Matthew Kingston-Lee, May 2018

May’s GRC Member of the Month was a fiercely fought battle between the (fairly) young and not so young; the seasoned campaigners and the not so experienced. The nominees ran (or attempted to run) a vast range of distances from the relatively short 5K to the ridiculously long 100 miles. One even broke a World Record! Once again the weather played a huge part in the fortunes of our runners, with ‘the Beast from the East’ long forgotten and some unseasonably warm conditions making the going tough for many. As in April there were many superb performances from members who were not nominated who, in quieter months, would have definitely been in the running for MOM.

Coming late in May the Edinburgh Marathon takes place some weeks after the main bulk of spring marathon races and those who take part can get ‘forgotten’ when the hubbub of the marathon season dies down (The day after the London Marathon, basically…). Our five who ran in Scotland’s capital did themselves and the club proud: Andy Atter was nominated for his strong 3:12:58 clocking, less than a minute outside his PB, as was Joe Clarke, who finished less than a minute behind Andy and lopped off over half an hour from his previous marathon best time.

Prolific racer Peter Bonner was nominated for another month of excellent running, in particular for his outstanding run at the Sleaford Half Marathon where, in conditions described by GRC’s weather ‘expert’ Gav Meadows as ‘just about the hottest and worst conditions imaginable’, Peter sliced nearly four minutes off his HM PB to comfortably break the prestigious 90 minute barrier. In typical Bonner fashion, he was next seen racing at the Silverstone 10K just three days later!

March 2018 Member of the Month Nick Payne was nominated for successfully completing the Cinque Ports 100 mile event – the second time he has covered such a distance in a race. His exploits were made all the harder by hot and humid conditions by day and the resultant downpours at night wreaking havoc with blisters.

Also taking part in a 100 mile race, Chris Limmer was nominated for his valiant attempt at completing the Thames Path 100. Held on the same weekend as the Sleaford Half Marathon, the unseasonably hot conditions would ultimately force Chris and many others to retire from the race. The bitter disappointment of not finishing an event that saw months of preparation is a hard pill to swallow. It is to Chris’ credit that he was seen days later continuing to do a great job running with our 2018 group of 10 Weeks to 10K runners.

In comparison, Andrew Pask’s 40:13 track 10km effort seems barely worth mentioning. The devil is in the detail however for Sgt Andrew Pask was part of a 100 strong contingency from the RAF attempting and succeeding in setting a new World Record for the 100x10km relay. It is highly unlikely that anyone else in the club will ever be able to call themselves a track and field World Record holder!

Tony Johnson was nominated for a second time in 2018. Fully recovered from health and injury issues, Tony enjoyed a great month of racing in Ma y – he was 25th overall and 4th in his age category at the Sleaford Half Marathon; a week later was again 25th overall and 2nd in his age category at the Eye 10K; and seven days after Eye he had arguably his best race of the month, finishing seventh overall and third in the Veterans’ category at the Deepings 10K.

For the first time in 2018 there was a three-way tie at the top for MOM and a casting vote from the Member of the Month overlord Gav Meadows was required to reach a verdict. Louise Kennedy is very much just beginning her running and racing ‘journey’ – she ran her first ever 10K race in Birmingham in the same conditions endured by those at the Sleaford Half and then at the Lincoln 5K Series race ran 30:40, very impressively knocking over three minutes off her 5K personal best.

Yvette Taylor is another relatively novice runner with some experience of 10k races who apparently vowed she would never take part in a race as long as a half marathon. Despite this promise she found herself lining up at the Sleaford Half Marathon (with three other half marathon debutantes from the club) and fought through conditions that severely tested the most experienced of runners to determinedly finish a race that will live long in the memory of those who took part. Hopefully Yvette will feel inspired to take part in another half marathon where surely conditions will not be so testing!

After much deliberation and perhaps persuaded by the delivery of a fine freshly baked apple pie (a) Mr Meadows decided that the May GRC Member of the Month should be awarded to, ahem… Matthew Kingston-Lee…. (Cue awkward shift to writing in the third person):

Matthew kicked off May by crashing his Time Trial bike, which would seriously impede his ability to ride his time trial bike (b) and, by bruising his kneecap, seriously impede his ability to run. Adrenaline seemingly saw him through the hot Sleaford Half Marathon where he finished second overall in 1:15:59, just over a minute outside his PB (c).

His feet may have thanked him for the pair of Mizuno trainers he won for his efforts but his knee was not so happy. Matthew barely ran for two weeks before discovering the powerful affect drugs can have on the body (d).

Brazenly rubbing a clear gel like substance (e) on the affected knee just minutes before the Lincoln 5K race, the hitherto hobbled runner miraculously transformed into a child beating (f) 5K running machine, finishing ninth overall in a race where most of the top 10 could have been fathered by the winner of the ‘Old Man’s Category’ (g).

This itself didn’t seem to attract the attention of the MOM committee – but the fact he ran a 10 second PB (and, incidentally, a club record) of 16:45 at ‘his age’ (h) when he had been running competitively ‘most of his adult life’ (i) brought out grossly inflated superlatives such as, ‘absolutely astounding’ and ‘absolutely astounding’.

So c̶o̶n̶g̶r̶a̶t̶u̶l̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶s̶ ̶m̶e̶, congratulations Matthew on being GRC Member of the Month for May and well done to all the other nominees!

(a) This didn’t actually happen.
(b) I/He snapped the frame.
(c) Just in case you choose to check, Power of 10 is an incomplete reference of an athlete’s running results!
(d)The drug in question is Diclofenac diethylammonium. Sounds dodgy!!!
(e) In case you haven’t Googled it, it is Voltarol Gel. (It’s not a banned substance in sport – in case you want to Google that too…)
(f) Grantham AC’s Will Tucker is/was 17 – he finished 11th.
(g) AKA V40.
(h) I/He am/is 42.
(i) Matthew actually made his athletic debut at the 1981 Reception Class School Sports Day, where he finished second in the boys’ sprint race. From that day on he considered himself, basically, a professional athlete, even if results indicated he was little more than a mediocre hobby jogger.

Completely neutral & un-biased write up: Matthew Kingston-Lee

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