National Cross Country 24th Feb 2018




In what has been a fantastic season for him, John Gilbert continued to create Kent AC club history on Saturday with a fabulous third place in the English National Cross Country Championships. And what better place to do it than the iconic Parliament Hill fields, a venue that many regard as the spiritual home of cross country running. For a period in the race supporters dared to dream that John might even win it. It wasn’t to be though as Adam Hickey and Andy Maud had too much speed for him in the closing stages of the race. However, third in the National is a tremendous result for John and one that he can be rightly proud of.  I know John is a keen historian of the sport and he’ll know that if you look at the records, third place finishers in the National include some of the greats of British distance running.

Perhaps not quite as cold as anticipated, there was still a biting wind and the course was as arduous as ever.  The race itself followed the pattern of several that John has been involved in this season.  He was initially just off the early group of pace setters, but it wasn’t long before he was in the lead and had taken Hickey and Maud with him. The three stayed together for a substantial part of the race before Hickey moved up a gear to surge clear. Maud also got away from John in the closing stages, but despite Peter Huck, who was to finish fourth, moving rapidly over the last mile and closing the gap, John hung on for a richly deserved bronze medal.

In addition to John’s great run, the men’s twelfth place team finish included a number of other impressive runs. Tom Mower, who has been such an important member of the team this season, was our next runner home, finishing in a very creditable 74th place. Next home was Chris Greenwod who been in close proximity to Tom for much of the race. Chris was inside a hundred, finishing in 92nd. Given his spell on the sidelines with injury this has to be considered a very decent run. After his strong run in the last Surrey League, Ben Harding followed up with a more than useful run in the National. As in the previous race, Ben set off pretty fast and I guess at one stage in the race he must have been near to a hundred. Although he slipped back a bit to finish 135th it still has to be regarded as a very good run – certainly he was well up on his 2017 finish, The club’s fifth scorer was another who used to be renowned for his track running, but these days has gained a reputation for his marathon exploits, Russell Bentley, 184th. Russell’s a great club man. He lives in a part of Wales that’s not the most accessible, but still feels a sense of allegiance to the club and seems to make it to all the big fixtures.  Our next three home were just outside the top 250, and only seconds apart; closing the six to score, Gareth Anderson, 252nd, then Robert Laing, 257th. A few seconds down on Rob, was Neil Phillips in 259th.  Post- race Neil confirmed it was “tough”-when I naively asked him what the race was like.

Joe Hartley, 273rd, had a good, solid run that saw him come in as the ninth counter in the nine to score (Ken’s calculations have us sixth team in the 9 to score)). Whilst a mention must go to Calum Fraser. Calum’s had an injury hit season which has meant he hasn’t raced as well as he would have liked. His race at Parliament Hill must have given him a boost as it was much improved. Other strong performances were put in by many of the big contingent of Kent senior men who ran this year. (See full results)

Finally, on a reflective note, a fair few years back I was marshalling at the Sidcup 10, the race the club used to put on. Ken Pike was directing operations and generally being Ken. Afterwards we couldn’t help but notice an unattached runner had done a time that sparked our interest. Understandably, Ken went into persuasive mode. However, I recollect the person in question took a bit of coaxing. But that unattached runner did start coming down to Ladywell and aren’t we glad he did! For subsequently John has been an inspiration, a leader to the team, and now wearing a Kent AC vest come third in the National.


HILL, FEB 24 2O18

After a very encouraging season in the Surrey League, together with two excellent
performances in the South of the Thames races, Kent AC women closed their
cross country season by coming twentieth team in the National Cross Country
Championships. The fact that there were 112 that closed a team puts our result
in perspective.
As mentioned in the men’s report, the weather was perhaps a little better than
anticipated. Certainly cold, especially when the wind blew, but there was also
bright sunshine at times. As ever, though, the course was unrelentingly tough.
In the women’s race it is just four to score and although we undoubtedly did well
here, it is likely that if it had been six to score we would have finished even
higher. For our fifth and sixth placed runners were pretty close to those who
scored, and that wasn’t the case for quite a few teams ahead of us. We were
again led home by Katie Rowland, (129 th ) whose had a season in which she’s really
pushed on. This race again showed her potential when you look at the calibre of
some of the runners just ahead of her. Time wise she wasn’t that far outside of a
top hundred placing. Teresa Murphy’s season has been hampered by a few injury
worries but she ran strongly to come home in (164 th ). It looked as though Jen
Smith’s marathon preparations are going well as she wasn’t far behind Teresa.
Jen was (179 th ). The fourth placer for the team (202 nd ) was Isabel Bradley. I believe
last year Isabel was in the junior ranks so just outside the top two hundred in your
first senior National is a very positive result.
In addition to the scoring team, there were a lot of other Kent women who ran
impressively on the most demanding of courses. However, pride of place just has
to go to Catherine Kandie. Cathy, remember, had led to the team home in the
horrible conditions we encountered in the Southerns at Brighton.


Flickr Album Gallery Powered By: WP Frank






Pos Perf Name AG Year Coach Club AG pos # in AG is KAC
3 40:01:00 John Gilbert V35 M Kent 1 303 KAC
74 42:56:00 Tom Mower V35 M Kent 9 303 KAC
92 43:16:00 Christopher Greenwood V40 M Kent 4 282 KAC
135 44:11:00 Ben Harding SEN M Kenneth Pike Kent 85 835 KAC
184 45:03:00 Russell Bentley V35 M Kent/Eryri 18 303 KAC
252 46:13:00 Gareth Anderson SEN M Kent 156 835 KAC
257 46:16:00 Robert Laing V40 M Kent 16 282 KAC
259 46:18:00 Neil Phillips V35 M Kenneth Pike Kent 29 303 KAC
273 46:27:00 Joe Hartley SEN M Kent 166 835 KAC
334 47:03:00 Calum Fraser SEN M Kent/Bath Uni 197 835 KAC
354 47:16:00 Daniel Pettitt U23 M Jackie Newton Kent/Manchester Uni 64 127 KAC
357 47:17:00 Phil Sanders V45 M Kent 7 289 KAC
380 47:33:00 Stuart Beaney V40 M Kent 28 282 KAC
432 48:20:00 Tim Alexander V35 M Kent 57 303 KAC
442 48:25:00 Sean Fitzpatrick SEN M Kent 258 835 KAC
494 48:55:00 Tim Lawrence V35 M Kent 69 303 KAC
557 49:33:00 Daniel Ansell SEN M Kent/Manchester Uni/Trafford 321 835 KAC
634 50:25:00 Peter Lighting V35 M Kent 101 303 KAC
640 50:30:00 Ian Ellwood SEN M Kent 360 835 KAC
716 51:09:00 Thomas Thain SEN M Kent 393 835 KAC
777 51:47:00 Jonathan Ratcliffe V50 M Herne Hill/Kent 18 247 KAC
842 52:28:00 Adam Paterson SEN M Kent 453 835 KAC
942 53:24:00 Mick Barlow V50 M Kent/Veterans 31 247 KAC
998 54:00:00 Arif Merali V35 M Kent/Ravens City of London 162 303 KAC
1059 54:31:00 Lee Haze SEN M Kent 529 835 KAC
1140 55:21:00 Len Reilly V55 M Kent 11 145 KAC
1443 58:24:00 Roger Beardsworth V55 M Kent 30 145 KAC
1851 63:37:00 Alan Curtis V45 M Kent 212 289 KAC
1853 63:39:00 John Barron V60 M Kent 19 65 KAC


Full Men’s results here:

Women’s results:

Junior men:

Under 17 men: