ATHLETICS: Christmas Handicap

Tricia Garner
Tricia Garner

President returns from injury to take title

Rugby & Northampton AC revived their traditional Christmas Handicap Race on Saturday over the traditional 5.5km route, starting and finishing at the athletics track.

For the event, runners are handicapped based upon their expected finishing time so the slowest starts first and the fastest last, with the objective that all runners finish together.

So securing a favourable handicap relies upon disguising one’s true form and fitness in the weeks leading up to the event.

In the event it was club president Tricia Garner who returned from a long injury layoff, but still carrying several ailments from the John Gercs book of running injuries, who came out on top.

Having been one of the earliest starters she took the lead in the first mile and was never headed and finally finished in a time of 27-55, 300 metres ahead of a fast finishing Daniel Williams, who clocked 20-12 to edge out Tim Coffey (23-23) by a single second.

Most of the field finished within the next minute so the handicapper had been successful.

Fastest time on the day was Paul Birch (19-19) who finished fifth overall after a good battle with Ben Musgrove (19-22).

Fastest lady on the day was Emily Waugh who clocked 20-51 to finish ninth overall and record the sixth fastest time overall.

After a break over the holidays the next club events are the County Cross Country Championships, the Warwickshire event is at Cofton Park in Birmingham and is combined with Worcestershire whilst the Northants event is at Wellingborough.

Results of the 2014 Rugby and Northampton AC Christmas Handicap: Position, Name, Handicap time (Actual Time) in brackets: 1 Tricia Garner 28-25(27-55). 2 Daniel Williams 29-22 (20-12) – 3rd fastest. 3 Tim Coffey 29-23 (23-23). 4 John Taylor 29-31 (22-01). 5 Paul Birch 29-39 (19-19) – fastest of day. 6 Ben Musgrove 29-52 (19-22) 2nd fastest. 7 George Wells 29-55 (22-45). 8 Alistair Mcdonnel 30-03 (20-43). 9 Emily Waugh 30-11 (20-51). 10 Pete Thomas 30-24 (21-54). 11 Max Chippington 30-33 (21-53). 12 Adam Wright 30-55 (20-15). 13 Ian Botheroyd 31-09 (20-29). 14 Carter Oldfield 32-31 (32-31). 15 Dean Oldfield 32-32 (32-32). 16 Ben Townsend 33-18 (27-38).