“What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.” — Vern McLellan
“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written…” — Melody Beattie
“No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.” — attributed to Buddha
December was full of festive frivolities and a chance to celebrate with family & friends the success and victories of the year.
But running stops for no man. Thus, let’s have one last look at 2022, with December’s Member of The Month.
XC Round Up
First up Sunday 4th December saw several members venture north to the Lincolnshire Wolds for the fourth and final round of the Lincolnshire XC League at Louth. A hilly course made harder by the muddy patches as a result of driving rain in the buildup.
Despite wet weather on the journey, the rain relented for the ladies race of just over 5k.
Sarah High was first back in 27:24. Paula Pick Ebbins followed in 29:11, grateful for the cheerful support of the men’s team which lifted her spirits.
Next, racing approximately 7.5K, the Men – with enough representation to field two teams.
Robin Atter finished in 31:48. Admittedly, more at home on road, he continues building strength with the variation to his winter running.
Peter Jennings put in a great effort, finishing second for the club.
Likewise, Paul Davis and Andrew MacAllister acquitted themselves equally as well. Paul finishing in 35:46.
The ‘most experienced’ of GRC’s runners, Paul Lenton (Paul Jepson), enjoyed the race, he was followed by Richard Urquhart who also finished with a smile on his face.
On the Saturday 10th December was the third round of the North Mids League which took place at Shipley Park in Heanor. A testing course that offers a bit of everything, parkland, track, fields, woodland, uphill sections and of course mud.
In the men’s race (circa 10K), Rob Howbrook was first back for GRC in a time of 43:27, which put him in a well-deserved third place in his age group. Peter Jennings back for more, completing his second strong run in as many weekends.
Paul Davis followed having put in a determined performance, with Andrew MacAllister not far behind and Craig G Drury bringing the team home.
For the ladies in their 6K race, the classic tussle between Caroline Davis and Sarah High, saw Caroline first back in 37:32. Not far behind, Sarah also finished third in her age category.
As with every cross-country event, the team camaraderie on the courses makes the running that bit more special.
A beautiful motto and playful reminder than cross country (much like Bon Jovi’s classic album) is ‘Slippery When Wet’!
Andrew Pask was the sole representative at the Valencia Marathon in Spain, joining as many as 22,000 other runners.
Valencia regards itself as the “City of Running” and given the fast, and ridiculously flat course that takes in the best of the beautiful city and surrounding suburbs, it’s hard to argue with such a claim.
Coming into the race in a self-professed poor run of form, Andrew had somewhat moved the needle on his own expectations. Giving himself ‘permission to fail’ and perhaps relaxing as result, he’d long disregarded targeting a repeat of his PB run of 3:05:10 at the same race in 2019.
Recapturing some of the beauty of running; he ran to feel, even claiming to disregard his watch to fully immerse in the atmosphere and further shake any time pressures.
Lapping-up the atmosphere in the final miles, he continued to enjoy the race in what was declared his last marathon of 15 attempts at the distance. Crossing the line at the Ciudad de las Artes he was surprised to clock: 3:11:48.
He may be even more surprised to learn that as a result he also takes the Runner Up for December.
Llongyfarchiadau, Andrew Pask!
“Ok Google / Alexa / Hey, Siri – can you define ‘purple patch’ for me?”
“Ok… here’s what I have:“
The tail end of the year has been a superb exclamation point on another fine year for this prolific racer. His drive and passion for running plane to see from all who he comes in to contact within the club.
Fresh from an already outstanding November that saw him notch up a 10k Pb at Doncaster, he carried the forward momentum into a quite stunning December.
Firstly, showcasing his running breadth at the Lincolnshire XC at Louth; he was first back for the men in a time of 29:18. Putting in a storming effort round the slippery course – cut up by the previous ladies and age group races and heavy rainfall.
As many of the club were cutting shapes on the dancefloor at the fabulous Christmas Party on the Saturday evening before, this chap was bedding down in preparation for The Turkey Trot Half Marathon at Keyworth on Sunday 11th December.
It’s been a long-standing curtain closer of the clubs Grand Prix series.
The course; an undulating one lap road race starting and finishing at the secondary school and taking in local villages, with a challenging final uphill section.
As with many winter races, there were some doubts about the weather in advance of the event, but despite the chill, runners were left with surprisingly good racing conditions.
No matter the tough nature of the course, His dutiful pacing and inner strength on show. He was more than elated to finish in 1:26:09 to gain an unexpected half marathon personal best and a 75%+ age grading for the second time in a fortnight.
December Member of the Month
Ladies and Gentle folk of Grantham Running Club, put your hands together for December’s Member of the Month; Peter Bonner!