Kent XC League – Race 1 – Report
On Saturday 15th October, the cross country season began with the first Kent Cross Country League race at Stanhill Farm. 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, consisting of 2-4 laps and dog legs around pumpkin fields, making it a pretty easy opener and easy to spectate the whole race.
The ladies and M70 5km race had a huge field of 135 ladies and a record 6 entrants to the M70 competition. 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). The team finished 9th out of 19 in the 3 to score with Bryon Taylor 6th.
In the men’s 10k race there was another great turnout, with 225 runners. 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. Chairman Andy Howey was first home (32nd) follow by Edward Steele (39th) and Tim Lucas (44th). 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. Nick Pierce also ran his first XC.
The men finished 7th out of 20 teams in the 4 to score and 5th out of 9 teams in the 12 to score.
Photos from the day
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
TCS Amsterdam Marathon Weekend
On Sunday 16th October six Harriers took part in the Amsterdam Marathon Weekend in a variety of races ranging from 8km to marathon.
First off was Tom Woolley at 9.30am. The race started and finished in the Olympic stadium on the track but before you could enjoy the fast track for the second time there were cobbled paths, tram lines, hair pin bends and narrow paths to contend with. Tom crossed the line in 3.02.55 – best part of 27 minute PB and placing 593rd out of 12,180.
Next up was Harriet Woolley at 10.20am, again finishing in the Olympic stadium, Harriet cruised round in 34.12 beating her target of going sub 35 and setting a new PB beating her previous best over this distance at Staplehurst earlier in the year of 34.51.
The final race of the day saw Chris Potter and Sam Begg attempting sub 1.30 and sub 1.15 respectively. They caught up with marathon stragglers, which meant weaving in and out and avoiding empty cups and sponges littered on the course. Sam finished a very impressive 14th out of a colossal 14,832 in 1.15.27 setting a new PB by 4 seconds. Chris finished 375th in 1.30.09 just inches outside his target but again another massive PB taking 4 mins and 22 seconds off his previous best.
1066 to Battle
Being the 950th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, Mark Taylor and Siobhan Browne took part in the “1066 Way To Battle” from Pevensey Castle to Battle Abbey via Herstmonceux Castle.
The run started at 09:00 and driving down to Pevensey prior to eight o’clock it was absolutely lashing it down with rain. Right up to the start there was still a bit of rain in the air and as a consequence most runners started well over dressed resulting in a lot of people losing layers as they started out on the first couple of miles by which time the rain had stopped and with a warm breeze it was around 15 deg.
From the start through the gate of Pevensey Castle the route took us through the castle grounds and out along Pevensey High Street before turning right taking the road to Hankham and out to the Pevensey Levels and the first water station at 3 miles. After crossing the Yotham Dyke it was then a welcome turn onto the softer off road path that took us alongside the Hurst Haven which we followed in a large loop before peeling off and heading up the hill to Church Farm and out through into the grounds of Herstmonceux Castle with the second water station in front of the castle. The run then continued on the entrance road past the Observatory out onto the Wartling Road for a short distance before taking the 1066 footpath again. This took us across the fields before we came to the lane at Wilson’s Green. We then took this lane which continued for a fair distance and which seemed mostly uphill till we reached appropriately named Brownbread Street where the third water station was positioned. The route then continued up the lane towards Ponts Green before a short path took us across to join another lane to Penhurst. Before reaching Penhurst however the 1066 trail took us out into the fields again where the path dropped right down into the valley over a stream before climbing out and up probably the steepest part of the run to Steven’s Crouch. At Steven’s Crouch we crossed the A271 again before continuing off road to Catsfield. In Catsfield was the last water station, we followed alongside the B2095, crossed the B2204 and then hit the 1066 trail again which took us all the way to Battle finishing in the square in front of Battle Abbey.
In total the run was in the region of 17 miles. James Baker won in 1:48:40, with Mark Taylor 289th in 2:55:23 and Siobhan Browne 324th in 3:01:49. There were 809 finishers.
12th Maidstone Marathon & Half Marathon
Ana-Maria Green and Michael Kennard took on their 10th and 13th marathons of the year at the 12th Maidstone Marathon.
The rural course took place around the rural and challenging lanes of the villages of Boughton Monchelsea, Loose and East Farleigh. Both the Marathon and Half Marathon runners set off together, with the Marathon completing a second loop of the course. This new route was described as “Beachy on road”, which I have to say is rather apt. It was a tough road marathon with hills and inclines, but also with some downs to make up for lost time on the hills. Certainly not a fast, flat course of years gone by!
The organisation was superb, the marshals, many who were from Maidstone Harriers, were very friendly, supportive and encouraging. The weather remained dry which had been looking very doubtful after the torrential rain first thing.
There were 101 runners entered, but only 80 runners who completed the marathon. 1st Male was David Ross (3:05:47), with Michael Kennard 24th in 4:00:02 and Ana-Maria Green 42nd (4:28:46).