Welcome one and all to the 2019 handicap series. After last years tight race won by ????.. we begin a new season. And a new season brings out a new group of runners. (To be fair probably the January Challenge!). Welcome to the 9 of your who took part for the first time tonight! Looking at the results you all did a great job for a first effort! Onto that later.
Well it seemed like a shorts evening and bare fingers when we got up there, the car said 6’C, what could possibly go wrong. As I am writing this my fingers are still numb and cold, but they’ll get over it. It was a chilly evening, deceptively so which got cooler as the evening went on. Yet amazingly 22 of you turned up for what is often the coldest night of the year, well done to you all!
Apologies it took a bit of time to get you all registered tonight but we didn’t start off too late which is good. The clocks runs and then that nervous few minutes whilst we all wait to go, generally complaining about who got an unfair time against someone (Ben and Jason, I’m looking at you!) or worrying about getting lost around the route. Then our first runner departs, Ashlyn is on her way, the first runner of the 2019 series. Nicola sets off next and then Kellie and Mary pretty much together. Still 18 left to go out. Stuart, Matt and Donna all set off just a few seconds between them leave next! Laura, Charlotte and Paul Martin all go off close together with Dave with Simon not far behind!
All was going so well up to this point and then I made a mistake. Emmeline wasn’t set off at the right time. I’m really really sorry that I made this error! Fortunately she said to me at the time about this and she ended up going 49 seconds late. I have adjusted your result back the 49 seconds that you should have gone at, but I know you’ll be upset as we all would be. I’m sorry, please come back again!!!
Once Emily was on her way, we then had one of our Richards followed by 4 runners within 1 second, our other Richard, our other Paul, David and Mark. Finally Ben and Daisy went off together followed by Jason.
At halfway at the corner Linda and I waved all of you round to start the second lap when you have that sense of relief that the hill is over, followed by the realisation that you’ll be doing it again.
So off we go to the finish line to wait for the trail of lights to come up the final hill, who is going to come up tonight first. Our winner (who we couldn’t see till she got here) was Ashlyn, she held everybody off running almost 90 seconds inside her predicted time! Second home was Nicola also amazingly over a minute inside her target time! Well done ladies. So our first two runners out were our first two runners back. Stuart comes in 3rd not far behind then the two Paul’s had a race for the finish line. Paul Peasegood just sneaked it from Paul Martin! A bit of a gap to Simon and then our first returning runner in 7th tonight, Matt Lee who is just storming it currently as he was 1st in October and 1st in December. Donna finished 8th overall and rounding out the top 10 with an almighty sprint for the line, (I nearly got killed in the crush) was Charlie and Richard L. It’s wonderful to see that fighting spirit all the way to the line. Jason beat Ben, in spite of all the moaning about times to 11th with Dave T and Dave H both scraping the right side of their target times. One second is one second and that was all it needed.
Next home was a very frustrated Charlotte just falling the wrong side of her target time by 3 seconds! I know you really wanted it. Kellie was also pretty close to her target too just behind and Richard M was 17th. He will carry the time he actually ran through to the next event as it’s his first handicap. Mark Jones couldn’t catch him but was close all the way with Daisy just behind. Laura ran in next with Mary and finally Emmeline (my fault). Emmeline’s time has been adjusted to the place she would have been in with the time she ran, so she has moved up a couple of places overall.
Thanks as always to the people who help make this happen, Linda for doing a magical job timekeeping and sending you on your way and Donna for writing the positions down in a legible format but also doing it because I couldn’t feel my fingers.
So the initial standings are in and Matt is top from Donna currently with Jason in 3rd, we then have 11 of you all tied on 21 but it is really early days and there are 11 races left.
Quick reminder of the rules for everyone. There are 12 races in the year and the best 6 count towards your points total for the year. If you run 7 then your lowest score is discarded. For the 6 events you score from you get 10 points + 1 point for each place. (i.e. last will score 11, second last 12 etc). The more people that are there the more points are available. The only exception is on your first run where you get 10 points + half of the number of runners that evening as your total. (Tonight there were 22 people, so the new runners got 10 + 11 = 21 points)
Finally before I go Race 2 is February 12th, same place Grasscrete Car Park at 7:15pm or near the start line at 7:30pm! Maybe see some of you at the club tomorrow for a run? Bring some more friends along… More friends = more points … and it’s a bit of fun. Run well everyone!
Linda and Alex