Just a quick note to say our 1st club
overseas trip was very successful. Seven athletes took up the offer with
contribution from the club to cover transport cost. The event had athletes
across the globe with over 100 athletes from UK alone.
The sprinters did not enjoy a good day
at the office. Their events were a wash out with heavy rain just before the
100m heats in the morning.
Owen Hind finally broke 14mins for the first time in 5000m race which finished after 2am on Sunday with a time of 13mins 58secs. This achievement means he met the British Championship qualification of 14secs. �G
Gilbert leads the way as Kent AC runners excel
As well as
having another formidable turn out from the club (over 50 runners), the 2019
London Marathon saw some special performances from Kent AC runners.
another great day for the club and difficult to know where to start in the
telling. Despite a host of great runs, I thought it was fitting to start withJohn Gilbert. Fitting in the sense that unsurprisingly he was first
man home for the club but also with John moving north, it was an occasion when
the club paid tribute to him post -race. Despite having something of a
disrupted season in terms of injuries, John still managed yet another sub 2: 20
marathon – this time 2:19 :03. At half- way John looked as though he might
challenge his PB – it wasn’t to be, but still another fine run over such a challenging
distance. Whilst it may have been said before, it’s worth re-iterating. John’s
been an inspiration. He may be unassuming, but he races with a steely
determination. He’ll be much missed. However, post- race it was heartening to
learn that he’ll be retaining his membership and making periodic appearances
male runner home is becoming known as the master at marathons. For Pete Lighting, with his meticulous
preparations, really seems to know how to get the best out of himself. At this
London, he took a big chunk out of his PB running 2: 24 :32. Just a minute
behind Pete was Dave Morgan. It was only really in the closing stages that Pete
got away from Dave who again showed what an impressive marathon runner he is.
Then getting his pacing just right – only 19 seconds behind Dave was Chris
Greenwood. Chris, again featured in the
pre- race Athletics Weekly marathon preview, that reported that his desired aim
was sub 2:25, but if not, he’d be pleased with sub 2:26 which was what he
achieved. Chris’ time 2:25:50 meant he was comfortably the first V45 in the
race. And in fact, it turns out that Chris is now fifth on the all- time list
for V45’s in the history of the London Marathon. I would hazard a guess that
puts him in fairly exalted company. No
prizes for guessing who our next V45 was (more of that later). After Chris there was an exceptional run
from Rob Laing (2:27:17). It’s a little unusual for someone who’s done a fair
few marathons (as Rob has) for them to take over ten minutes off their previous
best. But that’s exactly what Rob did – well it was actually 11 minutes better.
As many will know, Rob’s in training for the famous Comrades Marathon – an
ultra- race that takes place in South Africa in June. It doesn’t work for
everyone, but clearly running a lot of miles is certainly proving beneficial in
Rob’s case. One more of our male runners was inside 2:30 at that was James
Bowler. Just a little down on his PB but still a very good run (2: 29:.21).
We had two
runners coming within seconds of each other on 2:35, but I’m sure their
emotions can’t have been more contrasting. They were Adam Paterson on 2:35:41
and Russell Bentley eight seconds behind.
Adam was another who took a big slice off his PB and must have been
delighted with his time. However, Russell, who I guess was wanting to get over
what he may have considered a disappointing Brighton Marathon result, really
struggled in the closing stages of London. It was a big ask to run London so
close to Brighton but Russell was obviously up for the challenge.
Unfortunately, this one looked as though it took a toll on Russell and I know
we all hope he can recover swiftly. The consistent Sam Evans was our next
finisher (2:37:58). He got frustratingly close to his PB. Then after Sam came our
other fast V45 – yes, the man himself, Stuart Beaney. Again, someone else who was very close to his
PB. However, that was on a faster course and when he was just a little bit
younger. His 2:38:48 meant he crept inside the top twenty V45’s in this year’s
race. And incidentally, in case there’s still anybody unaware, Stuart’s recent
form has earned him an England Vest when he will compete against the other home
nations in a race incorporated in the upcoming Birmingham 10K.
Johnson and Tim Lawrence looked as though they ran a good deal of the race
together and it was only towards the end that Anthony got clear. Anthony
finished in 2:39:39 with Tim about a minute back at the finish. In between the
pair though were former Dulwich man, Tom Marshall 2:40:30, who managed to run
exactly equal splits and Barny Day 2:40:24, who ran a very strong second half.
Ben Cook and Richard Giles who’d both been in good form in the run up to London
came in on 2:42 – in Ben’s case 2:42: 10 and Richard not far adrift on 2:42:52.
Serpentine with their mega membership had more runners under 3 hours, but feel
confident there weren’t many other clubs who had as many under three hours (and
well under) as Kent AC. After Richard
Giles we had eight more runners under the three-hour mark. They were as follows: Tom Thain 2:43:02, Che
Compton 2:44:33, Neil Phillips 2:44:46, Calum Fraser 2:50:22, Nial Robinson
2:51:59, Thomas Ballard 2:54:21, Tim Alexander 2:57:57 and Len Reilly 2:59:18.
Perhaps a special mention needs to go to Calum who only the previous day had
competed in several events for the club at a windswept track in Cambridge.
Seems highly likely Calum would have been quicker had it not been for his
exertions on the track. And of course, I always have to give a mention to the
redoubtable Len Reilly, now heading through the V55 category. While he may not
be a member of the intrepid band who have completed all the London Marathons,
he has certainly racked up a considerable number. Like others, Len’s build up
was far from ideal but his experience meant he was again able to dip under the
3- hour barrier (3:59:18).
to the runners mentioned above, there were a lot of our other male runners who
performed well, many achieving personal bests – some getting very close to
three hours – others rightly pleased that they had risen to the challenge of
may have been no Amy Clements this year, there was no shortage of excellent
runs from our women. It was especially so when looked at in terms of the
performances of our women who are classed as masters/veterans. Actually, our first runner home in 3:11:46
(excluding American guests) was the multi- talented Victoria Buck. I refer to
the fact that as well as running a fast marathon Victoria is a more than
competent performer when it comes to track and field. As well as being a very
good time in its own right, Victoria’s time will undoubtedly be regarded as a
very good age graded time. Ali Farrall is another who fits into this category.
She has quite a marathon pedigree – she’s run a good number and all in quality
times. And this year was no exception. She registered an excellent 3:23:49.
Very close behind was someone I believe is a relative newcomer to the club,
Alex Swatridge. If this was her marathon debut – it was an impressive one,
running 3:24:40. She was just ahead of Susie Fairbrass (3:25:00) who was yet
another of our runners to take a large slice of their PB. Susie had a big
support crew with her and no doubt Dad, Dennis, (no mean performer over the
marathon distance) was delighted with his daughter’s run.
Just nineteen seconds behind Susie was Nicky Hayes (3:25:19), and whilst there was a lot of competition, this was surely one of the runs of the day. In the marathon classification Nicky is classed as V55, for our club competition purposes she came into the category of V50-59. However, it remains the case that hers was an incredibly good run. It appears she was ranked 13th in her age group in this year’s race. That’s out of a very large number who were listed as running in her age group – so really impressive running. Nemeckova Zuzana, another in the V40 category, ran a very creditable 3:32:41, while this year Sarah Young, who I believe has done several London marathons, came in on 3:45:08
women running in our colours did both themselves and the club proud. For the
first timers who might say never again – you might be surprised and have
another go some time in the future. But if not, running a marathon is a
considerable achievement – let no one tell you otherwise.
for everybody in the club are quite easy to find on the Virgin London Marathon
(Apologies for any errors or significant omissions in the report.)