Christmas Handicap, Houghall Woods, Sunday, December 15, 2019

Flower Power

So, there I was on Sunday morning, sitting in reception at MC convinced that no-one would turn up. I mean there had been the North Eastern XC Championships the day before, the Tri-club Christmas do the night before and it is the ‘season to be jolly’ … and sometimes ill!

But then the doors opened and in walked an image of long haired hippiedom, (if that’s a word) with beads, scarves and shades, looking like he’d just emerged from the Woodstock festival and uttering ‘peace and love, man’. An unrecognisable version of David Shipman.

Moments later Adam Ant arrived in full highwayman ‘Stand and Deliver’ mode brandishing a pistol – very menacingly I have to say. Anita Clementson had landed!

And then came Mandy! Clutched in the arms of a massive green alien she waddled in. Walking seemed difficult so how she was going to cope with running 2 laps of Houghall Woods escaped me.

Somehow then I knew it was going to be alright!

Then there followed an array of runners in astonishing and funny costumes. John Bisson, who had wanted to race it arrived in a massive inflated Santa costume while Elaine (Dancing Queen) Bisson looked luscious as Agnetha (the blonde?) from Abba.

We had many others – several 70s Flower power hippies, Wonder Woman, Santa’s elves, a busy bee, John McEnroe, Olivia Newton John in complete leather ‘You’re the one that I want’ mode, Hermione from Harry Potter and Fiona (Brittany Spears) Brannan.

photo by Nick Latham

No time for a group shot this year since everyone set off to the start outside Houghall College. The weather was good – cold but sunny – and so David Shipman & Mike Bennett (the 2 one lappers) led the run off with scratch runner Joanne Richardson. Some of the paths were slippery along to the corner up to Houghall Lane but everyone knew and ran on the grass where possible. Most people were just out for a relaxing run around the woods but there were some good times.

Anyway, everyone got around – some pulled out after one lap – and Priyan didn’t get lost this year! It was a very happy and fun event and then most of us set off for the pub. The Court Inn gave us a small alcove off the main dining room so we could present the prizes without disturbing other diners too much.

It was a very good and enjoyable day! Be there next year!

Name5mile timeHandicapFinish timeActual time 
David Shipman1 lap
Mike Bennett1 lap
Joanne Richardson5401 lap
Mandy Dawson44101 lap
Michael Littlewood292556.3431.34
Anna Basu342055.5735.57
Lewis Littlewood351957.4838.48Junior
Conrad White351957.5338.53
Elaine Bisson351958.1339.13
John Bisson351958.3239.32
Erin Keeler- Clark381658.5742.57Junior
Keith Wesson40145743
Sean Laidler312366.0443.04
Lizzie Wallace421255.5343.53
Jude Warner45955.1746.19Junior
Louise Warner45955.1946.19
Mark Warner45956.2947.29
Paul Evans45957.2748.27
Charlotte Evans45957.2748.27Junior
Ava Warner45958.4749.47Junior
Wendy Littlewood45958.9949.99
Zanna Clay48656.1150.11
Fiona Brannan48657.4651.46
Priyan Mistri (friend of FB)48657.4651.46
Anita Clementson50456.5352.53
Phil Todd46863.0455.04
Jan Young50459.3255.32
Same Time Next Year!

Prize winners & a few thank yous

The prizes for running:

1st finishers – jointly Louise & Jude Warner – 46.19

Fastest Male – Michael Littlewood – 31.34

Fastest Female – Anna Basu – 35.57

Fastest Junior – Lewis Littlewood – 38.38

All the other prizes went for fancy dress as follows and in no particular order:

David Shipman, Anita Clementson, Mandy Dawson, Keith Wesson, Sean Laidler, Elaine Bisson, John Bisson, Lizzie Wallace, Zanna Clay, Phil Todd, Jan Young, Fiona Brannan, Priyan Mistri & Mark Warner.

I’d like to thank Dougie, Simon and Stuart for helping to promote the event.

Also thanks to Paul Foster for setting out the course and marshalling at the dodgy tree, to George Nicholson for marshalling at the bottom of Houghall Lane and to Nick Latham for marshalling in the woods and taking some great photos

As always Santa and his elves were brilliant at the start and judged the fancy dress and Carole Seheult recorded the finishing times.

And a huge thankyou to everyone who turned up and ran (waddled, strolled?) in such amazing costumes.

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