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Christmas handicap Saturday 23 December 2023

The handicap was held at Highbury Park on what some thought was the warmest day the handicap had been held on (since records began). 

With more than a trickle of rain over the last couple of months it was quite heavy going, particularly from the bottom corner. Spikes or studs were certainly the best footwear.

The race was supposed to be over 5 laps, but I was bullied into allowing the race over 4 laps. The argument put was that there were no faster runners present. If Sas and Nick had got there on time the race would have been over 5 laps. I’m now carrying out an investigation as to the payers of bribes to Sas and Nick, who are currently tight lipped but might not remain so.

After 1 and a half laps, I knew I’d got the handicaps wrong. This was after Andy L had already made up his handicap and had overtaken Manisha and me. 

Mind you Andy L does tend to go off fast.  But then two further Andys came past. How did I manage to get a 1, 2, 3 of Andys? My money was on Andy M who does run strongly throughout a race, and I was right.  It was good seeing Andy C, who, if he remains injury free, will improve as the season goes on. 

Sas says he went the wrong way and if he hadn’t this might have split the Andys. Sas, if only you’d been there for the warm up. 

Pauline has only been back running with the club a few months and this was a good performance. I know because I only managed to pull away from her on the last lap. 

It took me ages to get past Manisha who is having a fabulous season. Manisha just needs to believe this.  

Meg runs really strongly and is very competitive and this was another good run, holding off Krissie and Nick. 

For 9th we had a sprint finish, with Krissie and Nick not able to be separated. We all secretly know that Krissie didn’t try too hard over the last 50 yards because she didn’t want to embarrass the slowest finisher in the club. 

Rob was still recovering from his shock defeat to me at the county championships.  On this occasion he was further slowed by picking up the marker flags on his last lap. 

Race places

1st Andy M 34:16

2nd Andy L 34:40

3rd Andy C 35:22

4th Sas 35:32

5th Craig 35:57

6th Pauline 36:25

7th Manisha 36:33

8th Meg 37:20

9th Krissie 37:28

9th Nick 37:28

11th Rob 39:05

I’ve shown below the actual running times

once the handicap is removed. With the times recorded it was perhaps the correct decision to run 4 laps.

Actual running times

1st Nick 29:28

2nd Sas 30:47

3rd Andy M 31:46

4th Andy L 32:40

5th Krissie 33:58

6th Andy C 34:07

7th Meg 34:35

8th Pauline 35:25

9th Craig 35:27

10th Manisha 36:33

11th Rob 38:35

There were several people who came to support. Thanks to Gavin for starting the race and recording the finishing times and places. 

Hilary did a sterling job stopping traffic on the park road to enable us to run safely. 

Bob, Stuart and Paul managed to get around the course to give us support.    

Liz, although not able to run provided some goodies to include cream. Those who regularly run at the training sessions on a Saturday know all about Liz’s goodies. 

And thank you Andy C for providing some rather delicious cake.

One thing to add. Stuart presented Krissie with her medal from the recent county championships when the ladies finished 3rd in the masters’ category. Pauline and Clare B were presented with their medals on the day, but Krissie hadn’t been able to stay for the medal ceremony. Well done to the ladies.  

It was a good morning, hopefully enjoyed by all.





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