Wendy Fraser, March 21

A plethora of virtual events coloured March with stellar performances across multiple disciplines. 

Firstly, when asked to think of historical Athletics moments through the annuals of time, many come to mind – but perhaps elevated to the level of ‘Legend’ is Sir Roger Bannister’s sub 4-minute mile, some 67 years ago! 1609 meters, 1760 yards  – however you think of it, it is perhaps the one of most iconic distances in running. A true test of speed and endurance!

With this in mind the scene was set for GRC members to pit themselves against the clock in four rounds of The Mile in a virtual race series throughout the month. 33 members took part in the challenge, 12 men and 21 women, running a total of 83 miles. Yet again there were some impressive performances both in terms of time and age grading. 

Sarah High ran a fine 07:16 in Round 4 taking the age grade crown finishing with 77.43%.

Not to be out done, Alan Carley continued his fine form and secured the Men’s age grade crown with his final attempt a superb 05:53.

Ben Hatherley continued his return to top form with his best, 05:36 coming in the final week.

Thomas Napier, Peter Storey and Paul Jepson kept in close order throughout the 4 weeks with bests of: 06:46, 06:51 and 06:54 respectively. 

Vicky Willan took the crown in terms of improvement – a massive 57 second improvement over a mile is a great effort.

Paula Pick Ebbins caught the eye of many with her fantastic performances. Her training clearly baring fruit with her age grading improving by circa 13% from pre-pandemic races!

Other notable performances included: Kate Marshall’s first 60% age grading, Louise Kennedy improving 25 seconds and Yvonne Buckley bettering her efforts week on week to shave off 27 seconds.  

An ambitious (and I must say long overdue) Inter-Club 10K event organised by GRC did more in two weeks for Lincolnshire Running than has been done for years and more, has potentially laid the foundations for cross club series/events in the future. Joined by Stamford Striders, Sleaford Striders, Lincoln & District and Lincoln S&D running clubs, GRC were able to field a 32-runner team and narrowly missed out on the team top spot to Sleaford Striders.

The women were led by Holly Durham who is rapidly returning to her best. Holly’s time of 41:48 was her best time for 3 years and enough to earn her GRC’s top age grade score of 74.29%.

Julie Gilbert and Sylv Hull continue to improve at a rapid rate. Julie’s time of 52:42 is nearly 3 mins inside her official best and Sylv was delighted with her 53:34 in windy conditions, improving on her official best by nearly 4 mins.

Michelle Parczuk and Yvonne Buckley also won individual honours, taking 2nd place in the Ladies Veteran 50 and Ladies Veteran 60 categories respectively. 

March’s Member of the Month Runner Up, Sam Jepson-Rivers led the GRC Men in the Inter-Club 10k clocking 38:57 and topped The Mile Series his final round showing of 05:16.

March Member of the Month

The Winner of March’s Member of the Month has been the epitome of ‘hard work’. Wendy Fraser’s determination and discipline plain to see, returning to running after a enforced hiatus she has been often training alone during lockdown, having sustained a knee injury. Slowly but surely rebuilding her mileage, she demonstrated a brilliant return during The Mile series showing a 42 second improvement over the weeks. Her 68.66% age grading for Round 4 a fantastic effort, breaking 9 minutes in the process, clocking: 08:58. 

Many congratulations Wendy Fraser – a great example to us all of how perseverance pays off!

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