Andy’s Handy Hints For Winning the Stag

1. Be Rubbish in October!

Now don’t get me wrong, I am all in favour of summer running and would never discourage anybody, but if you happen to be below your best at the start of October, then you are only going to improve and this is very helpful from a tactical point of view. Although it has been known, Dave would have to be very harsh to handicap you faster than you have run for a long time.
The stag has been won on many occasions by people who are either new to running or returning from a long lay off.

2. Keep Training (For Running, not pie eating or beer drinking)

It is no good being at a low level of fitness and staying there, you have to improve steadily throughout the year (or at least until April). It also doesn’t work if you train hard until Christmas and then give up, because to win you have to have five scores of over 20 points, not three. David won last year due to running 5 PB’s in seven races and James was second due to consistency and running all seven.

3. Reduce Gaps

There is no point in winning a race (or even a place) by 30 seconds. You get the same points for winning by one second as ten and hopefully the following month you will have a handicap that you can still beat. It is vital that you don’t make it obvious though, so the louder and more in pain you sound as you finish, the better for your prospects.

4. Every Point Counts

The stag is often won by one or two points, so get your elbows out and fight for every place. Adam Haylock & Stu Blofeld always sneak up on you when you think you have got them beaten!

5. Whinge and Moan

Everyone hates the Stag! You hear it every month and it is true. Dave expects it now, so if you are not complaining then he thinks your handicap was too generous and it won’t be next month! Even if you’ve just strolled round to win, make sure he thinks that you are on the verge of collapse and could never ever run that fast again!

6. Do all The Races

The Stag is shorter and faster than most of us feel comfortable running. It builds up more more lactic acid in a shorter period of time…… but it does you a lot of good for that exact reason! It is possible to win the stag from just five races, but you have to be an exceptional athlete and tactitan to do that! It is fair to assume that you are going to have a lousy run one day (Or most days if you are whinging correctly!) so just man-up and get on with running round hard. Always remember that the faster you do it, the sooner it’s over with!

7. Buy Lots Of Drinks (For Dave)

It is safe to say that our venerable handicapper likes the odd pint, so if being rubbish, training regularly, tactics, turning up and whinging are all beyond you, then maybe you can buy yourself a trophy!