It was very much Ladies’ Night at Central Athletic Club’s Christmas Handicap for 2021 with Cliona Diamond, Fiona Davies and Laurie Douglas taking the top three spots. The evening of Thursday 23 December brought its own challenges with heavy rain making it an uncomfortable event for the 21 competitors and the essential marshals and recorders. Cliona must have kept her concentration throughout to win by a comfortable margin with Fiona coming past Laurie in the later stages of the race. Amongst the men it was the Masters runners who led the charge with Danny O’Neill taking the plaudits ahead of Hugh Buchanan with Iain Dunsmore and Alastair Cunningham in close attendance.
It was the youngsters in the Club who once again produced the fastest scratch times with Alastair Marshall, 12 minutes 11 seconds, again proving his credentials ahead of Under-17 Connor Bell (12:29) and the ever dependable Alastair Hay (12:30). Andrew Irvine ran well to finish with 13:45 while young Sam Grivell (13:54) also produced a fine effort ahead of the fastest Masters Man, Craig Walker (15:24). Morag Millar’s 13:52 effort again brought her round as fastest Lady ahead of Fiona Davies (15:07), Jennifer Wetton (15:26) and Cliona Diamond (15:45). Lewis Millar, last year’s winner, deserves a special mention for completing the course in 15:55, handicapped by pushing daughter Molly in her running buggy throughout. A big thank you is due to Derek Easton for his organisation and to his team of race marshals and recorders.