Handicap league

2007 results

Handicap Race 1

Sunday 11th February 2007 - 5.8 miles

Finishing Position Name Handicap Time Race Time Rate per Mile Difference
1st Dino Verrecchia 41.05 40.22 6.58 -0.43
2nd Paul Smith 46.00 45.28 7.50 -0.32
3rd Pete Hadgraft 48.20 48.25 8.18 +0.05
4th Angie Swift 46.30 46.54 8.05 +0.24
5th Mark Nurse 40.50 42.33 7.20 +1.43
6th Pauline Steele 61.00 62.58 10.51 +1.58
7th Jenny Adds 59.00 63.04 10.52 +4.04

Was it really 4 months ago when Tina Anholm was crowned League Champion for 2006? The last meeting was held on 8th October, with 4 months before the next run. Yet before you know it, we are all assembling for a brand new season. Some of the competitors travel from out of town, so it’s the first time we have had the chance to see them since last year. It’s an opportunity to catch up on each others current form, and hear any stories they might have from recent races.

The first race of the season is notorious to handicap accurately, as already stated, it is 4 months since the last race. So the Handicap Committee deserve some credit for producing some fairly good predictions on the projected runners finish times. The whole field was only separated by 2 ½ minutes which produced an exciting race.

Last year’s competition produced the most exciting finish ever with six runners having a realistic chance of winning the title going into the last year. This year promises to be even closer with the arrival of some new and very keen runners.

This point was reinforced with 2 of the new comers fighting it out to win the first race. Dino Verrecchia and Paul Smith ran neck and neck over the last mile, with Dino just having that bit extra in the tank to win the race. Undoubtedly, this is a sign of things to come for the rest of the season. I suspect that Dino will be pointing out that he has a nine point lead over another strong contender this season, his brother.

Third place was taken by Pete Hadgraft (I hope his doctor doesn’t read this) with our Lady Captain, Angie Swift close behind in fourth. Mark Nurse was a distant 5th with Pauline Steele putting in a good time to finish 6th.

So a new season, which will be our tenth, has begun. There are 19 races and 6 different competitions to play for over the next 9 months. The race distances are between 1 mile and up to 7 miles. If you fancy a go please come along. We are always pleased to have new runners at our events.

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Handicap Race 2

Sunday 4th March 2007 - 5.8 miles

Finishing Position Name Handicap Time Race Time Rate per Mile Difference
1st Tony Carter 44.00 42.55 7.24 -1.05
2nd Pauline Steele 62.00 61.06 10.32 -0.54
3rd Pete Hadgraft 47.30 46.57 8.06 -0.27
4th Jeff Copping 48.20 48.06 8.18 -0.14
5th Angie Swift 46.30 46.28 8.01 -0.02
6th Mark Nurse 41.30 42.40 7.21 +1.10
7th Paul Smith 44.30 46.14 7.58 +1.46

As the field assembled for the second race of the season, there was only one thought in everyone’s mind. As we are all highly tuned athletes, you would be forgiven to thinking this would be to run a PB, or to put the last 3 weeks training to good use and try to win the race. In fact the overriding priority was to get the race started as quickly as possible, so that we could finish the race before the forecasted heavy rain arrived!!

The course was over the same 5.8 mile route as the previous race. The conditions where more difficult, as there was a strong south westerly wind blowing in our faces from Hollym to Hompton. Psychology, the runner would rather run into the wind on the first part of the course, knowing that the wind will help those tired legs on the return.

There has been 3 weeks of training since the first race (Withernsea Harriers meet Tuesdays and Thursdays 7.00pm at the lighthouse) so it gives people a chance to assess what progress has been made during that time. Tony Carter has certainly improved. In the first race he unfortunately pulled up injured after 2 miles, but on Sunday he showed he had well and truly recovered. He steadily moved up through the field and won the race, finishing 1 minute under his handicap time. He only just caught Pauline Steele who finished in second place. Pauline improved her time by nearly a minute, which taking into account the tougher conditions was an excellent effort. Pauline has been putting in some crafty extra training by biking to work and looks like she is already reaping the benefits of this additional work.

