|2018/2019 KENT AC – WINTER FIXTURES||First draft at 20.8.18|
|13th THURS||CLUB 5000M CHAMPS||Ladywell||7:00pm||SB|
|23rd SUNDAY||SOUTHERN 4 STAGE ROAD RELAY (WOMEN)||Crystal Palace||12:30pm||EB|
|23rd SUNDAY||SOUTHERN 6 STAGE ROAD RELAY (MEN) and VETS 4 STAGE||Crystal Palace||12:30pm||CG/ LA|
|6th||NATIONAL 6 STAGE ROAD RELAY||Sutton Coldfield||1:30pm||CG|
|13th||*SURREY MEN’S LEAGUE CROSS COUNTRY||Wimbledon Park (Ranelagh)||3:00 PM||SB|
|13th||SURREY WOMEN’S LEAGUE CROSS COUNTRY||Putney Vale (Thames H & H)||12:00pm||EB|
|10th||*SURREY MEN’S LEAGUE CROSS COUNTRY||Wimbledon Park ( Hercules W)||3:00PM||SB|
|10th||SURREY WOMEN’S LEAGUE CROSS COUNTRY||Nonesuch Park, Cheam||12:00 PM||EB|
|24th||* SOUTH OF THAMES 5 MILE TEAM RACE XC||Morden Park, Morden.||2:00 PM||JG/EB|
|27th||AGM||Blythe Tavern, Catford||8:30 PM||PS|
|1st||KENT COUNTY VETS CC||Central Park. Dartford||12:00 PM||LA|
|8th||SEAA Masters CC Champs||Horspath, Oxford||12:00 PM||LA|
|15th||*SOUTH OF THAMES SENIOR CHAMPS 7.5 MILE XC||BECKENHAM PLACE PARK||2:00 PM||JG|
|inc Club XC Champs|
|5th||*KENT COUNTY CROSS COUNTRY||Brands Hatch||1:00 PM||JG/EB|
|5th||CLUB PRESENTATION||Blackheath||8:00 PM||JC|
|12th||*SURREY MEN’S LEAGUE CROSS COUNTRY||Mitcham Common (HHH)||2:30 PM||SB|
|12th||SURREY WOMEN’S LEAGUE CROSS COUNTRY||Coulsdon||12:00pm||EB|
|26th||* SOUTHERN XC CHAMPS||Parliament Hill Fields||1:00pm||JG/EB|
|30th ???||London Schools CC Champs (years 9-13)||Wormwood Scrubs||12:00 PM||SL|
|9th||*SURREY MEN’S LEAGUE CROSS COUNTRY||Lloyd Park. Croydon (Striders of Croy )||3PM||SB|
|9th||SURREY WOMEN’S LEAGUE CROSS COUNTRY||Richmond Park||12:00 PM||EB|
|23rd||*NATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY||Harewood House near Leeds||2PM||JG/EB|
|9th||INTER COUNTIES CROSS COUNTRY||Loughborough ? ? ?||1PM|
|16th||ENGLISH SCHOOLS CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPS||Chelmsford||12PM||SL|
|SUN 24th ???||SOUTHERN 12 STAGE ROAD RELAY||TBC||12PM||CG|
|6th||NATIONAL 12 STAGE ROAD RELAY||Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham||12PM||CG|
|28th Sun||LONDON MARATHON||Blackheath||9AM|
|28th Sun||MINI MARATHON||Cannon Street||9:30AM||SL|
|* Grand Prix races including handicap – best 6 count|
|Women’s team contact|
|EB Ellie Brown||07958 225598|
|Men’s team contacts|
|CG Chris Greenwood||vood Relays Organiser 07799 151517|
|KP Ken Pike, 020 8291 1287|
|JG John Gilbert||Championship XC Team Manager 07793 220157|
|SB Stuart Beaney 07875 341643||Surrey League Team Manager 07875 341643|
|LA Luke Armitage, Vets manager 020 8469 2937|
|SL Spenser Lane Young Athletes Team Manager 07931 748008|
KENT AC RUNNERS SHINE AS TEMPERATURES SOAR
Despite the arduous conditions, the 2018 London Marathon was another when the club’s runners, in particular, but also supporters did everyone proud. As most people are aware, Sunday’s race was the hottest London Marathon on record, with runners enduring temperatures that reached over 23 degrees. And we had plenty of runners stepping up to the challenge – not quite the biggest for any club this year, but not far off it.
