Bridges Handicap Races

Michael Hinton reminisces (in February 2017)

TMy first appearance in the race was May 1979, under 20 took part. It had been going for about 2 years, started by Stan Allen and a few journalists. It was called Fleet Street Harriers 2.8 miles handicap. Once a month start time 12-30. We started on the south side of Blackfriars Bridge, up the South Embankment to Westminster Bridge, down the Embankment and finish where we started on Blackfriars Bridge, all went off at intervals.

I did 16 runs under this name; the 16th run was Stan Allen's last as he was moving jobs. As a celebration the final run under Stan was arranged for the evening after work. All entrants were asked to turn up in fancy dress and for this last one we were all going to start together.

This was in November 1980, 30 of us on the start line and what a sight we all looked. I was dressed as a majorette in bright green with a sash. Me and one other took it seriously, not realising they were going to be going in and out of establishments doing the conga on the way round.

Me and the washerwomen hared off at race pace, and didn't look round till we got to Westminster Bridge, looking back we couldn't see any one behind. As we were now in a battle neck and neck we carried on, getting some funny looks from late commuters on their way home, must have looked daft, me a majorette at 5' 6 and the washerwomen at 6' plus. I got away from him nearing Blackfriars Bridge and came home for my only win to be told it wasn't serious.

The following month Lensbury A.C. took it on and I did another 22 races before finishing in February 1984.

When Lensbury took over the start and finish were moved to the South Embankment just before Westminster Bridge. By then it had grown to over a 100 entrants.