Two very experienced veteran runners fought out for third place, with Pete Hadgraft finishing just ahead of Jeff Copping. Angie Swift was fifth and Mark Nurse was sixth.

It’s of course still very early in the season, but the leaping out of the traps is Pete Hadgraft with 10 points. Pete has a 1 point lead over Pauline Steele, Tony Carter and Dino Verrecchia with Paul Smith a further 1 point behind.

The draw for the knockout cup has also been made and as usual there are some interesting ties in the 1st round. Perhaps the pick of the round is last year’s runner up Jeff Copping against Dino Verrecchia and this is sure to be the “live” match to be screened in The Butterfly.

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Handicap Race 3

Thursday 29th March 2007 - 4 miles

Finishing Position Name Handicap Time Race Time Rate per Mile Difference
1st Derek Parker 42.00 40.24 10.06 -2.36
2nd Mike Green 37.00 34.38 8.40 -2.22
3rd Stuart Clark 37.00 34.39 8.40 -2.21
4th Alan Ratcliffe 35.00 32.40 8.10 -2.20
5th Julie Taylor Clark 42.00 39.44 9.56 -2.16
6th Jenny Adds 41.20 39.08 9.47 -2.12
7th Heather Kelly 42.00 39.52 9.58 -2.08
8th Peter Smith 42.00 39.53 9.58 -2.07
9th Jim Kelly 37.00 35.00 8.45 -2.00
10th Vito Verrecchia 25.50 24.24 6.06 -1.26
11th Pauline Steele 41.20 39.56 9.59 -1.24
12th Andrea O'Mara 42.45 41.47 10.27 -0.58
13th Andy Watson 25.20 24.24 6.06 -0.56
14th Matt Anholm 31.00 30.18 7.34 -0.42
15th Kevin Anholm 31.20 30.46 7.41 -0.34
16th Terry Hirst 26.20 25.49 6.27 -0.31
17th Angie Swift 30.40 30.15 7.34 -0.25
18th Tony Carter 27.00 26.40 6.40 -0.20
19th Peter Hadgraft 31.00 30.53 7.43 -0.07
20th Paul Smith 30.30 30.28 7.37 -0.02
21st Liam Dowling 40.00 40.08 10.02 +0.08
22nd Tina Anholm 43.00 43.35 10.54 +0.35
23rd Mark Nurse 26.45 27.24 6.50 +0.39
24th Jeff Copping 31.45 32.33 8.08 +0.48
25th Dino Verrecchia 26.20 27.34 6.53 +1.14
26th Andy Griffiths 26.55 28.27 7.07 +1.32

With the clocks at last moving forward, we can now stage our handicap races on an evening instead of a Sunday morning. This means more people can attend our races which is obviously good for the Club and the competition. Last Thursday’s race was over 4 miles which is also a favourite for most members of the club. However, it is fair to say that not beyond our wildest dreams did we expect this combination to produce a record of 26 runners who entered the race. This fantastic figure easily smashed our previous record of 16 and it was truly marvellous to see so many runners at the event.

We had 8 people making their debut in our handicap race including 6 from the “Roos Running Club” and we were very pleased to see them. This race is usually a very fast race and with little wind on the night, this race was no exception. This factor is difficult to handicap and this perhaps was shown in the results with the first 20 running under their handicap. Or is the “Handicap Committee” at last turning a bit soft!!!

With it being such a momentous night for the Club the results hardly seemed to matter. The winners might just have had ever so slightly easier handicaps but I’m sure the “Committee” will get to grips with this for future races!!! Anyway the winner was Derek Parker, with Mike Green second, Stuart Clark third, Alan Ratcliffe fourth, Julie Taylor Clark fifth and Jenny Adds sixth. There were also some excellent fast times put in notably, Andy Watson and Vito Verrecchia who both ran the 4 mile course in 24 minutes 24 seconds.

If that wasn’t enough, there was also 2 cup matches played on the night. Last year’s runner up Jeff Copping showed you can’t beat a good old ‘un by winning against Dino Verrecchia, whilst his brother Vito had to run his personal best to just beat Liam Dowling.

