Grantham Running Club host 11th annual Summer Solstice race at Long Bennington
Last Friday marked the running of the 11th annual Summer Solstice 10K, the flagship race organised annually by Grantham Running Club.
Starting at the pavilion in Long Bennington and winding round the quiet country lanes, the course offered a good chance of a personal best as well as post-race goodies such as cakes, a bar, sports massages and an ice cream.
The event was a sellout, attracting more than 550 runners from clubs from all over the region.
Thankfully, the weather was a little kinder than 2022 with a lower, more comfortable temperature.
With the vast majority of the volunteers made up of GRC members, there were only 12 club members running.
First back for GRC was Nicola Ruston-Litchfield who, despite suffering with the heat, crossed the line in an excellent 44min 58sec. 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, followed by Hannah Beckett in 56:30.
Catherine Wallace made an excellent 10k debut and broke the hour mark with 58:40.
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 record a new PB.
Esther Fraser-Betts followed in 1:03:05 and then Neil Jameson who made 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.
Runners were treated to a bespoke medal and bottle of beer and the race village had a barbecue, bar and various vendors, giving everyone a reason to stay after the race to enjoy the atmosphere and warm evening.
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 and 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 sends his thanks to the Long Bennington Playing Field committee and parish council for the use of the facilities and the club look forward to welcoming runners back next year.