Women’s Kent County Championships, Brands Hatch, 5th January 2019

As a first timer to the Kent County Championships at Brand Hatch I had been well informed by my fellow team mates that the course was quite bleak.  As described by one runner ‘it feels like high school cross country where you literally run around a paddock’.  Another commented ‘you run around a field while looking at the lushness of the North Downs so close you can almost touch it and wonder why they make us run around here’.  Both these comments proved to be correct but on an another absolutely freezing day a large number of Kent AC women turned out to what proved to be a fantastic race and in the post race high I’m sure we all didn’t feel that it was actually that bad a course.  In a quality field the Kent women came second in both the 3 and 6 to score. 

Our first scorer was Katie Rowland (9th) who has been having a fantastic winter season both in the XC races and on the road.  In an extremely strong pointy end of the field Jen Smith (12th) and Teresa Murphy (13th) made up the remainder of the 3 to score second placing team.  Jen impressively finishing only her first XC of the season in an absolutely excellent race and Teresa off the back of a super-fast 5k PB the week before and some other impressive racing in Ireland over the Christmas period. Making up the remainder of the 6 to score team was Isabel Bradley (16th) and Sarah Hanley (19th) who have both demonstrated what strong XC legs they have over the last few months and Georgina Wiley (24th) the author of this report who is finally finding the ‘joy’ in XC racing after an initial season of ‘what is this torture’ in the 2017/18 season!   

Shout out and thanks to all of the other Kent AC female runners who all had a fantastic race in tough conditions (and just after the Christmas break):

  • Ali Farrall
  • Sheryl Clark
  • Claire Sutton
  • Nicky Hayes
  • Kate Williams
  • Susie Fairbrass
  • Sally Keeney
  • Ellie Brown
  • Heather Castle
  • Jennifer Lindsay
  • Abby Clynes

As always a big thank you to Pete Boxshall for acting as women’s team manager and coordinator and support around the course.

As many noted it was fantastic to have the men’s support around the course in the form of cheer squad.  It was much appreciated especially in the third lap.  And thank you to those who acted as photographers especially Dave Morgan and John Gilbert.  Dave’s album of the collection of the female race photos can be found here

Final results:

3 to score

1 Tonbridge AC 10, 2 Kent AC 34, 3 Dulwich Runners 44

Kent Team: Katie Rowland (9), Jen Smith (12), Teresa Murphy (13)

6 to score

1 Tonbridge AC 65, 2 Kent AC 93, 3 Dulwich Runners 184

Kent Team: Katie Rowland (9), Jen Smith (12), Teresa Murphy (13), Isabel Bradley (16), Sarah Hanley (19), Georgina Wiley (24)

Female team pre-race
Post race shot
6 to score 2nd place team
Jen Smith and Isabel Bradley

Ellie Brown
Susie Fairbrass
Isabel Bradley
Teresa Murphy
Katie Rowland
Sheryl Clarke