The Club would also like to thank Kevin Anholm for marking up the course before the race and also Sue & Steve from The Plough Inn for their excellent hospitality after the race.

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Handicap Race 4

Tuesday 17th April 2007 - 5 miles

Finishing Position Name Handicap Time Race Time Rate per Mile Difference
1st Liam Dowling 53.00 47.49 9.34 -2.11
2nd Tina Anholm 53.0 51.42 10.20 -1.18
3rd Gordon Harker 42.00 41.22 8.16 -0.38
4th Dino Verrecchia 33.25 32.56 6.35 -0.29
5th Mark Nurse 33.25 33.00 6.36 -0.25
6th Andy Watson 30.30 30.12 6.02 -0.18
7th Vito Verrecchia 30.30 30.15 6.03 -0.15
8th Paul Smith 37.55 38.00 7.36 +0.05
9th Angie Swift 37.40 38.07 7.37 +0.27
10th Tony Carter 33.10 35.24 7.05 +2.14
11th Rob Swift 41.25 45.07 9.01 +3.37
12th Pauline Steele 49.15 53.12 10.38 +3.57

The Leaders 1/4 way through the season:

1st Pauline Steele 13 points
= Dino Verrecchia 13 points
3rd Pete Hadgraft 11 points
4th Tony Carter 10 points

On Tuesday 17th April, we staged the 4th race of the handicap league season which was over the 5 mile course. The main route starts at the Plough Inn, Hollym across to Hompton Road, into Withernsea, along the prom and turn left at Pier Towers, up Queens Street and back to the Plough.

The conditions were good for racing. There was a little breeze which was blowing into the competitors faces for the outward 2 miles, but then the same breeze helped the runners back to the finish.

The leaders of the race were 2 past champions, who know what it takes to win.
First home was Liam Dowling, league champion in 2001, with the current defending champion, Tina Anholm in second. Both of these people have not been the Mae West recently, so it was good to see them back to their championship form.

Third was Gordon Harker. Gordon travels from Anlaby to run our races and has also been struggling for form lately. There was no sign of his recent troubles as he sprinted the last 100 yards to hold off Dino Verrecchia to 4th place and Mark Nurse in 5th place. Andy Watson who ran the London marathon last week finished 6th just 2 seconds ahead of Vito Verrecchia. These 2 excellent runners ran the 5 mile course in 30 minutes 12 seconds and 30 minutes 15 seconds respectively. Just shows what eating a bag of scraps before a race can do!!!.

We are now a quarter way through the season and we have joint leaders. Pauline Steele and Dino Verrecchia, the bookies favourite, have 13 points, 2 points clear of Pete Hadgraft. At this stage of the season everyone is jockeying for position, with a further 7 runners within 3 points of second place.

Three 1st cup matches was also played with the most notable result being the cup holder Mark Nurse crashing out to Gordon Harker. It was a close race but Gordon’s sprint finish just proving decisive. There were also wins for Tony Carter over Kevin Anholm and Tina Anholm, producing a great win over Andy Watson. This result shows the value of our handicap system, as Tina is the slowest runner and Andy is the quickest, but thanks to handicapping Tina emerged triumphant. A classic example of the tortoise over the hare.

The previous Thursday we had our first night of the no watch league. In this competition it’s not the quickest who wins, but the runner who runs closest to their predicted time. It’s not as easy to manage as you might think. We have 2 runs each night but over much shorter distances. The first night the distances were 2 miles and 1 mile. The 2 mile race was tied as both Angie Swift and Paul Smith ran within 3 seconds with Kevin Anholm 3rd, finishing 4 seconds over his predicted time.
The 1 mile race was won by Derek Parker who was 2 seconds away from his time, with Paul Smith second, 5 seconds slower than his predicted time.

