A chilly and damp night in Leighton saw 19 members turn out for the fifth Stag Trophy race of this year's competition with many trying to work themselves into a position where they can challenge for the top spots in April at the end of term.
For someone who is usually running, it is intriguing to watch the race as gaps open and close and people fade after fast starts. Trying to guess who is going to come out at the front at the end of the race is remarkably difficult – although probably not as difficult as running up Grove Road into the wind with Pete Mack chasing you down!
As ever, there was lots of overtaking on the last lap but coming out first on the night was Andrew Hallworth who earned a new PB of 17:06 to go alongside his 25 points. Finishing 12 seconds behind and also earning a new all-time best was Lynn Boddy with 17:13. Third on the night was Jon Hull, who has been really focused on his training this year with big ambitions for the marathon. His time of 16:32 was only four second off his best that was set back in April 2008.
There were three more PB's on the night earned by Kate Johnson, David Killick and Mark Field to all score points in the twenties. In Mark's case, hopefully it will encourage him to back into representing the club after a few years away. Kate's time was 30 seconds quicker than her last one back in October and is a good result after all her recent training.
With five of the seven races now complete, we are starting to get a clearer idea of who the leading contenders are for this season. David Killick has already made it to the 100 point mark and so leads the way by 14 from Liz Peters but will need to continue to get PB's to make significant improvements on that score. Liz and Warren (who lies third) both have plenty of room to improve on their current totals.
The results sheet now has an extra column showing the maximum possible total for everyone who has taken part so far this year and what it shows is that there are still 13 people who could win the trophy and a further 7 who could get into the podium places, so there really is all still to play for in March and April as the weather improves (hopefully) and times start coming down. The leaders of these are Sam Dear and James Bell, but with both having already missed two races, they have no leeway at all in terms of point scoring.
The next race is Wednesday the fourth of March so make sure you are there to make life complicated for everyone.
Full results, standings, PB's and an archive of the results is all available via the Stag Trophy page.