for a Tough Mudder and took a dive in the slop.  Being a hardcore trail warrior, she finished smiling in 1:15:33 and 9th in her category.

Julia Hallam rounded off the GRC 10K-ers in a time of 1:20:51. Her main comment was that she will be pleased to return to road races…

In the half marathon were 4 gluttons for punishment.  Jack Heathershaw decided to go big or go home.  Not only his first outing in the GRC vest, but it was also his first ever half marathon and he couldn’t have picked a worse introduction.  He returned absolutely caked in the brown stuff in what was actually a fantastic time of 1:40:12 and 7th overall.  His summed up the experience with the profound words; “I was glad it was over when I got to the end”.

Ross Warden was next in 2:14:06, gradually shedding clothes on each lap.  Husband and wife team Judi and Simon Allsopp ran the race together, crossing the line together in 2:47:55 and 2:47:57 respectively.

Wayne Baxter was the sole GRC entrant in the 5K as he works his way back to fitness.  He enjoyed the 2 lap route and splashing around in the floods looking for Spongebob.  He was very happy to be back out in the green and black with clubmates and enjoyed the atmosphere.  He finished in 34:09 and 3rd in his category.

SBR once again put on a terrific last hurrah with fantastic marshals, medals and t-shirts that Elton John might consider “a bit much” and free photography from Mick Hall.  It is an event that will be missed.


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