While other members of the club were face down in a tub of Quality Street or regretting their festive overindulgence over the previous twenty-four hours Dan Maskew was up bright and early on Boxing Day morning to pin on a number and race up a mountain. Dan is always happier on the fells and his best Christmas present was the Devil’s Chair Dawdle or Dash race and the biggest prize was placing 9th overall and covering the straight up and down route in a rapid 26.25. This was a proper test of his weakened ankle and puts him in a good position for a spin over the country in the new year.
On the following day a group travelled to Wheaton Aston for their 10k, a traditional festive jaunt over the roads, on an undulating but still rapid course despite the ups and downs. With numbers held over for two successive years entries were at a premium. Dan Turner finished the year with another solid performance coming home in 5th place in 33.16, Shaun Bennett placed 35th in 39.41, Sabrina Thomas came 50th in 41.41, Simon Calrow was 55th in 42.03, Garry Palmer finished in 43.09 for 66th place, Lionel Spittle was 117th in 47.40, Mark Perry was 121st in 48.08, Karen Evans was 351st in 1.07.12 and Pravesh Patel had a slow plod round in 1.07.12 to take 353rd.
With park runs a plenty on New Year’s Day there was also the opportunity to race in Dudley Kingswinford’s New Year’s Day Handicap. A race where runners register their 5k time and then are sent out in reverse order with the slowest first in the hope that they will all finish together. There were prizes for the fastest over the 4.1 mile course and also for those finishing closest to their handicap mark. With a good turn out from the two Harriers clubs, Tipton and Dudley & Stourbridge there was some decent runners toeing the line, with Dave Norman being the only Wolves & Bilston representative finishing in 24.53, only 40 seconds off his handicap and with the 7th fastest time on the day.Another harriers club, West Bromwich Harriers, hosted their Winter Warmer 5 miler over a combination of roads and tracks with a bit of mud thrown in. Dylan Illidge was first back for the club in 7th place in 32.15, Mark Illidge finished in 34th in 39.49, Liz Moran was 82nd and Julia Condon 83rd in the same time, 57.41.