January handicap report

Cold, damp and depressing. Harsh words perhaps...but entirely justified when it comes to describing the conditions at the January Handicap.

Many a Serpie - including the author of this report - must have thought seriously about staying in bed with a cup of tea...but, in the end, the race was, as always, a delight. Just a single smile from a single shivering runner is enough for your noble Handicap team to feel a warm glow of satisfaction.

And, speaking of satisfaction, nobody can be feeling more content than January's runaway winner, Jane Harris. Possibly out of a desperate urge to warm up quickly, Jane stormed home a minute and a quarter ahead of her nearest rival. Andrew Roberts was the man in second, as well as the best age-graded runner (82.8 %); while third place went to Debbie Clarke, who had the added pleasure of coming in just seconds ahead of the man who is apparently her husband. The fastest time was recorded by Peter Holmes (24.41).

Andrew and Debbie both ran PBs, as did the following: Paul Stoker, Chris Boyle (by 1 second!) , Peter Clarke (by nearly a minute!) and Shirine Osseiran. That's not many PBs, to be frank -- so Handicap regulars should be thinking seriously about making more training their resolution for 2015.

After the race, we gathered under the dripping roof of the Serpentine café to present the awards for last year's Tom Hogshead Trophy to Andrew Williams, Theo Highland (ok, he wasn't there, but he attended in spirit) and Alexandre Bernigaud. The sodden surroundings may have been inauspicious - not to say, completely miserable - but these men are legends who will be immortalised in the annals of the Handicap.

The Handicap team are always grateful to the volunteers, but this month we particularly appreciated the Serpies who braved the foul weather (did I mention that?) and those who'd already helped out at other club events over the festive season. The bedraggled heroes were: Bev Thomas, James Stratford, George Allen, Jennifer Bradley, Rob Whitmarsh, Dorothy Boggs, Pete Mackintosh, Anne Bennett, Tom Poynton, Martha Mckenzie-Minifie, Christine Wehermeir and Lynne Rogers.

And a special thanks to Tamara Lopez for standing in as an honorary Handicapper for the month!

See you in February...when it is apparently going to be unseasonably warm and sunny!

Your Handicap team

Submitted: 13 January 2015