|Race Director Robert Mcardle starts the first Summer Solstice 10k on behalf of Grantham Athletics Club.|
It was time to answer the call of duty and help to marshall the inaugural Summer Solstice 10K organised by Grantham Athletics Club. 165 people turned out on a drizzly, slightly humid summer evening to lung burst their way down Valley Lane and back through Staunton and Staunton in the Vale.
I watched the start of the race before running to the car, donning my fluorescent jacket and driving to marshall position 6 where I was to shepherd, encourage and cajole runners back towards Long Bennington. The lead car appeared some twenty minutes after we took our position closely followed by first runner Mike Chapman of Nene Valley Harriers.
The first 10 or so runners were fairly spread out, then came a pack of approximately 10 others followed by a steady steam of athletes celebrating the end of the working week in style.
Mike Chapman maintained his lead to win the race in 35:16. First lady and fifth overall was Debbie Mason of Rotherham Harriers. Dawn Carter of Sleaford Striders propped up the field, with a strong finish and a time of 1:08:34. All finishers received a bottle of specially commissioned Summer Solstice Ale provided by the Sleaford Brewery and a voucher for a gourmet burger from the ale house barbecue.
Post race comments were encouraging with runners speaking highly of a good value event. For a £7 affiliated entry fee receiving a bottle of ale and food at the finish can't be bad. One to enter early in 2012.