Stag Trophy Heating Up

Five races into the Stag trophy season and we are starting to see some moves around the top of the leaderboard. There are two races left and each individual’s five best scores are taken into account so from next month potential contenders will be dropping their lowest scores. What this means is that there can be big shifts in the table with one good performance.

As it stands after the February Stag, technically there are still 21 people who could win it, although there are five slightly more clear favourites.

The February race took place in cold but dry and still conditions, so if you embraced the chill it was a good night for running round the streets of Leighton. There were 24 people present on the start line, with Ruth Mitchell as the one newbie to the event. Unusually for a debutante, she actually finished in the middle of the field very near to her handicap with a time of 18:20 so well done Ruth.

At the front end of the race there were another big stack of PB’s, one age group record and one best in nine years! James Cusack has been training hard recently and this combined well with the 4° temperature to make him feel like he was back in Aberdeen as he stormed round the course 44 seconds ahead of his handicap to take the 25 points on the night. This has put him in 2nd overall, but with one race missed and one low score he has to make sure his last two runs are both high-scoring if he wants to win overall.

James is still chasing Stuart Dimmock who ran another PB of 16:08 to come home 6th and earn 20 points towards his cause, which currently translates to a seven point gap. Lisa Bowyer lies just one point behind James in 3rd after she ran another PB to make it four in a row since November.

There was a serious battle for the podium places on the night, with both Liz Peters and Jo Sharples just getting ahead of Richard Inchley in the final few metres to take 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively. Jo’s time of 15:58 put’s her into the top five women of all-time round the course and Richard’s 18:55 broke his own V70 record from last month. This equates to 7:34mpm and not bad for an old boy!

Just coming home behind his father, Andy Inchley was delighted with his fastest time in nine years and just the sixth time in 115 Stags on this course that he’s broken 13:30. Behind Stuart who was next were a few people breaking thresholds; Lynn Boddy was over the moon to beat 17 minutes for the first time, Katie Stanton had her first venture into the teens as she ducked under 20 minutes and Gareth Bird followed up last month’s win by breaking 16 minutes.

The final PB of the night was that of Pablo Simon who ran a few seconds quicker than he did on his debut last month. So with two to go there is all to race for for many people, but even if you’re one of the ones out of contention you can set your own targets and make it much more interesting by coming along and helping to mix it up.

The next race will be Wednesday 2nd March so book it in and get down to Parson’s Close.