Summer Handicap, 31st July 2023

It may have been the summer handicap, but the weather was distinctly autumnal as 33 set off from the Exhibition Park bandstand to take on each other and the Town Moor hills. The hills provided an extra challenge this year with some muddy, slippery patches to navigate. The narrow gate into the woods also had to be approached with care, and not just because it was marshalled by Gill (winner of “Most Ferocious Official” in Jamie’s annual Christmas awards!).

It was a special occasion for one of our life members, Terry Welsh, who, after many years of handicap officiating, decided it was time that he made his running debut! Terry may have found the going tough, but there was no way a bit of mud and rain could stop him.

The race was won by Kimberley Metson, a well deserved victory showing how much she has improved over the last few months – all those marathon training runs and interval sessions have definitely paid off. Second home was another fast improving runner in Anton Mirafsari. Anton is definitely getting back to the levels that he enjoyed pre-pandemic. The podium was completed by a guest, Vasilisa Sidarava.

The Summer Cup was a straight shootout between Kris Axon and Jamie Harding. Kris took Jamie on the Great North Road to pull ahead and claim the victory. Kris and Jamie will face off again in the Autumn Cup final. This time, their competition will be provided by Rachel Hurdman.

There was some controversy when the fastest runners were declared on the night – a mistake in finish token distribution had Jonathan Gilroy pipping Kris to first place, but, in fact, Kris was, as usual, the speed king, finishing in 17:35. Jonathan (18:00) was second fastest, with Jack Shawcross (18:15) pipping Mark Anderson (18:23) for 3rd. Fastest female was Maria Duenas (21:48), ahead of Kimberley (22:24) and Chloe Glover (23:38).

Thanks to Alex for managing the event and processing the results, to Anna for organising the social and to everybody else who marshalled, officiated or generally helped out.

Full results are here.

Tom Tinsley -