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Grantham Running Club take part in the London Landmarks Half Marathon

Fifteen members of Grantham Running Club lined up alongside nearly 19,000 runners to take part in the iconic London Landmarks Half Marathon.

Organised by the baby charity Tommy’s, the fundraising event takes runners around the sights of central London and is the only half marathon to go through both the City of London and the City of Westminster, offering unrivalled views of the sights without traffic.

The race starts on Pall Mall and then takes runners on a tour of London, taking in Nelson’s Column and Somerset House before heading out onto the Embankment.

Marj Spendlow.
Marj Spendlow.

Everyone then circulated round St Paul’s Cathedral, the Royal Courts of Justice, then all the way out to the Tower of London.

They then turned round 180 degrees and ran along the Embankment again, crossing the Thames after the London Eye to visit St Thomas’s Hospital for whom the race raises funds.

There was another sharp turn back again to re-cross the Thames at Big Ben where it was time for the home straight back to the finish by Downing Street.

The weather on the day was a mixed bag of glorious sunshine with the gusty winds thrown in, meaning runners were dealing with either a cross or head wind.

First back for Team GRC was Rachel Hamilton who came home in an impressive time of 1:44:19 in her second go at the event.

She ran for charity, raising funds for the Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance, in memory of her dad.

Rachel Hamilton and Sarah High.
Rachel Hamilton and Sarah High.

Marj Spendlow showed some real grit as, despite falling at mile seven, she got back up and carried on despite losing some mojo and dug in to achieve a new half marathon personal best in a time of 1:55:47.

Robert Pask was very happy with his time of 1:57:05, a remarkable achievement given that he hasn’t been able to train much in the two years since his last half marathon due to health problems.

Following two heart attacks, two life-saving operations and two stents, he commented that he had never been so nervous to be standing on a start line. After only being back running three months, he was justifiably proud of his run.

Four graduates of GRC’s Beginning to Run scheme took part in their very first half marathons.

Sophie Fletcher commented that for her first half marathon that it was windy and hot.

She revelled in the great atmosphere and battled the hard in the last two kilometres up and down the Embankment to finish in a time of 2:37:21.

Vicki Geeson.
Vicki Geeson.

For Rebecca Harper, the first 11 miles were 'mildly enjoyable', seeing parts of London she had never seen before.

The Bow Bells were ringing as runners passed through which was impressive. She noted that the incredible support helped take focus off the pain of 13.1 miles and concrete and helped her on the last couple of miles where the route looped back on itself.

She was relieved and happy to cross the line in a respectable 2:37:18. The hardest challenge was yet to come though, descending the steps at Westminster to the Tube was probably the most painful task of the day.

Matthew Oswin also enjoyed the first 11 miles but struggled after that. Digging deep, he came home in a time of 2:41:45.

Debbs Jones echoed the sentiments that the atmosphere was epic but running through the streets of London made her appreciate open roads and countryside all the more.

Although it was quite distracting being overtaken by about six different Elmer Elephants, she crossed the line in 2:16:03 despite needing to walk a couple of times.

Yvette Taylor.
Yvette Taylor.

Yvette Taylor and training partner Sue Swann were both running their first half marathons since 2019 and really enjoyed the route (if not the high winds and warmth at times).

Enjoying the atmosphere and crowd support they crossed the line together in 2:28:29 with Yvette scoring a new distance personal best.

Vicky Geeson had been lucky enough to secure a ballot place after previously taking part for charity in 2022.

A fall in training a few days before the race meant she wasn't at her best and didn't secure the time she set out for.

However, all things considered she enjoyed running solo In GRC colours along with the course and crowds and finished in 2:49:05.

Like others she didn't enjoy the brutal wind so much, though it hasn't put her off as she has already registered for 2025.

The consensus from Team GRC was that the atmosphere around the route was spectacular, from the public to the music stands, steel bands and choirs all cheering the runners on. It was definitely one to remember.

GRC results: Rachel Hamilton 14:44:19, Mark Spendlow 1:55:47, Harriet Morgan 1:47:50, Robert Pask 1:57:05, Sarah High 1:58:07, Paula Pick Ebbins 2:02:32, Emma Weighill 2:10:23, Debs Jones 2:16:03, Natalie Hardwick 2:20:09, Sophie Fletcher 2:37:31, Rebecca Harper 2:37:18, Matthew Oswin 2:41:45, Sue Swann 2:28:29, Yvette Taylor 2:28:29, Vicky Geeson 2:49:05.

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