Saturday 27th October was our 2nd Kent Cross Country event, held at Somerhill School, Tonbridge. The only way I can describe the course would be with lots of ups and downs and little on the flat. Despite some sunshine at times temperatures didn’t really get to a comfortable level. Jackets were certainly in order with extra layers required at the end to keep warm, more than likely due to the northerly breeze which came down overnight bringing the temperature down to low double figures if we were lucky.
However this didn’t put anyone off meaning everyone expected and more, arrived ready to take part. Starting the seniors off were a fantastic team of 9 strong women raring to tackle their 5k course. Becky Morrish was soon to take her position near the front of the pack and provided a strong and outstanding achievement finishing in 3rd with a time of 18:59. Mandy Barker showed her remarkable recovery is coming together well finishing 60th in 23:01. Coming in 73rd with a slightly unclear head from the night before was Kate Cole in 23:52. Fiona Buckingham was proving her motivation to return to fitness is underway bringing home 102nd for the club in 26:18. Julie Harker embraced the terrain in 119th with a time of 28:02 taking 35 seconds off her previous time last season. Well done Julie! Keeley Hoad was less than a minute behind in 124th finishing in 28:45. Jane Pilbeam shortly followed in 127th, 29:18 with Natasha Wild and Diana Tilston close on her tail in 131st, 30:10 and 133rd, 30:51.
With the first 3 to score a team Becky, Mandy and Kate achieved 11th pushing our ranking up to 16th overall. With Fiona, Julie and Keeley completing a team of 6 to score they achieved 9th position, ranking 11th overall. Well done ladies!
The men were out in force also. With a range of strengths over a team of 13 not including Simon Poole’s non scoring run. First home, upgrading his run to the seniors 10k route apposed to U20’s 5k route was Charles George in 54th with a strong time of 38:11. Not far behind was our newest member Adam Tibbals taking on the challenging 3 laps in 81st with a time of 39:54. Not far behind was Clive Gigney in 94th with a time of 40:28 taking nearly 2 minutes off his previous time last year. Well done Clive! With less than 2 minutes to spare Daniel Grimwood accepted the hilly challenge towards his bigger marathon goal and concluding the team of 4, finishing 122nd in 42:11. David Sampson was pictured close to Daniel throughout and therefore close behind in 135th, 42:51 with similar results to Clive, knocking off nearly 2 minutes off his time last year. Well done David! Michael Gibbs was next in sight embracing the course with a position and time of 143rd, 43:22. Mark Wild was next in for the club after a delayed few seconds at the start but fighting his way through the pack to finish 174th in 45:15. Pete Buckingham found 5th gear during the final lap to take a few places allowing him to finish strong in 186th, 46:01. John Tilston took on the challenging ‘slopes’ finishing 192nd, 46:40. Phil Northfield was ever so close behind in 193rd, 46:43 and completing the close quartet was Paul Mace with 195th, 46:52 and Sam Harker with 196th, 46:59. Michael Conrad-Pickles concluded the men’s race in 224th, 51:23.
With the first 4 men to score, Charles, Adam, Clive and Daniel achieved a respectable 13th from a very tough crowd. For the first time ever we were able to score a team of 12 also, achieving 6th position, ranking 7th overall.
Finally a thank you goes out to all who took part and supported throughout including Richard and Jeanette Elliott for making the journey to cheer everyone on.
Happy running folks!