Mablethorpe Running Club: Paula closes in on marathon century

Paula Downing is now just 10 marathons shy of reaching her century EMN-170811-144733002
Paula Downing is now just 10 marathons shy of reaching her century EMN-170811-144733002

Paula Downing is closing in on a coveted century after hitting the marathon trial in Hertfordshire.

The Mablethorpe Running Club member completed her 90th marathon at the Stort 30, and out and back 30-mile route along the River Stort Navigation Channel.

Willow Van Landeghem was pleased with her at Thoresby as she continues her comeback from injury EMN-171113-093101002

Willow Van Landeghem was pleased with her at Thoresby as she continues her comeback from injury EMN-171113-093101002

The route, which began at Bishop’s Stortford, was mostly grassy trail and graded footpath with only the first and last half-mile on Tarmac.

This race also incorporated the UK Trail Running Championship so attracted some top-class runners.

Of the 247 who successfully completed the gruelling course, Paula was in the top 10 per cent, finishing 22nd in only 4hr 06min 19secs for first place in the female vet 50 category.

Jack Oates (unaffiliated) won in 3.01.16, and first female finisher was Alice Hector (Evo Tri Club) in 3.32.15, or seventh overall.

* Mablethorpe RC junior Willow Van Landeghem returned to the Thoresby 5km for the second year running.

The autumnal trail run was held in the grounds of Thoresby Hall Estate, near Ollerton.

Across all age groups there were 183 finishers in the 5km race, and Willow finished in the top half, 74th home, and eighth in the girls’ under 16s category, with a time of 34min 34secs.

Having overcome injuries throughout the summer, she was pleased to feel no pains afterwards.

Wayne Lowe won in 19.56, and first female finisher was Amber Wilkins in 23.11.

* Roger Blake took part in the Three River Challenge, ran mostly on the banks and paths of the Kyme Eau, the Skirth and River Witham.

The unique circular route started and finished in South Kyme and served up a real challenge, combining between 14 to 15 miles of road running and cross country, with 70 per cent of the race off road.

This informal, low-key event is going from strength to strength each year, with 45 runners of varied abilities taking part this year.

Roger crossed the line in ninth position in a time of 1hr 57min 51secs.

Mark Sands won in a phenomenal 1.29.05.

* The club meets at Mablethorpe Athletic Club, on Sherwood Fields, at 6.30pm every Monday, and on Wednesdays at 6.30pm outside The George, in Alford, for social runs.

Anyone interested in running is welcome to go along.

Visit www.mablethorperunningclub.org.uk for more details.