Please see this week’s update for Kent AC members – 26/11/23–
KENT AC NEWS BULLETIN
26 November 2023
Let’s first pause to wave our bobble hats in the air to celebrate a fantastic run out on home turf (well, Beckenham) yesterday (Saturday 25 November if you’re reading this late), for results and a report, see Leaving it all on the Park, below, then make plans for the rather longer pilgrimage to Dartford, next Saturday, to run the Kent County Veterans Cross Country (age group cross country championships). It would be great to get as many vets as possible out for this meet.
Another fabulous result reaches us from France, where our own Champ Ross Braden ran a new personal best at the Boulogne-Billancourt Half Marathon, flying round in an eye-popping 64.49. He came in fifth, hot on the heels of three French men and a partridge in a pear tree (a Belgian).
On an administrative point, some of the races that we enter require EA memberships for all runners. Please ensure that your EA membership is paid up if you intend to run for the club, particularly in national or regional championships, as it’s an administrative hassle for our team managers to check, and it may mean you miss out on entry deadlines if you’re not fully paid up.
LEAVING IT ALL ON THE PARK
Quite literally. Kent AC’s legacy was imprinted on the Beckeham turf this year. Before the start of the South of the Thames Junior Race (both men and women teams, no juniors, confusingly. Keep up), Len Reilly stepped forward to deliver a witty tribute to longstanding Kent AC runner Ron Hale, who died in August aged 98. Ron, who joined the club aged 21 in May 1947, loved running in Beckenham Place Park, so his ashes are scattered there. In lieu of a minute’s silence to remember a club legend, Len suggested we should remember him as we run, our spikes helping to return him to the place he loved.
Ron Hale would have been heartened by the turnout on Saturday. Under blue skies, the course was a sea of blue, and our A teams did us proud. Kent AC men claimed the team trophy, with Cameron Dockerill coming third overall in 24.59, and Tom Mower just five seconds behind. Owen Hind and Jonathan Tipper made it four to score to claim that painstakingly engraved shield. Amy Clements was first AC woman in 28.52, and her team-mates Catherine Kandie, Clare Elms and Victoria Cartwright helping her to bag second place in the team scores. A fantastic result, and the club acquitted itself well, providing a huge and enthusiastic marshalling and photography team. Thanks to Len, Ellie, Pete, Phil and everyone who contributed to this wonderful event.
Here’s the official race report:
‘To dive into the results a little bit more, the four to score men’s team was genuinely competitive, in part because of the absolutely lock Cam had on one of those places. He went out fiercely for a medal and went home with his just rewards, not just from the day’s effort but the effort of the last three or so years to give him the strength, fitness, and racing smarts to make it count when the opportunity presented itself.
‘Just behind him in fourth place was Tom Mower, whose re-emergence to race cross-country with the club this winter has been a delight. He’s a serious force and will be invaluable in our quest for a medal at the Southern Country Cross Country in January.
‘Owen Hind continued his renaissance after a period of injury and illness, setting off conservatively and settled nicely in the high-teens at the midway point before picking off runners from other clubs, and Kent, one at a time to make an expected top 10 finish.
‘Jonathan Tipper kept pre-race chat at fever pitch on Friday afternoon looking to get the trophy engraved from last year’s team victory will no-doubt be delighted to keep it for another year (tradition dictates that final scorer takes home the trophy). He was only a handful of seconds in front of James Boustead so knew any faltering would lose him a coffee table decoration.
For the women, Amy Clements is back BACK. A quick sprint down the hill to pick up her number 11 minutes before the gun, followed by a quick sprint back up the hill to the start line, is apparently the perfect warm-up to ‘get out hard’ and come fourth. She crossed the finish line accompanied by what appeared to be a guard of honour with Ben Armson and Ed Matthews immediately behind her.
Catherin Kandie again impressed with her strength, fearless spirit and reliable low-sticks scoring to come home sixth.
Clare Elms, who else?, was 15th and third scorer. Equally strong, fearless and reliable. Always a joy to watch having fun over the tough terrain.
Victoria Cartwright succeeded in rounding off the team and take home a team medal after, after holding off the strong challenge from first time cross-country racer Billie Turner. Welcome to the club Billie, there’s plenty of challenge and successes ahead, if you enjoyed yesterday.
Congrats also to Joe Hartley, Nicholas Torry and Lyndon Marfell for making the eight to score team win; to Chris Mullin for winning his own sprint finish over Niall Stewart and Che Compton for rounding out the E team. Other shout outs include Lara Bromilow who ran second claim for Kent (and would have placed 4th ahead of Amy if second claimers were allowed to score), Annabelle Hadlow as the last Kent runner home, the various vets including Sarah Young, preparing for the vets xc next weeks, and of course club President Len for an avalanche of work to help organsie yesterday.
The longer, 12km version of the series is held in three weeks in Croydon. We very much hope to see you there. Just remember to take your pins out your spikes now to avoid rusting, and sign-up using the spreadsheet as early as possible. ‘
The glorious weather, setting and general vibe have led to a plethora of photographs. Here’s a gallery to whet your appetite for next weekend’s cross country:
Amy is mildly amused
What do you think, Billie, will you be back?
Faster than a speeding jeep
Men of Kent and that shield
First runner to the clubhouse buys the snacks, Cam
JINGLE ALL THE WAY TO DEPTFORD
The deadline to secure your Christmas party tickets is this Friday, 1 December
Join us on Saturday 9th December for an evening of
fizz, festive feasting and dancing at The Watergate cocktail bar.
