Kent Fitness League (KFL) 2018/19 – The season so far

The first race of the new season was held in the beautiful surroundings of Knole Park Sevenoaks on November 4th. Unfortunately due to the late change of the race date our team managers Richard and Jeanette Elliott where unfortunately in sunnier and somewhat warmer climate.  John Tilston did a sterling job standing in as Team Manager and he also managed to run. He was ably assisted by a number of other club members, thank you one and all. 528 runners finished the 2 lap course of just over 5miles of which 36 were from PWAC, 12 of those club runners were KFL debutants an excellent achievement. 7 junior club members raced in the junior races that preceded the main race with Jess Rayner and Lauren Harker winning their age groups. In the main race PWAC had 4 men in the top 20 with Nathan finishing in an excellent 5th place and Becky Morrish winning the female race. The men’s team finished in 3rd place as did the ladies and in the combined event PWAC finished in a magnificent 2nd place. Thanks to Sue Chivers for taking the cakes along.

What an excellent start to the season and some of the credit for this must go the PWAC committee who agreed to pay all the runners entry fees for the coming season as well the growing team spirit amongst the clubs senior athletes.

Race number 2 took place on Sunday 11th of November in Swanley Park, a very poignant day. 2 minutes silence was held and very well respected by all the runners before the main race. 5 junior club members ran in the junior races held before the main race and once again Jess Rayner won her race.  33 adult club runners out of a field of 534 runners raced around the 3 lap 5 mile course with Nathan finishing 7th this time out and Becky slipping to 2nd place in the female race.  The clubs ladies had a marvellous day with all 4 scoring ladies, 1 a debutant all home within the top 25 ladies and duly won the female team event. The men finished in 6th place which meant the combined team finished in 4th place.  Overall this result means PWAC are now 4th in the combined event, 2nd in the female event (the only team events that have championship status) with the men 6th. Another excellent turn out and fantastic set of results. This race also saw the return of café Jeanette; much looked forward to by one and all after all the preceding efforts.

The 3rd race in the 7 match series took place at the infamous hilly Oxleas Woods Eltham on a very chilly and windy 25th November. Unfortunately the club tent did not make an appearance but that’s another story for Mr Tilston to tell on another day. There was no junior race this time out but there was a minute’s applause before the race in memory of one of Plumstead Runners founder members Ray Marshall, who many of our club members will remember and who died recently of a heart attack at the age of 70.  The club had 32 runners out in a field of 457. The men had 5 runners in the top 30 and the ladies had 3 of the top 15 female’s home, with Becky back to winning ways.  Unfortunately there were a few slips and knocks with the most serious being John Tilston who fell over on the first lap and had to limp back with a strained ankle the size of a small balloon, get well soon John. It was an excellent day all round as far as the results went with both the men and the women’s team’s finishing in second place and 2nd in the combined team event.  Never had Jeanette’s café been more looked forward too. Overall after the first 3 races PWAC are now sitting a fantastic 2nd in the combined team and female team events, with the men also 2nd. Petts Wood Runners are the team to beat.

The last of 2018s KFL races took place in the far east of the county at a very windy and bitterly cold Betteshanger Country Park Deal on the 9th December. The club tent came very gratefully into play and a big thank you to all those that helped put it up and down in those very trying conditions. Reduced numbers all round this time out with only 4 junior members racing and only 20 senior runners (1 a debutant) in the main race of 339 runners. Cold and at times wet and a long way from home numbers were down due to another race closer to home and so close to Christmas this was not suprising. A big thank you all those that came along. Nathan finished 3rd and appeared much better suited to the harder surface under foot, not sure about the sun glasses though. We had 3 men in the top 20 and Becky winning the female race again after a storming second lap, Becky defiantly runs better a little wound up! Café Jeanette was once again most welcome comfort after the race and especially by Mr Barker senior. The men finished 3rd with the ladies 6th, the combined team also finishing 6th.

PWAC finish the year as 2nd men’s team 2nd female team and most importantly 3rd combined team behind Sevenoaks and the team of the season so far Petts Wood. Position’s above our expectations and some fantastic efforts for all our club runners, you all help get team PWAC to these heights wherever you finish in the races.  48 different runners have turned out for the club so far this season with 7 men and 3 ladies completing the 4 races so far. 9 junior athletes have competed so far this season with 2 boys along with 2 girls completing the first 3 races, only 2 junior races to go now. In the standings Jess Rayner is leading the u/14 girls with Isla Wild 3rd, with Lauren Hacker and Evan Wild both 3rd in their respective u/17 age groups.

2019 should see an exciting finish to the KFL season with 3 races still to go, the first being at Nurstead Court Meopham on 6th January, sorry no junior races.  Let’s hope we can keep pushing Petts Wood at Meopham, the infamous Minis Bay and right down to the last race of the season at Rough Common Canterbury on the 3rd February.

Thank you everybody, we have certainly made some good new friends and got better acquainted with some old ones, you have all worked so hard and made the season so very memorable, here’s to more success in the New Year.

Best wishes for a Very Happy Christmas and all best for whatever you get up to in 2019.

Richard and Jeanette Elliott
PWAC KFL Team Managers

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