16 members of Grantham Running Club arrived to support the return of the popular Woodhall Spa 10k in boiling June conditions.
New organisers Curly’s Athletes brought the Lincolnshire spectacle back for the first time since 2019. Runners started near the Petwood Hotel and headed out on a flat, rural route, first turning down Monument Road before a change of direction towards Stixwould, finally looping round to finish at Jubilee Park with medals and cakes for everyone. Eventually 936 runners would romp home in the heat.
A Battle of Britain Memorial Hurricane flypast capped a great day full of sunshine and smiles.
First back for GRC was Daniel Pearce in a time of 40:55, also claiming a top 3 spot in his age category. Following closely behind after some great pacing and teamwork was Robin Atter in a very creditable 41:26 on marathon legs.
Stuart Baty was very pleased with a big new PB finishing in 46:13.
There were many fine performances in very warm conditions. Rachel Hamilton was the club’s first female runner back in a season best 45:37. Naomi Rivers was next in a time of 50:19, her best 10k run since 2019. Zoe Wragg was pleased to see so many club mates attending and was happy to come home in 52:46 after a recent leg injury. Sylv Hull finished in 58:41. She said it was a race to forget but she enjoyed the cake and medal!
Some runners were there to enjoy a social run like Wayne Baxter (56:17), and others were returning from injury like Richard Payne (56:50) and Robert Pask (51:57), who ran his strongest 10k so far on the road to recovery from a heart attack. There were families taking part together as well, with Simon and Judi Allsopp both putting in strong performances (51:48 and 1:09:31 respectively).
Wendy Fraser (1:09:31) and Yvonne Buckley (1:11:35) said it was a struggle in the heat, but Anthony Boyle was pleased with his time of 50:16.
Kate Thompson was running her first race since joining GRC. She enjoyed the lovely setting and was looking forward to returning next year to try and improve her time of 1:00:10). Amanda Boyle also ran well in the hot and humid conditions to finish in 1:12:52).
Louise Haynes was also racing for the first time after joining Beginning to Run, the Club’s supportive start up group for new runners. She said she was nervous as the start approached, but she thanked fellow club mates for giving her plenty of encouragement. Louise added that she loved the cake and medal and will definitely return next year to search for an improvement on her finishing time of 1:18:05).
Simon Hartley (1:14:06) summed up the mood of all the GRC team when he commented that Curly’s Athletes had continued the tradition of a well organised race which had fantastic local support.
Lincoln Wellington Athletic Club dominated the race with William Strangeway first across the line in a fantastic 31:21, and Sophie Wallis the first female runner home in 33:48.
Pictures c/o John Rainsforth