Unsurprisingly, in the brutal heat (Stuart’s apt description) a lot of Kent AC runners were affected by the temperatures and perhaps didn’t register the times they had hoped for. Nevertheless, there were still some very fine performances from both our men and women.
On the men’s side, John Gilbert, coming off the back of a magnificent winter, was less than 20 seconds away from breaking 2.20 again. Judging by recent performances, if conditions had been better there looked a strong possibility that John might have been able to match or possibly better his 2.15.49 PB. However, it seems that as with so many, the heat took a bit of a toll. Typically though, John gave it a real go. His first half was completed in 67.38 whereas the second half was quite a bit down on that. Nevertheless, John was on for being first in the non-elite race, but was passed late on by Belgrave’s new Kiwi acquisition.
John was less than three minutes behind Liverpool’s Johnny Mellor who had started on the elite start. Despite all this, John for some reason didn’t rate a mention on the BBC commentary or the top finishers caption they have at the end of the broadcast. Our next man home is developing into a bit of a marathon specialist- sporting his familiar cap throughout, Pete Lighting. Incredibly in the blazing heat he was only a few seconds down on his marathon PB. Not many people could claim that on such a tough day for running. Perhaps’ Pete’s specially adapted for hot weather. We had an American visitor, Daniel Glaz, coming in before Russell Bentley. People were puzzled who he was at the start and during the race. Clearly a fine runner, at the moment we’re not sure how much more we’ll see of him. In any event it was an impressive first appearance for the club. Russell has been very close to breaking 2.20 and his relay leg at the 12 stage had suggested he was in good shape. Unfortunately the heat clearly had an impact on Russell’s race. If you’ve kept up to date with his excellent blog you’ll know how much hard graft and effort had gone into his preparation. But although disappointed, he’ll know that that he fared better that a lot of quality runners who were way down on their target times. In terms of the club competition we have to exclude our American friend so it was John Gilbert, Pete and Russell. As things stand I can’t give you a definitive answer where we came in the team stakes. We were possibly second, but that is by no means certain. There are various factors at play, including the eligibility of certain of the runners belonging to other clubs. However, James Bowler has examined things closely and come up with a stat that demonstrates just how strong we are as a club. With a host or runners under 3 hours, and a good number under 2.40 we might have two other teams inside the top 10 clubs. The second team (possibly coming fifth) consisting of Lawrence Avery, James himself and then Gareth Anderson. Then a team consisting of Phil Sanders, Che Compton, and Joe Hartley also making the top ten teams. We’ll have to wait and see to be precise about it. In terms of those just mentioned, all who did incredibly well, perhaps a word about two in particular. In spite of the heat both Gareth Anderson and Joe Hartley achieved PB’s – Gareth’s was by some margin as well. On the subject of Gareth, I think many of you will have heard he’s shortly off to Washington for three years. He’s been a great servant of the club and I know we all wish him well. Hopefully on trips back home he might make a cameo appearance for us. As reported last week, Joe Hartley caused a bit of concern at the 12 stage when he clearly suffered during his leg. However, over the marathon distance he held things together and was rewarded with a PB.
