Handicap Series 2012
series results     maps

Individual winners:
1 Boghall Jill Mykura
2 Eddleston Andy Spenceley
3 Red Moss Jonathan Hogg
4 Broughton Iain Gilmore
5 Carlops Cali Ingham
6 Arthurs Seat Bob Waterhouse

Overall Championship:
Gold Michael Wilkinson 136
Silver Iain Gilmore 133.4
Bronze Mary Lye 130.7
4th Willie Gibson 128
race in progress
18th April - Boghall
Cloudy with heavy showers possible
boghall boghall boghall boghall boghall finish
The first handicap of the season was won convincingly by Jill Mykura with Willie Gibson 2nd and Paul Ritchie 3rd, although he was stopping to open gates from me.
41 runners took part and there were over 30 at The Steading for the food afterwards. Andy Fallas ran the fastest time, with guest, Sarah O'Neill from HBT, fresh from finishing 2nd at the British Champs race at Coledale, storming round to be second fastest. Results
Willie Gibson
16th May - Eddleston
Cloudy, cool
eddleston eddleston
It looked unpromising but the leaden sky relented and by the end of the race it was quite a mellow evening. Last run 2 years ago; on that occasion there was a snowfall on the summit just as the race started so maybe the weather wasn't worse this time. A wide spread of runners mostly read the map correctly though Charlotte went haring off in the wrong direction on the descent, followed by one or two others. They would have benefited from a copy of Bill's meticulously compiled map that was almost 1:1 scale. Matt was fashionably late and Oz went... we know not where but he returned eventually. There should be a prize for the most exotic fall, which must be the forward roll and back onto the feet without a pause executed in the boggy bit of the lower field in the speediest part of the descent - though there would be stiff competition from Charlotte, who tripped herself up and went flying in the car park before the race, and Fraser who tripped over Gordon and went sprawling as he launched himself into the run. Another prize for the most inventive number - Patricia's 1026 - which was her handicap time and very easy to find and enter on the start list.
First back and taking full advantage of his generous handicap after a bad run at Boghall, was Andy Spenceley - his first handicap win for 15 years (at Carlops in 1997) and only 3rd ever in the 24 years the handicap series has been held. Winning a handicap is obviously not a once in a blue moon phenomenon, it is much rarer than that - so take your chance when you can! Iain Gilmore finished soon after, with the fastest run being from John Hammond, just in front in Adam Ward, Steven Fallon and Andrew Gilmore. Results. More pics

13th June - Red Moss
Sunny, midgey

Red Moss handicap, or a good run straightened
redmoss redmoss
We arrived at the Bavelaw carpark expecting a rural idyll and found a hubbub of wetsuited triathlon training, and a most unusual lack of parking space. Race headquarters was nevertheless set up next to a cunningly concealed dog poo covered in stones, a modest cairn that gradually became displaced over the course of the event. In fact the entire car park appears to be ringed with biological weapons. A testament to the long drive no doubt.
The theme was Olympian - the slowest runner to carry the torch and pass it to the person overtaking; and the person arriving at the finish with the torch gets to… er… put it on the table. Not sure of the outcome of that!
Lots of us took part and the course is very attractive - some photos on Picasaweb. Keith being injured decided to test out the course as a potential cycle handicap add-on, and proved an irresistible target on the final ascent for Willy, with an (un)helpful hand on the saddle. Quite a few of us headed rather straighter across the heather from the summit, (see map above) prompting some vigorous protest, but it seemed the natural line, so we don't care! Oz decided to follow the original route that went up West Kip and Scald Law, but the new route was better for getting people back in time for afters at Dantes restaurant in Colinton. The midges having replaced the triathletes a rapid exit was made by all. Results

11th July - Broughton
After a weeks of torrential rain a brief respite

broughton broughton broughton broughton broughtonbroughton broughton
Ian Gilmore was 1st home by a considerable margin, but then we had 19 runners finish in the next 4.5 minutes.  Andy Fallas clocked the best time (45:13).  Surprisingly the average run time of 62.49 was nearly a minute faster than last year, despite the damp conditions. Results. Results after 4 races here.
A surprise on driving up to the walkers car park at the start of the handicap is the huge baronial mansion towering over you on the hillside. It's not as ancient as it looks, and was designed by Basil Spence in 1938 (see wiki article). The incessant rain let up for a bit and the midges must have been stuck to the ground, for we were relatively untroubled. The route is fairly simple - you follow a fence more or less all the way round, keeping an eye out for the key 3 way branches. This omission led to Mike exploring some of the other areas of the surrounding countryside, with a small contingent of trusting runners following along. The views, sparing, were lovely - mist and cloud wreathed. Afters were at The Laurel Bank - a mixture of pub and cafe, with a tasty pint of local Clipper IPA and good food, jealously guarded puddings, and a chance to warm our fingers.

15th August - Carlops
Torrential rain stopped just in time
16th August 2012
Carlops handicap
carlops rain carlops
The streaming rain and scudding clouds presaged an unpleasant Carlops race, but fortunately it stopped in time for the start and it was the going underfoot that was the main handicap. From ground mangled by hooves into an ankle threatening sea of holes, deep bog grass and nettles, and treacherous bracken the course also challenged the navigation of those who hadn't run it before. 'Keeping Willy in sight' was a major goal for those whose maps were running too.
Having said that the considerable number of runners that flew past me didn't seem to be having too much trouble. First home was Cali, who ignored Keith's aberrant route finding advice, and last, a somewhat out of form Bob. A blurry photo of the plucky pair can be found on the Carnethy Facebook page. Remarkably Jason did a faster time than Cali, even though a knee problem forced him to walk the entire route.
Post race get together in the Allan Ramsay, which does a fine pint and is a proper cosy country pub. Food's good too. Results to follow.

5th September - Arthur's Seat
Lovely sunny evening, slight breeze
5th September 2012
Arthur's Seat Handicap
neil's knees race strategy 1st and last
Brilliant night tonight with 50 runners out on the hill (only 47 actually competed) including 9 Speed of Light Run Leaders (RLs with Dirty Faces), Cat M, Fiona, Gordon C, Jo, Kristi, Lawrence and Roy plus permanent SOL reserve (sad) Michael W (and me of course but organising and officiating so sadly not running, sigh).
First back and winner, Bob Waterhouse (Old Yorkshire Git, or is it Lancashire Git (no matter they're both really the same place)) was rewarded with ... the second clipboard (well he's already got a free bus pass) with which to record runners numbers whilst I recorded their times. On his arrival Willie G helpfully bawled finishing runners' numbers in my ear, so that the vacant space in my head could amplify the sound to Bob which required Willie to stand in front of the race clock from which I was recording the times.
Lawrence Leask, given his initials, was presumably wondering why Tim (Superman) Doyle wasn't there to help him but depite this he was the first RL home whilst Fiona and Kristi were the final runners home (that is last).
Good Kraik and Konviviality at the Kilderkin (an old English measure which doesn't measure up to the old pub) but with pints and pizzas to please.
SOL reserve, Michael W was astonished to find he'd won the series outright but it was a well deserved win and of course a rewarding night for me as race organiser.

A few more photos here
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