Page 29 - BBHAC Winter 2015-16 Gazette
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Athletics Report                  27

The Bennett Cup Season 2015/16

The climax to The Bennett Cup          After a relatively comfortable   The competition attracted a wide
season 2015-6 produced an              winning margin enjoyed           age range
exciting two horse race after the      by Will Slack last year this
characteristic and in many ways        year’s finish was a classic      On the last day itself Sarah
nostalgic victory for Will Slack.      cliff-hanger as Sarah, coming    pulled out the stops and
This year the trophy was won           second in the closing 5,         produced an impressive time
for the first time by a lady club      overturned a nine point lead     of 34.07, only in fact a few
member, Sarah Belaon, signifying       held by Steve Pairman to win     seconds slower than Steve
a breakthrough for the fairer          the competition by a slender     himself but more importantly
sex and yet another significant        2 points. After the lead was     took second place and
stronghold captured by the ladies      taken up by Nick Corry after     overhauled the nine point
in their quest for equality since the  two events it rotated amongst    deficit to secure a Bennett
first lady members were admitted       a large group of leading         Cup win which she had been
in 1992.                               contenders most of whom          promising most of the season.
                                       were able to take part in all    She was consistently placed in
The new finish by Coney Hall           nine events, and passed first    the top ten after each match,
field is now established               to Ian Taylor, then Chris Pike,  and was no doubt encouraged
                                       and then to Steve Pairman        when told by a friend that
                                       who held it despite being        she was in so lofty a position,
                                       supplanted by Sarah herself      moving steadily up to second
                                       in the 10 mile championships     by the sixth and tucking in
                                       (the seventh event) after a      behind the leader after that.
                                       solid performance which          The total of 422 points was
                                       saw her one point ahead          made up of a consistent range
                                       of Steve Pairman. Most of        of scores ranging from 34
                                       those who were in the mix        points to 59, the score she
                                       maintained a close presence      attained in the Closing 5 and
                                       behind these two but by that     one which secured her one
                                       event a comfortable gap was      award in the handicap, that
                                       opening up and in the later      second place. Four scores
                                       races it seemed increasingly     were over 50.
                                       likely that the cup would go
                                       to one of these two. Steve       As to the statistics of the
                                       turned things around in the      competition, 110 athletes took
                                       next race, the away match        part (89 men and boys and
                                       against Ranelagh Harriers        21 women and girls with 405
                                       being placed 36th out of 104
                                       runners and establishing a 9
                                       point lead over Sarah which
                                       then set up things nicely for a
                                       potentially storming contest
                                       between the top two.
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