2015 Club Handicap

Group in fancy dress before the start of the 2015 Club Handicap

Forecasts of heavy rain all week didn’t deter entrants for the annual Farnham Runners Fancy dress Handicap race. They assembled at the Bourne Green pavilion in a variety of guises to obtain their handicap. There were the usual attempts to feign reasons for a better deal but the crystal ball/computer that predicts the times could not be swayed. The course was the traditional 4.25 mile course which starts from the Bourne Green.

There was a huge sixteen minute gap between the first and last to set off and yet almost all the twenty-nine competitors finished within three minutes of each other.

It was a close-run thing for first place. Clair Bailey who came third was in the lead until the steps at the corner of the Green. However, Lina Haines put her dedication to the club’s Tuesday hill training to good use for a powerful finish that clinched victory. Damien Probett gave his all in a sprint finish for second place.

Not far behind was John Phillips and after a 15 second gap the next thirteen all came within a minute of each other. In order they were Debbie Whitehead, Keith Marshall, Stuart Williamson, Sarah Hill, Anne Snelson, Steve Payne, Nick Lowes (guest), Tara Hunt, Steve Bailey, Billy McCulloch, Ian Marshall, Mary Denise Fitzgerald and Tim Cummins. Then Emma Dawson, Becky Martin, Craig Tate-Grimes, Matt Dellar, Tori Shaw and Sarah Marjoram crossed the line within the next 26 seconds, followed by Phil Masters, Pete Strange, Tim Farrant, Jacquie Browne, Shirley Perrett and Sue Taylor.

The fancy dress competition was equally hard-fought. The goodies seemed to outnumber the baddies this year, some fictional and some real. Ghandi, Friar Tuck and a nun mingled with a mummy, Ali Baba, the Pink Panther, Danger Mouse and Penfold, Mario, spiderwoman, a knight, a Christmas elf, and a schoolgirl. Dubious characters included The Godfather, Darth Vader and Walt from Breaking Bad. The animal kingdom was well represented this year with two bees, a tiger, a gorilla and a penguin. A punk rocker, a heavy metal rocker, a colourful lady clown and Where’s Wally added to the enjoyment.

Lindsay Bamford carried out the difficult task of judging and awarded marks for originality and effort. Tori Shaw, a previous winner, and Sue Taylor made a superb effort with their Danger Mouse and Penfold outfits to take joint first place, while Ian Marshall (penguin) and Damien Probett (heavy metal rocker) won well-earned second and third prizes.

The fastest times of the day were Sarah Hill in 26:10, Stuart Williamson 28:06, Tim Cummins 29:15 and Matt Dellar 29:51, John Phillips 30:11, Ian Marshall 30:14, Steve Bailey 31.00, Sarah Marjoram 32:26 and Billy McCulloch 33:49.

Social secretary Jacquie Browne provided post-race refreshments, race director Craig Tate-Grimes set out the course and Jane Georghiou consulted the computer/crystal ball to ascertain the handicaps.

The lucky winners in the draw for the club’s two Brighton marathon places were John Walker and Paul Mackie.