Whilst it’s already received coverage, Stuart Beaney’s liaison with the man who received so much publicity, Rob Pope, deserves a mention here. Stuart (2.42.25) was another who put in a strong performance considering the weather. However, his other claim to fame on the day was his association with the aforementioned Rob Pope. Pope is the man who got a lot of TV coverage. He’s the guy who broke the record of the fastest marathon in film character costume. He was dressed head to foot as Forrest Gump. He’s also became something of a celebrity as in 2016 he set out to emulate the epic run across America carried out by Gump in the Oscar winning movie. Anyway, with a similar length beard, Stuart has recounted how he was getting constantly shouted at during the race as people were mistaking him for Pope (Gump!). The story gets better though. During the race, Pope, who was initially behind Stuart stopped for a chat before moving on. Then, through sheer coincidence, Pope chose The Chandos for his post -race refreshment stop. With Stuart sporting his name on his back, Cope’s voice boomed out “Beaney” and a meeting of the two celebrities took place. All the other men’s excellent performances will be listed, but before moving on just one more name check – that of Tom Webb. I know Tom has been really determined to break 3 hours. I also know his pre marathon running indicated that he was definitely on to break the barrier. But I see he is listed as 3.00.09. Oh, the pain, we feel for you Tom.
Contained within the women’s race is a story, courtesy of Stuart, that you’d probably only get from Kent AC. Adrian Lowther (PB 2:27) was warming up (in his distinctive gear) for his designated role of pacer for Victoria Buck. You might be wondering why Adrian needed to warm up quite so thoroughly, but that’s another story.
The aim was to try and get Victoria to a sub three-hour clocking. However, it seems that in his delight at seeing John Gibert in the warm up area, Adrian yelled out an enthusiastic greeting and in so doing he managed to trip on the curb and do some serious damage to his foot. Not wishing to scupper the plan, Adrian apparently sought to conceal his pain and carry out his pacer role. Along the way, Vic reports that she was very much aware that something was up, despite Adrian trying to conceal his agony.
Remarkably, Adrian managed to get well past half way before he had to call it a day. After calling a halt in some considerable pain, he was tended by paramedics and taken to hospital. Although a break wasn’t revealed, severe ligament damage was identified and Adrian was suitably bandaged and kitted out with crutches. Of course, being true to the Kent AC spirt such a mishap wasn’t going to prevent him getting to the pub: Adrian eventually made it to The Chandos, fashionably late and replete with crutches. In terms of Victoria’s race, after Adrian dropped out she continued to run strongly, but on the day the 3 hour target proved a big ask. However, her time of 3.12 was more than respectable – especially as she is in the V40 category. Also now in the V40 category was our first runner home, Teresa Murphy. Teresa was just over a minute ahead of Victoria, but again pretty high up in her age category. Our third runner in terms of the team competition was concerned was Alison Thompson. She came in less than 3 minutes behind Victoria. Whilst they were good times, perhaps not quite what they had hoped for. But of course, the target times didn’t bargain for the weather being quite so hot. A look at our women’s results will show there were lots of highly creditable runs – perhaps all the more so as they were achieved in such testing conditions. It’s a bit invidious to pick out names, so take a look at the results and see how well the rest of our women performed. Nevertheless, I will give a brief note of congratulation to Val Fairbrass, for getting round the course in some style – not that far I noted behind Adrian Musson. Val, is of course the wife of Dennis, who I believe at one time held the marathon record for a Kent AC runner. However, I think it is a safe bet to say that Dennis won’t be running a marathon any time soon.
|James||Savage||1530||Chorlton||2nd Claim, ex KAC||1:14:44||2:31:51||40||40||34||18-39||M||1:17:07||02:23|
|James||Bowler||1323||2:27:30||02:26||KAC||although the weather may put the boot in on that!||1:14:22||2:34:24||64||64||55||18-39||M||behind||1:20:02||05:40|
Some Photos here:
ERRA NATIONAL ROAD RELAYS, SUTTON PARK,BIRMINGHAM, APRIL 14,2018
DAY OF DRAMA SEES CLUB ACHIEVE EQUAL FIFTH PLACE AND ALEX YEE RUNS THE FASTEST LONG LEG
In a highly eventful day for the club, Kent AC men’s team came equal fifth in the National 12 stage relays, and Alex Yee ran the fastest long leg of the day. I say eventful day, as the officials in their wisdom, made the highly controversial decision to halt the race at the end of leg eleven (when we were vying for fourth place) to have a mass start in order to bring things to a speedy conclusion. If it was towards the back of the field, a start of the slower teams might have been understandable. But to stop the race when teams were competing for a top ten finish really seemed an extraordinary decision. It resulted in the top three at the time being allowed through (Tonbridge, Highgate and Swansea), while Leeds in fourth extricated themselves from an official and continued, while ourselves and Lincoln in fifth and sixth were stopped and were forced to join the mass start.
