Southern Cross Country Championships Parliament Hill last Saturday (Jan 25) saw our senior men come eighth in the team event while our women’s team came sixteenth. With much of the athletics press and social media being dominated by stories about a well known brand of running shoe, it was good to get back to the sports roots – just over nine miles of unrelenting toil round Hampstead Heath. Here the talk was more about the length of spikes required rather than carbon plates and cushioning. Given that both our men’s and women’s teams were some way off full strength their respective finishing positions had to be viewed in a positive light. Our men were once again led home by Jim Allchin who as previously remarked has been so consistent for us this season. Unlike so many on this course who can’t resist going off fast (and paying for it) Jim started relatively conservatively and moved through the field. He finished strongly in an impressive seventeenth. In the six to score competition our next two scorers were Chris Greenwood (54th) and Neil Phillips (61st). For much of the race the pair were close together but Chris pulled away from Neil in the closing stages. Chris has raced sparingly this season following various injury niggles so to finish just outside fifty did him great credit. It was another good run from Neil following on from strong Surrey league runs and just missing out on the Kent masters title. Fourth scorer was Cedric Hauben (81st) Whilst I’m aware there are challenging cross country courses in Belgium, I’m pretty sure Cedric won’t have encountered anything like Parliament Hill before. The two completing the six to score were Dave Morgan(119th) and George Russell. David’s was a somewhat typical run – a steady start, then moving through the field in the second half. Possibly the run of the day was George Russell (152nd) – just outside the top 150 is good going when you look at the calibre of runner he was keeping company with. A relative newcomer to the club George is steadily improving and is clearly going to be a great asset to our scoring teams. Aside from the scoring six there were a number of other noteworthy runs on the most testing of courses. Whilst there were several notable absentees from the team, we still had 27 runners turn out – all of whom finished the gruelling course. Apart from the likes of Serpentine and Highgate I’m sure there weren’t many clubs who could muster this number. The winner of the race by a very clear margin was Southend’s Adam Hickey. He seems to be rounding into very good form before he attempts to gain an Olympic qualifying time at the forthcoming London marathon. Aldershot won the team title with Tonbridge second and Highgate third. POS NAME BIB CATEGORY GUN TIME CHIP TIME SCORE 17 Jim Allchin 3590 00:49:33 17 54 Chris Greenwood 3607 00:52:11 54 61 Neil Phillips 3623 00:52:32 61 84 Cedric Hauben 3609 00:53:24 84 119 David Morgan 3621 00:54:46 119 152 George Russell 3626 00:55:34 152 178 Dame Dibaba 3600 00:56:17 179 Calum Fraser 3603 00:56:18 185 Ben Cook 3594 00:56:26 251 Peter Lighting 3615 00:58:01 275 Ben McGeown 3619 00:58:38 300 Richard Giles 3604 00:59:11 338 Tom Thain 3631 00:59:54 398 Ian Ellwood 3602 01:01:02 429 Tim Copley 3595 01:01:37 POS NAME BIB CATEGORY GUN TIME CHIP TIME SCORE 447 Jake Herera 3611 01:02:00 489 Daniel Ansell 3591 01:02:47 552 James Bowler 3592 01:04:12 564 Iago Martinez 3617 01:04:29 584 Tim Sharp 3629 01:04:48 655 Michael Duncan 3601 01:06:14 711 Christopher Quaid 3625 01:07:24 777 Khawaja Shahabuddin 3628 01:09:12 844 Alan Curtis 3597 01:11:20 977 John Greene 3606 01:16:07 1049 Phil Marsden 3616 01:19:34 1079 Neil Gordon-Orr 3605 01:21:17 Senior Women As with the men, our senior women’s team were missing several that make a big contribution to our scoring. Nevertheless, those that competed really put a shift in on the demanding course. Whilst they didn’t have to take on the daunting length of course the men faced, their five plus miles still amounted to quite a challenge. They had to contend with thick, boggy mud for much of the race. Sarah Hanley’s tremendous season continued with another top- quality run. Sarah was well inside the top fifty in this very competitive field (42nd). Our next runner home would probably agree that cloying mud isn’t her favourite surface. And from my vantage point it maybe looked as though Alexa Parker’s spikes could have been a bit longer. She seemed to be slipping and sliding even more than some of those around her. But she battled on and made it inside the top hundred (96th). Running strongly in her usual determined style our third scorer in the four to score competition was Teresa Murphy (146th). Our fourth scorer, coming inside the top 200, Megan Williams ran a fine, controlled race (192nd) As well as our scorers we had another nine intrepid women undaunted by the tough conditions. They are listed below in our results. The race was won in convincing style by Jess Gibbon of Reading AC. Highgate won the team event with Aldershot second and Tonbridge third. POS NAME BIB CATEGORY GUN TIME CHIP TIME SCORE 42 Sarah Hanley 5122 00:32:32 42 96 Alexa Parker 5128 00:34:20 96 146 Teresa Murphy 5125 00:35:54 146 192 Megan Williams 5132 00:37:25 192 267 Susannah Fairbrass 5119 00:39:31 283 Claire Sutton 5131 00:39:55 292 Zuzana Nemeckova 5126 00:40:05 351 Nicky Hayes 5123 00:41:31 390 Jo Mott 5124 00:42:30 407 Sarah Young 5133 00:42:50 470 Amanda Nio 5127 00:44:56 490 Eleanor Parker 5129 00:45:43 656 Annabelle Hadlow 5121 00:55:20
Well done to all of the Boys and girls who braved the Southern Counties on Saturday. I’ve not had the opportunity to scan through all of the results, but the word on the street is George Russell is continuing to improve, and was the pick of the B group performers comfortably making the top 150- illustrating the kind of result that constant training, and regular Tuesday nights can produce.
There were some impressive veterans running in the Farnbrough Half where myself, Will Pitt, Jonathan Beatty, and Joffah travelled up hoping to gain qualification for an England masters vest.
Joffah managed to win the v50 prize in a 2nd fastest time of 78:03, J Beatty came agonisingly close to breaking 75 minutes with a 75:01- but has the consolation of finishing 4th v40 and achieving the selection criteria, Will Pitt was 4th fastest v45 in a time of 76:13 which will likely see him gain selection, and Len faces an anxious wait after a spirited performance seeing him finish 5th English finisher in a very competitive v55 age group, clocking a low 83 minutes.
A reminder about the annual awards evening next Saturday 1st February at Old Colfeians Rugby Club, Eltham Road, SE12 8UE. Please arrive at 7pm for a 7:30pm start. Please all make an effort to attend. I find this evening works as a catalyst for improved performances as it is so inspiring coming together, and celebrating the magic of Kent AC. The evening is open to first and second claim members.
Meanwhile, further north of Parliament Hill, eleven-time Scottish triple jump Champion Chuxx Onyia added another bronze medal in a highly competitive competition on Sunday (26/Jan/2020). Great achievement and consistency, jumping 15.58 for Bronze at the Scottish Senior Indoor Championships.
Southern XC 2020 Results:
Southern XC 2020 Photos courtesy of Adrian L
WE KEEP TITLE HOPES ON TRACK WITH THIRD SURREY LEAGUE WIN Surrey League Division 1, Race 3, Beckenham Place Park, Jan 11 The third fixture of the season saw Kent AC senior men put in another excellent team performance – securing a third consecutive victory. Talk beforehand was of consolidating the advantage we had going into the race and on the day our team certainly did that. On a testing course, mapped out by noted Kent AC runners of yesteryear, a fine race developed at the front of the field. Initially Belgrave’s international Nick Goolab went into an early lead and he had some distance between himself and a chasing pack. However, it wasn’t long before a little group had got back on terms with him. In the group that was to be together for a substantial part of the race was new Kent County champion, Owen Hind and of course multiple Kent County champion, John Gilbert. Also, amongst the group was eventual second placer, Johnny Van Deventer, an American with a very impressive running history. Clapham Chasers have acquired his services and he’s certainly going to strengthen their team. Once John Gilbert had joined the group, he put in some typical John type surges. However, eventually it was John who had to give way leaving Owen in the company of two very fine athletes. Although for quite a while Goolab was seemingly content to bide his time, with a little more than half a mile to go he produced a smooth burst of acceleration that the other two couldn’t stay with. His injection of pace quickly put some distance between him and the two who had made it such an interesting contest for much of the race. Round the turn into the finishing straight Owen and Van Deventer were together but it was the American who was able to prevail in the run to the line. After Owen in third we had John Gilbert (4th) and with his customary high finish Jim Allchin, fifth. Again, Jim had shown his tactical awareness by starting conservatively and moving through. Continuing his good run of form, Ben Harding (8th) had a top ten finish. Not far behind Ben was Ross Braden (13th) – another second claimer who has been making a very valuable contribution to our cause. There was a top twenty finish (15th) for Cedric Hauben. As mentioned in previous posts, Cedric’s from Belgium and over here working for a year. In the short time he’s been with us he’s had a very positive impact. Then we had three scorers in the mid- twenties but with Herne Hill’s Mike Cummings in between. In (24th) was second claimer Joe Vis having a very good run. Close up behind (26th) and (27th) were Chris Greenwood and Niall Stewart. Closing the ten to score was the man who is doing such an admirable job as cross country captain, Dan Pettitt (34th). As with the first two fixtures, the race at Beckenham resulted in another comfortable win for the runners who made up our B team. It was pleasing that two relative newcomers to the club featured amongst our B team scorers – Sam Marshal (62nd) and George Russell (65th). There was a bit of variation in positions from the previous week’s Kent County race amongst the B team scorers – on this occasion Dave Morgan was ahead of Anthony Johnson. Just missing out scoring in the A team, Neil Phillips was first scorer in the B and Sean Fitzpatrick closed the team in, coming (74th). Perhaps not surprising when you look at who made up the team, the B team again ran out very convincing winners of their competition. Also, of note at this fixture was the turn -out of runners we had for the race. Alright it was classed as a home fixture, but even so to have not far off fifty runners on the start line is quite something. At the end of the post there should be a complete list of all the Kent runners who ran in the fixture. As well as our scorers they all deserve praise for their contribution to the team effort. Finally, it was great to see Ron Hale, Kent AC’s longest serving member spectating and seeing his club in such good shape. Somewhat different from when your correspondent joined. If not a taxi, you could have fitted the team in a small mini bus in those long off days. Sprightly Ron, ninety plus years of age, was seen chatting to AW’s reporter. No doubt he was giving him the benefit of many years of running wisdom. The closing fixture will take place at Lloyd Park on February 8th. No doubt the Hockey club bar manager is gleefully anticipating an afternoon of record profits.
42 58 230 finishers
Teams: 10 to score 1st
1stKENT AC 159
2nd Hercules Wimbledon AC 247
3rd Herne Hill H 406
4th Belgrave H 431
5th South London H 474
6th Thames Hare & H 515
7th Clapham Chasers 561
8th Guildford & G 662
9th Dulwich Runners 700
B Team: 1st Kent AC 65
Kent County Cross Country Championships, Brands Hatch, Jan 4 2020 A FINE WIN FOR OWEN HIND WHILE OUR TEAM TAKE HOME SILVER MEDALS Kent AC had a tremendous start to the new year at the Kent Cross Country Championships. Owen Hind added his name to the illustrious list of winners of the championship, while both our men’s and women’s teams claimed silver medals behind winners Tonbridge. Although in the men’s competition we had a strong team, we are not able to put out the top team that competes in the Surrey League. Eligibility rules mean certain runners aren’t able to run so it’s always going to be difficult to match the formidable team that Tonbridge are able to put out. However, we were by some distance second team in both the six and twelve to score. Owen’s form had been good going into the race. In the pre -Christmas South of the Thames he’d come a fine third on a course that didn’t play to his strengths. It was felt that if reasonably dry the Brands Hatch course might suit him a little more. That proved to be the case although he had to beat some very tough opposition – primarily in the shape of Tonbridge runners Corey De’Ath and last year’s winner, Ben Cole. Owen and the two Tonbridge runners forged a gap quite early on in the race. They remained together for a fair part of the race before the relentless pace they were setting saw De’Ath drop back on the final lap leaving Owen to battle it out with the winner from last year Ben Cole. Owen forced a bit of a gap mid- way on the final lap but Cole showed his fighting qualities by clawing some of the margin back to make Kent AC supporters nervous. However, we needn’t have worried as Owen had just that little bit in reserve and was able to push on to close in on a fine victory. It was another top ten finish for the ever so reliable Jim Allchin (9). Since his switch to our colours at the end of last season Jim’s proved a great asset. We then had three more runners in the top twenty Neil Phillips (15), Niall Stewart (16) and Anthony Johnson (18). Neil and Niall were in close contention for much of the race with Neil just winning out. Neil was by some margin the first V40 runner. It was good to see Anthony gain a top twenty place and show what ability he has. Our final scorer in the six to score was Dave Morgan – just outside the top twenty – Dave was 