As we hurtle toward the autumnal and wintery months with alarming speed, welcome to October’s Member of the Month!
As ever, we witnessed a plethora of fine running both near and far.
Round Up Part One
The opening weekend of the month saw a rich buffet of races up and down this glorious Isle to feast upon.
In terms of proximity, the closest was a sunny West Pinchbeck 10k.
211 people stood on the start with fourteen from GRC. As regularly besets a flat, open fenland course a gentle breeze became an unwelcome headwind to finish.
First home for the club, Richard Payne set a season’s best of 42:36.
The in-form Dale Towning romped home joining the sub 50 club en route (a long-standing ambition of his) and securing a fantastic 4-minute PB with a time of 49:22.
First lady for the club, Naomi Rivers posted 51:37, as she returns to fitness.
Another strong run by Sylv Hull followed Naomi in 53:36.
Next home, Paula Pick Ebbins arguably the performance of the day smashing a seven-minute+ PB in a fantastic 54:20. These superb trio of performances led to GRC winning the ladies team event!
Finishing with a solid time of 55:21, Wayne Baxter continues to nurse a couple of niggles, which has affected his training.
The first of the ‘Emma’s’ Emma Duncan (57:56), according to Power of 10 this her first sub 60 10k race and thus a shiny new PB.
Emma Weighill, her first 10k race since April, crossed the line in 1:01:13 showing her usual cheery attitude.
Catherine Wallace (CatherineDanny Wallace) was thrilled to finish in 1:02:19, as she plots her own way back to fitness.
In what I can glean as her club debut, Natalie Hardwick ran well to post 1:04:24. Clipping her heels Yvonne Buckleyran 1:04:47.
Next, the ever-enthusiastic Julia Hallam clocked 1:07:42 and, saving the best for last Brendon Buckley finished in a time of 1:12:26.
Let us leave the flatlands of Lincolnshire behind and scoot up to Inverness, literally accompanied by a band of pipers. The Loch Ness Marathon saw sole GRC runner, Thomas Lyons Napier, his first foray in to marathoning.
Taking in the stunning Highland scenery around the Loch, Tommy had to dig deep from eighteen miles onwards, battling cramp. His clocking of 04:50:52 a humbling experience.
Without much pomp, Holly Durham took to roads of Chester to tackle the Chester Marathon. With near robotic pacing, she was delighted to post a PB 4 seconds, improving her London Marathon time from 2017. Her time: 03:17:37.
Rounding out the same weekend as the above three races, eight of the green and black army travelled south to run arguably the most famous race in the world; the London Marathon.
Caroline Davis (Paul Davis) the first home in yet another solid run, one now associates with this fine runner.
Her 03:51:47 represented her second fastest marathon to date.
In his marathon debut, Richard Ruston-Litchfield, is sure to learn valuable lesson if he dabbles in the marathon landscape again. His first showing of 04:26:29 a very commendable effort to build on.
Esther Fraser-Betts’s preparation was measured and paid dividends in the form of an eighteen-minute personal best, less than a year from her Manchester debut.
John Nevard’s marathon was a tale of two halves, he rallied in the latter stages to post a respectable 04:53:44.
Katie Bland’s 05:12:50 again represented an admirable marathon debut.
Undoubtedly, the story of the day was the fantastic trio of Julie Gilbert, Rachel Pattison and Rosalind Sadler. Their marquee charity event, raising funds for Young Lives vs Cancer. Over the years they have helped raise over £40,000. Superlatives fail me. “F**king fantastic” will do. Take all the bows ladies!
(Times for reference only: Julie Gilbert – 05:54:36, Rosalind Sadler – 05:54:36 and Rachel Pattison – 06:05:34)
Six Go Travelling
On a rainy Friday, six intrepid members travelled nearly a thousand miles ‘just’ to take part in the half marathon and 10k in Palma, Majorca.
Starting early on the Sunday morning at the spectacular Santa Maria Cathedral and running along the sea front before hitting the climb that headed into the historical city of Palma.
Despite the early start, the heat played a factored as temperatures rose.
First back for GRC was Richard Payne in 1:34:39 as he continues to improve. As ever, he finished strongly with the last three miles being his fastest.
Sam Dodwell next in 1:35:27. Sam suffering with the fast pace at the start, settling back to keep a more consistent pace to the end.
