The Bridges Handicap Races

Bridges Race - News

Do you have any news about the race? If so send it to the webmaster using the contact us button and we'll publish it here.

August 2008 - Stan Allen has sent copies of some memorabilia - see History page.

New record - 11 July 2007 We think Orlando Edwards' time of 11.55 this month is a new course record displacing Mark Critchlow's longstanding time. Well done!

18 June 2007 - Our Fame is spreading Pete Mulholland I have got our results included on the Athletics Data site

Valentine's Day 2007 This site is number one hit when you Google Bridges Race. Yippee! Please keep linking to us to keep the site at the top of the rankings.

18 October 2006 - Wikipedia Neil McMurdo has started a Wikipedia entry on our race. Please feel free to add to it.

14 June 2006 - New Trophy John Hanscomb has kindly donated a trophy, to be awarded each month to the person who finishes first, but only if they've run before.  At a moving ceremony, not attended by the Mayor of London, Chris Brasher or Steve Cram, John awarded the trophy to the first ever winner, Melissa Payne. If anyone recorded the happy scene please email reminiscenses, pix, etc using the contact us button.

27 March 2006 Geoff Harrold, one of the originals, writes

Hi there,

Just a few words about the race history since my article in Running Fitness was just a bit exaggerated - not a lot, just a bit. As Stan Allen said in his note, we started with six runners. The intention was, initially, to encourage IPC workers to take up running and boost our London Business Houses team - not that we were bad, we had three marathon runners in the team who had notched up 2:20, 2:22 and 2:26.

The size of the monthly field soon expanded throughout the 1970s and class, young runners came from all over London to belt round the 2 1/2 mile (approx) course which headed west past the National Theatre, crossed Westminster Bridge northwards, ran eastwards under Waterloo Bridge and finished where it started on Blackfriars Bridge outside the Doggetts Coat & Badge pub.

There are a number of stories associated with those first four years, a lot of them featuring cub reporter David Cocksedge. One repeatable tale has David driving for home down the northern Embankment, hugging the inside line. Ahead of him is a lunchtime worker who, without being aware of the human drama playing out behind him, is drifting towards the parapet. Gritting his teeth, the crusading journalist rushed through the narrowing gap and was clear!

Unfortunately, David's pumping fists punched office-worker's (probably much anticipated) sandwiches out of his hand and into the river. Everyone at the Blackfriars Bridge finish remarked on Cocksedge's lively finishing speed.

For the 25th race Stan decided every competitor that day deserved a memento and I duly designed a cerificate with Bash Street-like figures pouring round the course, avoiding various obstacles - one unfortunate competitor seemed to be handicapped by a tourist who was attached by his teeth to the runner's leg. Well, you know as well as I that these things happen. Also featured on the certificate was Stan, myself, DC and Dave Clark of the then Verlea AC. Stan laminated each certifcate with a sixpence trapped inside - it was our silver anniversary, we didn't think then that the race would reach and pass its real silver anniversary!

I have only run the handicap once since IPC moved to Sutton in 1980 - although I didn't go south, I took a handsome redundacy payment and moved on to freelancing and editing Athletics Monthly and then Marathon & Distance Runner. Some of you may remember them. I took part in the 20 years birthday race which was still over the original course but starting and finishing in front of the Shell Building. Stan turned up along with Paul Oates so at least half that original field was present  20 years later - the London Marathon couldn't claim that!

I am girding myself to attempt the race once more, it's a good course, it used to part of one of my lunchtime training runs and I really need to get a few runs in before the 30th birthday next year.

Geoff Harrold

8 Feb 06 Richard Whiting writes. The site's fine, but the colours are too reminiscent of West Ham's for me to heap any more praise on it.  #;¬)
A couple of years ago, 9th October 2002, I arranged for Runner's World to come and research an article on the race. Steve Seaton, Sean Fishpool, and [maybe] some others turned up from RW. As one of the previous organisers, Martin, didn't make an appearance on the day it became a normal race. There was subsequently a small article and a couple of photos. Perhaps someone still has a copy of it.
Who knows, perhaps RW would let you reproduce it on the site.
As I'd set it up, their photographer let me have a couple of pictures that he'd taken but weren't used for the article. I can only find one now, but you're welcome to use it...assuming the other runner gives his permission too. [It is Terry Dawson and he did so here's the pic.   Does anyone have a copy of the article?   Jeremy]

6 Feb 06 We have had our first news. " Congratulations from Stan Allen on accepting the challenge. We started with 6 on the 7/7/77 and once had over 100 runners. We finished the first series with a Fancy Dress evening run. Ask Tom Everit what he wore! The first series finished when IPC moved from Paris Gardens to Sutton round about 1980. The Highgate Holland Brothers took over and moved the start to outside the Shell building, still using our route. Come the Big Wheel and the race moved to the other side of Westminster Bridge. For the 25th running we presented certificates with a silver six penny piece stuck on. Geoff Harrold designed the certificate.  Only last month somebody told me that they still had such a certificate. I will have a look for more historical bits."

Thanks Stan. Does anyone know what Tom Everit wore? And is there photographic evidence?

Jan 05 First off we have a few pictures of the December race (opens new window).