As reported in Sunday’s post, as per usual Kent AC came away from the Kent County Veterans Championships with an impressive haul of medals.
The first race of the day was the male V50 race – and what a race it was. It saw our own Will Pitt come agonisingly close to securing victory. Will had a tremendous tussle with Tonbridge’s Ben Reynolds, who many of you will know is a runner of some renown. He has represented England many times in Masters races as well as having held various age group records during his career. For Will to run him so close was quite an achievement. Initially there was a group of around five runners who formed a leading group but it wasn’t long into the race before it was clear that Will and Ben Reynolds were going to be the main protagonists. Towards the end of the race Ben accelerated up a steep bank and forged a bit of a gap which was to prove a winning move. This was despite Will himself producing a great sprint in the closing stages. He closed rapidly but he was to miss out by the narrowest of margins. His fine second place helped us secure silver in the V50 team competition.
Our second scorer, having a very impressive run and home in 9th , was Tom Webb. Our two other team scorers in this very big field were Jules Gevers (20th) and Len Reilly (22nd). This was to be Len’s last appearance in the V50 event. Perhaps unsurprisingly he’s looking forward to being part of what potentially could be a very strong V60 team next year – that’s assuming they can all stay fit at the same time!
The V60 and V70 men’s races were again held in conjunction with the various women’s races. Pre-race several of us were tipping Roger Beardsworth to win the V60 race but Roger was down playing his chances saying he was some way off full fitness. Well, he’d take some beating if fully fit because on the day he did win the race and with something to spare. He had been in second for a while after the Paddock Wood runner who was to finish second cut out a fast early pace. Roger bided his time before pushing on and creating a very decent gap that meant that in the final quarter of the race his victory was never in doubt.
Our second finisher and relative newcomer to the club was Jim Dickson. Although a regular Parkrunner Jim had apparently never run a proper cross-country race and never donned spikes before! Jim was up with the leaders in the initial stages and although he faded a bit his eventual tenth place finish was a terrific result. John Barron was our third scorer which meant we got third place medals. John’s been a bit out sorts lately but although some way below his best he battled round for the team. He was also involved in one of the highlights of the day. John can usually be relied on to mount a sprint finish in a race – in fact it’s a bit of a trademark. On the day, though, he hadn’t bargained for our V70 winner, Julian Spencer-Wood, coming up on his shoulder in the final three hundred meters. John turned on the burners but Julian was to respond by drawing level and gliding by in the last few meters. It was a treat for spectators – a real clash of the Titans.
Perhaps understandably the V70 field isn’t that big. However, there was still a field of sixteen and Julian was a comfortable winner. Those who know him would have thought typical Julian. He managed the sprint with John and his victory carrying an injury!
Like our men, our women have usually come away from the County Championship with a stack of medals – and this year was no exception. Due to the way the age categories are set we always have a decision to make about how best to deploy resources. This meant on the day we had two runners, Victoria Back and Ali Farrall, running in the W35 race when they could have been in the older age group race. But team-wise it obviously made sense for them to be in the younger age group where they could join Teresa Murphy. There are three to score in this event with Teresa a fine 5th, followed by Ali in 10th and Victoria (13th).
Their placing resulted in a fine second place team finish – only seven points off the winning Tonbridge score. There were also silver medals for our W55 team, with Nicky Hayes gaining an excellent bronze medal. Opting to run in this race, the legendary Clare Elms was always going to be some way in front of the field. But then Nicky, who had such a good marathon this year, was only just over 20 seconds off the second placer, another accomplished runner from Cambridge Harriers. Making up our trio were Kate Williams (9th) and Sarah Young (13th). Like Nicky, Sarah had a good marathon not that long ago while Kate’s strong performance must be seen in the light of the fact that she’s only just returned to running after a long spell out injured.
The final race of the day saw our V40 men retain their title. It was a strong performance that saw the team packing well to secure victory. Other clubs had some ‘young’ newcomers in the event at the sharp end and in the early stages Neil Phillips and Jonathan Tipper were up with them. However, as the race settled the eventual second place runner forged a lead and was pursued by the race winner from Blackheath and the Medway runner who’d previously won this race. Neil and Jonathan Tipper settled into a rhythm a little father back. They were together for much of the race. Neil had forged a bit of gap but at the finish there were only a few seconds separating them in fifth and sixth. Then close up behind, having a fine run, overtaking several in the closing stages, was Tom Sloan (8th). Making up the scoring four with a run full of determination was Jonathon Beatty (13th). Our backup 5th scorer Richard Giles wasn’t far behind in 15th. So, another impressive performance from Kent AC at the County Veterans Championship. And some of our medallists will also be adding to their collection as the club decided that the race would be used as the club championship for our men and women veterans. It means in the various categories; our first three runners will be awarded medals. A follow up post will confirm the details.
|8||Tomas Sloan (M45)||Kent|
|53||Pawel Szynkarczuk (M45)||Kent|
|22||Len Reilly (M55)||Kent|
|40||Luke Armitage (M55)||Kent|
|76||Neil Gordon-Orr (M55)||Kent|
|21||John Barron (M65)||Kent|
|1||Hannah Roberts (W40)||Darftord|
|5||Teresa Murphy (W40)||Kent|
|10||Alison Farrall (W45)||Kent|
|13||Vic Buck (W45)||Kent|
|3||Nicky Hayes (W60)||Kent|
MV40: 1st Kent AC, 2nd B&BHAC, 3rd Medway & Maidstone
MV50: 1st Medway & Maidstone, 2nd Kent AC, 3rd Tonbridge
MV60: 1st B&BHAC, 2nd SKH, 3rd Kent AC
WV35: 1st Tonbridge, 2nd Kent AC, 3rd Medway & Maidstone
WV45: 1st Tonbridge, 2nd Medway & Maidstone, 3rd Central Park Athletics
WV55: 1st Cambridge, 2nd Kent AC
Full results: http://kcaa.org.uk/race%20results%2021.htm