Well done to Peter Boxshall who has been named England Athletics Coach of the Year for the London region. We all know how well deserved this is, More
KENT AC ARE BACK ON TRACK IN QUEST FOR FIFTH TITLE AFTER CONVINCING WIN IN SECOND FIXTURE
After the disappointment of being pushed back into third place in the opening Surrey League fixture, Kent AC came out fighting with a terrific performance in the second fixture hosted by South London Harriers on their home patch at Coulsdon.
Prior to the race supporters were cheered to see that talisman, John Gilbert, was back in action for the club. We were also pleased to see that second claim, but long term associate of the club, Richard Phillips, was turning out for us. There was a another boost to morale when we learnt just before the race that Richard’s fellow Serpie, Nick Torry, was also running for us. Nick’s someone who has a history of turning out for Kent and is a real class act over both road and country. The team looked to have a really strong feel about it and so it proved.
Soon after the start it was great to see John Gilbert had already surged to the front and was pushing the pace in typical John style. Although perhaps not able to train to full capacity at the moment, John’s fighting spirit was in evidence.After holding the lead for a while he slipped back as eventual winner, John Pepper, running for Ranelagh, surged into the lead and took control of the race. After a tricky patch John got right back into contention and was up to second before being overhauled during the long run in. Nevertheless his fourth place finish was heartening given that training has been pretty patchy over the last few months. As it turned out, we had the second place finisher in the shape of Nick Torry. Nick showed his class by starting very conservatively and then worked his way right the way through the field with a really strong second half performance. Then true to one of his pre race predictions, Neil Phillips had a top ten finish, an impressive eighth place. The “other” Phillips, Richard, was not far back in tenth. Our fifth scorer had to be a candidate for performance of the day – although this would be a close call as there were a number of strong contenders. Jordan Weaver is someone new to me and amazingly someone new to serious running. As someone with next to no experience he ran a really clever race. And it was also noted that he has an impressive finish on him. Our next two scorers were Ben Hope and James Bowler securing 19th and 20th slot. Post- race Ben was extolling the virtues of serious training –obviously something that he’s been doing of late. And after having to miss the opening fixture it was great to have James back making a more than useful contribution to the team effort. Next in for the team was Pete Lighting with a 25th place finish.Unfortunately a few rivals got the better of him in the run in, but another terrific run. Pete might not be blessed with top end speed but boy he’s got staying power – look out for him in the tough, long haul races. Just missing out on a top thirty finish was the fast finishing Daniel Ansell, home in 31st place. Closing the team just outside the top forty with a very creditable run was Tim Lawrence, securing 42nd place. There were a whole host of strong runs outside the scoring team and they can be seen in the results. But a brief mention must go to Ron Taylor who was having one of his best runs over the country for the club. He took a nasty tumble which probably affected his eventual finishing position, but it was still a really good run. Then you can’t keep a good man down! Captain Beaney has to get a mention – not only for his work beforehand in trying to ensure we got a strong team out, but also for a considerable improvement from the first fixture 57th, on the day, and to his considerable satisfaction getting the better of Tim Alexander.
As mentioned, those who haven’t got a name check but turned in commendable performances, feature in the results at the end of this report.
So with a convincing win at the second fixture we are right back in the frame to carry on with the winning streak that has seen us win the title for the last four years. We mustn’t get ahead of ourselves though. Rivals will be stronger next time round so in the remaining two fixtures it’s essential we get a formidable team out. In the meantime there’s plenty of racing and hopefully the acquisition of some more silverware.
Report by Andy Gardiner:
With apologies for errors or significant omissions
Congratuations to Amy Clements on her individual Bronze and team Gold medals at the UAI World 50k Championship in Doha, Qatar on 11th November 2016. Amy ran 3:26:17 behind Kenya’s Risper Kimaiyo and Germany’s Nele Alder-Baerens. What an achievement in her first ultra distance race. A big well done from all at Kent AC.