More than 750 runners pounded the roads to the north of the town at the weekend when the seventh running of the Gainsborough and Morton 10K race was staged.
In spring-like conditions, almost 50 members of the Striders club took part, with many more volunteering to help organiser Kevin Housham with the smooth operation of the race.
Nine of them were able to make the short trip home with a new personal-best (PB) time under their belts. The pick of the bunch were Kev Lovett (51.33) and Liza Willoughby (59.28), who improved by more than three minutes and two minutes respectively.
Helen Clarke (61.12) and Claire Cutts (67.04) both ran over a minute faster than before, while Aaron Hill had a 54-second improvement to 37.22, Mark Rodgers (38.28) bagged his fifth PB from his last six starts and Janet Goude (67.33) edged closer to the club’s V65 record with her 12-second PB.
Two of the club’s veterans also had reason to celebrate. David Garner (52.20) ran his fastest 10K since his return to the club after many years away, and Richard Wilcock (59.17) was delighted to run his first sub-hour race since surgery.
Five Striders took part in their first 10K in club colours. Laura Pearson was the first of them to finish, in 47.30, followed home 15 seconds later by Tom Bond. Youngster Audra Morris produced a blistering sprint finish, overtaking many runners in the final 100 metres, to complete her debut in 52.23.
Amanda Tait must have enjoyed her run because she found the energy to smile during her 67.03 run, and last year’s Couch-To-5K graduate, Elaine Phipps, stepped up to master the additional distance with her time of 72.30.
The times of four other Striders were considerably slower than their best efforts. However, all had good reason. James O’Connell (66.35) ran in full Army kit, Ian Haldenby (62.42) ran with a friend in his first 10K, and Craig Williamson (73.35) ran carrying the tractor he will wear for the London Marathon next month, assisted by Steve Tait, dressed as a fundraising carrot!
Jordan Skelly was the top-placed Strider, his time of 33.21 giving him seventh place in a race won for the second time by Ben Livesey.