The annual Belvoir Challenge took place on Saturday. A 15 or 26 mile run across farm tracks, fields and trails through the beautiful hilly countryside surrounding Harby and the Vale of Belvoir. Eight adventurous runners took the striped colours of Boston Community Runners over for the mass start at 9am. The course changes every year and this year the runners had to negotiate over a dozen stiles along the way. The first stile encountered was at the 5k mark and caused a queue to form to get through the bottle neck, some runners waiting over 30 minutes but that was the difference between a challenge and a race! Jovial banter between the runners soon helped the time to pass before everyone got going again. Four of the Boston runners took on the 15 mile route with Simon Pickwell bringing the troops home in 155th place out of nearly 800 runners crossing the finish in a chip time of 2.38.39. Steve Langford and Kerry McCrainor were very pleased with their chip time of 3.39.27 having been held up at the stile for over 10 minutes and Sarah Burton stopped the clock at 3.49.37 having waited for over 25 minutes at the bottle neck.
On the marathon course it was Dan Clark who had a fabulous run on this off road course. Having done most of his running on the road Dan was very pleased with his trail run coming home in 23rd place in 3.54.21, a sub 4 hour marathon that most runners would like to achieve on a flat road surface! Martin Tebbs had a solid run too and finished in 4.41.33 with John Burton and running buddy Tanya Knight crossing the line in 5.16.06. John and Tanya ran together on the first of their fundraising running adventures for the year.
Boston Community Runners took the distinctive black and yellow stripes a short distance down the A17 to Long Sutton for the Sublime Spring 10k which was run on the flat fenland back roads with very few twists or turns, the route was designed to help runners get the best time possible. The weather was bright but with a strong cross wind for most of the run that turned into a head wind on the mid section of the race. The route started from the Peel Community College and headed out of Long Sutton on to the quiet roads which saw very little traffic.
Michael Corney was running his first 10k of the year and again chipped further time off his PB. A new record time of 48.46 saw him knock 30 seconds off his previous best. Sharon English has been putting the miles in and she was rewarded with her first sub hour 10k time giving her a new PB of 59.09, just behind came husband Graham who has been getting over a niggle in his heel with a solid run in 1.02.23. Half a minute later and Jackie Hallett came home in a super time of 1.02.55 giving her 2nd place in her age category and less than two minutes later Jessica Bland put in a strong finish to cross the line in 1.04.14
Tea and cakes greeted the runners once they had finished as they watched the presentations before headed back up the road proud of their results.
Over in Nottingham one of the major pre marathon races was taking place, the Notts 20. It was a brand new 20 mile race timed for anyone who is training for an April marathon. Taking place around a scenic route in Nottinghamshire, the runners started and finished at the National Water Sports Centre taking in Radcliffe-on-Trent on the way to Shelford before returning via Lady Bay, Trent Bridge and the Victoria Embankment. Beckie Dawson ran this one as her final 20 miler in preperation for her marathon. Running steadily for the first 14 miles Beckie felt very strong and was able to slowly increase her pace over the last 6 miles, her final mile was the quickest of the race! Finishing in a time of 2.49.55 Beckie was very pleased with the result. The wind and, in places, the mud caught a few runners off guard but finishing in the top quarter of the field has given her a big confidence boost.
A busy weekend saw the Black and Yellow of Boston Community Runners at Gainsborough, Thorney and London.
Jackie Hallett travelled to Gainsborough for their annual 10K race after a strong run in the wind at Long Sutton recently. And, all that work against the wind paid off as she finished in a time of 1.02.06 giving her a new personal best time at this distance and getting closer still to that sub hour 10k.
Michael Corney was at the Thorney 10k. A flat race again giving runners a good chance of achieving fast times. Sunday saw a strong cross wind across the fenlands which greeted the runners in both directions on this out and back run. Michael did well, crossing the finish line in 49.33 just outside his best time so taking the wind into consideration he was very pleased with the result.
The hugely anticipated second running of the London Landmarks Half Marathon too place in the Capitol. A twisting route passing Londons most famous places was on offer to Boston runners Kimberley Pittam, Daniel Simpson, Sarah Clarke, Neil Goodwin and Ian Satchwell. Ian was lucky enough to get a ballot place for the run and this was his first half marathon. Although injury and illness blighted his preparation somewhat, Ian had a super run and finished in 2.02.57. “What an amazing race, I felt it in the last two miles but thoroughly enjoyed that”, said Ian who was accompanied round the course by Kim Pittam who is now tapering in readiness for her Marathon in two weeks time. Kim had a relaxed run enjoying the sights and finished feeling very comfy in 1.58.00. Kim was raising funds for McMillan Cancer Support. Dan Simpson too had a great run. Raising funds for Mind the Boston runner did better than he expected when crossing the line in 2.12.34. Neil Goodwin was competing in his first half marathon as well. Again, the Winter bugs had hampered training somewhat but when the day came Neil ran a very even race – even having time to take pictures on the way round to remember the occasion, and finished in 2.15.36 giving him a super personal best time and raising valuable funds for the British Heart Foundation. And Sarah Clarke was pleased to be able to finish in 2.28.03. A strain during training was slow to heal so to avoid doing too much she ran half of the race then used the second half using a run / walk method. Clocking a super time and raising funds for the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance she reported no bad after effects by taking it gently. The runners had a good time in London before having to head back to Boston.