Autumn Handicap – Quayside, 27th Oct 2014
By Dave Kear
The recent trend of extremely mild October temperatures was fortunately maintained for handicap evening on the quayside, and with dry course, only a steady breeze presented the runners with any resistance en route.
With the ‘grassy knoll’ now permanently removed from the course for safety reasons, the turn around position is now a marshalled post at the very top of the footpath sloping up towards Scotswood Road.
Elaine Henderson confirmed her continuing improvement, striding home in fine style as a clear winner to lift the Race Cup. Second place went to Robert Brand, with Janet Palmer not far behind in third place. The first ten to finish were made up of five lads and five lasses, which was encouraging for the egalitarians.
Dave Manners’ calculations provided a first-class series of handicap times, which ensured that most of the runners finished within a spread of only 4 minutes after completing the 4-mile course.
Jonathan Gilroy was fastest on the night with an impressive time of 23:41; with next best times provided by Luke Jones (24:19) and then Matthew Kingston (25:11). New to the club, Christian Smith, recorded a very creditable time of 25:14 as fourth fastest of the evening.
Heather Steel headed the ladies list of race times with an excellent 26:54; Charlotte Spencer was the next best in 28:39, closely followed by Sarah Kerr in 28:45.
The Shield, awarded for consistent improvement over the last 4 handicaps, and the best aggregate points total, went to Janet Palmer. This was a really well-earned achievement as Janet has struggled with plenty of niggling injuries over the years, and was a nice bonus for being able to return to regular running.
Second in the current standings of the aggregate points total, and also improving all the time, is Michelle Nesbitt-Burrell, with Jonathan Gilroy now in third place.
Jonathan once again is to be thanked by all of us for organising the after-run buffet at the Old George, and a thank you also to all of our several helpers at the start/finish line, and out on the course.