This was Naomi Rivers’ longest run all year, yet alone race and she was thrilled to finish in 2:01:33. Down in the racing doldrums of late, this may signal the stock rising once again for this talented runner.
Sylv Hull flagged in the heat somewhat but loved the atmosphere and experience of running round such a beautiful city and posted a time of 2:07:32.
Zoë Wragg happy enough running 2:08:30 despite feeling a little off-colour during the closing miles.
Julia Hallam was due to run the 10k, but a last-minute route change meant the course was shortened to 9k. By virtue of the obscurity of the distance, she set the 2022 club 9k best with 1:00:09.
In stark contrast to the blazin’ Balearics, October welcomed the start of the iconic Cross-Country season.
Kicking off GRC’s filthy adventures was the North Midlands Cross Country League held at Markeaton Park in Derby.
Team Captain Sarah High first home for the ladies closely followed by Caroline Davis and nerve-conquering-first-timer Nicci Whittaker.
In the men’s race, Robert Howbrook with club XC debutant, but trail loving Peter Jennings performed well. Craig G Drury and Andrew MacAllister followed to make the four-man team score.
Later in the month; ten hardy souls took part in the first round of this year’s Lincolnshire Cross Country League. The event was hosted by good friends Grantham Athletic Club at Madges Farm, Stroxton.
The course undulates around fields normally occupied by sheep, the weather on the day; baa-lmy (I’m so sorry!), and the course largely firm but muddy in places.
First to run were the men, with the field quickly becoming spread out and lonely races ensuing for many. At the end of the first lap Martin Carter retired as a precaution after picking up a niggle.
A muddied Peter Bonner the first of GRC to cross the finish line in a fine 8th place. Following with some solid running; Peter Jennings (25th), Paul Davis (29th), Andrew MacAllister (33rd) and Craig Drury (35th).
Next it was the turn of the ladies, and it was Michelle Parczuk who “stormed” to the front, until an unfortunate marshalling error sent some of the leading ladies, including Michelle, around an extra loop adding an estimated 750m to their race.
Therefore, leading GRC across the line was Vicki Hardy in 16th followed by team-mates Paula Ebbins (21st), Andrea Ward (22nd) and an unlucky Michelle Parczuk in 25th place.
Round Up Part Deux
Back to road stuff; Four runners took to beautiful city of York for the Yorkshire Marathon. Despite the tough nature of the course Dean Riggalll ran perhaps his finest race to date (I’m not getting bored of saying this lately) his PB of 3:00:54 was a 34 second improvement on his 2021 Manchester Marathon continuing a blistering streak of performances across, well, pretty much any distance.
Next home was Cameron Hogan in 3:36:17 in only his second marathon. Improving by over 25 minutes over his 2019 debut in London. His more regimented, methodical training clearly contributing to his well-judged and well-paced run.
Experienced marathoner, Warren Stark , (4:00:16) left pleased with his time but as is runner’s want regretting those few extra seconds that would’ve meant ‘sub four’. The final runner Simon Smith (4:34:20) his third marathon, a list of illness and injuries in the training leaving their mark.
Auspiciously, thirteen took a trip to Peterborough for the Great Eastern Run half.
Returning after you-know-what cancellations and a disastrous 2019 event, cancelled following a last-minute security alert, it was the 14th round in the club’s Grand Prix series.
It promised much…
More than 2,300 runners lined up for the fast, flat course through Peterborough City Centre.
Rather upsettingly, the whole raced was marred by a misplaced traffic cone that resulted in a slightly shorter section of the course. Ergo, the entire run was deemed to be 150 meters short. Or a distance of 13.007 miles.
First back for GRC was Joe Diggins with a time of 1:24:03. A would be pb, he was also left sour by the price to goodie bag ratio.
Peter Bonner’s 01:27:30 dragged down by the short course penalty, a fine sub 90 performance nonetheless.
Run streaker Daniel Pearce (01:30:36) was happy with his would-be best effort too, to see it taken away.
Plugging away at the half marathon distance for a few years, Penny Hodges perhaps had the case for most aggrieved, her would be PB of 1:37:24 a two-minute improvement on her official record.
Hannah Whittaker’s fantastic effort result in a brilliant time of 1:37:35 and another would be pb. It would’ve given her another London Good For Age qualification. Thankfully her Manchester Mara had already seen her secure a GFA spot.