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Handicap Race 5

Thursday 3rd May 2007 - 5.5 miles

Finishing Position Name Handicap Time Race Time Rate per Mile Difference
1st Jeff Copping 48.25 46.26 8.18 -1.59
2nd Matt Anholm 41.30 39.42 7.05 -1.48
3rd Paul Smith 41.40 41.00 7.19 -0.40
4th Tony Carter 38.30 38.50 6.56 +0.20
5th Vito Verrecchia 33.10 34.16 6.07 +1.06
6th Andy Watson 33.10 34.24 6.09 +1.14
7th Angie Swift 41.50 43.39 7.48 +1.49
8th Gordon Harker 45.10 47.36 8.30 +2.26
9th Dino Verrecchia 35.45 38.13 6.49 +2.28
10th Tina Anholm 56.30 59.18 10.35 +2.48
11th Pauline Steele 54.50 58.01 10.22 +3.21
12th Les Rial - 45.18 8.05 -
13th Derek Parker 52.00 56.49 10.09 +4.49
14th Liam Dowling 52.15 58.11 10.23 +5.56

It's tight at the top!!!

1st Paul Smith 14 points
= Tony Carter 14 points
3rd Dino Verrecchia 13 points
= Pauline Steele 13 points
= Jeff Copping 13 points

A stiff northerly wind greeted the competitors for the 5th race of the handicap league season. The course for this race takes the runners into Withernsea along the railway line, so it would be tough going for the first part of the course. However on the plus side, as the runner tired they had the help of the wind to blow them home.

For me personally, a calf strain picked up on a training run the previous Saturday enabled me to watch the events from the sidelines. This gave me a rare treat to actually see the winner cross the finish line. Normally the winners are on their 2nd pint by the time I have limped across the line.

So I had a grandstand view of Jeff Copping’s sprint finish to just hold off the advancing Matthew Anholm. Jeff is not an easy man to handicap. This is because he enters a lot of local races and his performance will depend on his schedule at that time. He currently must be on a lighter load as he ran the 5.1/2 mile course 2 minutes under his time.

In third place was Paul Smith who was the only other runner who managed to run under his handicap time due to the testing conditions. Paul has quietly gone about his business this year and could well be in the shake up for honours when the league is decided in October.

Fourth was Tony Carter who has also made a good start to the season. Fifth was Vito Verrecchia who out sprinted Andy Watson into sixth place. Andy probably still had tired legs after just completing The London Marathon in an excellent time of 3 hours 8 mins. His time means he qualifies for an automatic place next year so well done Andy.

One of the pluses of this season’s competition is that we have had a lot of new entries and so we could well have a first time Champion this year. This point is emphased as we approach the halfway stage. We have two new joint leaders, who are Paul Smith and Tony Carter. They lead by only 1 point from Dino Verrecchia, Pauline Steele and Jeff Copping. None of these people have previously won the league, but with another 8 runners only 5 points behind, it still anybody’s to win.

To finish I have a message from The Handicap Committee. Those runners who have revelled in a certain football team from the West Riding fall from grace with quips like “What has a cordless drill and The Championship have in common? Neither have Leeds!!! These people have been noted and this will be taken into account when their handicaps are decided on for the next race!!!

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Handicap Race 6

Thursday 24th May 2007 - 10k

Finishing Position Name Handicap Time Race Time Rate per Mile Difference
1st Derek Parker 61.30 61.06 9.50 -0.24
2nd Matt Anholm 43.20 43.26 7.00 +0.06
3rd Andy Watson 38.30 38.59 6.17 +0.29
4th Jeff Copping 51.00 51.41 8.19 +0.41
5th Tina Anholm 66.00 66.57 10.47 +0.57
6th Angie Swift 48.25 49.33 7.59 +1.08
7th Vito Verrecchia 38.30 39.42 6.24 +1.12
8th Les Rial 50.10 51.38 8.19 +1.28
9th Tony Carter 42.55 47.20 7.37 +4.45
10th Rob Swift 52.45 58.34 9.26 +5.49
11th Pete Hadgraft 52.45 58.34 9.26 +5.49
12th Kevin Anholm 49.00 56.51 9.09 +7.51

