South of the Thames 7.5-mile Championships, Lloyd Park Croydon, Dec 21,2019 Plenty of pre-Christmas cheer for Kent AC at Lloyd Park After a resounding victory at Morden when our men claimed the South of the Thames 5-mile team event, we managed to do the double and secured the team title in the longer event held at Lloyd Park, Croydon. As is the case in the shorter event, men and women run together in the same race. Kent AC women also put in an impressive team performance – especially when you consider how many were missing due to the nasty virus currently doing the rounds. In addition to our tremendous team success, Owen Hind secured a well-deserved third place medal. The tough, muddy Lloyd Park course is not exactly Owen’s natural habitat. I think it fair to say he was much more at home on the grassland courses he encountered during his time in the States. However, on the rain drenched course he ran a very controlled race that saw him lay off the initial fast pace and then really come through in the second half. Although Owen was closing slightly on the Tonbridge’s Corey De’Ath who was to finish second, at the finish he was some way off the race winner, Aldershot’s Joe Morwood. Like our team Morwood did the double having won the five-mile race back in November. He appears to be in really good form and you expect him to do well in the big cross -country races in the new year. Our second scorer, Jim Allchin (5 th ), is having a fine season. He’s been consistently at the sharp end of races and here again it was another top ten finish. Next in, showing he’s well and truly recovered from the malaise that had laid him low at the last Surrey League, was Chris Busaileh (15 th ). Not too far behind Chris, and someone else who is having a very good season, Niall Stewart was 18th. Dame Dibaba had his usual flourish at the start of the race when he briefly headed affairs. Whilst he may have slipped back (23 rd ) in this strong field it was another good run from Dame. His run as fifth scorer was important to us as was that of Sean Fitzpatrick (34 th ). It helped us just get the better of Brighton in the sixth to score. Unlike the shorter race at Morden where other teams weren’t very strong, here the opposition was of a much higher calibre. Having said that, although the six to score was tight, in the 12 to score we were emphatic victors. As a club we were out in such force that in the six to score we had a ‘B’ team coming seventh, a ‘C’ team coming 11 th and a ‘D’ team 19th out of the 29 that closed in. Again, such was our strength in depth the Kent AC ‘B’ team were fourth club in the 12 to score competition. The medallists in the 12 to score after the first six who have been mentioned were as follows: Dan Pettitt (37), Pete Lighting (41), Rob Laing (42), George Russell (43) Ben Cook (48) and Calum Fraser (53) And as the full results reveal, there were lots of good runs from those who made up the Kent ‘B’ 12, as well as many of our other runners who ensured that the club was so well represented in the race. As mentioned earlier, Kent AC women were hard hit by illness having several late withdrawals from the anticipated team. Nevertheless, the representatives who took on the demanding course performed admirably. The team ended up fifth in the six to score – not that far off third place which, given the missing personnel, had to be considered a good result. Sarah Hanley led the team home. She was a fine 9 th in the women’s race. Our next two scorers were separated by just a few seconds. Georgina Wiley came in (19 th ) while Teresa Murphy was (21 st ) and third in the W40 category. Next home, having a very strong run, was Susie Fairbrass (39 th ) Our fifth scorer was Kate Williams (60 th ) but also third in her age category. Then completing the six was Amanda Nio (63 rd ). In addition to our scorers, also running well in the arduous conditions were Sarah Young (72 th ), Sheryl Clark (77 th ) and of course, Annabelle Hadlow (106 th ). Special mention should also go to Amelia Pettitt who was an excellent third in the women’s race. Amelia won the first Surrey League in our colours as she was able to run for us in that race second claim. Here, though, she wasn’t able to run second claim and had to run as a guest. Her run again highlighted what a talented runner she is and one we look forward to representing us in future races.
Men’s Team (6 to score)
1.Kent AC 98 2. Brighton & Hove 103 3. Herne Hill 144…
Coleman Cup (12 to score)
1.Kent AC :362 2. Herne Hill:741 3. Guildford & G: 1134 …. Women’s Teams (6 to score)
1.Tonbridge:42 2. Brighton & Hove :100 3. Thames H& H: 195…. 5. Kent AC:211