Handicap 100

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

& here are the times from that day

Still quite a few regulars running 9 years later

In the intervening years, we’ve seen a total of 1,598 runs completed by 201 athletes, to get in the top 20, you need to have run 20 times or more

Dean and Jules just missing out, but generally I recognise the usual suspects in this list

None of this would happen without the superb timers, who are there come rain or shine to set us all off, take photo’s and record our finish times, a total of 40 different people have helped out and they all deserve our thanks

Also worth noting Mick Anglim, who must be in double figures, but was generally timing before we started recording volunteers (Jan 2014 onwards)

We’ve seen 330 PB’s and had a total run time of 724 hours, as well as 2 buggy runs (Vicki and Gemma from Netley Abbey who joined us in April 2017), 1 dog run (Orla Hale Heighway) and as yet, no runs in these;

Nike Vaporfly’s, controversial (supposed to provide more bounce than your leg can generate alone), expensive (£200 plus), super fast though …

Onto April 2021, it was Neil Wilson’s final handicap as an OS employee and 3 of us were lucky enough to join him for his final run;

There were 13 more athletes running remotely and 2 people (Jo and Gus) recorded new PB’s

Jo now has a hattrick of PB’s for the handicap – fingers crossed for the quadruple next month

I’m sure you want to see the times;

James Norris is a late addition – see below

Especially well done to James, who is claiming significant disadvantage due to his hair being a wind break

& Gus, who ran laps of the football stadium

Challenge for next month is to get the laps inside the stadium

Finally, a late addition from James Norris, fairly confident with Naomi’s reply he’ll be a definite for May

If I was in Bournemouth, no way I’d travel to HQ to run the proper course, when OS Runners (Bournemouth Division) are offering ice cream