Running conditions were ideal for the second race in the 2014 handicap series, with the recent blustery winds having conveniently abated. The favourable conditions were reflected in the record number of 8 PBs set and, of the 19 runners who had run in the previous race last month, 16 ran quicker this time.

Of the 3 who did not reach that target, Sam Harper was only one second off her mark despite having competed in her first half marathon in windy conditions at Hereford just 2 days previously. The handicap system proved effective as there were a series of sprints for the finish line, testing my mental capacities beyond their limit in attempting to record the finishers. Perhaps it is time I was put out to pasture or, possibly, the knacker’s yard?

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More photos in the Gallery (thanks to Mark P. for the snapping).

Rachel was a gleeful first across the finish line with an enormous improvement of 2 and a half minutes on last month’s time. Has Rachel found a secret training recipe ? If so, will she share it with the rest of us ? Second across the line was Nigel with another huge improvement of 1 min. 26 secs. on April’s time. He is rapidly recapturing the impressive form that he showed a few years ago before his lengthy lay-off. Completing the top 3 was the remarkable Sue Powell who again sliced a huge chunk off her course PB, improving by 1 min 26 secs. This continued her rich vein of form as she sets PBs every time she runs, including at the Hereford Half Marathon just 2 days ago. Sue now features at no. 14 on the all-time female rankings on the Leinthall course. What is Sue’s secret ingredient ? Whatever it is, it is working a treat.

The list of PBs can be seen on the race results sheet, but a few are worthy of further mention. Sam Mayglothling was awarded the discretionary choccie bar, by vice-chairman Dave Ameghino, for knocking almost a minute off his already impressive previous best time. Will he be the next to break the 30 minute barrier ? Perhaps next year, if he continues his present rate of progress.
Steph,in only her second run around the course, again found herself embroiled in a competitive sprint finish and her recorded time finds her now placed 11th on the all-time female listings.
Mark Lamonby was another who had battled in the Hereford Half Marathon, finishing in a notable 9th place, but he was still strong enough to beat his previous best time over this 5 mile course to climb to 12= on the all-time listings. This puts Mark equal with Tom, who set his best time 20 years ago and was (I think) running in his 99th race around this traditional old course – please correct me if I am wrong, Tom.
Stacey, now a veteran, also ran the Hereford Half Marathon – finishing in a superb 3rd place (and 1st Veteran)- but he, too, was still able to improve on his time of the previous month.
Guy, who joined the septuagenarian ranks just a few days ago, celebrated by setting a new MV70 course record. Hopefully, this will be the first of many successes in his new age-group. Guy’s record time wiped the name of El Presidente off the record-holders list, but Bryan had the consolation of continuing to be the oldest to have completed the course – I hope that I am still saying the same in another 20 years. That is if I have not been consigned to being a constituent of glue at the aforementioned knacker’s yard.
The final race of the season over the 5 mile road course will take place on Tuesday 10th June before we head for Croft Woods to complete the series.

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