The air was chilly, the sun was shining and the toilets were frozen, which left us stood on the start line for 5 minutes waiting for late toilet-stoppers to get to the start. And after a rather unceremonious start, we were off. Stephen Price, Pete Stockdale and Baljit Chohan raised the UKnetrunner flag at the front of the race before Pricey eased into the lead. And there he remained for the remainder of the race, spurred on by the recently retired David Robertson who was out on the course in support mode. As the race streamed passed David, ladies* took their clothing off and threw them at him!
*Brigitte and Zoe discarded gloves/hats as the temperature warmed up.
Pricey pushed on to take the race victory but there was much greater competition heating up behind as various club members traded places and tried to beat their teammates. Spurred on by the incentive of the prediction competition organised by David Kindred, Mark Willcocks made a determined effort to take the wooden spoon with his signature positive split.
Showing the kind of forethought sadly lacked by Mystic Meg, Michael Connor, stole the prize fund in the prediction competition by finishing within just 0.6 seconds of his predicted time!
Back at the front, Stephen Price (1st), Pete Stockdale (15th) and Baljit Chohan (27th) secured 2nd placed men's team for UKnetrunner. For the ladies, Ann Hood continued her impressive running form with an 11 minute PB to finish 4th lady.
Of course there was also the small matter of the handicap competition, which proved to be one of the closest we've ever had, with 8 runners separated by only 1:20. Just one second split third placed, Richard Beetlestone and second placed Peter O'Grady but it was Dee Hopkins that emerged triumphant with a fantastic run dipping nearly 3 minutes under her handicap time.
And after our now tradionial raising of the roof at the prize presentation, it was off to the AGM. Minutes of the AGM will follow at some point in the future, but to confirm the worthy winners of the various prizes...
UKnetrunner of the year: Bill Preston
Achievement Award: Ann Hood
NTRIX Handicap 2012: Dee Hopkins
New Forest 10m Handicap: Matt Dunn
Birchwood 10k Handicap: Mike Jarman
So that's that for another year, but if this has whet your appetite there are five further handicap races planned for this year - check the handicap events section for more information.