Awaiting the Handicap Results
The annual Christmas handicap once again took place on Easter Monday in drizzly conditions with lots of standing water over the 5.6 mile route.
The traditional course, that has been used since the days before the bypass was built is generally flat but with a nasty hill up through Billington around 4 miles.
The race is a “blind handicap” which effectively means that everyone is given a predicted time before the start, but no-one knows what it is so the race is run as a normal race. However, the winner is the person who beats their predicted time by the largest amount.
We have decided to leave the handicap results for the night of the awards dinner as that is the crucial part but the times and placings can be found below.
Back from uni for Easter Jordan Clay kept Billy Mead company for a while with Stu Blofeld in hot pursuit down Stanbridge Road. Fourteen others were having their own individual battles with the wet and occasionally each other.
Once over the bypass, Jordan upped the pace a little and Billy started to feel the effects of the previous evening so dropped back as Stuart eyed an opportunity to catch him as the went up and over the hill. A little further back, Andy Inchley was struggling to get involved in the race for second.
With Jordan now well clear, there was just a few seconds between the next three as they crossed back over the bypass with less than a mile to go. Billy was now in very bad shape and as he approached Pages Park, he pulled to the side with a retching noise and Andy – who had just got past Stuart – managed to move into second place.
Jordan had cruised home first and watched on as Billy – now a little lighter – rediscovered his legs and sprinted back past Andy to regain second place. Stuart was keen to complete a quick 10K ahead of the Brighton marathon next week and so ran through the finish and off into the distance.
Other notable performances came from a returning Adam Haylock, who has been missing for most of 2018; Sam Dear, who controversially overtook Jo towards the end; Chris Large, who’s cross-training has clearly been paying large dividends and is surely set for a great summer and Stuart Dimmock who raced in a little bit of anger for the first time since last summer.
So we will leave you to have your own guesses as to who you think may have won the handicap, but here are the results as they finished: