I have had some very memorable moments with Kent AC. Some stand outs: BAL promotion match, first ever national 6 and 12 stages and winning the county XC for the first time. All had the common features of ensemble travel, competition against other people in the flesh, much shouting of support, Ken and beer after. This weekend has none of those, but will linger in the memory just as vividly.
I have been asked to write about the Vets relays. But first a tribute to Ben and Barny (Barny & Ben – which way is it?), with Pete Lighting’s IT support, whose challenges are some of the most engaging, fun and tough things I’ve ever done in athletics. In their imagination they make the offers from EA, BMC, and the BMAF look flat footed and mundane. Quite right that Athletics Weakly [sic] gave their last one page space. And they bring together the whole of this magnificent club.
I’m to write about one of the events I’ve just dissed: the BMAF age group road relays. These are usually held in mid May at Sutton Pk, Birmingham. (If you’ve never run there you must, superb tough course). We usually don’t support them, though have won youngest men ages when we did, as so many people are in post-marathon torpor. So Covid-19 was an opportunity.
All competitors had to do 5k: loop(s), no major net downhill, between 14 and 20 June. Teams were 10 year bands of 35+, 45+, 55+. And we had teams in all of those men and women, it is a very well supported event.
Outstanding victories for the M35 and M45. For the M35 – a 3 min win with the team made up of John Gilbert, Chris Bussalieh, Dave Morgan, Ben Cook, (he’s had a busy weekend), Sam Evans (in action on Thamesmead), and Pete Lighting. All under 16 min! The M35 B team was 13th.
The M45 team won by 2 mins, with the team made up of Chris Greenwood, Phil Sanders (both under 16 min), Will Pitt and Craig Phillips (so very close to a sub 17!). The B team was 31st.
The V55 team were 11th: including the author, Roger Beardsworth, and David Child.
We had 6 in the top 50 individuals with coming John Gilbert 5th on 14.51 and Chris the top V45 in 15.25.
In the women: the V45 team were a strong 7th place with the team made up of Dee O’Brien, Ali Farell and Victoria Buck. Andrea Barber also ran a PB in that category although didn’t count for the team score. The V55 womens team made up of Kate Williams, Nicky Hayes and Ronnie Haydon were 12th and the V35 team of Georgina Wiley, Teresa Murphy, Mandy Nio and Zuzana Nemakova came 14th.
Some notable mentions in the age categories:
1st (16.19) Tommy Hughes V60 running for Leicester
1st (18.01) Clare Elms, V45 + V55 categories running for Dulwich (also a Kent second claim)
1st (and 18th overall) (15.25) Christopher Greenwood V45 Kent
3rd (and 5th overall) (14.41) John Gilbert, V35 Kent
Full results here: https://data.opentrack.run/en-gb/x/2020/GBR/bmaf-virtual-rr/scores/
Add to this a hefty proportion of those doing the relays were also in action in the UTMB and you see what a talented and motivated club we are. After 35 years of membership I never cease to be impressed with you all and honoured to be part of it.
|Category||Placing||Team (individual time)|
|M35||1st||John Gilbert (14:51), Chris Busaileh (15:27), Dave Morgan (15:38), Ben Cook (15:48), Sam Evans (15:50), Jon Beatty (15:59)|
|M45||1st||Chris Greenwood (15:25), Phil Sanders (15:58), Will Pitt (16:50), Craig Phillips (17:02)|
|M55||11th||Len Reilly (18:43), Roger Beardsworth (18:46), David Child (19:01)|
|W35||13th||Georgina Wiley (18:20), Teresa Murphy (19:16), Amanda Nio (21:07), Vicky Boyle (22:31)|
|W45||7th||Dee O’Brien (19:41), Ali Farrall (19:58), Victoria Buck (20:26)|
|W55||12th||Kate Williams (21:49), Nicky Hayes (23:45), Ronnie Haydon-Jones (24:19)|