Sat. 7 Jan. 2017 Kent XC Champs – Brands Hatch Race Circuit, Fawkham
The long nights are finally dwindling and winter is still nowhere to be seen. While the continent suffers arctic temperatures, the worst we get at cross country is fog and a bit of drizzle. A welcome break after the appalling conditions of last year, not that the race took place in 2016 of course, there is no report to evidence that it did!
Anyway, it was pleasantly mild for the time of year. Arriving at the course my first thoughts were 1) I’m glad I didn’t clean my car and 2) Oh god it’s like the Somme. Thankfully the ground was very easy to run on, just soft enough to make it interesting for anyone not wearing spikes (I think my 12mm are around 9mm now). Our #1 investment of 2016 (the club tent) was again most welcome as a changing area, as were our #2 (a telescopic flagpole) and #3 (a side for the club tent) investments. Especially after previous years spent sheltering under others’ ..
The course covered 3 ½ laps and 7.5 miles of the camping field and sadly not the race course itself. Despite being in the picturesque Darent Valley, it only comprised of a couple reasonable climbs each lap.
For once the men got to race first, with Tom shooting off with the lead pack as usual. In my foolishness I had not added his current training plan to Strava and the usual Christmas period had taken its toll despite not wanting a repeat of last year. Like equal poles of a magnet, we stayed a pretty even 30 second gap apart the entire race (turns out the ‘go out fast and stay there’ has finally worked). I heard there were some good fights behind as well, with Simon just edging Matt Clark on the final climb. It was Nick Pierce’s first taste of mud after a very dry season so far, he’ll have to wait for Parliament Hill at the end of the month to truly experience what XC has to offer.
After congratulating Tom on allowing me to finish second harrier home, for the 4th time this season, there was the issue of the ladies race. There were a few key issues, there being not enough ladies to score as a team, the need to visit a local hostelry before dark and most importantly, that we’d have left Carol to find her own way home if she didn’t race.
Perseverance held out and we had our only lady finisher.
Post race venue was the 5 Bells in Eynsford and not the Malt Shovel (oops)
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 28th January at the one and only Parliament Hill! Details closer to the day.
|Position||Bib No||Time||Name||Gender||Category||Club or Team||Rank|
|63||763||00:45:39||TOM WOOLLEY||M||M35||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||1|
|65||757||00:46:10||EDWARD STEELE||M||SM||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||2|
|93||740||00:48:00||MATTHEW CLEMENTS||M||M40||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||3|
|113||751||00:49:51||CHRISTOPHER POTTER||M||M45||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||4|
|118||746||00:50:28||SIMON HOWDEN||M||M45||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||5|
|119||738||00:50:34||MATTHEW CLARK||M||M45||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||6|
|127||761||00:51:21||SIMON WHITAKER||M||M45||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||7|
|136||739||00:52:30||NEIL CLARK||M||M35||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||8|
|149||756||00:53:14||CHRIS SMITH||M||M45||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||9|
|167||744||00:55:32||GEORGE HARRIS||M||M40||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||10|
|172||759||00:56:29||MEL TAYLOR||M||M50||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||11|
|193||750||01:00:27||NICK PIERCE||M||M60||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||12|
|195||749||01:00:42||ANDREW PAGE||M||M50||Tunbridge Wells Harriers||13|
|96||942||00:44:57||CAROL TSANG||F||W40||Tunbridge Wells Harriers|