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2014 DRC Christmas Handicap

21/12/2014

Sunday morning saw 20 members lace up their racing shoes for the final event in the Club's 2014 competition calendar, the annual Christmas Handicap...

Steff Grier was first of the runners to complete the 5 mile circuit on the Holywood course with Frank Skatchill and Linda Oates chasing hard to make up the top 3 on the day.

Alan Baxter (28.58) and Mhairi Duff (29.38) posted the fastest times of the day. 

Results: DRC 2014 Xmas Handicap results

Following report by Steve Mohan:

The highlight of the festive running calendar, the Dumfries Running Club Christmas handicap, was held last Sunday morning on the 5 mile Holywood Stroll course. In its 28th year the race attracted a smaller than usual turnout of 20 club members eager to see if they could match up to the targets set for them by expert handicapper Les Hill.

As well as this turnout 7 other club members were marshalling and recording the finishing times to make sure the event would go ahead with others offering on course support. No account was made for those who had sabotaged their chances by overindulging in festive parties or works nights out and Les had made a careful study of form over the monthly 5k handicap races over the past 12 months. With over 30 minutes of difference in start times from front runner to back marker each entrant provided a wrapped Christmas present and this provided an extra incentive to push on to try for the best possible time.

Keeping with tradition it was a new name on the trophy as Steph Grier rose to the occasion and finished three minutes clear of the field in her fastest ever run over the distance. In second place Frank Skachill had a storming run in 37.21 with Linda Oates thirty seconds behind. Andy Reed took great delight in finishing ahead of his wife Karen in fourth place overall and handicapper Les Hill had an excellent run in 32.32 heading off male club captain by one second. However, Alan had the consolation of the fastest time of any runner in 28.58. Ranjit Thomas ran well in 32.28 and finished five seconds in front of Mhairi Duff who had a very swift run in 29.38 with Jacob Tangey three strides behind in 30.11. Fiona Jardine underlined her recent improvements in 42.23 by having the strength to head off fast finishing Kevin McCaig by two seconds. Sandy Shankland in 33.05 was seven seconds up on Margaret Gray with Kevin McQueen less than 20 metres behind in 31.13. Stephen Mohan dipped below the 35 minute mark by a few seconds and finished thirty seconds in front of Gemma Leadbetter who truly entered into the spirit of the occasion with a festive costume that included a red cape, jazzy glasses and an imitation turkey hat. Roz Clingan, cheered on by her daughter Maisie and husband Peter, did well on her furthest race for many years and stayed clear of Mark Johnston and Karen Reed and Adam Dickie was cheered to the finishing line by his club mates as the backmarker in 34.08.

Over tea and coffee with mince pies and cream back at Nunholm wrapped presents were chosen and post race tales were swapped and congratulations were given to Ranjit Thomas, Gemma Leadbetter and Chris Wilson who were awarded club places for the 2015 London Marathon.

SM.

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