Kent League Cross Country Race 1 – Beech Grove

Reports (restricted)

Yesterday marked the start of the 2018/19 cross country season with a return to the Beech Grove Community near Canterbury. This venue was last used for the women’s race in 2013 however the contrast in conditions could not be more extreme. Yesterday dawned fine and sunny and by the afternoon temperatures were in the low 20s. In 2013 it rained so hard much of the course was turned into a river and the women’s team had to take shelter before the race in a shed full of onions!

The course was largely grassy with a rough uphill track which featured twice in the women’s race and three times in the mens. Much to everyone’s delight the organisers had thoughtfully laid on an uphill start and finish.

After a last minute panic we thankfully managed to scramble enough women for the 6 to score team. And so we set off. With the balmy weather and ample hills this felt like a tough course and there was, as ever, stiff competition from other clubs. However, Harriet Woolley sprinted into the finish taking 9th place overall in 21:20. She was followed by Pru Clements (27th in 22:25) with Jillian Holford making up the three to score (32nd in 22:41). Next was Michele Bradshaw, making her cross country debut, followed by Stella Richardson and Carol Tsang to make up the six to score. The women finished 4th out of 18 teams in the 3 to score and 5th out of 10 teams in the 6 to score. Bryon (Spud) Taylor also ran the same course as part of a record turn out of seven M70s.

In the men’s race Tom Woolley set off at full throttle (no doubt fuelled by jam on toast) storming up the hill ahead of Andy Howey. However, Andy was soon to rein him in and was first Harrier home (50th in 40:04) with Tom coming in second for the Harriers (70th in 40:04). Further back there was a battle in progress in a group containing Matt Clements, Tobyn Young, Dave Hadaway, Simon Whitaker and Simon Howden. Matt eventually broke away to make third Harrier home (105th in 44:16) followed by Torbyn (112th in 44:30) who made up the 4 to score. The 12 to score was completed by Dave Hadaway, Simon Whitaker, Adam Dennis, Simon Howden, Matthew Trainer, Colin Timmins, Mark Taylor and Mike Russell. There were some exciting sprint finishes as evidenced by Ed’s photos. The men finished 12th out of 19 teams in the four to score and 5th out of 7 teams in the 12 to score.

There were also good results in the masters competition – Andy Howey was 3rd in the M50 category (1st M55) and Michele Bradshaw was 3rd in the W55 category.

There were a couple of items of lost property! Firstly, a grey ladies’ cardigan was found close to the Harriers’ tent. Secondly, a pair of rather soggy (this is worrying considering how dry the course was) men’s socks were left behind when we packed up the ground sheet. The said socks are black with a distinctive white flash on the side. Having examined the photographs two potential suspects have been identified. The Ladies Captain respectfully asks that the owner of the socks comes forward of his own volition to avoid the need to name and shame!

Overall this was a good start to the season and hopefully more of you will come and join the fun next time. Please see below for the full results. Photos can be found here:

Jillian Holford
Ladies Cross Country Captain


50 1413 Andrew Howey M (M55) 40:04
70 1440 Tom Woolley M SEN 41:30
105 1449 Matthew Clements M (M45) 44:16
112 1441 Tobyn Young M (M40) 44:30
116 1408 Dave Hadaway M (M50) 44:38
117 1438 Simon Whitaker M (M50) 44:55
127 1405 Adam Dennis M SEN 45:47
130 1412 Simon Howden M (M45) 45:58
139 1435 Matthew Trainer M (M40) 46:43
149 1434 Colin Timmins M (M50) 47:32
160 1432 Mark Taylor M (M65) 48:35
188 1429 Michael Russell M (M50) 51:49
193 1423 Nick Pierce M (M60) 53:29
203 1426 Peter Richardson M (M65) 56:40


8 949 Bryon Taylor M (M75) 44:43


9 933 Harriet Woolley W SEN 21:20
27 1448 Pru Clements W (W40) 22:25
32 923 Jillian Holford W (W45) 22:41
70 1450 Michele Bradshaw W (W55) 25:19
88 928 Stella Richardson W (W60) 27:01
94 932 Carol Tsang W (W40) 27:11