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Halfway League Table

1st Derek Parker 18 points
2nd Jeff Copping 17 points
3rd Matt Anholm 15 points
4th Paul Smith 14 points
= Tony Carter 14 points
6th Dino Verrecchia 13 points
= Pauline Steele 13 points
8th Pete Hadgraft 11 points
= Andy Watson 11 points
10th Angie Swift 10 points
= Tina Anholm 10 points
12th Vito Verrecchia 9 points
= Liam Dowling 9 points
14th Mark Nurse 8 points
= Jenny Adds 8 points
16th Gordon Harker 5 points
17th Andrea O'Mara 3 points
18th Kevin Anholm 1 point
= Terry Hirst 1 point

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Handicap Race 7

Thursday 14th June 2007 - 5.5 miles


Finishing Position Name Handicap Time Race Time Rate per Mile Difference
1st Tony Carter 38.15 38.07 6.48 -0.08
2nd Vito Verrecchia 34.30 35.08 6.16 +0.38
3rd Andy Watson 34.30 35.10 6.17 +0.40
4th Paul Smith 40.30 41.31 7.25 +1.01
5th Angie Swift 42.55 44.49 8.00 +1.54
6th Dino Verrecchia 38.00 40.15 7.11 +2.15
7th Matt Anholm 37.35 40.19 7.12 +2.44
8th Tina Anholm 58.45 61.35 11.00 +2.50
9th Derek Parker 50.30 60.02 10.46 +9.28
10th Kevin Anholm 45.50 60.17 10.46 +14.27

It's tight at the top!!!

1st Tony Carter 23 points
2nd Derek Parker 18 points
= Paul Smith 18 points
4th Jeff Copping 17 points

It has been for me personally a very busy time recently, so I have fallen behind with my race reports. As I have an avid following of this column (well my mum reads the odd report now and again) I thought I better catch up with what has been happening in our competitions.

We have had 2 races in the Handicap league and 2 race nights in the No Watch league since my last report. The 2 races were held in contrasting weather conditions, hot and sultry for the10k on 24th May and cold and very windy for the 5.5 miles on 14th June. These difficult conditions resulted in only the winners of both races managing to run under their handicap time. This is unusual as there are normally at least the first 4 runners who manage to beat their times. Certainly the strong northerly wind was a factor in the 5.5 mile race and probably the total lack of any cooling sea breeze in the 10k race, would have taken its toil on the runners. With the recent weather we have had, it seems a long time ago when we had some sign of a summer.

The winner of the 10k was Derek Parker, with Matt Anholm not far behind. Andy Watson finished in a strong third, with Jeff Copping fourth. In the 5.5 mile race Tony Carter ran an excellent race to win by 30 seconds from a resurgent Vito Verrecchia. The result might have been different if Vito hadn’t stopped to tie his laces half way round!! Third was Andy Watson again, with Paul Smith showing signs of recapturing his early season form in fourth place.

So as we head into the second half of the season we have a new Championship Leader, who is Tony Carter on 23 points. He holds a 5 point lead over Derek Parker and Paul Smith, with Jeff Copping a further point behind.

As indicated earlier, we also have had 2 “no watch” nights. We have 2 small races on a no watch night with each runner predicting their own time and then trying to run to that time. Obviously, no watches can be worn during the run. Points are scored for anyone who manages to finish within 10 seconds of their chosen handicap time.

On 17th May we had race distances of 2 ½ miles and 1 mile. Angie Swift won the 2 ½ mile run finishing 5 seconds under her time and was the only runner who picked up any points in this race. The 1 mile winner was Derek Parker who finished 3 seconds over his time.

On 17th June the two runs were 1 mile and 5K. The 1 mile race was won by Rob Swift who became only the 2nd person to run exactly to his predicted time. Modesty prevents me from stating who the other person is, that achieved this extraordinary feat. The 5K winner was again Angie Swift, who was 3 seconds under her predicted time.

So after 6 races Angie Swift leads the way with 23 points, but in this competition the situation can change very quickly.

