A large contingent of 18 harriers headed down to the 25th running of the the Darent Valley 10k – a picturesque loop around the village of Eynsford and the river Darent, taking in a couple of steep hills to give you a 2km downhill to the finish and even some cross country to boot.
Conditions were cold, especially given the very early 8:30 race start. Though, overall they were pretty much perfect once the race began, with bright sunshine falling upon the whole race. With over 600 competitors and Kent Grand Prix points on offer, the start from the local school had a fierce pace, with some 40 runners at sub-6min mile pace for the first km. Some good groupings of harriers formed around the 1.5km mark as the route headed under the beautiful Viaduct that intersects the valley (It was around this time that Steve Bright emerged to start his own race). These groups stayed together for almost the entire race, with the top 5 finishing well within a minute of each other.
Despite being a well-recognised and properly measured course, there was some concern about the 4km marker appearing some 35 seconds late. Far be it for me to question, the times were just a little surprising after all that effort and nearly 2 minutes down on my time at Brighton in November.
My personal congratulations to Terry for a fantastic and enjoyable back and forth battle the whole way round, despite me picking up the pace to 5:45 for the last 2km (thanks no doubt to the terrific, gradual downhill) he reeled me in for a great overtake at the finish line.
Oh and we got the 1st Team Prize (first 7 men and 3 women, marked with x below), which I hope someone stayed to collect because I clearly shouldn’t be allowed to be road race captain again!
Thanks to everyone who came along including Stella and Louise for support, the race HQ made for a great team meetup and photo as it funnelled everyone into the school playground. A great morning out, will pop the photos up soon as I get them.
|Pos||Bib||Finish||Chip||Name||Gender||Category||Club or Team||Rank|
|1||396||00:35:35||00:35:33||TERRY REEVES||M||SM||Dartford Road Runners||1|
|21||2362||00:38:36||00:38:32||STUART SHIELDS||M||M40||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||2|
|23||2342||00:38:49||00:38:45||CRAIG CHAPMAN||M||M40||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||2|
|26||156||00:38:55||00:38:48||MARK GAMAGE||M||M40||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||3|
|33||405||00:39:26||00:39:19||TERRY EVEREST||M||SM||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||4|
|34||564||00:39:27||00:39:19||EDWARD STEELE||M||SM||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||5|
|39||574||00:39:48||00:39:40||MARK CARROLL||M||SM||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||6|
|64||593||00:41:49||00:41:41||JAMES SARRE||M||SM||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||7|
|74||442||00:42:27||00:42:18||ANDREW JOAD||M||M50||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||8|
|121||363||00:45:03||00:44:52||KIM DEENEY||F||W35||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||9|
|122||575||00:45:09||00:45:01||MARK TAYLOR||M||M60||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||10|
|143||2334||00:46:10||00:45:56||JILLIAN HOLFORD||F||W35||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||11|
|146||177||00:46:37||00:46:29||ANDY PAGE||M||M50||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||12|
|188||85||00:48:28||00:48:13||PETER RICHARDSON||M||M60||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||13|
|228||176||00:49:42||00:49:28||LESLEY MERCER||F||W35||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||14|
|318||566||00:52:53||00:45:31||STEPHEN BRIGHT||M||M50||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||15|
|343||323||00:54:37||00:54:18||LUCILLE JOANNES||F||W55||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||16|
|353||498||00:55:02||00:54:43||ERIC SCHOFIELD||M||M70||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||17|
|623||249||01:34:25||01:33:40||GRAHAM BROOKS||M||M70||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||18|