Stag Trophy – Latest Results – 2023/24

Race Six – Pork Pies and PB’s

It’s possible that some of you are under the deluded impression that pasta, energy gels, high protein diets or even a pre-race espresso are the supplements you need to help you fast times. You are however, all wrong! Apparently the real answer is a quarter of a large pork pie about an hour before you run!

Ed announced this fact when he arrived at the start of the March Stag and then proved it by running a twenty-one second PB. In doing so, he also became the forty-third person to break fourteen minutes for the four kilometre course. Despite the best efforts of his meat a pastry snack, this run was still only good enough for third place on the night.

The winner on the night was Nathan Green who beat his PB (set in October) by twenty-nine seconds. Since October, Nathan has stuggled to regain that form, but March saw a huge improvement that meant he was more than a minute under handicap. For clarification, I have not checked on his diet yesterday, but I’m assuming he must have had a third of large pork pie! There’s simply no other answer!

Separating Nathan and Ed was Fiona, who was on one of her occassional visits back to Leighton before heading off on her next cycling trip from London to Barcelona! She was thirty-three seconds quicker than when she last ran in October and so earned herself twenty-four points for her efforts.

On what was a perfect night for running, there were three further PB’s from Cristian, Will H. and Will E., who were all challenging for the overall title. They were all in battles that involved position changes in the final few hundred metres that could really count after next month.

Equally as impressively, Warren has been running the Stag for fifteen years and ran his PB in April five years ago. He’s now a V50, but was only two seconds off his PB last night in coming home fifth, so is surely in danger of beating it in April in the light.

Last night’s race has caused a major culling of the list of potential winners as we are now down to three. There are five others who can still make the podium, but the top spot is a much shorter list.

Our leader (and favourite for the title) is now Cristian, who has run five races, but in each of them has finished between third and sixth, getting quicker with each race and now has 107 points.

The only ones who can catch him are George and Will E. They both have 99 points as it stands. For Will to at least draw level with Cristian he needs to finish in the top five next month and hope Cristian is behind him. For George, he needs a top three finish with at least a couple between him and our leader.

Will and George equally need to be looking over their shoulders to though, as Ed, Will H, Warren, Jo and Neil can all catch them with a high points score in the last race. Cristian however, is already guaranteed a top three spot.

The final Stag of the season is in Easter week this year, on Wednesday 3rd April. The clocks will have sprung forward by then so no head torches will be required and the April race is usually the most conducive to fast times. Let’s not make it too easy for any of them though, by having a big turn-out of runners to make the scoring more interesting.

Full reslts and standings can be found at the bottom of the page.

Race Five – Jo finds her racing boots

The February edition of the Stag is always where we start to see the lie of the land in terms of those in a position to challenge. However, this year’s competition looks set to be pretty wide open, after the fifth race was completed.

This month, most of the leading contenders finished nearer the back, which allowed a bunch of others to gain some ground in the overall standings and open things up. Those in attendance got lucky with the weather, with Tuesday and Thursday being very wet, Wednesday was perfectly still and dry, helping people to some fast times.

On this occasion, it was Jo Dear who sneaked home first. Running over forty seconds quicker than she has all season, after last summer’s injury lay-off, she has suddenly found some speed to go along with her famed stamina. However, she did need most of those forty seconds to stay ahaed of Dan Webb, who was nearly thirty seconds under his handicap himself. The top three was completed by Cristian De Sa, who has run a PB every race this season, and with four scores in the twenties, is probably the current favourite for the title.

We had one debutant on the night, with Gary Prysbet making his way over from MK to come home in fourth place in an impressive 13:41 (although he tried to claim he would run about 14:30!). The only other PB on the night was Will Eastman, who’s continued improvement sees him as one of the overall challengers too.

The full standings and results can be found at the bottom of this page, but after five races there are still technically sixteen people who can take the title. Of those, five would require an unusual turn of results so there’s probably eleven still in it, but in order to score big points they will all need to continue to improve.

At the moment Ed Toosey and Neil Green lead the way on 88 points, but Cristian, both Will’s and George Perkins are all in the 80’s too. Jo, Warren Rose and Simon Jolly also have a good score base to work from, but will all need two strong scores to get on the podium come April.

The next race is on Wednesday 6th March. Let’s try to get as many people down as possible to help mix things up. It doesn’t matter if you’ve done all five or zero races this season – the more people, the more interesting it is!

Race Four – Lovell Bookends

Part of the chat that we try to have with all Stag debutants is around finishing positions. It is very common that those doing the Stag for the first time either come first or last. The reasons being that for many people it’s a shorter (faster) race than they’re used to doing, so underestimate their pace. Equally some may not go off quick enough for the same reason and before they know it, it’s all over. Quite regularly though, it happens that we simply don’t have enough info to go on on and the handicap is something of a shot in the dark.

