Croft Woods Handicap race 5

Race Reports
The penultimate race in the 2016 handicap series provided a mixed bag with an assortment of Beginners Group runners, first timers, regular competitors, old stagers, returning faces and guests. This large and diverse blend is illustrated on the result sheet with each category listed separately.
For some this was the first taste of finishing a race having to climb the notorious Heartbreak Hill whilst already frazzled. Rob Wood, starting on an estimated time, was one such debutant and he collapsed across the finish line overjoyed and exhausted in a time of 33.07. By virtue of being the only male runner in that age category to have completed the course, Rob was rewarded by establishing himself as the new course record holder for the MV60 category. Worth all that pain and suffering Rob ?
Of the runners who were competing on an officially established handicap start time, Bryan was the first across the finish line and he hardly broke stride as he sped off to the car park in a quest to view the Olympics cycling, thereby forfeiting his choccie bar prize. Kelly sliced a huge 43 secs. from her p.b. to officially finish second as she continues her progress. Gary G. took 3rd place and a new MV70 course record as he and Guy maintain their private battle to be the club’s speediest septuagenarian. Only 2 other p.b.s were set, both by runners who claimed to be exhausted before the start ! Well done Alec and Greg – mind over matter.
The star performance of the evening came from the returning Suzanne Turvey, taking a break from being an Essex girl as she visited her mother in Yarpole. Zan recorded the fastest time of the evening with 23.55 and broke the women’s course record by an enormous 3 mins. and 28 secs. Technically, Zan is no longer a club member but I think that her performances over the years in the Croft sky blue colours give her the right to claim the status of honorary member.
It was good to see a handful of the Beginners Group members confident enough to take on the challenge and it will be rewarding and gratifying to coaches Mark and Sue to witness their improvement. Well done to all. Mystic and Jo Moffatt will be pleased to note that, again by virtue of being the first in their categories to complete the course, they are now the proud course record holders for their respective age groups.
Thanks to Tom for marking out the course so effectively and to April, although she would rather have been running, for being my glamorous timekeeping assistant.
The last race in this summer’s series will be held on Tuesday 6th September. The darker evenings will be descending upon us by then so it may be necessary to start at an earlier time, with the first runner starting at approx. 6.30 p.m.

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