Kent XC Champs – Brand’s Hatch

The first cross-country race of the year took place at Brand’s Hatch race circuit (caravan park) for the Kent Champs.

Unlike 2016’s somme-like conditions and the quagmire of our local parkrun, runners reported the course was pretty good to run on this year and the only sign of winter were the brisk temperatures. No fog for us spectathletes and great for photos thankfully! The men’s course covered 3 ½ laps and 7.5 miles of the camping field and comprised of a couple reasonable climbs each lap, with the ladies  missing a lap to make up 5 miles.

Despite better conditions, I would still recommend checking that your spikes are actually in your spike shoe bag, as Matt ‘Racing Flats’ Clark found the course a little more challenging than everyone else.

The men’s race had some clear leaders from the start, with Kent AC easily dispatching efforts from Invicta and Tonbridge. Andy Howey had a great race, looking strong throughout until being pounced on at the finish line by Tonbridge AC’s James ‘JT’ Taylor (evidenced here). Matt Ferris, in his second XC race for the club, showed another strong performance taking my usual place of second harrier home. Simon Howden, Dave Hadaway and Adam Dennis got into a good grouping, changing places throughout each lap but with Simon pulling ahead for a commanding lead at the finish – sadly overtaken by former harrier Lloyd ‘insert clubname here’ Collier, shown here in his natural running style.

Unlike in previous years, despite not having a full ladies 6-to-score team and the men wanting to start on the cake haul, there was no threat of not participating in the ladies race. Especially due to the presence of former-winner and new harrier Deidre McDermot! Deidre held strong with the lead pack before even Tonbridge AC’s Lucy Reid was dominated by Aldershot’s best. There was a great battle for 3rd place with Maria Heslop sitting 10m behind for some time until the final lap, Deidre eventually taking a fantastic 4th finish and selection for the inter-counties. Captain Jillian Holford also held off some strong competition from Tonbridge AC’s Rachel Fagg.

In all – a great race to spectate, cakes were provided by myself, Mike Russell and Carol Tsang (Hadders shown in cake heaven here). Thanks to those who came to support.

Post race venue was again the Five Bells in Eynsford, which you may know from the Darent Valley 10k.
Post-post race venue was the Ragged Trousers, post-post-post race venue was the Pantiles Tap, etc etc


Thanks to everyone who came along to support, I’ve popped the photos up at the usual place

Next race is the SEAA champs on 27th January at Stanmer Park down in Brighton. Details closer to the day.


The ladies were 6th/18 teams in their 3-to-score

Full Results


Pos Perf Name AG Club
1 38:03:00 John Gilbert V35 Kent
46 44:18:00 Andy Howey V55 Tunbridge Wells
93 48:21:00 Matthew Ferris SEN Tunbridge Wells
121 50:24:00 Simon Howden V45 Tunbridge Wells
127 50:38:00 Dave Hadaway V50 Tunbridge Wells
128 50:46:00 Adam Dennis V35 Tunbridge Wells
161 53:58:00 Matthew Clark V45 Tunbridge Wells
164 54:21:00 Geoff Turner V55 Tunbridge Wells
165 54:26:00 Neil Clark V40 Tunbridge Wells
184 57:51:00 Michael Russell V50 Tunbridge Wells
187 58:20:00 George Harris V40 Tunbridge Wells
195 59:54:00 Mel Taylor V50 Tunbridge Wells
197 60:53:00 Nick Pierce V60 Tunbridge Wells



Pos Perf Name AG Club
1 30:09:00 Emily Hosker Thornhill SEN Aldershot, Farnham & District/New Mexico Uni
4 31:58:00 Deirdre McDermot V35 Tunbridge Wells/Ireland
33 37:26:00 Jillian Holford V45 Tunbridge Wells
86 42:17:00 Suzannah Kinsella V45 Tunbridge Wells
95 43:49:00 Clare Andrew V40 Tunbridge Wells
109 47:22:00 Carol Tsang V40 Tunbridge Wells


Ed Steele
Men’s XC Captain