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Handicap Race 8

Thursday 28th June 2007 - 5 miles


Finishing Position Name Handicap Time Race Time Rate per Mile Difference
1st Tina Anholm 53.00 53.16 10.39 +0.16
2nd Matt Anholm 34.30 35.11 7.02 +0.41
3rd Vito Verrecchia 30.20 31.14 6.15 +0.54
4th Tony Carter 33.20 34.23 6.53 +1.03
5th Liam Dowling 50.00 52.04 10.25 +2.04
6th Kevin Anholm 41.15 45.48 9.10 +4.33
7th Paul Smith 36.00 40.47 8.09 +4.47
8th Derek Parker 45.00 50.22 10.04 +5.22
9th Mark Nurse 33.45 40.48 8.10 +7.03

The title contenders 2/3rds through the season!

1st Tony Carter 27 points
2nd Matt Anholm 22 points
3rd Vito Verrecchia 21 points
4th Tina Anholm 19 points

On Sunday 24th June was the Humber Bridge ½ marathon and once again Withernsea Harriers turned out in force to run the event. In total we had 6 members who ran what is a very tough course. Their times are listed below:

Vito Verrecchia 85 mins

Matt Anholm 98 mins

Tony Carter 99 mins

Rob Swift 113 mins

Angie Swift 113 mins

Kevin Anholm 117 mins

A special mention to Vito who continues to improve with another good time and to Matt, who ran a PB on what is a difficult course.

The following Thursday we had a 5 mile race, which was the eighth event in our handicap league. After the extraordinary weather earlier in the week, it was hardly surprising that we had a below average turnout. You will also not surprised to hear that come race time it was raining. So instead of our usual slowest starts first, down to the quickest off last, we had a shotgun start. This change of format means that the quicker runners have to change their tactics. Normally, there would be people in front of them to concentrate on. This helps them push on as they catch up the runner in front as they move on up the field. Instead with everyone starting at the same time, they have to concentrate maintaining their own rhythm and use their mile times, to judge how they are performing in relation to their handicap time.

Interesting enough the winner was Tina Anholm who is usually the first away and so is well versed to running on her own with no one in front of her. Tina is the defending Champion and I also seem to remember it was around this time last year, when she started to run into top form, resulting in her winning her 2nd League Title. Could history be about to repeat itself? In 2nd place despite tired legs from his PB the previous Sunday was Matt Anholm. Vito Verrecchia who also ran an excellent ½ marathon was 3rd with Tony Carter, the Championship Leader 4th. Tony very nearly missed the start of the race arriving late, but as he is a train driver this is nothing unusual to him!! Withernsea Harriers own “Mature Movers” finished in the other point scoring positions; Liam Dowling was 5th and Kevin Anholm 6th.

The top of the table is taking shape and the leading contenders are manoeuvring into position. Tony Carter is still out in front but Matt Anholm and Vito Verrecchia are not far behind and are in good form. However, beware the Defending Champion is on the move and with 4 races left the pot is coming to the boil very nicely indeed.

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Handicap Race 9

Thursday 16th August 2007 - 5.5 miles

Finishing Position Name Handicap Time Race Time Rate per Mile Difference
1st Kevin Anholm 48.40 46.47 8.21 -2.07
2nd Mark Nurse 40.30 38.39 6.54 -1.51
3rd Tony Carter 38.00 36.53 6.35 -1.07
4th Jeff Copping 46.25 45.29 8.07 -0.56
5th Pauline Steele 58.20 57.38 10.17 -0.42
6th Andy Watson 35.10 35.38 6.22 +0.28
7th Tina Anholm 60.00 60.39 10.50 +0.39
8th Matt Anholm 39.40 41.34 7.25 +1.56
9th Paul Smith 41.15 43.13 7.43 +1.58
10th Derek Parker 50.00 58.55 10.46 +8.55

They think it's all over!!!

