Kent XC Champs

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