Mud, sweat and cheers
Please see this week’s update for Kent AC members – 05/11/23–
KENT AC NEWS BULLETIN
5 November 2023
Hopefully many of you were able to head out to see fireworks this weekend but if not, enjoy this display on us!
Onto the highlights from this weekend.
A bunch of blue vests travelled up to Mansfield for the National Cross Country Relays yesterday, a first for Kent AC. The men put in fantastic efforts in tough conditions, taking 52nd place for our Kent A team and 73rd place for our Kent B team out of 150 teams overall.
You can find a full report on the adventure further down.
Today in the Big Apple, it was the day of the NYC Marathon. We had two Kent AC members taking it on this year.
Samuel Dames raced to the finish in 2:48:18 and Helen Thorn passed the line in 4:32:13.
A huge congratulations to you both, enjoy your celebrations this evening!
Looking onto next weekend, make sure to get your spikes ready for the next Surrey League fixture at Mitcham Common. If you haven’t already, sign up on the spreadsheet here.
Senior women will be kicking off at 11am and senior men at 2pm.
Travel options, shoe suggestions and most importantly, the post-race pub destination will all be shared during the week.
Now back to yesterday in Berry Hill Park…
IT’S ALWAYS MUDDY IN MANSFIELD
Kent AC made a debut at the Mansfield National Cross-Country Relays yesterday. The atrocious weather added a literal sense of heading into the unknown driving two teams in a minivan to a high-class event.
Each runner ran a 5km leg of 2x 2.5km laps, road running this was not; twisting wooded paths and mud so thick it made Parliament Hill look like a track session. Throw away expectations anchored by Dulwich Parkrun PBs, yesterday was about stories and commitment.
Man of the match went to Dame for his fastest leg of the day. He is truly maturing over the mud, demonstrated with a hard but measured effort to let the leaders go, yet still run almost a minute quicker than the rest of us.
It was great to welcome Nicholas Chevis to the travelling contingent. He ran a superb 3rd leg debut, finishing sufficiently close to Owen that they could enjoy post run endorphins in the finishing chute. Nick is one to pay attention to in the months and (hopefully) years to come.
From new runners, to club pillars – Callum ever reliable to keep a cool head brought the B team home whilst expertly picking up 5 places as he went. Perhaps even more excellent was James Boustead who was awake before dawn to pick up the van keys, and then succeeded in overtaking 14 places on his own anchor leg.
James looking undefeated
But it was leg two where the true drama unfolded with an epic battle between Ian and Jake. First leg A team Dame and B team George had finished approximately a minute apart handing over to Jake and Ian respectively. First impressions for those watching online in Lewisham was these two would only see each other in the showers.
Ian had what he personally describes as an average run in the thick mud and driving rain. Yet average became a synonym for significant through the bottom woods, with low light making it difficult to pick the best racing line. Through or round the park’s new pond feature? Clearly the conditions suited one over the other as they emerged out of the vegetation mere strides separating the two navy blue vests.
Cheers from the small travelling contingent alerted Jake to the danger to his self-appointed crown of ‘Mr Kent AC’. The man had switched shifts at work to make this journey and the determined stride extension coupled with a bulge of the quads working harder signalled that this was now a fight to the final squelch of wet socks.
Back through the bottom woods, the puddles somehow even bigger in the intervening 8 minutes. Almost in lockstep again up the main drag to the final twists, before Jake used his superior leg turnover ability developed en route to his sub 15-minute 5km PB, to eke out an indecisive gap when a stretch of firm ground offered it’s final opportunity.
Alas, it wasn’t enough and Ian emerged victorious on chip time.
Po10 has Jake 1 – Ian 1 in head-to-head for the cross country. Check back in next week for the post Surrey League update.
Still smiling post-race!
Other runners and clubs also competed memorably. We’d love more teams to travel next year.
Speaking of which, see you next week as the season continues. It’s been a blast so far.
Do come along if you haven’t yet.
Race report: Owen Hind
KENT AC AGM
Tuesday 14 November 2023 8.30PM
Please put aside an hour to come to the club’s 2023 AGM. You are needed because we want to hear from you as to how the club is doing and what it could do better. And because we need your approval for next year’s committee and last year’s accounts.
The agenda will be mailed to the whole membership shortly.
The bait is free post-track edibles and a short agenda.
Upstairs Blythe Hill Tavern 319 Stanstead Rd SE6.
Vic Buck and Len Reilly
South of the Thames Junior XC
Saturday 25 November from 12.30
Ken and Len need two groups of volunteers to help on the day.
We need ten people to marshal. The race is at 2pm. There will be a briefing at 12.30 at race HQ in the south west corner of the park. It’ll all be done by 2.45.
We also need two people to meet Len at the track at 11.15 to help put our (huge) tent into a car and then put it up in the park. It’s being used to keep the officials cosy and dry. The same or another two to help take it down and put it back in the car and deposit at the track.
If you can help, please let Len know.
TIS THE SEASON TO PARTY
One of the best nights on the social calendar….the Kent AC Christmas party.
Not one to be missed this year on Saturday 9th December.
Now you have all saved the date in your diary, tickets will be available to purchase from next week!
We would love to see you there in your seasonal finery, to celebrate another wonderful year at Kent AC. This will also be the night of the Junior Christmas party and awards.
RACE DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
A summary of dates for your diary:
11 – Surrey League XC – Mitcham Common
14 – Club AGM – Blythe Hill Tavern
25 – South of the Thames Junior XC – BPP
2 – Kent County Vets XC – Dartford (Age group xc champs)
9 – SEAA Masters CC Champs – Horspath, Oxford
9 – Kent AC Christmas Party – TBD
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
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