Virtual Summer Handicap Comes to Thrilling Climax


Summer petered out last weekend with a chilly Bank Holiday, before September arrived.
The extended weekend gave members of Gade Valley Harriers one last chance to try to beat their Virtual Summer Handicap times of the last few months. Some of the quickest runners at the club left it until the last minute to do battle.
Matthew Watt held the Strava segment Crown going into the final weekend after completing the 4.1 mile route in an electrically quick time of 24:34 in June. Michael Linden and Jon Roberts held second and third places respectively.
Watt went out to complete his run on Sunday morning and he managed to shave 14 seconds off his own time by averaging 5:53 minute miles to record a superb time of 24:20 and set the bar even higher than he’d already set it.
Then on Monday morning, Linden set out in an attempt to win back the Crown that he once held but he fell short of his own best time (24:34) after pushing himself too hard in the early stages of his run.
Later that afternoon, Roberts took on the challenge, and ran a course personal best, to pip Linden to second in the standings by the smallest of margins, just one second, with a great time of 24:35.

Well done to Heather Taylor for clocking the fastest women’s time in the handicap with a great time of 27:41 which she recorded back in April. She was three minutes quicker than second placed Victoria Crawley Wise (30:39). Jenny Stubberfield (33:17) was third fastest.

However, the actual winner of the handicap is the most improved runner based on their finish position and their handicap time, so the results are being verified by an independent adjudicator and will be announced at the AGM later in the month.