The evening of Friday 23rd June 2023 marked the running of 11th annual Summer Solstice 10K, the flagship race organised annually by Grantham Running Club.
Starting at the pavilion at Long Bennington and winding round the quiet country lanes, the course offered a good chance of a PB as well as post-race goodies such as cakes, a bar, sports massages and an ice cream van.
The event sold out weeks in advance, attracting more than 550 runners from clubs all over the region and thankfully the weather was a little kinder than 2022 with lower, more comfortable temperatures.
With the vast majority of the volunteers made up of GRC members, there were 12 club members running.
First back for GRC was Nicola Ruston-Litchfield who, despite suffering with the heat crossed the line in an excellent 44:58. She was followed by Daniel Wallace in his first 10k race, setting a time of 50:58.
Richard Litchfield was next in 51:33, a little way off his previous best. Zane Wojtowicz crossed the line in 54:28, then Hannah Beckett in 56:30.
Catherine Wallace made an excellent 10k debut and broke the hour mark with 58:40.
A whisker behind was club newcomer Martin Kay who has recently completed the club’s Begin to Run course, also made a brilliant 10k debut, coming in at 58:39.
Also breaking the hour barrier were Davina Honeywood (58:57) in her first race and Katherine Thompson (59:09) who beat her debut time set at Woodhall Spa to set a new PB.
Esther Fraser-Betts followed in 1:03:05. Then Neil Jameson who makes his return following long-term injury to finish in 1:11:06.
Rounding off the GRC representation was Marj Spendlow who unfortunately felt very unwell at the halfway point but battled on to get over the line in 1:36:21.
First over the line was Ronny Wilson from Lincoln Wellington Athletic Club in a spectacular 32:50. The first lady to finish was Hannah Berry from Rutland Running & Triathlon Club in an amazing 36:22.
The runners were provided with a bespoke medal, local beer and excellent support from local residents who turned out to spectate and cheer.
Race Director Sam Jepson said “Thanks to the Long Bennington Playing Field Committee and Parish Council for the use of the facilities and the community for supporting the event. The club look forward to welcoming runners back next year”.
Photos c/o Richard Hall, Newark Photographic Society and Ed Mayes Photography