The 2022 edition of the GRC Grand Prix series got underway with the Retford Half Marathon this weekend. The race over the quiet, fairly flat Nottinghamshire roads drew in a high-quality field all hoping for a good early season benchmark. However only 4 GRC runners entered the race due to numerous clashes and marathon work-ups.
First in for the club was Matthew Kingston-Lee who returned from a 2-year race absence to clock a surprising 1:18:09, an impressive 4 minutes beyond his pre-race prediction. Setting off at a faster pace than planned with a ‘just go with it’ approach he was delighted to finish 38th in this high-quality field and earning an impressive Gold Club Standard with 80.57%.
Next across line was Manchester Marathon bound Andrew Pask with an ‘on target’ 1:28:07. Squeezing this race in during a busy period of marathon training his legs were never going to be fresh but Andrew was happy enough post-race to scrape a Silver club standard with 70.01%.
Returning to some form was seasoned racer Paul Rushworth with a confidence boosting 1:35:41, his fastest time since 2019. Paul favours the longer distance races and will certainly be running fast times in the year ahead.
Without doubt the performance of the day came from Tommy Napier. Now in the V60 age category, Tommy has been agonisingly close to breaking the magical sub 2hr barrier before but this time he left it beyond any doubt. Smashing his PB by over 4mins, Tommy clocked an outstanding 1:56:06 and bagged a Copper Club standard in the process.