A highlight on the Kent AC social calendar and a night not to be missed.
The following scrumptious menu will be served on sharing platters
along with a seasonal welcome cocktail at £25 per person
(non-alcoholic options available too).
Honey glazed pigs in blankets
Stuffed marinated peppers (ve)
Falafel, rose harissa hummus (ve)
Smoked salmon mousse vol-au-vents
Buttermilk roasted turkey, roast potatoes, red wine sauce
Prawn and crab croquettes, lemon aioli
Triple cooked chips, truffle cheese (v)
Orange chocolate tart, whiskey raisins, honeycomb ice cream (v)
Dietaries will be catered for, please notify us in advance.
Make sure to book your tickets here.
We look forward to celebrating with you all there
Katie and Ellie
RACE DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
A summary of dates for your diary:
2 – Kent County Vets XC – Dartford (Age group xc champs)
9 – SEAA Masters CC Champs – Horspath, Oxford
9 – Kent AC Christmas Party – BUY YOUR TICKETS!
16 – South of the Thames Senior – Lloyd Park (Senior XC champs)
6 – Kent County XC – Brands Hatch
13 – Surrey League XC – Wimbledon Common
27 – Southern XC champs – BPP
10 – Surrey League XC – TBD
24 – National XC Champs – Weston Park, Shropshire
16 – British Masters XC Champs – Corwen, N Wales
TBD – Southern Road Relays – TBD
TBD – National Road Relays – Sutton Coldfield
12 LANES OF CHRISTMAS
For those of you wanting to enjoy some reps at Ladywell Arena over the festive period, please make note of the below dates for Kent AC hire.
Thursday 21st December – As usual
Sunday 24th December – No booking
Tuesday 26th December – No booking
Thursday 28th December – As usual
Sunday 31st December – No booking
Tuesday 2nd January – As usual
ADMIN ON TRACK
Would you like to take a leading role in the club? Are you organised and have an eye for detail? Or do you just want to earn a pint for some volunteering? If you answered yes to any of these questions, we have just the ticket for you.
We are looking for a new Track Admin Officer. This is a committee post, which involves technical admin of the track pass app and negotiating hours and rates for the track with GLL and the council.
If you would like to find out more about this, then please contact Amelia.
MEET YOU AT THE GATE
Gate volunteers form the unsung heroes of the club, making sure that our Tuesday and Thursday night sessions can run smoothly and safely.
It’s a great way to meet new people and have a chat with friends too, as well as give back a little bit of time to the club. You can sign up here!
LET’S MAKE IT OFFICIAL
Athletics needs more officials, and volunteering in this way is a wonderful way to give back to the club.
This is a great opportunity to help get club events’ results on Power of 10. And it’s fun.
Our SAL performances not only need athletes, but also qualified officials – so you can directly contribute to our success! Every qualification counts!
It’s a straightforward process that the club will pay for, with more detail on available courses here.
Please contact Len Reilly for more info.
It would be great to see a few more people put their names down to help out!
Over 7,000 brands pay easyfundraising a commission when you start your shop through their platform, so you can raise FREE donations for us no matter what you’re buying. These donations really help us out, so please sign up if you haven’t yet. It’s easy and FREE! You can get started at https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/kentac
You can also install a helpful Chrome extension, which prompts you to donate whenever doing any online shopping – really handy
WIN A TRACK PASS
To be added to the rota simply email Jacqueline or Laurie
We only need each track attendee to volunteer a couple of times a year to spread the responsibility fairly.
T&Cs for the track pass draw:
All volunteers for the current month will be added into the hat for a draw each month.
The winner will win a free pass for the next calendar month.
Names will be automatically drawn from https://namepicker.net/ (or similar alternative)
The winner can either chose to:
use their free pass within a calendar year
allow their free pass to roll down to another volunteer
annual pass holders can nominate another club member if they cannot make use of the pass themselves
No refunds/discounts will be provided in place of the free monthly pass.
Volunteers will only be eligible to win a pass once every three months.
TRACK, TRACK, TRACK
Buy your track pass here.
The usual track times are:
Tuesday 17:30 – 20:30
Thursday 18:00 – 20:30
Sunday 09:00 – 11:30
Please note that individuals are permitted to do their own sessions during club opening times, but coached group sessions continue to take priority.
Track Pass – Juniors
Please purchase your £5 junior monthly track pass in advance here. When purchasing the track pass can parents/guardians please enter the athlete’s name when completing the transaction
Ladywell Arena now has new opening hours dedicated to the public. While during these times the Kent AC track pass is not valid, members can pay for an individual session.
Session times are:
Monday: 07:00 -15:00
Tuesday – Thursday: 1300 -1700
Friday: 07:00 – 15:00
Saturday – Sunday: 09:00-15:00
Adult resident: £2.70
Adult non resident: £3.00
Junior (U16): £1.30
The Kent AC track pass continues to be required for training on Tues/Thurs evenings and Sunday mornings.
Track staff have encouraged people to double check the opening hours before their training session, as they may occasionally be closed for school sport days and football friendlies. Hours can be checked here. This will likely suit members who can’t make training sessions but would like to train in the morning/lunchtime/evening.
Pay as you go fees can either be paid via cash to the desk or using the Better app (note: staff are working to add the sessions to the app).
KEEP US UPDATED