Wimble-done what we do best!
Please see this week’s update for Kent AC members – 14/01/24–
KENT AC NEWS BULLETIN
13 January 2024
Meanwhile on Saturday, Lisa and Jemma Day were 1st and 2nd ladies at the RunThrough Olympic Park 10km in 39:05. Awesome stuff.
A huge congrats to Andy Wright and Sharon Stanley who are our winners of the club’s London Marathon places ballot. We will look forward to seeing you charge around the capital in April- good luck!
Read on for important info about the National XC up in Weston Park and parkrun takeovers closer to home – we’d love to see huge turnouts for all!
Plus a reminder that the 2024 annual track pass is available to purchase on the sumup shop.
GAME, SET, MATCH AT WIMBLEDON
Saturday saw the third Surrey League fixture at Wimbledon Common – what a day, what a turn out!
The U15 boys were the first age group with Kent AC athletes involved, we had Dylan Sandhu as the first Kent vest home in 38th, George Searle was next in 46th, Lucas Stickland was 74th, Harry Clough was 77th. Excellent effort lads!
Our solo U15 girls runner was Tallulah Jones for whom injury sadly meant she had to pull out. Rest up and we look forward to seeing all that hard work in training pay off next time.
In the seniors we had an inredible 48 Kent AC men and 24 women took to the start line for one of the most competitive XC races of the season to date. The course really fit the Surrey League stereotype – undulating terrain, bottleneck start and relentlessly fast from the gun. Throw in some technical trails that were enough to take even our most experienced GB mountain runner to the deck and we know we’re in for a treat.
For the men’s A team, it’s now no surprise to see Max Nicholas as the first blue vest coming home in 11th overall. It was then club legend, John Gilbert (3rd v40), to cross the tape for the blue with teammate Tom Mower (now 3rd overall in his age group across all the fixtures) one second and place behind. Big Kudos to John for taking on the UK train travel and making the day trip down from Stockport. Rob Sesemann and Dame Dibaba continued their strong XC seasons in 37th and 39th respectively and it was new Kent AC member Kurt Wilkinson with an exceptional Surrey League debut, finishing in 41st. Cam Dockerill followed closely behind, with Nick Torry (43 places higher than the last SL fixture), Owen Hind and James Boustead, ensuring all 10 scorers finished inside the top 60 positions and third place overall on the day, top effort.
First scorer for the men’s B team was Ali McCaster (27 places higher than the last fixture), followed by Neil Phillips and Jonathan Tipper, now 4th overall in his age group across all fixtures. Joe Hartley managed to escape baby duties when it matters most and was kept honest throughout by Ben Mitchell and Barny Day who now openly confesses is loving racing on hills and mud. The remaining B team scores comprised of a returning to form Calum Fraser, a dedicated Jake Simmonds, a tenacious Ian Elwood and fantastic Surrey League debut from Edward Andrews bring the B team home in 3rd overall on the day, yeh we’re good at this.
The Women’s team kicked off with Amy Clements as our first Kent AC woman home in 7th, followed by Catherine Kandie in 21st, Katie Rowland in 29th, debutante Cat Gillespie was 43rd (what a first Surrey League, we’re excited to see how she goes as she gets used to the pacing and terrain of XC!) the scoring team was finished by Caoimhe Nic Fhoghairty in 59th. The women’s A team was 7th in a tightly fought race, on level points with 6th place and 32 points behind 5th place. Sadly Alexa Parker did not finish due to injury, we hope she takes a break, recovers and comes back strong as ever for the last fixture.
The Women’s B team finished 17th overall. The B team was bolstered by the return of Amy White and Vic Buck recovering after strong runs at Valencia Marathon, finishing in 66th and 148th respectively.
Large shoutouts to all those who opened up their 2023/24 Surrey League yesterday and those who continued their 100% Surrey League involvement, including B team coach Stu Beaney who has been battling injury setbacks. With Kent AC up with the largest number of athletes competing of all clubs on the day, there really are just too many names to callout.
Irrespective of results, yesterday truly was a fantastic day for the club, to have so many members out on the course and getting around each other, be it supporting loudly on the side or giving a teammate an encouraging nudge alongside when racing, it was just awesome to see so many enjoying the purest form of the sport we all love. We look forward to the last Surrey League race on Sunday 10th February, at West Horsley, Guildford. Let’s get around it!
NATIONAL XC CHAMPIONSHIP SIGN UP
This year’s National XC Championships will be held at Weston Park near Telford on Saturday 24th February 2024.
This has traditionally turned into a weekend away with a stopover nearby following the race. This year we’ll be spending the night in glamorous Wolverhampton after the race.
