Two eventful races were held on the famous Beckenham course this week. The carefully laid out route included a crossing of the muddy pond and was probably about 90 metres shorter than previous weeks.
New member Tom McGrath easily won the first race with an impressive display of powerful front running . Behind him there was a tactical battle between Alan Curtis, Paul McCrone and Simon Allen. Paul did most of the hard work but Alan Curtis ran the smartest race, powering away at the end with 17:17, Paul and Simon close behind both on 17:22. John Barron was 5th. The more John ran round the course, the less familiar he seemed to become with it. With the help of some emergency marshalling he was finally encouraged to go approximately the right way, although he didn’t seem to get his feet as wet as other runners.
Adam Paterson looked very strong smashing the (short) course record with 14:16, Jonny Tipper never quite managing to get very close to him (14:39). Kieran Fitzpatrick paced his race well with 15:33 putting a big gap into Iago Martinez. It was a surprise to see Iago steaming up the hill to finish ahead of Kieran, but it is suspected that he panicked in the notoriously confusing ‘Rowan’s tree’ area and missed out the last loop.
Same time next week for anyone who wants to run (0830, Beckenham Place Park)
Race 1 Tom McGrath 16:33 Alan Curtis 17:17 Simon Allen 17:22a Paul McCrone 17:22 John Barron 18:15
Saturday 10th October saw the first running of secret cross country after a test running of the course the previous weekend which saw Ian Ellwood bully his way to victory in an uphill sprint finish with Rowan Chriton and Pete Lighting.
The first race of the day set off across the dew filled grass with Ed Mathews setting the early pace, pursued by Sarah Hanley. Despite Sarah’s best efforts, Ed, dressed like a 1980s goalkeeper strode imperiously to victory in 16:21. As Ed basked in the morning light dreaming of the glorious battles that victory and promotion would bring him, Sarah battled home in a strong 16:54. Unbeknownst to them, behind Sarah and Ed an epic tactical battle was taking place between Paul Mccrone and the wiley Alan Curtis. Alan tactically sat off Paul, applying pressure until Paul finally cracked and, confused and disorientated by the relentless pressure, went the wrong way and relinquished 3rd place to Alan who strode home in 18:06. Paul, wounded but wiser came home in 18:20.
There was no respite from the drama as the B race participants set out into the course. What transpired was truly one of the great races as Nick Ostrowski and Adam Paterson fought tooth and nail to be first to every blade of grass. The intensity only interrupted by the occasional polite reminder from Nick to Adam to go in the right direction. This chivalry however was not reciprocated, as Adam, with wife and child watching in nervous anticipation, turned the screw on Nick, breaking his spirit on the final climbs and surging to a well earnt victory in an estimated 14:58. Nick battled home in a strong time of 15:08 satisfied but thinking what might have been if only he was inclined to use Ian Ellwood style misdirection. Behind these heroics, Lara Bromilow ran steady to hold off the stampeding Richard Giles who threw everything at her in persuit of 3rd place. Lara showed impeccable judgement, maintaining a consistent gap to come home in 15:46 with Richard following behind in 16:04. Behind Richard, another battle was taking place. James Bowler had narrowly missed a much anticipated clash with Sarah Hanley through race seeding. The question now was, could James run the course quicker than Sarah? As the clock ticked by and the Coventry City football shirt darted in and out of the trees, it became apparent that there would be no last minute escape from relegation on this occasion, with James coming home in 17:04.5.
So the scene was set for the final race of the day, which included undefeated champion Ian Ellwood, and Rowan Chriton who was hungry for revenge after a bitter defeat in controversial circumstances the previous week. From the off, it was clear that Rowan was in no mood for half measures and tore away in the early stages in a manner that demanded respect from his opponents. The race was strung into single file immediately. The chasing group could only watch in wonder as Rowan bounded through every obstacle Beckenham place park had to offer to finish in a phenomenal course record of 14:32. The only opponent who could ever consider themselves to be in the same race was Ben Hope who steadily stretched out of reach of the others as the race unfolded to come home in an impressive 14:48.
Behind Ben, Ian Ellwood, who had sat at the back in the early stages, presumably under the misapprehension that he was still close enough to Rowan to shout incorrect directions, found himself in a battle for 3rd position with Jonathan Tipper. It was a stretch too far for Jonathan, who perhaps overawed by the status of his opponent could not close the gap, finishing in 15:08 as Ian strode home in 15:04, winning that particular battle, but knowing that his air of invincibility had been shattered.
The final man home was Jake Hererra. Jake had bravely taken the fight to Rowan early on, running in 2nd place for the first kilometre, but having been drawn to his flame he found himself burnt by his efforts. Jake, running ‘to feel’ without a watch, finished strongly however, with an estimated time of 15:15.