Peter Jennings (1:44:58) Sarah High (01:51:48), and Craig Drury (01:55:09) had all ‘warmed up’ at the Cross-Country the day before. It seemed to work well with each recording impressive times.
Stephen J Fay (02:04:35) and Tracy Webb (02:24:55) both put in storming efforts themselves and were more than happy despite all this short talk.
The Lincoln 10k saw a glut of green and black descend on the County capital.
The flat and fast course saw over 2,000 runners start on Riseholme Road before arriving at Lincoln Cathedral for the big finish.
First home for GRC was Sam Dodwell (40:48). Such is the meteoric improvement of late, it wasn’t a PB, but still over a minute quicker than last year.
Following closely, Robin Atter (41:10) was left a little deflated about spending energy picking his way through the congested start – ultimately fading in the closing stages as result.
Daniel Pearce was elated to finish in an impressive time of 41:18, it represents a well-deserved nineteen second PB and over two minutes quicker than last years water-logged effort on the same course.
Anthony Boyle came home in 49:38, a two second PB. Every second counts!
First lady back, Marj Spendlow (52:00) surprised herself with a return to form after a summer of injury setbacks.
Rachel Pattison ran a progressive race to complete a new PB by over a minute, her time 54:02, the runners high writ large upon her face.
Kate Marshall’s ‘love hate’ relationship with 10k’s continues – she hates them. She loves PB’s though so does this make her 55:25 (a PB by almost a minute) bittersweet? Perhaps just sweet!
Emma Duncan crossed the line in a time of 55:38, which bettered her West Pinchbeck 10k Pb by another two minutes! To boot, she raised over £600 for St Barnabas.
Rosalind Sadler came home in a time of 57:07, a season’s best for her. Laura Pigott was pleased with her time of 59:37, just the casual eight-minute personal best!
Natalie Hardwick was thrilled to beat her previous PB by nearly two minutes and break the 1-hour barrier in 59:41.
Yvonne Buckley clocked 1:03:58. Though it wasn’t a PB, she was happy to beat her previous time from 2014, despite being 8 years older!
Fraser Marshall (01:04:47) played chaperon to some recent graduates of the club’s Develop Your Running programme in their first 10k. Davina Honeywood (1:01:29), Clare Mitchell (1:04:47), Clare Smith (1:04:45) and @Jo Oliver (1:08:23) all covering themselves in glory! Hopefully we will be seeing more from them over the coming months and years!
Rounding out the month A trio of runners travelled to Worksop to participate in the 40th anniversary of the Worksop Half Marathon. The race kick starts with a stiff climb in the first mile and takes in spectacular autumnal colours as it passes through leafy trails of the historic Clumber Park.
The cool conditions on the day made or ideal running, Gav Meadows had a strong run finishing in 1:34:21. Next home Paul Rushworth finishing slightly disappointed in a time of 1:40:40. Caroline Davis came home 2:00:19.
You lot have got to stopping being so bloody awesome! It exhausts me!
Speaking of bloody awesome, the runner up of October’s Member of the Month has endured something of a renascence over 2022. Now, I won’t mention her age, but it does appear that she flies in the face of the ‘act your age’ advice you hear so often.
A re-doubled focus, a holistic approach and improved ‘get up and go’ are plane for all to see.
So what of running?
This too she has set to with renewed fever as above. Parkrun bests, a rediscovered joy of the simple pleasure of running.
So, it’s no surprise that she set to the ill-fated Great Eastern Run in Peterborough, not with trepidation but maybe quiet confidence…
Her pacing on point throughout.
It resulted in a would be PB by a quite staggering twenty-four minute and four seconds. TWENTY-FOUR. MINIUTES.
Ruuning the distance in 2:06:05 the runner up for October is Samuelle French
It’s not many times you find me scrambling around short of words to describe the many, many fine runners of this club.
Perhaps this is one of those rare occasions… It is sometimes best said with vigor not the verbiage I’m probably renowned for.
A simply fantastic time of 41:29 at the Lincoln City 10k, saw several things:
2nd place in his age category.
His fastest 10k this year.
The highest club male GP score this year*: 83.40%
Placing inside the top 200 for 10k’s for his age category this year*
October Member of the Month
Ladies and Gents, the Winner of this month’s Member of the Month is the peerless Rob Howbrook
*correct at time of writing.
Congratulations Robert, Sammi and every one of you.