Tom Hogshead Trophy and 2013 Club Handicap

It has been another great year for the Serpentine Handicap

As most Serpies know, there is no finer sight in sport than a huge pack of red-and-gold vests hurtling towards the finish line together. So it was fitting that we saw out 2013 with a particularly tight race - Nicola Kerr straining every sinew to hold off a challenge from Laurent Le Mee. Congratulations to her!

In the annual competition for the Tom Hogshead trophy, consistently strong performances throughout the year made Margaret Sills a worthy winner. She saw off stiff competition from Manuel Moreno in 2nd and Tim Forman in 3rd. Manuel also reached the milestone of 100 handicaps in 2013 and provided a magnificent selection of wines to mark the occasion.

The Hudspiths did some outstanding running this year. Sebi Hudspith (now aged 15) won the race 3 times, while his brother, Nati (aged 13) got a 2nd and a 3rd. Only a long absence over the summer stopped the family from dominating the Hogshead.

As well as the Tom Hogshead trophy, we mustn't forget the Serpentine Egg trophy, which is for the person who scored the least number of points over 8 races. Last year's winner was Keith Evans and this year we have joint winners, Val Metcalf and Hilary Walker, who both scored 3 points for each of the 8 races.

Ian Benge set the fastest time of the year (23.22) in a one-off appearance, while Grace Wu set the fastest women's time with 26.59. We hope to see both of them back at the race soon! The best aged graded performance was by Charles Doxat, a V70 who ran a phenomenal 30.15 (83.9 age-graded).

The Handicappers also enjoyed the lung-busting sprint finishes by Raul Kharbanda, Ian Johnson and Guy O'Keefe; the hallowe'en costumes of Fliss Berridge and the rest of her coven; and the good humour of all our runners, even in the depths of winter.

The Handicap is much more than a race; it's really about meeting friends in the beautiful surroundings of Hyde Park and heading to the Serpentine café afterwards. And it wouldn't happen at all without our volunteers. So a huge thanks from the Handicap team to all the marshalls, time-keepers, bag-watchers, funnellers, name-callers and starters who have helped out this year. Your contribution gives everyone a great start to the weekend!

The Handicap Team

Submitted: 13 December 2013