Steve Curd & Sarah Harris win Yacht Handicap – Pitshanger Park – Mon 03 Sep 2018

A good turn out for the Yacht Handicap – photo courtesy of Bruce Li

The ESM Yacht Handicap has been an annual fun event for ESM runners & friends
for at least the last 50 years & quite possibly longer. The concept, borrowed from the
world of sailing, is designed to give everybody regardless of ability, a chance to win.

In the 1960s the course was run around the streets of Ealing. In fact our beloved
Tony Randall, one of ESM’s best athletes in his prime & hill training coach for many
years, actually won it in 1963. To prevent athletes risking life & limb dashing across
busy roads it was decided to move the event into a safer environment. So Pitshanger
Park/Scotch Common has been the venue since 1983.

There is a staggered start, working through until the quickest runners go last (there
could be a gap of up to twenty minutes between the first and last people to start).
The idea is that, providing the handicap system has worked correctly and the
athletes run to form, all the runners should all finish the 3.5 mile course at the same
time or at least fairly close together.

Monday night’s 35th Yacht Handicap in Pitshanger Park saw 29 athletes actually
competing and a full complement of enthusiastic marshals with Lynn Wilson,
Malcolm Woolsey & Bob Densley doing the honours on timekeeping & recording so
a complete ESM production.

We were again blessed with a lovely mild evening & nigh on perfect running
conditions. John Falvey’s accurate handicapping ensured a thrilling finish among the
ESM athletes with an overall spread of just over 4 minutes for the ESM athletes.
First athletes home were Tracy Hector & Will Hargreaves, both guest runners, and
benefitting from rather generous handicaps given on the night but first ESM athlete
was Steve Curd just holding off Danny Kilgannon by a couple of seconds. First
woman home was Sarah Harris & great to see her back running so well again after
what seems like an eternity of injury woes.

Fastest overall time on the night was Santosh Rai for the men in 20:55 and Olivia
Howes-Smith for the women in 25:13… second year running that Olivia has recorded
the fastest women’s time.

Thanks everyone for turning up and creating a truly enjoyable event. I hope the
runners enjoyed it as much as we did watching. Celebrations continued in the pub
afterwards I believe.

Martin Wilson

Full results can be found Yacht results 2018.