Before the drama unfolded, Russell Bentley got us off to strong start on the opening leg. He ran considerably quicker than last year and brought us home just outside the top twenty. James Bowler, who’d been ailing with a bad cold, managed to move us up quite a few places, to fifteenth. Whilst our position fluctuated a bit, Jordan Weaver, Gareth Anderson, Ben Harding and Noah Armitage-Hookes all put in strong efforts to keep us in contention.
Whilst the team had been performing solidly throughout the early stages, on leg seven, Alex Yee, scorched round the course in a fantastic time of 24: 57. John Gilbert kindly informed us that this was an eye watering 4.38 per mile pace. On the day it was by some distance the fastest long leg. And whilst there may have been a course change in recent years, Alex’s time compares favorably to some of the British distance running greats who people revere from the 70’s and 80’s era. Alex stormed through the field and brought us up to sixth. Pete Lighting held things together and we remained in sixth on leg eight. A predictably strong run from John Gilbert brought us up to fifth, so an improvement of one place. Then although we only dropped one place, came leg ten, which is where another aspect of the reference to an eventful day comes in. It was on this leg that Joe Hartley ran. Joe, who has been running very well of late, was actually scheduled to be running for the ‘B’ team. However, James Connor’s unfortunate withdrawal meant Joe was drafted in. It wasn’t quite on the scale of Callum Hawkins, but there were some similarities to what happened. Initially all seemed well as Joe reportedly got off to a strong start. However, half way into his leg, supporters got a bit worried. He looked pained and was emitting noises that didn’t sound good. Then towards the end there was real concern when he started to weave across the road a bit. On the ascent up the finishing hill he gave real cause for concern. Happily, although Joe virtually keeled over at the finish, he didn’t take long to revive. The medical check soon thankfully gave him the all clear.
After Joe, on leg eleven, Chris Greenwood again showed what a fine relay runner he is. He hunted down and passed the Lincoln runner, and was closing fast on the Leeds runner, but only to discover that he wasn’t able to hand over in the normal manner as the race was being halted. So when it did resume, after a lengthy delay, poor Lawrence Avery was in a terrible position. He’d be precluded from warming up and then instead of having the opportunity of endeavoring to chase down the Leeds runner, he found himself in the midst of a huge crowd of runners. Reportedly Lawrence could barely see Chris come in and he didn’t see the Lincoln runner come home. Consequently he was unaware of the gap we had on Lincoln, and so in effect making it more of a time trial for him rather than a proper race. It seems that at the mass start Lawrence could see the Lincoln runner, but with the large numbers and the twists in the course, this wasn’t the case throughout. Incredibly it turned out Lawrence ran 21 seconds slower that the Lincoln runner and this was the time gap that Chris had handed over. Not one to make excuses, Lawrence’s run was undoubtedly made more difficult as the restriction on his warm up very likely led to a tweaked calf. Last leg running usually provokes a fair level of anxiety, but with what Lawrence had to contend with his stress levels must have been sky high. With the Lincoln runner coming in ahead of Lawrence, they were originally listed as fifth team. Probably due to Ken’s “promptings” this has been rectified and we are now listed as finishing equal fifth. Obviously we will never know, but you do wonder how things might have turned out had it not been for the bizarre decision to stop the race so early. Lawrence would have had the Leeds runner in his sights and been able to run more competitively against the Lincoln runner. Still, that’s now all in the realms of speculation. What we do know is that we achieved our best ever finish in the race. Moreover, Alex Yee ran the fastest long leg since the course redesign, and as mentioned earlier, taking various factors into account, it’s a time that compares well when set alongside times done by some of the iconic names of British distance running. In addition, we also had a very strong performance from the ‘B’ team. The ‘B’ team actually finished 31st and second ‘B’ team – a few places behind Bristol and West who were first ‘B’ team. There were actually sixty-three teams that closed in and so for our team to finish around half way gives a measure of our strength. A peak at the results shows a number of well known teams behind our ‘B’ team.
