After the cancellation of the 20-21 season entirely and the abandonment mid way through 19-20 (when the author of this was on target for ‘I did all 12’ t-shirt), it great to see that the Hampshire Road Race League is back for 21-22.
I certainly hadn’t until Thursday evening, but it’s the reason James Norris & Naomi Stanley are now the undisputed and deserved champions of current consecutive handicaps – being the only athletes to run every event in 2021. In 3rd place is Joanne Miles, who hasn’t missed an event since January 2021.
The sun finally came out at the end of May ready for ‘handicap week’ which will continue to be the last week of the month whilst we work out what the new normal looks like for working/not working at OSHQ. The bonus of being able to run anywhere at any time is that lots of people who perhaps no longer work with us, can still join in, so shout out to Claire Savage, Jon R-B, Peter Baker and Viv who joined in the handicap fun this month.
Rather than write about how morose I feel organising handicaps for a small handful of runners and how it used to be much more fun when we had a dozen or more people all on the start line, I thought I’d look back, as April 2021 was the 100th running of the OS Handicap
The first run was on 24 April 2012, for those of you that are newer to OS this was on a 5.6k course, that started by nursery, up Redbridge Lane and Romsey Road, over the Motorway, down Upton Lane, left onto Station Road, then back up by Tesco’s and down the path. The modern equivalent of this route would be slightly different due to the rerouting of path just over the motorway on Romsey Road and the path to 4 Horseshoes
After restarting the handicap from Explorer House in August, we were then, sadly, had to pause again in January, as COVID variants became more wide spread and UK Gov’t/EA rules and guidance didn’t permit groups of more than 2 outside.