Wow, that was close!
After a fantastic Stag Trophy season was all but wrapped by Joe Bidlake-Hull in February, the final race of the year meant that only Amy Farnfield had any chance of taking the trophy from his grasp. For this to happen, he had to finish outside the top eight and she had to win the final race.
A wet day and the school holidays had depleted numbers a little so we were down to nineteen participating, but the conditions were reasonable for running. As ever with the Stag it is difficult to tell early on in the race who is going to come through at the finish, but one thing was clear, that Amy was certainly going to be near the front of the field.
As it turned out, the story of the night was indeed entirely about the first three finishers who came home just six seconds apart:
When new members join the club it is extremely difficult to estimate a Stag time for them, as it is shorter than most people would race and the format is very different too so it can often take a few races to actually run to par. It is often the case that new people consequently finish either first or last in their first attempt!
On this occasion, debutante Fiona McLeish entered the park first but was being rapidly closed down by Amy who was having a stormer, but also Jordan Clay, back from university and running around at 5 minute per mile pace in search of the club record. If Amy could sneak into first she would have a chance of outright victory overall, but a third place finish would definitely give Joe the trophy.
As it turned out, the finish line arrived just in time for all three to stay in that order and well ahead of fourth placed Pete Mackrell, which meant Amy could possibly draw level with Joe. The question now was where was he? He needed a top eight finish to deny Amy a share of the title but anyone who was watching on knew that as Laura crossed the line in eighth, he had not managed it on this occasion and so the spoils for the season would be shared.
Third place overall for the season was taken by Liz Peters, who with Joe was one of only two people to do all seven races this year and ran very consistently throughout.
Amy’s time of 16:03 was a 28 second PB and clearly that was needed as otherwise Jordan would have been past to take a crucial solitary point away. It also put her into the top ten women on the all-time list. Jordan’s time could be argued was even more significant, as his 12:23 equalled the club record set by Rob Elmore in November 2004. The only person ever run around the Stag course quicker is Mike Shevyn* who ran 12:14 in April 1994 and so Jordan must now have his eyes set firmly on this.
So well done to everyone that took part and thanks to Pete and Dave in particular for the work they put into it each month. You can all now enjoy the summer off Stagging and look forward to October 3rd when it all starts all over again!
Final results can be found here: www.leightonbuzzardac.co.uk/stag-trophy-latest-results/
* Mike ran for the club as a junior but moved to Birmingham and joined Birchfield Harriers. He ran the course record when back visiting his father.