Finally, a note for your diaries. On Saturday May 19th, Alex Yee will be running the Highgate Night of 10,000m PB’s. As usual there will be a series of races at the Parliament Hill track. From what I’ve heard, Alex will be in a class field so there could be fireworks.
KENT AC WOMEN MAKE FINE IMPRESSION ON THEIR FIRST APPEARANCE AT NATIONAL RELAYS.
Although they have qualified in the past, somewhat surprisingly this was Kent AC women’s first appearance at these championships. For a combination of reasons, some of our stronger runners weren’t able to make it. However, the team we had out did the club proud. They performed heroically in achieving their 21st place. To put this in perspective there were 48 teams that closed in. And while that number included B teams, it was nevertheless hugely encouraging that our team came better than half way up the field.
The first leg always brings with it a certain amount of pressure, so it was as well we could call on Amy Clements’s experience to lead us off. It was also thought that running the opening leg would give Amy the opportunity of having a real competitive run – and it certainly did. Amy actually brought the team home in sixth place after running what proved to be the eighth fastest time of the day. For much of the leg, Amy was battling for fourth place with Clare Duck from Leeds, an England international and highly respected club runner. Amy may have t lost out to the Leeds runner, and to a couple of fast finishers on the run in, but this race suggested that she’s not far away from full fitness after the injury woes of the last nine months.
It was inevitable that after Amy’s leg we would go down the field, but we actually held our own extremely well – especially when you consider the calibre of runner our team were up against. On the second leg Georgina Wiley ran strongly to bring us in 15th team. Against strong opposition Bethanie Shakespeare ran well to keep us in the top twenty. Then Sarah Hanley ran a solid long leg and actually moved us up to eighteenth. She was followed on the fifth leg by Susie Fairbrass, maintaining the family tradition of Kent AC running, and doing really well to keep us in eighteenth. On the final leg, which is always hotly contested, Abby Clydes, managed to keep us close to a top twenty finish. It was tough for Abby having to run the last leg, but perhaps not as stressful as watching Joe, run his leg in the men’s race (see men’s race report).
No doubt about it, the team really deserves praise for their performance in what can be a really intimidating atmosphere. With the strength the women have now, perhaps next year we can have both an ‘A’ and ‘B’ team mixing it with the top teams in the country.
National 12 Stage Relay 2018
MORE SUCCESS FOR KENT AC ATHLETES AT THE WEEKEND
There were some tremendous individual performances from Kent AC athletes
at the weekend. Some of you will have seen the tweet on our site where there
is a YouTube clip of Sean Fitzpatrick winning the San Remo Marathon. Sean
recorded a time of 2:42:39. By the looks of it conditions were tough. The clip
indicated it was wet and miserable. Also venturing abroad – but to Lanzarote
was Che Compton. Che, a member of the previous week's gold winning team at
the Kent Masters, was second in the Lanzarote marathon in an impressive 2:
36:27. Meanwhile back on home soil, Ben Hope, who had such an exciting race
when he came third at the Kent Masters, was third in the South of England
Masters Championships, at Horspath, Oxford. We've previously had great
success in this race with Chris Greenwood winning back in 2015.Unfortunately
on this occasion there was no team to back Ben up. To get an individual medal
in this race is quite an achievement. The two runners ahead of Ben are high
quality athletes, Howard Bristow and Chris Smith, who won the race.