1st Tony Carter 32 points
2nd Matt Anholm 22 points
3rd Vito Verrecchia 21 points
= Jeff Copping 21 points
5th Tina Anholm 19 points

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Handicap Race 10

Thursday 6th September 2007 - 5 miles

Finishing Position Name Handicap Time Race Time Rate per Mile Difference
1st Paul Smith 38.00 37.15 7.27 -0.45
2nd Kevin Anholm 41.10 41.05 8.13 -0.05
3rd Liam Dowling 50.00 50.00 10.00 0
4th Mark Nurse 33.45 33.59 6.48 +0.14
5th Jeff Copping 39.40 40.14 8.03 +0.34
6th Angie Swift 38.45 39.25 7.53 +0.40
7th Tina Anholm 53.00 53.41 10.44 +0.41
8th Dino Verrecchia 34.45 35.47 7.09 +1.02
9th Gordon Harker 41.55 43.23 8.41 +1.28
10th Tony Carter 32.15 34.14 6.51 +1.59

Will it be a photo finish???

1st Tony Carter 32 points
2nd Paul Smith 27 points
3rd Jeff Copping 24 points
4th Matt Anholm 22 points
5th Vito Verrecchia 21 points

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Handicap Race 11

Sunday 30th September 2007 - 2 miles

Finishing Position Name Handicap Time Race Time Rate per Mile Difference
1st Pauline Steele 21.00 19.18 9.39 -1.42
2nd Paul Smith 15.20 13.49 6.55 -1.29
3rd Jeff Copping 16.00 15.07 7.33 -0.53
4th Tina Anholm 21.00 20.10 10.05 -0.50
5th Kevin Anholm 15.50 15.04 7.32 -0.46
6th Matt Anholm 13.50 13.07 6.33 -0.43
7th Tony Carter 12.45 12.05 6.03 -0.40
8th Liam Dowling 20.00 19.24 9.47 -0.36
9th Mark Nurse 13.05 12.36 6.18 -0.29
10th Angie Swift 15.40 15.18 7.39 -0.22
11th Andy Watson 12.10 12.26 6.13 +0.16
12th Sarah 15.20 15.43 7.52 +0.23
13th Pete Hadgraft 16.15 17.57 7.59 +1.42
= Sophie Watson 16.45 18.27 9.14 +1.42
= Wendy Hadgraft 16.45 18.27 9.14 +1.42

Is it a two horse race for The Title???

1st Paul Smith 34 points
2nd Tony Carter 33 points
3rd Jeff Copping 29 points
4th Pauline Steele 25 points

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Handicap Race 12

Sunday 30th September 2007 - 4 miles

Finishing Position Name Handicap Time Race Time Rate per Mile Difference
1st Pauline Steele 42.00 40.24 9.51 -2.36
2nd Mark Nurse 27.00 26.22 6.35 -0.38
3rd Matt Anholm 30.20 29.55 7.29 -0.25
4th Wendy Hadgraft 34.00 33.48 8.27 -0.12
5th Jeff Copping 32.10 32.03 8.01 -0.07
6th Pete Hadgraft 33.00 32.58 8.15 -0.02
7th Andy Watson 25.00 25.18 6.06 +0.18
8th Angie Swift 31.20 31.56 7.59 +0.36
9th Tony Carter 26.20 27.16 6.49 +0.56
10th Tina Anholm 43.00 44.24 11.06 +1.24
11th Kevin Anholm 32.30 35.01 8.45 +2.31
12th Sarah 32.10 35.24 8.51 +3.14

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2007 Final League Table

1st Pauline Steele 34 points (12)
2nd Paul Smith 34 points (5)
3rd Tony Carter 32 points (9)
4th Jeff Copping 32 points (31)
5th Matt Anholm 29 points (19)
6th Mark Nurse 26 points (29)
7th Tina Anholm 23 points (45)
8th Kevin Anholm 22 points (24)
9th Vito Verrecchia 21 points (-)
10th Andy Watson 18 points (16)
10th Derek Parker 18 points (-)
12th Liam Dowling 17 points (5)
13th Angie Swift 15 points (27)
13th Dino Verrecchia 15 points (10)
15th Pete Hadgraft 13 points (13)
16th Jenny Adds 8 points (18)
17th Gordon Harker 5 points (12)
18th Wendy Hadgraft 4 points (-)
19th Andrea O'Mara 3 points (2)
20th Terry Hirst 1 point (4)

Last Sunday was the Final Day of yet another Withernsea Harriers season. Ten races have been run since the middle of February and going into the last day, Tony Carter led by 5 points, from Paul Smith.