A suitably heroic conclusion by quarter past 9 to all that short course XC racing has to offer.
C race Ed Mathews 16:21 Sarah Hanley 16:54 Alan Curtis 18:06 Paul Mccrone 18:20 B race Adam Paterson 14:58 (estimated) Nick Ostrowski 15:08 Lara Bromilow 15:46 Richard Giles 16:04 James Bowler 17:05 A race Rowan Chriton 14:32 Ben Hope 14:48 Ian Ellwood 15:04 Jonathan Tipper 15:08 Jake Hererra 15:20 (estimated)
Firstly, thanks so much to the team captains for making this a great weekend. Secondly, thanks to Peter Lighting – has anyone ever been so gripped by a spreadsheet?
On Thursday Race HQ was worried, the early reports were that the competition was too hard, people weren’t going to make it. The rumour was that the plot had been well and truly lost. When, we looked at Strava on Friday morning and couldn’t quite believe what was unfolding; Adam Paterson had been spotted in Sydenham wearing a Camelbak, we were told he meant business and he did! 50 reps on ‘Hell Hill’ – wtf number 1. And he wasn’t alone out there, Mandy Nio was smashing out the Hell Hill reps to get team 3 going.
On a normal day, Calum’s 22 mile run around Hilly Fields would’ve been a talking point but Jake Herrera ran 50km around Hilly Fields at the same time. Then Will Pitt managed over 5,000ft of elevation on one hill in Greenwich Park
But surely, this couldn’t happen for a second day? Not to be outdone by Friday’s runners, Adrian Dracup registered the second 50k of the weekend. Len Reilly managed to bag 10 points for the steepest run of over 5 miles of the weekend on Saturday afternoon. (Honourable mention has to go to Mike Stewart who had the overall steepest run of the weekend)
At 8am on Saturday, I arrived at Canonbie Road to meet Rob and Nathan. When we got there, George had been there for a while and he was there for quite a while after we left. It’s fair to say that every member of team 1 ran well, but as a captain’s performance, George’s run ranks alongside Alan Shearer twice putting Newcastle ahead of Inter Milan at the San Siro in 2003 (I’m sure he remembers this well). 23 miles and over 9000 ft of elevation in one run.
There was also the bonus competition to take some Strava crowns which all of the men shied away from, not Amelia and Sarah H who both gained an extra 3 points for their teams.
This could go on forever and there are a lot of people who I’m sure will feel that they’ve been hard done by because they didn’t get a mention, but that is how competitive this was. We have been contacted by a couple of people to make this particular challenge an annual Kent AC event, regardless of social circumstances – we’re keen.
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.
Team (individual time)
John Gilbert (14:51), Chris Busaileh (15:27), Dave Morgan (15:38), Ben Cook (15:48), Sam Evans (15:50), Jon Beatty (15:59)
Chris Greenwood (15:25), Phil Sanders (15:58), Will Pitt (16:50), Craig Phillips (17:02)
Len Reilly (18:43), Roger Beardsworth (18:46), David Child (19:01)
The club has more women members than ever before, and with the current surge of new female runners joining our ranks comes a greater responsibility for keeping them healthy and happy. With this in mind, Georgina Wiley, a Kent AC runner and, oncology specialist nurse, initiated what promises to be a fantastic addition to our burgeoning club – a health and wellbeing team – whose launch event, entitled In Discussion: Women’s Health and Running, took place on 28 February.
Longstanding club and committee member Ellie Brown kindly offered the use of her Fitness and Pilates studios in Greenwich Market for the event, and Georgina recruited an impressive team of guest speakers – all runners, of course – who also took questions from the floor.
Georgina’s decision to organise this event was exquisitely timed. The international running scene was still in meltdown following Mary Cain’s distressing revelations and the March issue of Women’s Running magazine cites yet another study about the link between exercise addiction and eating disorders.
This latest study, led by Anglia Ruskin University, examined data from 2,140 participants, and found that people displaying characteristics of disordered eating are 3.7 times more likely to suffer from addiction to exercise.
Among women, in particular, the study will ring alarm bells. We’re all aware of the banter about ‘running for cake’. Indeed, some magazines still run potentially harmful pieces about how far you need to run to ‘burn off’ ‘naughty’ foods like ice cream (summer holiday specials) and mince pies (the Christmas issue). It’s no wonder that running comes to be seen as another stick to beat women with – a punishment for overeating.
