The Handicap Trophy stays in Bristol for another year!

Another year and another intrepid team from Bristol made the trip down to Lyme Regis to carry their baton 65 miles along the coast to Poole. The weather couldn't have been better. Cool and clear conditions throughout the morning provided perfect running temperatures for the hilly coastline of West Dorset. Being one of the small teams (BOK and SOC fielded 15 each; WSX, SWJS and KERNO had 30 each) we managed to fight above our station in the early stages, but eventually yielded to the sheer number of runners with which the bigger teams adorned the many steep hill climbs. The race was closely contested with WSX, KERNO, the SWJS and BOK jostling for position and keeping within 15 minutes of each other right up to the half-way finish at Lulworth Cove. SOC fought a tough battle with just one car of runners covering the first couple of hours, but arrived at Lulworth only 30 minutes behind us.

The second half proved a very successful half for BOK last year where the strength of our runners came to the fore whilst the lack of road access to the coast path denies the larger teams the chance to fill the hills with runners. With the day hotting up in the full midday sun this year was no different, bar the lack of two world class athletes to give us a boost. We continued to give the large teams something to race for throughout the second half, and finished on the beach 11 minutes behind the winners KERNO who reclaimed the trophy from WSX after five years. The overall finishing times were KERNO 7h41, WSX 7h44, BOK 8h02, SWJS 8h10, SOC 9h08.

Thanks to its small but strong team, BOK once again retain the Handicap Trophy which levels the field in terms of team size, age and gender. Team BOK this year comprised Alice Bedwell, Mark Bown, Laura, Maya and Tim Britton, Richard Cronin, Paul Gebbett, James Hargreaves, Jim Hayward, Hanne Kinnunen, Ben, Chris and Helen Kelsey, Alison and John Simmons.