22nd. After our first six home there were some very strong runs to ensure we were comfortably the second team in the twelve to score. Just outside the top thirty and having a very good run was Barny Day (31). Then after slipping and sliding his way round the Lloyd Park course, it seemed Rowan Crichton found Brands Hatch a bit more to his liking (34). Our ninth scorer was Calum Fraser (37) who was closely followed by Pete Lighting probably missing Rob Laing who he’s made a habit of storming past at the finish of races. As mentioned in the last post it seems Phil Sanders is coming back to form after a period out. Well inside top fifty, (44) and second V45 was another strong run. It was good to see, Arif Merali (60), a regular performer for the club for some years, come in as our final scorer in the twelve. He was in Stuart Beaney’ sights for most of the race but the man formerly known as Party Boy just couldn’t get on terms. Apparently, he was carrying a bit of excess baggage due to Christmas indulgence. Those outside the 12 also ran well including Len Reilly who’s clocked up a good number of appearances in this race. No doubt Len will be able to tell you precisely how many. All in all, an enormously pleasing day. Great success for Owen winning the championship and a resounding second place in both the six and 12 to score. A post on the success of our women’s team will follow shortly. Full results are on the County site. KENT COUNTY CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPS at Brands Hatch, Kent on Sat 4th January 2020 Senior Men 1st Owen Hind 40 15 9th Jim Allchin 41 22 15th Neil Phillips 42 44 Teams: 6 to score 16th Niall Stewart 42 48 1st Tonbridge 34 18th Anthony Johnson 43 05 2nd KENT AC 81 22nd Dave Morgan 43 35 3rd Medway & M 152 31st Barny Day 44 26 34th Rowan Crichton 44 44 37th Calum Fraser 45 05 Teams : 12 to score 38th Peter Lighting 45 12 1st Tonbridge 186 44th Phil Sanders 45 52 2nd KENT AC 325 60th Arif Merali 47 19 3rd Medway & M 619 61st Stuart Beaney 47 28 76th Joe Hartley 49 43 87th Len Reilly 50 25 98th Adrian Dracup 51 11 117th Michael Duncan 53 08 162nd John Greene 58 19
Kent Cross Country Championships – Women’s Race Like their male counterparts Kent AC women achieved a fine second place in the team stakes – both in the three and six to score. Again, the winners of the team competition were the always strong Tonbridge team. The winner of the actual race, Emily Hosker-Thornhill, GB international and Aldershot runner, proved a class apart. She even put some distance between herself and the two talented Tonbridge runners who were second and third. Our second place was extremely pleasing as it was achieved without some who are often key to our success in races. However, someone who has been crucial to our success in recent seasons, Katie Rowland, had an excellent run. For virtually the duration of the race Katie was in a contest with Clare Elms, long term friend of the club and of course multiple masters record holder. Running together proved helpful in some respects as it enabled them reel in runners ahead of them. Towards the end of the last lap Katie did force a small gap, but Clare closed up again before finally having to give way. Both Katie and Clare achieved a better result than last year – Katie was sixth and Clare seventh. In fact, it was a best ever finish for a number of Kent runners in this year’s championships. One of those was Sarah Hanley who finished a fine ninth in the race. Then in the three to score, having a very impressive run – coming (20th) was Eliza Grant. The three that completed the six to score were Ali Farrall (26th), Jen Berg (28th), and debutant Danielle Spencer. Ali is always very consistent and her fine run meant she was second in her age category – where the standard is always high. Just behind her Jen’s run was all the more laudable given the fact that she hadn’t been feeling too well at the start. And Danielle’s first outing for the club was enormously encouraging. She was just ahead of Cath Stibbs who it was great to see competing for us again. Cath was of course one of the early pioneers who helped put Kent AC women on the map. Also putting in strong performances for the team were Zuzana Nemeckova, Nicky Hayes, Claire Sutton, Johanna Mott and Eleanor Parker. So, a very satisfying afternoon for the team – collecting silver medals and having some very encouraging debuts for the club with several of the newcomers enjoying the delights of cross- country racing for the first time! Senior Women 3 to Score 1 Tonbridge 17 :2. Kent AC 35: 3. Medway& M 51 Senior Women 6 to Score 1 Tonbridge 59: 2 Kent AC 120: 3 Medway &M 213 This Saturday (Jan 11th) our women are back in action in the Surrey League. The fixture is on Wimbledon Common, 11 am start.