Mercifully the rain held off for our annual handicapped 5k race ie 12 ½ grueling laps of the track at the LSV. I decided to start everyone staggered according their handicap to ensure everyone finished around the same lap. I am sure the lap counters were delighted at this at the start of the event but maybe not so much as the race went on and the field started to close up.
“You must be joking” was the reaction of probably 80% of the people on seeing their predicted 5k time which had been calculated from recent race results or estimated from over distance events eg 10k. It was interesting to see at the end though only 6 runners from the 30 competitors actually ran slower than their Handicap and 5 of those were only by mere seconds. Its amazing what athletes can pull out of the bag when the chase is on.
The chase was well and truly on as Claire got the party underway as the first runner to depart and then the steady stream of athletes right down to Horwich’s Dave Jackson off last, and running as a guest to sharpen up for his fell debut at the two lads race this week. Watching the race was fascinating as you could see the ones off last gradually clawing back the ones in front and the ones in front pulling out some really brave performances to keep their advantage.
The race was won by Michelle Fuller who demonstrated her massive improvements this year by outperforming her handicap by almost 2 mins to record 24.27 (30.57). Following closely in second (and the scorers could see her storming through the field as the race unfolded) was Suzanne Gregory in a time of 22.53. (31.08). 3rd was Carole Baines who has also shown massive improvements in her running this year to record 22.35 (31.50) just pipping Claire who bravely held on for 4th place a massive 68 seconds inside her predicted time with a 31.52 (31.52) clocking. As a statistic these 4 ladies had a combined time which was 6 minutes and 12 seconds in front of their calculated predicted finishing times.
As someone remarked during the presentation “and now to the mens race” …. J …… Well the fastest 5k on the night was run by our guest runner Dave Jackson in a swift 17.39 (32.54). The fastest A&T runner award of the night was actually shared between Gary Stevens 18.17 (31.54) and Mark Riches 18.17 (32.53) both out performed their handicap and Gary by a huge 43 seconds and if my memory serves me correctly his fastest 5k on the track having last run 18.32 in 2008 … I keep saying it but a real achievement after his illness last year. Well done to both Gary and Mark.
There were also quite some outstanding performances and three or four results on that sheet I think are real ‘eyebrow raisers’ … you know who you are!!
Some thanks are due to our lap scorers Abbie, Andy and Michelle Coates, Michaela, Robin and Louise … it must have been the most confusing and stressful job on the planet as the field bunched up but we got through so thanks a lot guys.
My apologies that some of the timings got a bit messed up, I take the blame fully for this. I should have made a better contingency plan for athletes showing up on the night, as it was numbers allocated late ended up out of sequence and that is what caused the confusion with some of the times. 0wing to it being a handicap event the timings and lap c0unting is always quite complex … so to my timing team … sorry guys and sorry for adding to your stress by constantly mithering.
Well done to everyone, 12 ½ laps of a track is a daunting prospect at the best of times!!....... So a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who showed up and raced.
Don’t forget there is another chance to punish yourself over 5km albeit on a very different surface on Wednesday as A&T stage Mark and Derek’s 50th Birthday Charity 5k …All proceeds are going to the Gill Pimlott cancer unit fund so a very good cause will be supported on what will be a great fun night H0pe to see you all there.