Women’s Surrey League Nonsuch Park




While the men had a relatively short hop to Mitcham for their fixture, Kent AC women’s team had to go a bit further afield with a fixture at Nonsuch Park – a large open expanse of parkland between Cheam and Ewell. The park, a former venue for the men’s National X Country Championships, was originally the site of Nonsuch Palace commissioned by HenryV111, but subsequently demolished, and the materials reportedly sold off to pay the then owners gambling debts. The building that now occupies the site was apparently initially built in the eighteenth century and then extended at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

This fixture demonstrated not only the high standards the team are achieving, but also the growing strength of the club. Like the men, the women had a record turn-out for a Surrey League fixture. The organisers chose to run the two divisions together which meant there was an incredible 570 on the start- line. On a morning of steady drizzle, the course was slippery in in parts and muddy towards the end.

The fact that our ‘A’ team came sixth – matching the position of the first fixture, is testimony to the growing strength of the club. For this was achieved without a number of very accomplished runners – including the still rehabbing Amy Clements.  In addition, our ‘B’ team was seventeenth out of thirty teams with all the runners coming inside the first hundred. Our team was second ‘B’ team, ahead of some Surrey league big hitters, and just behind Clapham who seem to have very large numbers to call on. Katie Rowland had an outstanding run to come home in 14th.  To come in the top twenty in this league is undoubtedly high quality running.  Not far behind Katie was Teresa Murphy achieving the same position(21st) as she did in the first fixture. Then it should be mentioned that Penny and Alexa were in the scoring team despite illness and injury in the run up to the race – obviously made of tough stuff!   As mentioned, we managed to close all our scorers within a hundred. And running strongly to bring this about were Catherine, Jen Smith, Lydia Blackmore, Eliza Grant and Victoria Buck. It should be added that there were also a whole host of good runs outside the scoring teams -including the likes of Kate, Ellie and Sarah who will be competing in the Kent Vets Championships in a few of weeks’ time.

Later in the day, it’s pleasing to report that we had some very promising runs from our juniors, Ottille, Lottie, Mercy and Sophie.

Finally, it seems post-race runners were treated to some delicious cakes courtesy of Sarah Young.  Can we perhaps look forward to the same when get together at Beckenham? Any bakers on the men’s side I hear you say!!