The club has kindly agreed to subsidise travel and accommodation for those racing, but with entry deadlines soon approaching, the deadline for expressing & firming your interest is Friday 19th January.
Please fill out this form if you are keen to race with your travel intentions. There are also options to travel back the same day or to make your own travel arrangements.
If you have any questions, please speak to XC Captains, Gen, Sarah, Owen and James.
Starting the new year right with a couple of parkrun social dates for your diaries!
* 17th February – a volunteering take-over of Hilly Fields parkrun. Pink hi-vis is the new navy blue.
* 2nd March – pacing at Dulwich parkrun to reap a raft of PBs.
If you’re happy to volunteer and/or pace, could you please complete this sheet with your name, email, and parkrun barcode number.
For the pacing please add the fastest and slowest times you’d be happy to pace – they’re looking for a wide range of abilities (down to around 36 minutes), so more the merrier!
For more information, contact Richard Giles.
CELEBRATING KENT AC’S NEWEST HONORARY MEMBERS
At the AGM in November, the club appointed Pete Boxshall and Bernie Hutchinson as Honorary Members of the club in recognition of their service to the club and as thanks for all they do for our community. Their respective citations below will be addd to the club website for all to see. If you see them around, do say hello and congratulations!
Pete Boxshall (what better initials could an athlete have?) was made an honorary member at the 2023 Annual General Meeting.
Although best known as a coach and de facto team manager today, he had an outstanding career as an athlete.
Pete joined Kent AC in May 1982 and, building on his background as a footballer, swiftly became a member of the small hardy Tuesday training group at Ladywell’s then cinder track. He soon became a regular in our competition cycle: cross country, road, especially Assembly League, (won in 1986) and the growing and determined track team. He excelled on the track with pbs at 400 of 55.3; 800 of 1.59, 1500 4.08 and 3000 sc of 9.31, then a club record. He also made up the scorecard in jumping and throwing field events. However he made the ‘chase his event dependably putting in sub 10 performances during the 1980s and 1990s as we worked our way into the British League. He was a member of our most important team squads: first national six stage qualification in 1993; 12 stage in 1996 and British league qualification in 2001. He ran for Great Britain as a vet 40 in the ‘chase.
Perhaps one of his best decisions was to avoid club admin and management and he cannily steered away from committee involvement. But he did manage the men’s XC squad in the early 2000s as his running tapered off.
He has contributed to the club tremendously in the last decade and a half developing, from almost nothing, the women’s group as their coach and team manager. He has nurtured team spirit, loyalty, ambition and success through countless hours at the track and competition offering sound, effective, challenging but achievable schedules and gentle, even-handed, sensitive, personalized advice. With his help the womens’ section has developed into one of the strongest squads in the south in road and cross country. He was awarded a prestigious England Athletics coaching award in 2016, which he received with his usual modesty.
He is also great fun to socialise with having a keen memory and a fund of stories of past successes and pitfalls. If this isn’t enough he is also a qualified timekeeper regularly out in pitiless summer sun up a gantry over the track finish line.
He is a credit to Kent AC and we are delighted to honour him in this way.
Bernie Hutchison was made an honorary member at the 2023 annual general meeting.
Bernie joined Kent AC in 1986 from Ealing Southall and Middlesex. He fell in with the developing Tuesday evening training groups and has been a regular on cross country, road and track for many years. He features in all our standard and important competitions: assembly leagues, regional and national road relays, track (5000 m pb 15. 37) and cross country; and has a marathon pb of 2.33. His appetite to run and compete is as strong as ever.
His contribution to the club has mostly been behind the scenes. In addition to a spell as track B team manager from 1990 and cross country manager from 1998, he held, until a successor came forward in 2023, for a remarkable 34 years the post of membership secretary. In duration of tenure this is the second longest ever held by any club officer. This is the sort of unglamourous role that every organisation needs but which is rarely appreciated yet alone applauded. Bernie has done this accurately, thoroughly, promptly and consistently and has overseen its management through numerous systems – paper based, then excel and now on a proper database, assisted in this work by his professional IT skills, attention to detail and vigilance.
He is a credit to Kent AC and we are delighted to honour him in this way.
RACE DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
A summary of dates for your diary
27 – Southern XC champs – BPP
10 – Surrey League XC – West Horsley, Guildford
24 – National XC Champs – Weston Park, Shropshire
16 – British Masters XC Champs – Corwen, N Wales
24 – Southern Relays – Milton Keynes
6 – National Road Relays – Sutton Coldfield
21 – London Marathon
3- 10k Sri Chimnoy Battersea Park (club champs)
1 – Big Half (club champs)
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 Jacqueline Francis 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).
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