Downham Market Ryston Runner Eamonn defies Grantham race rain to reach podium

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It was another mixed terrain and mixed distance weekend for members of Ryston Runners AC.

Eamonn McCusker returned to Grantham for the quirkily named Newton’s Fraction Half Marathon, which he recounts started: “...I think, in the heaviest rain that I have ever started a race in.”

A head wind didn’t help the situation and, although the rain eased off after a mile or so, by then all competitors were thoroughly soaked.

About three miles of the course is along the canal tow path, and about half of that was under water. It is, anyway, a tough course with two big climbs with the infamous 12% mile 11 taking Eamonn 9:37, after which “a nice run to the finish” saw him complete the race in 1:45:49 as third M60.

A baker’s dozen did their weekend’s half marathon on the streets of Cambridge, where at least half reported recording PB times despite what one called “testing conditions”.

Six finished in under 90 minutes, the first of them being Daniel Guppy in 1:20:23, with Warren Armstrong (M40) less than a minute behind in 1:21:14. Martin Sheldrick, in a run of great form, took four minutes off his previous best time for the distance, clocking 1:23:48, with Andy Simmonds another half minute behind in 1:24:24.

Dan Pratt continues to impress, this time with 1:28:49, and Lorena Latisaite, who the previous day had broken 20 minutes and finished in the top five at KL Parkrun, recorded another four-minute PB finishing in 1:29:35, smashing the 90 minute “barrier” for the first time.

Mark Doughty (1:37:51), Julia Norman (1:42:25), and Anna Seaman (1:43:00) also notched up PBs as did Juliette Meek (1:47:22) Jane Ashby (W65) (1:54:03, by 2 minutes). Completing the Ryston contingent were Miles Thomas (1:45:24) and Sarah Partridge (9th W60/ 1:58:40).

A shorter distance in more taxing conditions for those tackling the first event of the 2017 Nelson Knee Knobbler Series, organised by Dunerunner. Nic Bensley made his mark with a win, with Jimmy Goddard in third. Ryston club secretary Richard Dickson celebrated his birthday by completing the event, while a goodly contingent of Ryston women also featured at the race, including Helen Melville, Pauline Drewery, Maureen Wolfe, and Lesley Robins.

l Ryston Runners and King’s Lynn Tri Club members at the Dunerunners Nelson Knee Knobbler 10K at Holkham: (1st Male) Nic Bensley, Alistair Doig (KLT), Richard Dickson (on his birthday), Graeme Leeson, Neil Gayton (KLT), Ian Kidman (KLT), Paddy Thompson, Pauline Drewery, Karen Wood, Maureen Wolfe, Emma Thompson, Gemma Morley, Kevin Piggott, Julia Pepperell (KLT), Helen Melville, Lesley Robins (7th woman). No times as it was an unorthodox, off-road, not UKA measured course, and no finishing positions as there were problems with the results.