On the last day there are 2 races, a 2 mile run and a 4 mile run. Both races count and there is a possible 18 points to be won on the day. There is also the Cup Final played over both races, with the runner with the best aggregate over the 2 races being the winner. This year’s Final was between the rank outsider Pauline Steele and The Championship Leader Tony Carter. The dilemma for the contenders in both competitions is how to approach the 2 runs. Do you run flat out in the 2 miler and try to pick up a lot of points and so have a commanding lead going into the last race? Or, do you conserve your energy for the 4 miler and hope your rival is too tired and so collect enough points on the last race to claim The Title?

The conditions where near perfect, with glorious sunshine and little wind and with a good turnout, the scene was set for a grandstand finish. Two of the main contenders for honours decided to make their move on the 2 miler. The winner was Pauline Steele who was a major doubt before the Final. She hadn’t been well for the previous 2 weeks, but the Friday before the race decided to give it a go. Give it a go she certainly did, as she romped home in 1 min 42 seconds under her handicap time. In second place was Paul Smith who also went for broke, as he ran 1 min 29 secs under his time. These 2 spread eagled the field with Jeff Copping a distant 3rd, finishing just ahead of Tina Anholm in fourth. Poor Tony Carter ran the quickest time in the race 12 mins 5 secs, but finished just outside the point scoring places in seventh.

Paul’s mighty run gave him 7 points and so became the new race leader going into the last race. He led by 2 points from Tony Carter, with Jeff Copping 3rd, a further 3 points back. Pauline led the Cup Final by 1 minute over Tony, but had the front 2 enough in the tank for another mighty effort in the 4 miler to come?

Well one of the contenders did run out of steam. Paul Smith was attempting to win an historic treble, adding the League Title to the Club Championship and No Watch League which he has already won this season. Sadly for him his calves tightened up after 2 miles and he had to withdraw from the final race. This left the door open for his two nearest challengers to win the league on the last race. Second place Tony Carter could manage 9th place and so didn’t score any points. So after leading the way for most of the second half of the season, Tony finished in 3rd place in the Championship Table. Jeff Copping in 3rd place before the last race, ran a solid race, but finished in 5th place and so only picked up 3 points to finish overall in 4th place.

So who did win? After her fabulous effort in winning the 2 miler, the feeling was that Pauline would struggle to maintain that form, as she would tire in the 4 mile race. But not for the first time Pauline proved her critics wrong, and she ran another superb race to win by 2 minutes from Mark Nurse. Incredibly Pauline won both races and the 18 points she scored on the last day, propelled her to 34 points and a tie at the top with Paul Smith. So for the first time in ten years of The Handicap League we had a tie. The tie breaker is the winner to be the runner with the most 1st places in the season and Pauline triumphed with 2 wins to 1. What a finish!!!

Pauline completed the Double by winning The Cup Final and so completing a marvellous day for her. She only finished her antibiotics on the previous Friday, and there were suggestions of steroid abuse such was her excellent form on Sunday. We would all like to know what she was taking because we would all like some of the same!!!!

The season finished with the presentation of the prizes in the afternoon followed by an excellent buffet provided by Sue at The Plough Inn, Hollym. The Withernsea Harriers would like to express our thanks to Sue and Steve from The Plough for their fabulous support throughout the season. The Harriers would also like to thank Janet Nurse for her 100% record this season in starting and finishing all the runners. Without her clocking out and clocking in the runners we would not have a race.

So that’s the end of another season. It completes 10 years of handicap races. We now have 20 races in a season, all under handicap. Not bad for a Club with a membership of 20. It starts all over again on 10th Feb 2008 so get in shape, ready for a new exciting season. The Harriers meet at 7.00pm at the lighthouse every Tuesday and Thursday, so please don’t run this winter on your own, come and join us whatever your standard of running.

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