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Grantham Running Club members tackle the 34th Belvoir Challenge

Two Grantham Running Club members tackled the 34th Belvoir Challenge.

Chris Limmer took part in the 15-mile race and crossed the line in 2:40:26, placing him an impressive 64th out of 531 participants.

Caroline Davis was even more of a sucker for punishment and took on the challenge of the 26-miler. She finished in 5:44:49.

Caroline Davis
Caroline Davis

Every year the course changes, but there were familiar parts for the regulars among runners and walkers.

Starting out at Harby Village Hall, as soon as the route set out across fields, it set the scene for the rest of the race – lots of mud and water, unsurprising given the unrelenting rain.

The longer route wound through the Belvoir estate but, to get there, runners faced a steep climb up through Plungar Woods to then head towards Wood Lane.

This is where the route split and lots more mud to contend with via Woolsthorpe by Belvoir and Croxton Kerrial before joining up with the 15-milers on route to Stathern.

It is usually a pleasure to reach Stathern knowing there is only about three miles to go. This year, however, the heavy clay soil sucked you in and there was no momentum left in the legs to keep running at any pace.

The lead runner of the 26 mile race was Chris Cope with a time of three hours, 15 minutes and 44 seconds. First lady home was Jenny Laing in four hours, two minutes and 39 seconds.

Caroline Davis was the sole runner for Grantham Running Club at the Bedford Oakley 20.

It was the third 20-mile race of the year and took place around the countryside of Bedford and took runners through some picture-box villages with thatched cottages.

It was a two-lap course with a larger lap and a welcome shorter lap on the second leg on an undulating course, so good preparation for a spring marathon.

Caroline Davis was looking to go under the three-hour mark after a disappointing year running.

She finally came in at two hours, 57 minutes and 23 seconds. The overall winner was David Ball from Rugby and Northants AC in a time of one hour, 58 minutes and 30 seconds.

First lady home was Emily Prejac from Dunstable Lions Running Club in a time of two hours, 19 minutes and 39 seconds.

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