The approach of autumn is heralded by the running of the final handicap race of the year. An earlier start time was necessary, but darkness was still descending before all the times could be finalised. This, unfortunately, robbed many runners of due recognition for the remarkable 9 P.B.s which were set on the night. Congratulations to all of you.
Ashley Robinson, on only his second journey around the course, was a clear winner on the night and knocked nearly 3 mins. from his previous best time. Gary had to dig deep to hold off a fast finishing Jordan in the battle to complete the top 3. Timekeeping and recording then became testing as the next 17 runners crossed the line in close proximity, as should be the case in a keenly contested handicap race.
Jordan’s impressive performance, knocking over a minute and a half from his P.B., took him to no. 5 in the best times listings over the woodland course. This was almost matched by Mark L. (whose time was just 9 secs. slower) as he climbed to no. 6 on the listings. It is rewarding to see 2 of our newer and younger members featuring so effectively and it bodes well for the future of the club. Rob, another rookie, has improved with every run of the series and should enter the top 20 listings next season. There was also a spectacular debut from 17 year old Andrew Davies, who has recently started training with the club. Hopefully, Andrew will join the club soon so that his excellent time can be registered as a Junior course record which would feature at no. 10 on the listings.
Not to be outshone by the young male runners, Irina and Ruth both sliced big chunks from their P.B.s to rise to nos. 7 and 10 respectively on the female rankings as they also illustrated that the future of the club is in good hands. Sam completed her handicap series season with a clean sweep of P.B.s – 5 races and 5 improvements – this is exactly the anticipated idea of the event.
The annual Handicap Trophy (awarded to the runner recording the lowest points total based on the best 5 out of the 6 summer’s events) should, theoretically, be won by a beginner or someone recovering from injury or someone on the comeback trail who is improving with every race. The 2012 title was won by Richard who may not be covered by any of the above descriptions, but his improvement came from a base of ultra distance racing and training with these shorter and faster runs a bit of a shock to his system. Congratulations Richard on applying yourself so purposefully. Your wholehearted effort was palpable and your reward thoroughly deserved.
This concluded a highly successful handicap series with a record turnout and some pleasing and impressive performances.
1 Ashley Robinson 27.40 P.B. By 2 mins. 55 secs.
2 Gary Gunner 26.33
3 Jordan McQueen 21.45 P.B. By 1 min. 32 secs.
4 Patrick Pearson 24.05
5 Ruth Stafford 28.11 P.B. By 1 min. 1 sec.
6 Tom Davies 28.38
7 Richard Hornsby 23.44
8 Martin Williams 25.17
9 Neil Taylor 26.41
10 Irina Dale 27.23 P.B. By 58 secs.
11 Mark Lamonby 21.54 P.B. By 54 secs.
12 Sam Harper 29.42 P.B. By 43 secs.
13 Guy Whitmarsh 28.02
14 Simon Norwood 22.12
15 Rob Jones 23.47 P.B. By 27 secs.
16 Dave George 24.30
17 Bryan Markham 35.18
18 Jon Briggs 27.10
19 Stuart Austin 24.04
20 Sue Davies 26.11
21 Frank Luscott 29.20
22 Daren Lincoln 27.52
Ashley Edwards (guest) 22.59
Toby Austin (guest) 25.34 P.B. By 1 min. 54 secs.
Jasper Robinson (guest) 27.21 P.B. By 1 min. 25 secs.
Sue Powell 33.15 Debut
Jon Utley 29.26
Andrew Davies (guest) 22.32 Debut
CROFT AMBREY R.C. HANDICAP SERIES 2012 – FINAL POSITIONS
- Richard Hornsby 35 pts.
- Patrick Pearson 38 pts.
- Rob Jones 42 pts.
- Ruth Stafford 48 pts.
- Sue Davies 58 pts.
- Martin Williams 59 pts.
- Sam Harper 61 pts.
- Tom Davies 61 pts.
- Gary Gunner 64 pts.
- Frank Luscott 77 pts.
For handicap best times, see Results page (via Events)