On the final day of the wettest April in the UK for over 100 years, it was perhaps not really surprising that ‘the hills’ on the Town Moor should be declared just a little too soggy for handicap purposes. Last minute re-arrangements had to be made to use an alternative course, but the officials, marshals & runners all proved equal to the challenge.
Late guest arrivals, Freda and Arun Summerfield led the field home, having been allotted favourable handicap times. In a very tight finish, the race winner for the club, and thus the current holder of the brand new Cup, was Randy Ballesteros. Just behind in 2nd and 3rd positions for the club were Pierre-Henri Lanoe & Paul Robinson.
Despite switching to a different course, and with only an estimated distance to work with, Dave Manners expert handicapping still managed to orchestrate finishing times for a majority of the runners within a spread of only 2½ minutes.
Luke Bryant once again recorded the fastest time (19:24), but Jamie Martin (19:37), Duncan Scott (19:42), Roberto Marzo (20:07), Matthew Kingston (20:10) and Jeremy Smith (20:21) were also in fine form.
Amongst the ladies, it was a closely fought contest between Sarah Bowen (23:35) and Nina Jensen (23:43) for the best time.
Chairman Gordon Macfadyen became the new holder of the Shield for the best Aggregate Points Score (last 4 handicaps), moving up from the 2nd position he had held after the Winter Handicap. Close behind Gordon now in the chart are Jamie Harding and Paul Robinson.
Once again the Café de Vie did us proud for post-run sustenance, with Kim and his staff providing us with a very friendly welcome.
An extra thank you this time is due to all the volunteer officials & marshals who were totally unfazed by the late rearrangements regarding the course.
All the runners had the satisfaction of recording ‘course bests’ on the night, and one or two were extremely complimentary about the new route. However, I know they will all be itching to get back to the familiar hills in the summer handicap at the end of July.