LOCAL runners are warming up for the second annual Gainsborough 5k race.
The event will be held on Sunday 21st October, and Gainsborough and Morton Strider Tom Humphries is back in action just in time – with a third place in the ‘Ponton Plod’.
The Newark-based Notfast Running Club’s event took runners through picturesque villages in Lincs and Leicestershire, in a 27-mile cross country course.
Meanwhile in Mablethorpe, Alan Clark’s bid to become the first Strider to run a marathon under the three-hour mark since the 1990s ended in disappointment, as injury forced the RAF man to ease off the pace in the second half and finish in a still creditable 3:38.
His focus now moves to the London Marathon in 2013 with the very real possibility he’ll achieve his goal.
In the half marathon at the same event, Joanne Clark was able to progress with less difficulty, and should be pleased with a finish of 1:51, just two minutes behind her personal best.
The majority of the club travelled to Doncaster AC’s Cusworth 10k, and the team spirit in the Cusworth Hall based event was evident as Strider Steven Gaffney paced ladies’ hopeful Lorna Allison to a personal best 41:41, fifth placed finish in the ladies’ category (60th overall).
Allison paid tribute to the team effort, saying: “Gaffers ran with me the whole route, except the last 20 metres sprint to the end, and really motivated me to keep at my target pace even when I felt I was going to throw up in the final, uphill half mile.”
This event also formed part of the club’s ‘Phil Rose’ handicap series, an ongoing league system to reward consistent improvement throughout the year.
Veteran Chris Litherland took maximum points with a fine 43:58 performance, shaving over two minutes from his previous best.
Craig Ward, who also PB’d in 46:13, enjoyed the event. He said: “It was a good day. A few of us didn’t feel like getting out of bed in the cold for this one. It was great running by Chris Litherland, he was off like a shot from the start.”
Hilary Cooke and Glenn Peniston also managed to take their share of Phil Rose points with handicapped second (48:57) and third (53:34) placed finishes respectively.
Club captain Lottie Lindley was the final Strider to secure a PB. She added: “I really enjoyed the Cusworth 10k.
“I was hoping for under 56 minutes, but I finished in 53:10, I’m over the moon.”
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Angela Overson, Shaun Boyle, Mark Cutts and Chris Moody ran well to complete the Striders entries, and will look forward to lining up for Gainsborough on the 21st.
Next weekend sees Paul Dagg travel to Leicester to compete in the marathon distance with slim hopes of securing a 3:10 London Marathon qualifying time, but many Striders including Paul have signed up for the Edinburgh Marathon in 2013.
With novice training plans available to take the beginner from just a handful of miles to 26.2 over an 18-week period, the club hopes to exceed its record of 18 members competing over this distance in one race at this event.
For more info, on this or the Couch to 5k programme, visit www.gainsboroughrunningclub.co.uk