Claremont Summer Handicap, 1st August 2016
It was a warm, dry evening on the Town Moor and a fairly pleasant one for running. Conditions on the Moor were good too, but the Freemen had decided to put a few obstacles in the way as they are setting up for their 800th year celebrations this weekend. Obviously they didn’t appreciate that the 49th running of the Claremont handicap should take precedence! Luckily the marshals did their usual excellent job and kept everybody safe and on track.
In the race itself, it was once again demonstrated that the best way to beat the handicap is to be a relatively unknown quantity as Claremont’s newest member, Anthony Liddle, came home in first place to claim the cup. Anthony was a few seconds ahead of another handicap debutant, David Lydall, who was followed home by a quartet of Claremont ladies – Rose Hawkswood, Nicki O’Brien, Sarah Bowen and Robyn Wynn.
The final of the Summer knockout cup was contested by David Devennie, Jamie Harding, Dave Kear and Matthew Kingston. Jamie Harding emerged triumphant, finishing 2 places ahead of Dave Kear, with David Devennie hampered by a recent injury lay-off and Matthew hampered by a fairly harsh handicap!
Rutger Zietsma was fastest on the night with a hugely impressive time of 17:35, while Jonathan Gilroy clocked an almost as impressive 17:53. Roberto Marzo was third fastest in the relatively sedate time of 19:00.
It was good to see Sarah Bowen return to form as fastest lady in 21:58. The ever improving Rose Hawkswood was second quickest in 22:07. The consistent Sarah Kerr clocked 22:35 but I feel that the 4th fastest lady deserves a special mention – new Mum Nicki O’Brien proved that you don’t need sleep to run fast by coming home in 22:37.