It’s against this rather depressing backdrop that sensible advice about food, nutrition and fuelling your running adequately is especially welcome. On the night, it came from guest speaker Ruth Tongue, a nutritionist for various athletics clubs and the Charlton Athletic women’s squad, who also writes, and teaches pilates. She was fielding questions about when and what to eat before, during and after long runs; that age-old quandary about needing to refuel asap following marathon, but feeling more than a little queasy; and dealing with confusion over all the vitamins, supplements, smoothies and superfoods health ‘influencers’ would have us necking for breakfast.
The Anglia Ruskin study about the risk of exercise addiction acknowledged the link between disordered eating and obsessive-compulsive behaviours, which brings me to the work of the next speaker at the event Lynne Drummond, consultant psychiatrist and author of the snappily titled Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: All You Want to Know about OCD for People Living with OCD, Carers and Clinicians. She told me that she started a running group for staff in her department to try to sell the idea of exercise to the compulsively sedentary. Addressing a group of keen-as-mustard female club runners, she was also
eloquent on the subject of how dedication to one’s running tips over into obsession.
Some of us have seen this happen, or even felt the first needlings of obsession as we compare our performances with those of our running sisters and wonder if upsizing our training load, downsizing our fuel or transforming our lives into the sleep/run/repeat (with less eat) model will give us the speedy body we crave. That’s why we need people like Ruth, Lynne and of course, Kent AC’s very own Doctor Kate Williams to dispense the sense. As a gynaecologist for Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust and a very fine runner, Kate has had years of giving expert advice to the likes of moaning me while warming up before cross-country. She has always put my mind at rest, and she did so with some style at the Women’s Health event. She dealt with concerns on the subject of amenorrhea (missing periods, a frequent sign of overtraining in young women), iron levels of women who run, running when pregnant, post natal training and, of course, the importance of continuing to run through the menopause.
It was an informative and upbeat evening. In these uncertain times, when we’re being made more uncomfortably aware than ever before that we cannot take our health and wellbeing for granted, it’s incredibly gratifying to know that there are some wise and generous experts out there – and right here in our athletics club – whose job it is to make us feel better. Here’s to the next discussion. Meanwhile, I’ll open it out to the floor: if any members, male or female, would like to get the ball rolling for the next health and wellbeing event, please get in touch with Georgina!
cold, damp and gloomy day the Kent AC women had one very successful outing at
round one of the 2019/20 Surrey League. On
a two lap (one short, one long) very muddy course Amelia Pettit absolutely
blazed home to win the round a whole 29 seconds clear of 2nd
place. Amelia is a new addition to Kent
AC and lead a strong A team to an overall 2nd place position after
was a great turn out by the Kent women for round one. Following Amelia (1), Katie Rowland was home
in 10th position. Katie has
had quite a few injury setbacks this year but continues to be such a strong
performer over a range of distances and really made a mark in the competition
today. Sarah Hanley is an incredibly tough
cross-country runner and was third Kent woman home in 18th spot. Fourth Kent AC woman home was Isabel Bradley
(29th) – another runner who excels over cross country showing her strength
in a fantastic performance coming home strongly. Eliza Grant (34) was fifth woman home in one
of her last hard runs ahead of Valencia Half in a few weeks’ time.
B team was made up of Georgina Wiley (48), Clara Pettit (59), Megan Williams
(70), Victoria Buck (71) and Kate Williams (121). Vic was taking it easy post a huge PB at the
recent Berlin Marathon (3.01.59) and backing up with a strong half marathon a
week later at the Bournemouth Half Marathon.
The B team were third B team home.
had a big team out with other runners Claire Sutton, Sarah Downing, Rachel
Gurnett, Katie Lang, Katie Kennedy, Kornelija
Suveizdyte, Zoe Gaffen and Annabelle Hadlow rounding out the team Many of these were first time runners for
been a great year so far for the female runners of the Kent AC community with a
huge number of PB’s and great runs across a range of distances. Looking forward to seeing this continue into
the cross-country season and into 2020!
second round of the Surrey League kicked off on another ‘proper cross country’
day. Thankfully the rain held off until
the closing stages of the race, but the conditions were muddy enough to make it
‘fun’ for all the runners.
course itself required runners to be quick off the mark with a bottleneck turn
about 400m into the race. There was a
lot of jostling for positions in the initial mile especially as there was a quite
narrow path leading to the first hill and no one wanted to give up their
course was two laps which included two short sharp hills and a slightly longer
climb per lap before a deceptive finish that snuck up on you quickly. The Kent AC women ran strongly and all from
the first home to the last did a great job of taking places where they could throughout
the race. Thanks as always to Pete Boxshall for being in multiple places across
the course cheering and also the Pete Lighting who did some great cinematography
of the starting stages of the race.
