Race Date: 24th November 2019
As runners entered into the final furlong of the Road Race Championship, it’s perhaps fitting that the final race of the season was Doncaster 10K, where we’d see who would be heading to the winner’s enclosure while others wondered why they were being led to a building that smelt of glue…
With the race sold out, demand for places was high, so a big thank you to all those who donated/transferred their places to others, especially as it allowed the big show down between thoroughbreds Phil and Joe. Speaking of which:
Head-to-head, mano a mano, toebox-to-toebox. There are many way to describe the mouth watering dual between Joe and Phil. With shades of 1996, Phil’s lead, that looked at one point unassailable, has slowly but surely been hauled in by Joe. However, to finish the job off, he’d not only have to beat Phil, but by a margin of greater than 2 minutes 7 seconds. To his credit, he gave it a good go, zooming his way to 2nd overall in a impressive 32:44. However Phil clocked 33:54 to leave them both level on points, level on head-to-head results and winning by 57 seconds on aggregated time. With both signed up again for next season this could be another epic clash next year. Elsewhere, Liam Turner capped off an impressive season, taking 18 points and 3rd place overall:
This left the final table looking a little like this (click on it to make it readable!):
With Dave having already secured the title, and two of the 3 promotion spots tied up it the main focus was on whether Malcolm could secure the final promotion spot. There were obviously no traces of New York in his legs still, as he duly obliged and bagged himself a place in the Premiership next season. Ade Fisher, who will be joining him next year, took the 20 points on the day but didn’t quite secure 2nd overall. Lucy Broom and Tim Holt also had good runs to secure top half finishes:
Similarly to Division 2, with the title long gone and 2 of the promotion spots, it was again a head-to-head between Heather and Adam as to who would nab the last one. Obviously the McAuley mind games worked well, as not only did Heather not turn out, but neither did anyone else in the division! One can only imagine the inner smugness as he cruised around knowing 20 points and promotion was secured:
The final standings perhaps unsurprisingly see Jordan a worthy champion who dominated the division throughout:
There was certainly plenty to play for in Division 4, with not only the title but promotions spots in play, and no one wanting to fall at the last. Jimmy Sharman came agonisingly close to the title, but ultimately finished a single point behind a deserving James Boreman. James Staves, who took his 5th maximum on the day must be left ruing what could have been if he’d managed to complete 6 races, sadly not even earning promotion. Adam Bishop showed he’s obviously been playing chess while his rival have been playing checkers, timing his surge for promotion to perfection, as he nabbed 3rd place on H-to-H from James Ogden.
|Regan Hanson (Guide Runner)||0:45:07||15|
Another division where the title and 2 promotion sports were already decided.This didn’t seem to stop the already promoted Rob Betts, as he yet again showed the virtues of living a good life to gallop home in 38:33 and secure 2nd place in the final standings. Joe Lee had a very timely showing to save himself from relegation, while Roger didn’t quite do enough to steal away the last promotion spot from Pete Brown:
With all 4 promotion spots already decided before the race, this was all going to be about what order they finished in, with a 3 way tussle for the title. Unlike Manchester United in the year 2000, I firmly believe in the sanctity of the RRC, and one brokered transfer for Charlotte Roper later, we had our showdown on the cards. Although she didn’t take the full 20 points on the day, coming in behind the ever improving Al Dalton, she did enough to secure the title from rivals Sarah and Joe. It was also great to Strider Legend Clive make the start line as he continues his come back, and will be one to watch for next year:
With the title and promotion all decided last round it was heartening to see such a decent turn out in Divison 7. James Broomhead getting the monkey off his back and going sub 40 to deservedly take 20 points, while Wuff put last round’s disappointment behind him to have another strong run for 19 points. This could well shape up to be one of the most competitive divisions next year, so keep an eye on it:
Perhaps the one disappointment of the day was Gilly not being able to secure a place for Doncaster, robbing the crowd of the much anticipated show down with Phil. Phil confirmed his crown, finishing 3 points clear of Matt in the end. But kudos to my fellow Clanger Loz, who didn’t drop one as he took his first maximum of the season and secured himself promotion. Cara Hanson did enough on the day to pip Stevan Lewis to the last promotion spot. Although Gilly didn’t secure promotion after not quite being able to get 6 races on the board, such has been the dominance of her performances there may have to be a “mercy” promotion if she can be talked off the fells onto the black stuff again:
Division 9 was also nicely set up with a 3 way tussle for the title with all 3 contenders running. Luke managed to leverage his race in hand and with a handsome 20 points took the title from Helen and Mark and finishing with the perfect 120. Mark and Helen, although not able to take the title themselves, did also manage to secure promotion. Simon Gleadhall deserves a special mention as the only runner to finish all 12 races of the championship, truly the Ironman of the RRC:
Although she knew that she couldn’t take the title with Dave not running and holding the H-to-H tie breaker, Tracey “Davies of the year” err Davies scored a moral victory as she once again showed her fantastic improvement over the season to finish 8 minutes clear of her division peers. Lucy Cowell completed her 6th race and was able to join Helen in securing the other two promotion spots. Caroline Brash continued her fine late season form, taking 17 points and perhaps laying down an early maker of intent for next year:
With the title already in hand, it perhaps wasn’t surprising to not see Helen racing as the off season partying is surely well under way. Julia Waldron ran like a proverbial Jue Jue train as she smashed her 10K PB to take 20 points. Sandie just behind, celebrating promotion and securing 2nd overall. David, despite not running managed to cling onto 4th, despite a valiant effort from Zara:
It would be remiss of me not to finish this off by thanking the man who put this idea together and made this all happen. They said he was crazy, they said it would never work, but he said to them “if you spreadsheet it, they will come”. Take a bow, Andrew “Goldstar” Davies.
“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
See you all again next year, and if you haven’t signed up already, get it done by clicking here.