The day I won the SROC Handicap.


The SROC Handicap this year was based in Knotts Wood just east of Lancaster. Mum and dad said their memories of it were not great – physically tough, but that was some years ago. It was going to be a Norwegian event planned by Bill Cook. I got given the same handicap as my mum but I wasn’t that worried as I reckoned I could beat her – the race was on. The first problem on the course was only metres from the start line. It was a huge ditch that you could either jump or climb in and out of. At first mum and I ran together, we couldn’t lose each other. Then about half way round I saw her run past a path junction and follow Chris Roberts into the undergrowth. I took the path and the next time we met we were going in opposite directions, with me in the lead. Later on I caught up with John Ockenden and we ran together until nearly the end. We had been told to punch the last control but when we got there we couldn’t find a punch so we just sprinted for the line. I managed to win by a very small map length. I was overjoyed, first home overall!


After the race we all went to Caton Village Hall for the prize giving and food. Great fun with all the juniors on one huge table, laughing, joking and eating loads. The day got even better for me when I was presented with the M14 trophy, narrowly beating Ben Selby. Later that evening the older juniors went back up to the woods for some night training, but that is another story.


Matthew Nash