Kent XC League – Stanhill Farm

Harriers,

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

 

Photos from the day

Ed is tired of posing for photos

 

Full Results

Womens 5k

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

M70 5k

1     Peter Hadley       Cambridge Harriers                  V70

6     Bryon Taylor       Tunbridge Wells Harriers            V75

 

Mens 10k

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