English National Road Relays, Sutton Park, Oct 6, 2019,
Men’s A 17th, Men’s B 41st
(equalling the best ever B team performance), Women’s Team 21st (comfortably a
Kent AC’s senior men’s team secured a highly creditable top twenty finish at the National Relays held at Sutton Park on Sunday. Conditions were blustery but the rain held off. The team ended up 17th in this high-quality race. And whilst the medallists were a bit of a distance in front, from eleventh to where we finished, teams were very condensed and time wise we were close to clubs we like to regard as rivals. The likes of Highgate, Tonbridge and Hercules Wimbledon were ahead of us but not by a significant amount of time. We were in a battle with Hercules Wimbledon right up to the closing stage of the race.
Chris Busaileh got us off to a solid start on the hotly contested first leg. After the first leg we were forty fourth, but we were to move up to 23rd. Despite moving us up 21 places on the second leg, Owen Hind was maybe a little disappointed with his time on the day. However, given that he’d been a bit under the weather it has to be considered a very decent run.
Our third runner will surely get a mention in Athletics Weekly. The fastest runners on the day are always featured, but with Chris Greenwood running 18:12 as a V45 you’d think he’d surely merit a mention. He was our second fastest – a few seconds off Owen’s time and quicker than a good number of respected club runners. Due to Chris’ efforts we climbed to 17th. Dave Morgan took over on leg four and ran his customary steady leg maintaining us in 17th spot. Then pitted against his adversary from the Southern’s, Hercules’ Richard McDowell, we had Jim Allchin (‘ sans beard ’ ) running well to keep us in 17th. Perhaps Jim was going in for marginal gains with the loss of his whiskers! Then anchoring the team, Ben Harding had what was probably his best relay run in recent years. Surrounded by some class acts he ran strongly to bring us home in 17th spot.
The B team worked their way through from 72nd to 41st and also saw our new Belgian recruit, Cedric Hauben run the quickest leg for the team on leg 2 on what was his competitive debut for the club. Everyone in the B team gained places for the club with Cameron Forrest kicking past Tipton on the final hill to ensure we equalled the club’s best B team showing. At the time of writing there don’t appear to have been any DQ’s, but if there are any retrospective disqualifications ahead of our B team then it will become a club record.
Unlike some years when the race has been a bit of a procession, the 2019 race was keenly contested at the front end. I am told the top four teams, Leeds, Aldershot, Cambridge & Coleridge and Cardiff had quite a battle in what was an absorbing contest. In the end Leeds triumphed getting the better of Southern winners Aldershot. Particular congratulations must go to our occasional second claimer Phil Sesemann, who was part of the winning Leeds team. This time last year Phil was winning the first Surrey League in our colours. Whilst he won’t be lining up on Saturday our squad looks strong for the opening fixture at Effingham Common.
Kent AC women had their best ever finish in the event – a fine 21st place out of a field of 64. There were some very good outfits behind them. The Kent AC quartet all ran well and were a model of consistency. Katie Rowland ran a quick 15:52 on the keenly contested opening leg. Sarah Hanley and Isabel Bradley both ran strong legs on legs two and three. And just as she’d done at the Southern’s, Alexa Parker ran a speedy anchor leg moving the team up from 28th to 21st . A measure of the team’s improvement was that they were actually 3 minutes quicker than last year with all four runners recording PB’s for the course. Unsurprisingly the team are confident they can make the top twenty next year. Like the men our women start their Surrey League campaign on Saturday. However, they are at a familiar venue, Priory Park, Reigate.
Thanks must go to James Bowler for supplying the detailed information that helped with the compilation of this report.
Results below, also see the analysis
of the club’s performance at these relays since 2000.
17 Kent AC ‘A’ 1:50:22
Chris Busaileh (44) 18:38
Owen Hind (23) 18:07
Chris Greenwood (17) 18:12
Dave Morgan (17) 18:40
Jim Allchin (17) 18:20
Ben Harding (17) 18:25
41 Kent AC ‘B’ 1:56:37
Neil Phillips (72) 19:50
Cedric Hauben (61) 19:06
Anthony Johnson (55) 19:14
Robert Laing (52) 19:46
Daniel Pettitt (45) 19:26
Cameron Forrest (41) 19:15
21 Kent AC 1:05:34
Katie Rowland (27) 15:52
Sarah Hanley (24) 16:25
Isabel Bradley (28) 17:05
Alexa Parker (21) 16:12
|Mens A||Mens B||Ladies|