Boxing Day Handicap Races – Pitshanger Park – Tue 26 Dec 2017

Our running activities barely seem to pause for breath, writes Martin Wilson. Following on from the Northala Christmas Day parkrun special it was the turn of the traditional ESM Boxing Day handicap to take centre stage. As far as we know this has been an annual event since 1924, and for many years was run from Drayton Green, and for the last 18 years or so from the Perivale Track around the streets of Greenford and Perivale.

This year saw a change of location to Pitshanger Park and also involved a collaboration with the Pitshanger Park Runners to try to generate a bit more community feeling.

First runner home Mo Hashi receives his trophy from Martin Wilson

Overall numbers were substantially up on previous years with close on 80 , including  under 11s , juniors and adults enthusiastically tackling the various distances.  The Running Gods were smiling on us too with a glorious window of fresh, bright, still conditions and, most importantly, rain free.

First man home in the senior race was Mo Hashi who covered the 4.06 mile course in  a blistering time of 21:05. First woman home was running machine Patricia Thomas in 31:17. Patricia (photo at foot of report) was belatedly awarded the women’s veteran cross country trophy from last season.

Miri and Finlay with trainee coach Annick

In the under 11s race Finlay Vadon was first in 7:23 hotly pursued by Tom Dobbin just 11 seconds behind. First girl home was Miri Steel in 9:04.

The under 15 race of just over 2 miles saw Finn Combe lead the field with Maxi Steel a gallant second. Milly Vadon was first under 15 girl.

The handicap winner (best performance against predicted time) this year is Wilton Grey.

Thanks to  all for taking part. It really was fabulous to see such a wide cross section of our club running with such gusto and enjoyment and not forgetting our guests from Pitshanger who also turned out in good numbers and added an extra dimension to our much cherished event.

Updated provisional results are at Please email John about any errors or omissions.

Thanks to Claire King for taking these photos, more of which can be found on our Facebook page.

Pat (eventually) gets the veteran trophy for the 2016-17 cross country season