For the last club race of 2018 (the annual Christmas Handicap) our normal 5k route had to be quickly changed on the morning of the event after some pretty grim overnight weather which left snow, slush and the potential for black ice on our normal handicap route around the pavements of Maryhill. The decision was made to relocate to Maryhill Park and, just to add a further challenge on top of the glorious weather forecast, we adopted a cross-country course to add to the fun. So a 2 lap pavement route became a 5 lap cross-country route….eek….

First of all a huge thanks goes to Mick and Caroline for standing in the cold and going as numb as the runners whilst they clocked each finish time and logged positions as well as shouting much-needed words of encouragement after each lap – it was much appreciated!

The handicaps had been calculated based on everyone’s recent (and 2018 best) 5k performances with no allowances given for late-onset sore noses, male pregnancies, “I’m now training for ultras hence losing 5k speed” etc excuses.

I was honestly surprised at how hard it was to converge to handicaps which (hopefully) would work such that everyone arrived at the finish line together. So many variables…and those excuses…then Finn threw in a 5k PB the previous Saturday…..

The weather conditions for the race were indeed grim – it started with just very cold temperatures with some light rain/sleet but changed to freezing rain approx. halfway through the race. Due to the snow and slush underfoot everyone’s toes then feet went numb after about 1 lap. I was double-gloved and my fingers went numb shortly after my feet. Everyone ran well though and got stuck in – once numb extremities became the norm we could think more about the race and chasing the runner in-front whilst still being aware of runners closing-in from behind. It’s a great and fun format and a lot of ‘catches’ were made on the final fifth lap.

Congrats to Rory for the quickest time of the day. A huge ‘well done’ also goes to the juniors who raced after us in equally challenging conditions – no complaints, they just went for it! Thanks also to Margaret for organising the junior race and prizes afterwards plus Caroline for booking the Riding School where coffee & tea plus cakes afterwards restored core temps. A final thanks to James for his early-morning course recce and to James and Kenny for their rock-salting work.

RESULTS: Shown are finish time (clock started when first runner started) then actual race time by each harrier
1st Craig Perrie (31.00/22.52)
2nd Finn Boyd (31.20/23.26)
3rd Joe McCartney (31.40/31.40)
4th Margaret Peebles (31.42/31.42)
5th Linda Sinclair (31.46/30.33)
6th Rory Clark (32.00/22.45)
7th Chris Hever (32.12/29.31)
8th Kevin Campbell (32.20/23.25)
9th James Prior (33.02/29.02)
10th Kenny Henderson (33.04/30.10)
11th Lynsey Parker (39.10/35.52)

 

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