Prior to Christmas several hardy members of Grantham Running Club took part in fixture 3 of the North Midlands XC League at Shipley Park in Heanor. Run around parkland with a few hilly sections and a short stretch through woodland, the event was a proper cross country experience. Along with the very cold and frosty weather conditions, the testing course was quite hard and bumpy underfoot, with some muddy patches and even a bit of water at the bottom of one hill.
In the Ladies race Caroline Davis and Sarah High both put in strong runs in their 7.4K, 2 lap course with Sarah finishing first for GRC in a time of 39.13, 2nd in her age group, and Caroline following shortly after in a time of 39.47. Claire Smith, in her first XC event for the club, put in a great effort in the challenging conditions to bring the team home. The ladies remain in 5th position overall in the league.
For the men’s team, our chaps acquitted themselves well against a strong, competitive field of 203 participants, with the ever impressive Peter Bonner leading the team home and finishing in a time of 43.43. Rob Howbrook put in strong performance finishing second for GRC and first in his age category. Jason Walker ran another good race, finishing strongly in third place for the club. Cross country stalwarts Peter Jennings, Paul Davis and Andrew MacAllister were the next to complete the testing course, each putting in a fine effort.
Chris Smith, also in his first XC race for the club, brought the team home. Chris reported that he really enjoyed the experience despite it being really tough.
All in all, along with the with the great, supportive atmosphere between our club members, it was a great afternoon of cross country.
Thank you to everyone who has participated in the cross country for the club so far this season. There will be more in the New Year.