Claremont Spring Handicap, 28th April 2014
After all the recent rain, it was a lovely evening for a run on the Town Moor – mild, dry and with only a slight breeze. Unfortunately the paths over the hills hadn’t dried out and so it was decided to omit the hills and run a revised route around the paths. Also, the start in Exhibition Park had to be changed due to the ongoing renovation work, so we had a slightly longer but flatter route of about 3.2 miles. Thanks to all the marshals for keeping us right, even if they did try to redirect a few joggers out for a Monday night training run!
Dean O’Brien obviously found the new course to his liking and he romped home to victory over 20 seconds ahead of 2nd-placed Richard Slack. It was good to see Sarah Kerr getting back to form to be first lady home in 3rd place. The rest of the field then finished in quick succession as the handicapper had done his usual excellent job.
Jonathan Gilroy was fastest on the night with an impressive time of 18:47. As this was a new course, technically Jonathan now holds the course record! Luke Bryant(19:05), Jeremy Smith(19:27), Paul Robinson(19:31) and Luke Jones(19:41) all recorded times under 20 minutes. Megan Murdoch’s was fastest lady in a time of 20:48 from Heather Steel(21:27) and Sarah Bowen(22:14).
The trophy for the best aggregate points over the last 4 handicaps went to Jonathan Gilroy. Jonathan has managed to stay ahead of the handicapper by consistently improving over the last 12 months – this came just 2 days after a PB in parkrun! Another consistent performer has been Janet Palmer and Janet’s 7th place on the night helped her overtake me and move into 2nd place in the table.
Jonathan deserves another mention for organising the after-run buffet at the Old George, even arranging a big-screen TV so that we could watch Newcastle United’s latest debacle. Thanks to him and all the other volunteers for a successful and enjoyable evening.