On a cool but clear Saturday morning, 29 of the green and black army all headed off to the UK’s largest theme park in Staffordshire to take part in the RunThrough Alton Towers 10k race. Billed as the first event of its kind the race started and finished amongst the rides in the estate with the route following paths and roads with in the grounds allowing the runners to take in all the sights and sounds.
The early stages of the race saw the runners twisting and turning past such rides as Rita and TH13TEEN before looping around Smiler and Oblivion. They then headed into CBeebies land where there was the welcome sight of the Teletubbies dishing out high fives to spur everyone on. The runners then headed out into the more flowing section of the course which included the car park and inner roads before turning back into the park to finish in front of the famous towers.
First home for GRC was Peter Bonner in an impressive 41:34 closely followed by Robin Atter in 42:11 and Richard Payne in 43:37. first GRC lady home was Nicola Ruston-Litchfied in an impressive 43:55.
Sam Dodwell completed the course in 44:59 closely followed by Kevin Kettle in 45:39 and Richard Litchfield came home in 49:10 and just getting under the 50-minute mark was Stuart Baty in a creditable 49:19.
A flurry of Grantham runners followed in the next few minutes including Tony Boyle (52:07), Dale Towning (53:07), Naomi Rivers (53:27), Zoë Wragg ran a superb race to claim a PB (53:43) and Rachel Pattison (54:51) followed by her partner in crime Julie Gilbert (55:28) and Martin Carter (55:50).
Vicki Ball was racing her first 10k for a while and was unsure how to tackle the race but was happy to finish in 57:13 followed by Alison Clark in 57:38 and she was followed by the second PB for the Wragg girls as Holly Wragg followed her elder sister to finish with a very impressive 57:57.
Following the sisterly theme Holly Durham and Penny Hodges ran together to both finish in 58:17 and were followed by Kate Marshall (59:22) and Wayne Baxter (1:00:58).
Nicola Cottam suffered a fall before the race but patched herself up to finish in 1:03:21 with Fraser Marshall closely behind in 1:03:29 and Ros Sadler 1:04:25 and Jaqueline Jacobs 1:08:54.
The final 3 runners home for GRC completed the run together, enjoying each other’s company and were happy to see the finish line with Julia Hallam (1:16:58) CJ Walker (1:17:02) and Kathleen Gray (1:17:03).
Most of the runners described the route as very different and enjoyable if not a little bit “lumpy” but all enjoyed the experience and commented on how well organised the event was.
The remainder of the day was spent thrill-seeking and tackling as many rides and sights as possible with everybody thoroughly enjoying themselves. Even the not-so-brave were seen flying along the tracks screaming in either joy or fear (or both). The large GRC turn out really made for an absolutely brilliant day with many promising to return next year for more fun, and maybe a bit of running as well.