This weekend sees a contingent of Kent AC runners heading for Aldershot –
this time for the longer, Senior South of the Thames race. A report on the race
will be posted next week.
Photo by Barry Cornelius.
NATIONAL 6- STAGE ROAD RELAY – SENIOR MEN, 7TH OCTOBER 2017
KENT AC JUST OUTSIDE THE TOP TEN IN 11TH WHILE OUR STRONG ‘B’ TEAM FINISH HALF WAY UP THE FIELD
The National 6- stage Relays at Sutton Park, Birmingham, confirmed again what a shrewd judge Ken Pike is when it comes to making race forecasts. For prior to the race Ken felt that if everyone ran to form, plus perhaps a little bit extra, then a top 10 placing was there to be had. He also had the ‘ B’ team perhaps squeezing inside the top 40. As it turned out, the ‘A’ team came home in eleventh while the ‘B’ team were 41st. So Ken’s predictions were almost spot on.
The ‘A’ team welcomed back John Gilbert whilst Chris Greenwood who’d just run in the Vets relays at Crystal Palace, reverted to the familiar role for him of opening leg runner for the ‘A’ team. As per usual, the opening leg was fast and furious. And just as he had done at the South of England Relays, Blackheath’s Phil Sesemann brought his club home first on the opening leg.
Chris Greenwood ran a few ticks over 18 minutes and brought us home in 25th and well in contention. The next three Kent runners showed admirable consistency, moving us up the field and running times that were remarkably similar. In fact, Chris and John Gilbert recorded identical times – both running 18:04. Ben Harding on the second leg recorded 18:18, while James Connor ran the next leg just two seconds quicker with 18:16. On leg five there was a really encouraging run from young Noah Armitage-Hookes. I’m sure it was races like this that motivated Noah to switch to our club. Still an under 20, this quality of race was a big step for him and he acquitted himself extremely well, running inside 19 minutes. John Gilbert had handed over to Noah in 13th position and he held on to that place. Our last leg runner on the day was Jordan Weaver. Jordan, in the unfamiliar role of anchoring the team, held his nerve well – and actually moved as up two places to a finishing spot of 11th , having run 18:29.
As mentioned at the outset, our ‘B’ team finished 41st – with 41 teams behind them. Halfway up this field is quite an achievement. There were some fairly well-known teams behind our ‘B’ team. (I’ll perhaps spare their blushes here) There were three ‘B’ teams ahead of ours – one was the formidable Aldershot and the others were Liverpool and Tonbridge.
As I’ve mentioned before, Tonbridge have an absolute production line of young runners they can call on. James Bowler was the quickest of our ‘B’ team, running 19:02.
Just as he had at Crystal Palace Pete Lighting again run a very solid opening leg. His time was eight seconds slower than James. Our other four runners, Adrian Lowther on third, Joe Hartley fourth, Dame Diaba and Phil Sanders last leg all put in strong performances. Their times were pretty similar although no doubt the guys who were a few seconds quicker enjoyed the temporary bragging rights. I believe it was only the second time our ‘B’ team had qualified for the event and unsurprisingly it marked quite a considerable improvement. While it seems the 11th spot the ‘A’ team secured equalled our best ever showing. There were some very strong teams ahead of us. Like last year the event was won by a Welsh team, but this year it was Swansea rather than their rivals Cardiff. South of England winners Highgate were just two places ahead of us in ninth
NATIONAL 4 -STAGE ROAD RELAYS- SENIOR WOMEN,7TH OCTOBER 2017
KENT AC WOMEN PUT ON STRONG SHOWING AT FIRST FULL APPEARANCE AT SUTTON PARK
Our women made a bit of club history on Saturday. For whilst they have sent runners up to the event in the past, they’d never actually closed a team in before. There were over 80 clubs that finished and our club came in a highly commendable 37th. All four ran well, Alison Thomson and Isabel Bradley had both actually run the course before but recorded quicker times on Saturday. Special mention must go to Katie Rowland. A couple of years ago we were all impressed when John Gilbert ran at Sutton Park with cracked ribs he’d sustained in a fall – true northern grit we thought! Well Katie proved that Kent AC women can also go through the pain barrier. It seems in the run up to the race Katie had crashed on her bike. It had left her with a broken nose and damaged jaw. But it didn’t stop her running – and running a very decent time! On the last leg, Teresa Murphy carried on her fine run of form with the fastest leg of the day for the team. It sounded as though our team thoroughly enjoyed the big race atmosphere and are determined to come back next year and put in another strong performance.
