Winter Handicap, 1st February 2016

Storm Henry decided to pay Tyneside a visit just as we were getting ready for the Winter handicap, so I was glad that I had decided not to run! Still 41 hardy souls did grit their teeth, head off from the Copthorne into the gale as far as Scotswood Road and back again, then tried to convince themselves that it was fun.

Rose Hawkswood certainly seemed to think it fun as she stormed home 11 seconds clear of newcomer Dan Edwards, running his first handicap. Brian Hegarty, Robin Wynn and Dave Beaney were next home. Later, at the presentation at the Old George, Rose was also probably the most enthusiastic recipient of the cup that I have ever seen!

I think the field was slightly more spread out than last time, which could be due to the conditions but I blame the handicapper (ie me).  It wasn’t a night for fast times, but another newcomer, Jonny Evans, recorded an impressive 23:03 to be fastest on the night.  Matthew Kingston (25:40) and Paul Robinson (26:06) completed the top 3 speed merchants. Fastest lady was Heather Steel, showing some signs of getting back to her best in 28:32 followed by the Sarahs, Bowen and Kerr in 29:23 and 30:24 respectively.

There were only 3 finalists in the Winter Cup competition as David Reay withdrew due to illness.  John Grimshaw made up the ground on Janet Palmer and Luke Woodend to clinch the trophy.  The Spring Cup final at the next handicap will be an all-female affair between Sarah Bowen, Leane Salem, Julie Dumpleton and Sarah Kerr.  I think some hill training is required, ladies.

Thanks very much to the volunteers and marshals as well as all the runners for turning out on an inhospitable evening.

Full results can be found here.
There are a couple of slight modifications to the printed sheets circulated on the night – I have amended Heidi’s time to reflect the time that she actually started as opposed to her published handicap. This pushed her up a few places in time order. I have also shown Richard Slack and Chris Carr as a tie by time.