The cross country season began with the first Kent Cross Country (XC) League race at Stanhill Farm, also used last year in place of Swanley park. As with last year, the weather was unpredictable but ultimately turned out a pretty hot but comfortable day with 15C and good breezes on some of the more exposed sections. The course was very firm but suitable for 12mm spikes and consisted of 2-4 laps and dog legs around pumpkin fields, making it a pretty easy opener and easy to spectate the whole race.
The organisers had seen fit to gift me the number ‘666’, probably due to my long standing heritage with captaining TWH XC, or my dogged determination to make their administration like hell.
Numbers were sadly down this year, although 24 harriers turned out this is quite down on the usual number and we were not able to put out a team of 6 ladies, immediately taking us out of the competition we won 2 years ago. I feel like a broken record mentioning that we won this competition with a 6th harrier who started 5 minutes late!
The ladies and M70 5km race had a huge field of 135 ladies and a record 6 entrants to the M70 competition. Nicole Taylor of Tonbridge easily swept up the competition again, winning by a full minute. 5 harriers (and one spud) competed with some good pacing throughout. Pru Clements was first home (19th and 3rd F40) followed by Jillian Holford (42nd), Lesley Mercer (77th) and Carol Tsang (78th) pacing each other and Stella Richardson (88th and 1st F60 by a good 3 minutes).
3 to score – 9th out of 19 teams
6 to score – did not place
The V70 race ran alongside the ladies, with Bryon ‘Spud’ Taylor coming in 6th.
In the men’s 10k race there was another great turnout, with 225 runners against another crazy turnout by Tunbridge AC of 28 (lets return the favour at Somerhill!) and an utterly dominating Medway & Maidstone division. With no delays this year there was a frantic start from a simple whistle blow and a very narrow and blustery climb after the initial 100m. 19 harriers took part with a few new faces braving their first cross country event and the daunting competition, sadly marathons and overseas races claimed a number of our top runners! Chairman Andy Howey was first home (32nd) follow by Edward Steele (39th) and Tim Lucas (44th) battling throughout to their best ever finishing position, ‘new-shoes’ Mike King (57th) finished the 4 to score. Chris Smith (88th), Kieran Fitzpatrick (97th), Dave Hadaway (103rd), Matthew Clements (107th), Simon Howden (112nd), Matthew Clark (132nd), newbie Alex Blackall (139th) and Neil Clark (162nd) made up the 12 to score (duodec). Nick Pierce also ran his first XC.
4 to score – 7th out of 20 teams
12 to score – 5th out of 9 teams
Thanks to all the supporters and helpers who came along (especially Bob, Clare and Lucy Clements!) and for all the support during the race, although I now have an appreciation for having someone a bit closer to the finish line to spot me after shamefully losing 3 places in the last 150m.
We ventured to the White Hart in Sevenoaks as usual then some got Tapped out, drove a Bedford and fought a Bengal, etc
The next race is in two weeks starting with the ladies race at 2:00pm Saturday 29th October at the infamous Somerhill School in Tonbridge, I hope to see you there either running or supporting as it’s the closest one we get.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO KEEP AND BRING YOUR RACE NUMBER AGAIN
Ed is tired of posing for photos
1 Nicole Taylor Tonbridge AC Senior
19 Pru Clements Tunbridge Wells Harriers V40
42 Jillian Holford Tunbridge Wells Harriers V45
77 Lesley Mercer Tunbridge Wells Harriers V40
78 Carol Tsang Tunbridge Wells Harriers V40
88 Stella Richardson Tunbridge Wells Harriers V60
1 Peter Hadley Cambridge Harriers V70
6 Bryon Taylor Tunbridge Wells Harriers V75
1 Jake Berry Medway& Maidstone AC U/20
32 Andy Howey Tunbridge Wells Harriers V50
39 Edward Steele Tunbridge Wells Harriers Senior
44 Tim Lucas Tunbridge Wells Harriers Senior
57 Mike King Tunbridge Wells Harriers Senior
88 Chris Smith Tunbridge Wells Harriers V45
97 Kieran Fitzpatrick Tunbridge Wells Harriers Senior
103 Dave Hadaway Tunbridge Wells Harriers V50
107 Matthew Clements Tunbridge Wells Harriers V40
112 Simon Howden Tunbridge Wells Harriers V45
132 Matthew Clark Tunbridge Wells Harriers V45
139 Alex Blackall Tunbridge Wells Harriers Senior
162 Neil Clark Tunbridge Wells Harriers Senior
164 Ollie Stride Tunbridge Wells Harriers Senior
176 Daniel Cook Tunbridge Wells Harriers Senior
184 Michael Russell Tunbridge Wells Harriers V50
196 Andy Page Tunbridge Wells Harriers V50
199 Peter Richardson Tunbridge Wells Harriers V65
200 Nick Pierce Tunbridge Wells Harriers V60
Ed and Lesley
Your XC Captains