AC ladies had a strong turn out for round two and it was great to see so many ‘first
timers’ to cross country coming along and enjoying the race. Our A-team came a strong 5th with
the team made up of Katie Rowland (17th), Sarah Hanley (26), Jen
Berg (29) in her first XC race since high school!), Georgina Wiley (36) and
Eliza Grant (41). The Kent B team was
made up of Isabel Bradley (43), Penelope Teoh-Shi (57), Claire Sutton (123), Amanda
Nio (138) in her debut XC performance and Sarah Young (143). Additionally, great runs from Susanna Davies,
Johanna Mott, Zoe Gaffen, Kornelija Suveizdyte, Tanya Clancy and Annabelle
As a first timer to the Kent County Championships at Brand Hatch I had been well informed by my fellow team mates that the course was quite bleak. As described by one runner ‘it feels like high school cross country where you literally run around a paddock’. Another commented ‘you run around a field while looking at the lushness of the North Downs so close you can almost touch it and wonder why they make us run around here’. Both these comments proved to be correct but on an another absolutely freezing day a large number of Kent AC women turned out to what proved to be a fantastic race and in the post race high I’m sure we all didn’t feel that it was actually that bad a course. In a quality field the Kent women came second in both the 3 and 6 to score.
Our first scorer was Katie Rowland (9th) who has been having a fantastic winter season both in the XC races and on the road. In an extremely strong pointy end of the field Jen Smith (12th) and Teresa Murphy (13th) made up the remainder of the 3 to score second placing team. Jen impressively finishing only her first XC of the season in an absolutely excellent race and Teresa off the back of a super-fast 5k PB the week before and some other impressive racing in Ireland over the Christmas period. Making up the remainder of the 6 to score team was Isabel Bradley (16th) and Sarah Hanley (19th) who have both demonstrated what strong XC legs they have over the last few months and Georgina Wiley (24th) the author of this report who is finally finding the ‘joy’ in XC racing after an initial season of ‘what is this torture’ in the 2017/18 season!
Shout out and thanks to all of the other Kent AC female runners
who all had a fantastic race in tough conditions (and just after the Christmas
As always a big thank you to Pete Boxshall for acting as women’s team manager and coordinator and support around the course.
As many noted it was fantastic to have the men’s support around the course in the form of cheer squad. It was much appreciated especially in the third lap. And thank you to those who acted as photographers especially Dave Morgan and John Gilbert. Dave’s album of the collection of the female race photos can be found here
3 to score
1 Tonbridge AC 10, 2 Kent AC 34, 3 Dulwich Runners 44
Kent Team: Katie Rowland (9), Jen Smith (12), Teresa Murphy
6 to score
1 Tonbridge AC 65, 2 Kent AC 93, 3 Dulwich Runners 184
Kent Team: Katie Rowland (9), Jen Smith (12), Teresa Murphy (13), Isabel Bradley (16), Sarah Hanley (19), Georgina Wiley (24)
On a cold, wet and windy Saturday the Kent AC women kicked off December with an impressive performance at the Kent County Vets Champs in Dartford. Over 3 miles of muddy and slippery terrain (I’m told there were some regrets over not using 15-inch spikes, especially as the ground was quite churned up already after the previous race!) the women dominated across all age categories with Amy Clements coming first overall (and in the V35) and recent Dublin Marathon runner Nicky Hayes coming 2nd in the V55 category.
The V35 team saw Clements (in her first race back after Frankfurt Marathon, were she finished 25th overall and 2nd in her age category) crossed the line in 18.35. She was followed by the in-form Laura McCrave (who ran 19.39 at Victoria Docks parkrun last weekend) finishing in 9th and Zuzana Nemeckova in 15th (just off two back-to-back international major marathons this autumn!). Heather Castle competing in her first XC race came home strongly to round out the team.
In the V45 category the always consistent Ali Farrell was first Kent AC runner home in 5th place. She was followed by Sarah Dowling, who has had an eye-catching XC season so far competing in all the fixtures to date. Third scorer was Andrea Barber, who has been putting in some quality training sessions and great parkrun times over the last few months. Rounding out the V45 team is the always consistent (and great photo taker!) Sarah Young. The team came 3rd overall in a quality field.
A second place in the V55 for Nicky Hayes (who would have felt these were easy conditions after her experience at Boston marathon earlier in the year!) put the team in good position to take out the age category with XC regulars Carol Grady and Zoe Grattan second and third scorer for the team.
Kate Williams unfortunately had to pull out of the race to take on medic duties taking one of the men to hospital to be treated for what sounds like a nasty injury.
Thanks to Pete Boxshall and Sarah Young for providing race photos.