It was good to get out to Cotleigh for the first of the summer(!!) handicap runs. I didn't see much of what was going on as I ran round with only distant runners in view except for the whiz kids who galloped past me. But as you can see Brent got his hands on the monthly trophy, or he would have if Richard Garage had returned it. Katie pursued him to the line but couldn't quite close the gap. She had the compensation of running the best PB of the night and marathon fit Judy also knocked a few seconds off hers. It was good to see Ian out on the handicap again and he shaved 5 seconds of his PB. Nick Burton had his first handicap run and we set him off with Brent which proved to be a good choice as he finished just over half-a-minute behind him. Thanks to Jo Jo and Sandra for doing the recording.
What a difference a month makes! Last month Richard came back to the handicap after a whole year's absence through injury. Rather than run under his old handicap he did a new qualifying run. Since then he has been getting back towards his old level of fitness and as you can see he is making good progress. It's a pity that Hayden found himself running against a fitter Richard as he did a good PB and finished well ahead of Clare. The three Grizzly runners all showed their fitness by coming in next, with Hadleigh just getting past Nick on the line. Sandra was not far behind and it was good to have Tim finding time for an outing. Steve has had a frustrating two weeks nursing his foot and Vanessa was making a very welcome return after some difficult months. Another welcome returnee was Brent who sniffed Spring in the air and decided to come out of his winter hibernation. He did seem to be limping round but kept going and was even talking of a sub-20 minutes at the Yeovil 5K series this year - is he taking bets on that?
Sadly my offer of help had to cry off at the last minute and so I kept a lonely vigil at the finish line until Wendy LeM, who was feeling just too drained after a hard day, pulled out of the run and kept me company.
Next month's handicap will be at Coteligh - hurray!
Jo Jo wins the February Handicap with massive new PB
Jo Jo had a splendid run in the February handicap and knocked a whopping 2:48 off her PB. For all three laps she was well clear of any opposition and as you can see was 51 seconds clear of 2nd place Clare. Clare set off with Juliet who was doing the handicap for the first time. These two have really got the bit between their teeth and did 18 miles on Sunday - insane I know! Unfortunately Juliet missed the turn at the bridge so her qualifying run will have to be next time. Hadleigh also set an impressive new PB by 1:04 and young Katie is also getting faster and faster, as anyone (like me) who has tried to keep up with her on club nights will know. Age is definitely on her side so Judy had better watch out. Steve B. is steadily getting back to form and had an encouraging run and Judy, having ran 17 miles on Tuesday can be very pleased with being able to run at all. Ceri is another steadily building back to her form and was very close to last year's PB and Lesley had a good run despite not having done much running recently. Hayden, Steve and Bruce finished close together. I guess the last two are saving themselves for another XC battle at the Dalwood 3 Hills on Sunday.
There was an abundance of help, so thanks to Ross, Julian, Fiona and Rod who came along and cheered everyone on.