Great day at Crystal Palace. Highlight was the winning the Mens 40+ Vets trophy.
Full results and report to follow.
SEAA ROAD RELAYS, CRYSTAL PALACE, 24 SEPTEMBER 2017
Kent AC were out in force at this year’s South of England road relays. The venue for the event had been switched from last year’s windswept Bedford – a setting which hadn’t exactly been a hit with runners and spectators. This year the races were held at Crystal Palace which of course had the advantage for our club of being virtually on the doorstep. That said, there were certainly a fair few teething problems (which would perhaps be best aired elsewhere).
In terms of the racing, the women were off first. Like the men our women were missing one or two key individuals – not least our star performer Amy Clements. However, the fact that we actually had an ‘A’ and a ‘B’ team out is a measure of how the women’s section of the club has developed in recent years. Our ‘A’ team was listed as finishing 27th, but in fact may have finished higher. The women’s convoluted course meant that it looked as though at least two clubs may have had runners who ran a lap short.
In the men’s race, as well as an ‘A’ and a ‘B’ team we also had a ‘C’ team, who acquitted themselves well. The men’s ‘A’ team had a slightly unfamiliar look to it this year. Nevertheless, the team comfortably secured qualification for the forthcoming National Relays, finishing in 13th place. The club’s overall strength was perhaps demonstrated when our B team briefly headed the ‘A’ team. The always reliable, long-serving club man James Connor delivered the fastest time of the day for the team. At the time of writing it looked as though Ben Harding – who ran a strong final leg – was second fastest, although it has to be added that two of our runners didn’t actually have their times listed on the results I’ve seen.
It seems with the readjustment of the results that’s gone on, our ‘B’ team finished higher than first listed, meaning that they also qualified for the National Relays. There were several impressive runs in the ‘B’ team, with Pete Lighting’s stand out first leg having pride of place.
Undoubtedly the best story on the day for the club was the fact the our V40 men retained their title. Chris Greenwood invariably runs a leg for the ‘A’ and V40s at these relays. However, this year he was allowed to just run for the V40s, and he didn’t disappoint. Chris ran the anchor leg and the fastest time in the race by some margin.
We have incredible strength of depth in this area – a fact amply demonstrated by the superb times recorded by our V40s who ran in the Berlin Marathon. If the races hadn’t coincided it would have likely proved a selectorial headache choosing who might have been in the ‘A’ and ‘B’ team.
Injury and a work commitment meant the V50s had an unfamiliar look to it this year. The field definitely looked stronger than last year. New V50 Jules Geevers ran a strong last leg to bring the team home in tenth spot. The V60s unfortunately couldn’t repeat the success of last year when they were second, but the club still placed fourth. This was with Julian Spencer Wood having breathing difficulties due to a recent fall. Being a trouper, he insisted on getting round – even perhaps when he shouldn’t have carried on. It was a great shame for the team as Julian had ben recording some excellent times in Parkruns of late. Knowing Julian, though, he’ll probably be flying again by the time of the Kent Vets.
Finally, in respect of the V40s, their win meant it was four in a row which matched Thames Hare and Hounds’ record of a few years ago. Before that Herne Hill actually won it seven times on the trot. That’s quite an achievement, and an ambitious target for our V40’s to see if they can match.
Southern Six Stage 2017