Race Report: Chislehurst Half-ish (KGP)

Reports

Evening Harriers,

As Ali mentioned in her summary e-mail earlier, I’ve got the pleasure of writing today’s race report for the Kent Grand Prix event held in Chislehurst this morning.

Now, I’d heard whispers that this was a bit of a marmite course, with those who love trails, hills and dual carriageways being particularly fond of the route and those who dislike trails, hills and dual carriageways being less fond. I approached it with an open mind, but sadly also a bit of a sore head from an evening with some friends.

The sun was shining and the rain that had been forecast was nowhere to be seen. The weather was perhaps a little too warm but given the rain we’ve had recently it’s difficult to complain too much. The atmosphere at the start was excellent and 17 of your finest Harriers embarked upon the 13.1 miles(ish) course setting off at 10am.

Pre race, we’d had an e-mail saying that due to boggy conditions on parts of the course then trail shoes would be the better option, having never run the course before, I duly obliged. Only to be told about 90 seconds before the start (by the race director) that actually, road shoes would probably be best. Excellent, a good start.

The first few miles were net downhill along main roads and dual carriageways with numerous marshalls lining the route to manage the traffic and side roads as we raced past.

Dillon and Dave shot off with the leading groups and I nestled into the group behind.

Then came the hills, the trails and the mud.

I’ll gloss over the details here, as being honest, they’re a bit of a blur. I’d misjudged the course profile, gone off too quickly and was cursing the last glass(es) of wine from the evening before and was paying for it.

Eren bounded past me at around 4 miles, looking incredibly strong and in typically upbeat fashion giving me some words of encouragement. Whilst the words were appreciated, my tank was depleting fairly rapidly.

More hills, more trails, more dual carriageway and at about mile 10 the indomitable Amelie Karlsson glided past me, looking as though she was just out for a leisurely Sunday run in the park. Very impressive.

The finish line was a most welcome sight, and looking down at my watch it was just approaching 12.8 miles, so I’m not sure if the GPS in the woods hadn’t picked me up properly or if the course was indeed slightly short, but at that point I didn’t really care! Most of the other Harriers had it short as well, as did those that ran last year so it wasn’t just me!

As per Ali’s e-mail there were some fantastic performances, Amelie winning the Ladies race by over 2 minutes, Eren smashing a sub 1:30, Dillon with a strong 1:25 (including a shoe change during the race), Ali & Geoff both coming 2nd in their age categories, Marcus for finishing strongly despite taking a tumble at 7 miles and coming in with a shoulder that looked like it’d been attacked by Freddy Krueger, Elliot for his first race back since injury and Rose who despite having been ill earlier in the week, battled on despite not feeling great to finish with a smile on her face.

The list goes on and I’m sure I could mention others but despite the tough course, it was a great day out.

Every day’s a school day though and my learning from today was that perhaps trail, hill and dual carriageway races aren’t necessarily my forté. We live and learn!

Men’s overall winner was Ryan Brotherton from Beckenham in 1:20:34 and as mentioned our very own Amelie Karlsson was the Ladies overall winner in 1:32:32

Hope you’ve all had a great weekend and managed to embrace the sunshine and I’ll see you at the club soon.

Gareth