The Thoresby estate provided the setting for the SBR Longhorn Running Event which is run over a multi terrain course of tracks, tarmac and woodland.
The backdrop to the start and finish to all races was the majestic Thoresby Hall; formerly a private home built in the 17th century for the 3rd Earl of Manvers but more recently a luxury hotel set in tree studded grounds.
Grantham Running Club had 9 members participating this year, with four in the 10k event, 4 in the half marathon and a sole entrant in the marathon distance.
Much rain had fallen over the Saturday night and continued on and off on the Sunday which meant that conditions underfoot varied from wet tarmac to liquid mud. Runners at times needed to look for better traction in the wooded areas where the grass edges of the route offered some grip.
In the marathon event, Jo Grace who is still fairly inexperienced at trail running and hadn’t laced up her trail shoes since the swampy Belvoir Challenge, was questioning her life choices as she lined up at the start! Setting off at a steady pace the first lap was fairly pleasant but on the second lap the rain started and the mud levels increased somewhat. Things definitely took a turn for the better when she switched strategy to use the food stations and uplifting conversations with the amazing marshals. Though it wasn’t the fastest run of the weekend she was very pleased to finish the distance in 5:19:51 and enjoy the experience.
Lining up for the half marathon among a field of 159 was Mark Carter. The routed covered two laps of the 10k route plus a slight detour to make the distance. Mark followed the 2:10 pacer who was doing a grand job until he nipped off to the loo as they completed a lap. This was only Mark’s second half marathon, and he was looking to beat his previous best of 2:14:36. He was very happy to cross the line in 2:08:29 in 55th place overall, especially impressive given the conditions.
Also taking part in the muddy half marathon for the first time were husband and wife team Judi and Simon Allsopp who crossed the line together in 2:38:12. This run provided Judi with a PB, taking a massive 19 minutes off her previous best set at the Great North Run last year.
Mark Edwards rounded out the half marathoners with a finish time of 2:45:02.
In the 10k, the first finisher back for GRC was Daniel Wallace in a time of 54:57 which gave him an overall position of 54th. Closely following was Robert Pask who crossed the finish in 57:08 and 77th place.
Debbie Bennett and Catherine Wallace finished the race within seconds of one another at 1:02:03 and 1:02:09 respectively.
As always SBR once again put on a terrific day’s racing with each entrant receiving medals (and a pork pie) and the marshals were friendly and encouraged every runner. Great event photos were provided for free, making it a favourite event for many GRC members.
Photos c/o Mick Hall Photography