More slacking from me in the writing front. Dear oh dear (or should it be deer oh deer…?), I was sure I had written about the August handicap already but obviously not.
August 30th saw me running The Stragglers last Thursday of the Month Handicap, over a 5.17km course. I had a race plan based upon the fact that I had only run it once before - very slowly as it was the night before another race - which meant that my handicap worked in my favour. The course is based on finishing in 35:00 minutes and as I was so slow in July, my handicap was only 30 seconds, which meant I set off 30 seconds after the start. I knew I was going to go out hard and try and run as fast as I could as it would be the only chance I had of winning!! I had a great run and finished in 27:17, winning in the process. For my efforts I received a lovely shiny gold medal - I promptly bought Straggler yellow ribbon upon which to hang it. Chuffed to bits I was. Who’d have thought I would win a running race (even though it was a handicrap….sorry, handicap!).
Forward a month to September 27th, I had “lost” 5:30 from my handicap, meaning I started 6 minutes after the first person. I knew there were only about 4 people who had set off in front of me so my target was to try to catch them all up and overtake them if I could. Then of course, my next target was not to be overtaken by anyone who started later than me. Somehow I caught everyone and overtook them and was in first place again (!!) and then, horror of horrors, I heard footsteps pounding along behind me up the final hillock on the course. I kept going and was overtaken by someone who I knew was a first-timer. I was saved, first-time entrants cannot win the handicap. I ran as fast as I could into the car park and through the finish (to shouts of “sandbagger” “cheat” and “fix” - oh and one “well done”), winning again in the process! This time in a time of 26:44, so a PB of over 30 seconds - and another shiny gold medal. Oh and once again a very very chuffed Sharon. The last thing I did before I went to sleep on Thursday night was pick up my medal from the bedside table and look at it…I luurrve medals.
Anyway, I have decided to retire from the handicap on a high. I will have another go once I have improved some more - the reason I never did it before was because I didn’t want to do yet more races and become even more competitive. I can see that happening, so I will save it for the Time Trials and the Ranelagh Cross Country Points Prize races. A girl can only cope with so much race stress in her life you know…