Stamford Valentine’s 30K

On Sunday 11th February, 15 members of Grantham Running Club took the short trip south down the A1 to take part in the Stamford Striders’ Valentine’s 30k. It is recognised as a tough event, with lots of hills, providing a good training race for those planning a spring marathon. The race gave those members training for London and Manchester an ideal opportunity to test the legs in a 30k event.

The race starts outside Stamford Welland Academy, and then heads up to Little Casterton, Ryhall and Careby, before heading west to Holywell and Pickworth. It then returns through Great Casterton, Tolethorpe and back to Stamford. Runners received great support while out on the route from fellow GRC members, as well as marshals from the Stamford Striders Running Club.

The well-loved event saw over 600 runners race over 18-miles around the Stamford and Rutland countryside. The race was won by William Strangeway in a time of 01:38:18 and the first female back was Rachel Doherty in 01:58:35.

First home for GRC, clocking an impressive sub 2-hour time of 01:58:44, was Joaquim Jeronimo. Despite being injured and finding the race tough after 19k, he was happy with his result and new PB! Next back was Gavin Potter who was using this as a marathon training run, finishing in 02:05:27 and even admitting to strangely enjoying the hills!

Peter Bonner completed the race in 02:09:37 and was followed by Matthew Atter in a time of 02:12:09. Matt treated this as a marathon training run but ended up running faster than intended.  He found the support out on course good but was not a fan on the lap of the field at the end.

Joe Diggins crossed the line in 02:18:27, followed by Sam Dodwell in 02:27:12 and first female back for the club was Holly Durham in 02:31:21.

Next back for the club was Robert McCardle in a time of 02:34:47. Martin Rodell followed in a time of 02:43:30 and didn’t let the hills phase him on his longest race to date.

Caroline Davis completed the course in 02:50:08 and was closely followed by Jonathan Gilbert, making his GRC debut and finishing in a time of 02:50:21.

Next across was the line was Zoe Wragg who was pleased to finish in 02:50:34, a 10-minute PB on her last Stamford 30k time in 2022. Craig Drury was next at 02:54:53.

Having always loved this race, Chris Limmer took part this year by pacing a friend around the 18.6 mile route. He finished in 03:07:31 and appreciated the cake on offer afterwards!

Andrea Ward completed in 03:11:27 and used this race as part of her London Marathon training plan, ahead of the big race in April.

Pictures c/o David Babbs

Report by Zoe Wragg

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