Harvel 5 – 2nd June 2018

I was very lucky to be given a complimentary entry for the Harvel 5 this year as it was sold out in 12hrs when entries opened. This year was the 20th Anniversary of the first running of the event back in 1999. I ran it in 1999 and actually won it as a M45 in 28.05, hence the complimentary entry and Race No.1 for this year’s race.

It was the usual friendly event with stalls and beer tent on the green and being on a Saturday afternoon with a start time of 2pm there was lots of families as well as runners.

The race started on the dot of two just up the road from the green / finish, the start being signalled by the usual firing of a shotgun !

For those who do not know the course it starts on the lane leading to the finish and it is quite narrow so if you don’t want to get bogged down you have to get fairly close to the front. The course then takes you along the lanes / roads for nearly two miles, you then go into Trottscliffe Country Park and run about two miles on the park tracks before exiting and taking the road back to the finish.
A brilliant event If you do manage to secure a place, well marshalled and lovely enjoyable run which is well supported. Should you wish to partake there is also a beer stop half way round !

It was a warm afternoon Saturday but it didn’t seem to slow the fast runners down.

The race was won by Thomas Wright SM of Bexley AC who finished in 27:35. The first lady was Anoushka Johnson F35 of Dartford Harriers AC in 33:53. There were 739 finishers.

Yours truly came home in 56th place in much slower time than in 1999 in 36:11. I did manage after 20 years to get another first and secured the first M60 prize, they also named me Race Personality for 2018 so I came away with two jugs !

Mark Taylor