Page 42 - BBHAC Winter 2014-15 Gazette web
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   The Bennet Cup Season 2014/15
   a Winter’s winner’s tale

The climax to The                       Could participating in and            in the competition early on.
Bennet Cup season                       competing seriously for               After the lead was taken up
2014-15 was heartening                  the Bennett Cup act as an             by Alexis Tobin after two
for those who like to                   incentive for runners to              events, it was then assumed
see an unexpected and                   improve and did he think he           by Fintan Parkinson going
remarkable result and                   had improved this last winter?        for his second Bennett Cup
the contest delivered that              Well no, he admitted, he’d            win and closely followed by
very thing with the cup                 actually got worse! “I can only       a pack in which Will along,
being won for a second                  judge it where you finish in most     with Chris Pike, Mick Jones
time in six years by                    races... and I was usually finishing  and Andy Lawes were in close
Will Slack, following                   near the back apart from the          pursuit. Will had secured
his success in winning                  handicaps”. However finishing         second place by January, but
the trophy in 2009.                     in those positions in most of         it was very tight when after 7
                                        the events certainly, he said,        events both Fintan and Will
In doing so he proved that it           helped him to keep a good             were jointly poised in first
is possible to come back after          handicap.                             place on 283 points each. The
a lay off and despite being 'by                                               hardest race was of course the
his own admission' not as fit           I asked him if he ever                Club 10. Will still picked up
or youthful as before. In 2009          felt tempted to go slow               53 points in a time of 1 hour
he clinched the cup in a tight,         in an attempt to push up              35.06 helped by a handicap of
exciting finish leapfrogging            his handicap, a rougish               48 minutes. Moreover he used
over Mark Ellison and Chris             but harmless form of                  his handicap to positive effect
Pike by the smallest of                 gamesmanship which some               to move ahead of the rest,
margins. This time it was a bit         club athletes may well have           with a handsome lead thus
more comfortable.                       resorted to in the past as an         putting him in pole position
                                        insidious tactical measure.           for the final event, the closing
Did he think he’d win it again.         He replied that even if he            5 handicap in March.
Well no.. he didn’t expect it.          was tempted to do this
“You’ve got to be lucky... he said      he preferred to run his               His best performance he
“If I start the season I generally      races honestly and avoid              believed came in that closing
like to do all the events... it puts    overcomplicating matters.             5 yacht handicap. “The course
you in with as good a chance of         Besides he genuinely wasn’t           suited me” he said, “a there and
winning it as anyone...” In his         that fit throughout the season        back course and most of it down
case he admitted that he                and had previously been a             hill on the return run.” Also he
would need that extra ounce             stone heavier than before...          carried a 19 point lead into the
of luck. “I’ve never been a really      “All season I didn’t improve or       last event so had the luxury
fast runner, and not at my time of      get fitter... but it may have helped  of a cushion to ensure that no
life... 60 years old, ...I’m not going  the handicap. Certainly I didn’t      one could easily slide past him
to improve”                             intend that to happen”                in the final grab for points.

                                        Despite this however he               In this race he ran well, 2 or 3
                                        maintained a solid steady             minutes quicker than on the
                                        presence amongst the leaders          previous 5 miler, “you could
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