Spring Handicap, 24th April 2023

A bitter northerly wind was blowing across the Moor to give a wintry feel to the Spring Handicap. At least it was dry, that is dry everywhere except on the paths over the hills which were extremely muddy – some runners saying it was just like cross-country!

There was a good turnout of 38 runners and a large contingent of marshals. In addition to the participants, it was nice to welcome Rob Newton back after a long layoff, though Rob ran a shorter course with me so doesn’t appear in the results.

Despite the mud there were some impressive times posted. Kris Axon was fastest on the night in 17:34 with Jonathan Gilroy and Mark Anderson the other sub-20 minute runners. Mark’s run was particularly impressive, coming just a week after his Boston marathon exploits. Sarah Kerr was fastest lady in 20:27 followed by Julie Cross (24:35) and Lucy Keating (24:40).

Kris also ran away with the quarterly knockout cup – he was the only one of the 4 finalists to turn up! Kris will defend his title in the Summer Cup when the competition will be provided by Shilpa Iyanna and Jamie Harding.

In the handicap race itself, though guest Andy Lie crossed the line in 2nd place, it was a 1-2-3 for the Claremont ladies. Rose Hawkswood recently showed that she knows how to run a handicap by winning one of the North Shields Poly Grand Prix races, and she was first home this time, winning by a 20 second margin. It was a well deserved victory as Rose has been steadily improving of late and is gradually getting back to her pre-pandemic times. Second and third Claremonters home were two more ladies who are on the up performance-wise – Jenny Roberts and Anneliza Andreadi. Well done to all.

The social and presentation took place, once again, in The Carriage where we enjoyed fine ales and pizza. In addition to the presentation of the handicap trophies, Laurie Johnson presented the Team Captain’s Award for the 2022/23 season to Gill Milne. I may be biased, but I think Laurie made an excellent choice – Gill gives so much to help the Claremont teams in cross-country and relays, encouraging runners, baking cakes and offering lifts even if she doesn’t run herself. (Note: The Team Captain’s Award now has its own page – see here).

As ever, thanks to all the marshals and officials for ensuring that the evening went smoothly. Special thanks to Laurie for his excellent event management and to Anna for organising the social and food.

The full results can be found here.

Tom Tinsley -