Rarely has this condition been more exlemplified than this January Stag. Mike Lovell has been a club member for four years, but his job has meant only sporadic appearances at events and never at a training run or a Stag. However, a new job has meant that we will hopefully see more of him. He was brought down to his first Stag by his daughter Jess, and as suggested above, they managed to bookend the field, with Jess coming home fifty-six seconds ahead of her handicap and Mike fifty-six seconds behind his. Now they have a time a time under their belts, this shouldn’t happen again, but we shall see in February.

Behind Jess, there were eight others who managed to get under their handicap, on what was actually an excellent night for running. Paul Griffiths came home next as starts to return to form, with George Perkins bagging himself a big PB to go with his twenty-four points in third. Two other PB’s were earned on the night. One by Cristian De Sa, by just one second, and another by Ed Toosey who is gradually pushing towards the fourteen minute threshold.

With the halfway mark of the Stag now having past, we are starting to get a feel of the league table, although it should be noted that there is a very long way to go, with seventy-five points still up for grabs.

The top three of Neil Green (75 points), Ed Toosey (72) and Will Harding (70) have all done four races. The next four in the table; George Perkins (68), Cristian De Sa (62), Simon Jolly (60) and Will Eastman (59) have only done three races. Additionally, there are multiple others who could get up into the reckoning with two or three strong performances.

There is a five week gap to the next Stag, which is on Wednesday 7th February, so plenty of time for some solid training to earn those extra vital points!

Full results and standings are at the bottom of the page.


Race Three – A battle of Wills!

Okay, so the title of this mini report is not strictly true as Will Eastman, smashed the whole field out of the park to win December’s Stag by twenty-three seconds, so there wasn’t much of a battle. However, the fact that Will Harding came second made it an almost unavoidable title to use!

The aforementioned Man from the East, has found his running mojo in recent weeks and is almost back to his PB best from the summer of 2021. His PB – run in June – was during a second season of Covid disruption and I can guarantee was distinctly warmer than the three degrees that we ran in last night.

Mr Harding on the other hand, is still finding his (very fast) feet, having improved his time in each of his three races thus far. During the traditional post-race analysis in the pub with some of the club’s “elders”, it was realised that three who sat opposite Will were:

  • Geoff Roe – Who’s PB of 13:26 Will equalled last month
  • Pete Watkins – Who’s PB of 13:18 Will equalled last night
  • Andy Inchley – Who’s PB of 13:16 is next on Will’s target list

Finishing immediately behind Will (version 2) was a flurry of chaps led home by Paul Griffiths and included Louis Smith, making his debut, and George Perkins, who earned the only other PB on the night.

With only fifteen runners taking on the December chill, there were plenty of points on offer and so the standings have only altered a little. All experienced Staggers know though, that everything up to February is about jostling for a good position from which to make a late burst in March and April.

The positions going into the Christmas period see Neil Green, out in front with 64 points, but Will Harding closing the gap on 61, with Ed Toosey on 52 making up the top three. However, Will Eastman (46), George Perkins (44) and Cristian De Sa (41) have only run two races, so everything is still wide open.

As ever, you will find the latest results and standings at the bottom of this page. The next race will be Wednesday 3rd January – Happy New Year!


Race Two – The Calm Before the Storm

For much of Wednesday there was a lot of looking out the window and checking the forecast ahead of the run. With storm Ciaran battering the south coast, there was a distinct possibility that the Stag could be run in torrential rain. However, as it turned out, we managed to miss the worst of the weather entirely and ended up with ideal conditions.

Twenty-one runners met in Parsons Close, mostly with headtorches for the alleyway and headed off like a stream of pilot fish in their quest to be the first one up the hill in the park.

As is often they way, it was a debutante who came home first, with fifteen-year-old George Perkins making the most of a first run to come home as the clear winner. A big adjustment to his handicap will be made ahead of the December race!

Leading a pack of nineteen people in a minute was Neil Green, who beat his time from last month by nearly half a minute and now has an impressive forty-nine points from two races. There is a long way to go however…..

Matt Brooks completed the top three with another big improvement from last month as he just got home before a flurry of charging speedsters battling for the big points. James LK, Cristian, Ed and the two Wills all finished within six seconds in quick individual times.

The result of all this means that after two races, Neil is the clear leader, but he needs to keep improving to keep it that way. Cristian is second on forty-one points and Will Harding third on thirty-seven.

There’s a five week gap to the next race in December, so time for a little extra training to gain those vital points before Christmas.

The full results from Wednesday and the overall standing can be found below.

2023/24 Season Races:

Overall Standings for the 2023/24 Season