Two ladies who joined the club only last year grabbed the limelight as Gainsborough Striders tackled the ever-popular Woodhall Spa 10K race on Sunday.
Karen Ramsdale knocked 75 seconds off her previous best time to clock 54.10 minutes, while Maureen Allen again smashed the club’s female veteran over-65 record with a 74-second improvement to 66.53.
The duo were among a dozen Striders who managed to secure places in the contest. Although the weather is usually very warm and it starts at 12 midday, which is the warmest part of the day, the race continues to attract a maximum field of 1,200, with spots filled months in advance.
The first Strider to reach the finishing line was Lorna Allison, who recorded a time of 43.05 minutes, just 14 seconds and four places ahead of veteran Phil Marsland. Next was fellow veteran Chris Inman in 45.36, which was his third best time, with Darryl Kelsey, another 2016 newcomer to the club, 43 seconds further back.
Stephen Toward’s time of 46.43 was only 14 seconds off his personal best, while Craig Williamson clocked his second best time, 47.05, which was a very good result considering he had run a full marathon only seven days earlier.
Georgina Verran missed the hour mark by a mere ten seconds but was still happy with her time considering the hot weather, while Sian Turner and Jenna Comins ran round peacefully for 9.9 kilometres before they decided to race to the line. In the end, their sprints were equally good as they both recorded a time of 65.11.
Last but not least, David Allen, another of the club’s veteran runners, completed the race in 77.42.
Kelsey and Toward were participating in their second races of the week because both had also run the Vitality London 10K the previous Monday. This is a race that starts at The Mall and passes many of the capital’s tourist attractions and landmarks before finishing close to Buckingham Palace.
Kelsey completed the course in 48.07 minutes, with Toward just over a minute behind. Vicky Toward had most reason to celebrate, however, because her time of 58.26 improved her personal best by more than a minute.
Meanwhile Gainsborough’s parkrun celebrated its second birthday on Saturday. None of the Striders taking part were able to put icing on the birthday cake with a personal-best (PB) time, but at the Sherwood Pines parkrun in Nottinghamshire’s Robin Hood Country, young Thomas Sweeting finished in 20.44 minutes to secure yet another PB and grab the course record for U10s.