Leinthall Starkes 5. Race 3

Race Reports
The final road race in the 2015 handicap series again attracted a fairly modest turnout – is the attraction of this format wearing thin ? There were, however, some excellent performances and a sprinkling of p.b.s to lighten up the event. Conditions were good for the runners on a warm, still evening as they set off around the time-honoured five mile course that has now featured on the Croft Ambrey calendar for 28 seasons.
Greg,running his first handicap race of the summer, was the pre-race favourite at Ladbrokes to win as his starting time was based on his performances of last season. His improvement over the last 12 months has been immense and he illustrated this by winning with time to spare. It was remarkable that he was able to record a p.b. by over a minute despite having competed well in the demanding Man v Horse race just 3 days previously. Neil T. was next across the line and his committed triathlon training appears to be progressing soundly. Neil won last month’s race and it is unusual for a runner to again feature in the top 3 the following month due to the handicap system. Sam H. completed the top 3 with another determined performance and was rewarded with another p.b. by 22 secs. This resulted in an ambition achieved as Sam sneaked into the all-time Top 20 female rankings – the only one to do so this season.
There were 2 other outstanding female feats as both Carol and Clare improved their previous bests. The two were involved in an exciting contest as they battled towards the finish line with Carol just prevailing as she continued her series of improvements.
It was lovely to welcome Irina back to the fold after her Ecuadorian charitable exploits and she should soon recapture her best form.
Mark L. possibly deserved some kind of award for cycling 60 miles to Leinthall Starkes before leaping off the bike onto the start line and still recording the second fastest time of the evening. I don’t know how many miles he rode home – maybe he is still cycling. I recall, many years ago, running from Shobdon to Leinthall Starkes then running the 5 mile course before running back home. That was me at my obsessive best, but I think that Mark may be surpassing my lunacy as he prepares for his Ironman debut – I was never that looney.
There were 3 new entries this season into the Top 20 fastest times with Sam H. being joined by Sam M. at no. 14 and Toby at no. 17 in the men’s rankings.
The next race will transfer to Croft Woods on Tuesday 14th July for the first of the final 3 races.

4 thoughts on “Leinthall Starkes 5. Race 3

  1. Thanks for the report Mike and thanks Dave for the chocolate.
    Top 20 fastest times for Leinthall Starkes 5, Croft Handicap and Shobdon Woods 6 can be found on Club Records page in the Race Results menu at the top of the page.

  2. And now a review of the older participants! It’s good to see Ian back running with the club, and he had a good run round the lanes of Leinthall Starkes. Sue also, as always, posted a good time, even if not for once a PB! Frank is returning to fitness, after a long lay-off and Gary produced a good time, despite a mending cracked rib, on his last road run as an over 65. Richard, though not an older runner (!), is like Ian appearing more often, but in this case we maybe won’t see him racing again before his move to Spain. Unsurprisingly, after all the demanding races he’s recently undertaken, Tom struggled somewhat over the 5 miles on the road.

  3. Apologies to Nigel! Perhaps the only runner not mentioned, but perhaps he would rather not be lumped in with the ‘older runners’ anyway.

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  • Nicky Turvey 38.02 (P.B. by 1 min. 13 secs.)
  • Bryan Markham 40.26
  • Jon Utley 33.14
  • Rachel Nelson 40.28 (P.B. by 56 secs.)
  • Gavin Wright 33.02 (P.B. by 33 secs.)
  • Steve Jakeman 34.33
  • Guy Whitmarsh 35.47 (Vet. 65 Record)
  • Simon Powney 32.19 (P.B. by 10 secs.)
  • Stacey Morgan 28.18 (P.B. by 20 secs.)
  • Gary Gunner 34.23
  • Tom Davies 35.02
  • Glyn Williams 31.26 (P.B. by 2 secs.)
  • Alison Cooke 34.46
  • Neil Taylor 35.28
  • Simon Norwood 30.14
  • Kim Wood 46.21
  • Sue Davies 33.58
  • Ashley Cooke 34.44
  • Tim Benson 38.07 (Debut)


The 3 rd. and final race on the road of the 2009 Handicap Series was held in favourable conditions which was reflected in the setting of 6 P.B.’s.

Sporting a nifty new G.P.S. watch, Nicky stormed across the line in first place and managed to knock a huge 1 min. 13 secs. from her P.B. This suggests that on previous occasions she had got lost and the new watch is a sound investment. Nicky is now re-discovering her form after a lengthy layoff.

Bryan was next over the line and celebrated knocking 18 secs. off his own V.65 record. This may well be the shortest-lived record on the Croft Ambrey books as 46 seconds later Guy (in his first handicap race as a V.65) sliced an enormous 4 mins. 39 secs. from Bryan’s mark. Break that one El Presidente.

Jon completed the top 3 with his best time of the season as he fights his way back to full fitness.

Rachel recorded an impressive improvement on her best time, but the performance of the night (and the winner of the President’s discretionary award) came from Stacey who set his third consecutive P.B. to climb to No. 5 on the list of the all-time fastest runners over the course in its 21 year history. Stacey is in a rich vein of form this year as he sets P.B.’s at every distance he races over. Long may it continue.

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