The fifth race in the Kent Fitness League 2017/18 Cross Country series took place at Minnis Bay, Birchington, on Sunday January 14th, writes Jim Knight. Sometimes in this fixture the runners are faced with horizontal sleet, but this year it was a perfect day for running – cool and sunny, with no wind - just spectacular views along the coast to Reculver Towers. Even the dykes, which can be waist deep in freezing water were only knee deep this year. Nineteen runners from Sevenoaks AC joined the field of 350 from the 18 Kent clubs on the tough 6-mile course.
The first Sevenoaks AC athlete home was 39-year old John Witton in 14th place, followed by Andrew Milne in 23rd. Keith Dowson was the club’s fastest M50 in 35th position, and Darius Sarchar the club’s fastest M40 in 42nd. The other scorers were Andy Ashlee (45th), Dan Witt (57th), James Graham (1st M60 and our 2nd M50, in 65th) and Nick Humphrey-Taylor in 72nd.
There was a great performance by 18-year old Tom Waldron to come 102nd in his first ever cross-country race – wearing football boots. (It’s time for Dad to buy him some trail shoes!)
The SAC women ran strongly too, with Heather Fitzmaurice finishing in 108th place overall (7th woman and 2nd W45), closely followed by Vanessa Gilmartin in 8th. The other women scorers were Sally Shewell (2nd W55) and Anna Humphrey-Taylor.
Going into this race, the Sevenoaks women's team was leading the series, with the SAC combined team lying second to Dartford Harriers. A fantastic result for the club after 4 races. The combined team was 4th at Minnis Bay with the men also 4th as the men's race was dominated by runners from Dartford Harriers who maintained their leading position in the series. The SAC women's team were sixth on the day. Despite strong challenges from Petts Wood Runners and Paddock Wood, the SAC combined team did enough to maintain second place in the series, with the women third and the men second after five races.
The Sevenoaks AC results were as follows:
|Ov Pos||Lg Pos||Runner||Age||Time||Club||Rating||# Races|
|14||14||John Witton||39||37:43||Sevenoaks AC||95.04||2|
|23||23||Andrew Milne||35||39:27||Sevenoaks AC||91.60||14|
|35||34||Keith Dowson||54||40:25||Sevenoaks AC||87.40||12|
|42||41||Darius Sarshar||48||40:54||Sevenoaks AC||84.73||3|
|45||44||Andy Ashlee||48||41:15||Sevenoaks AC||83.59||23|
|57||55||Daniel Witt||42||42:10||Sevenoaks AC||79.39||44|
|65||63||James Graham||64||42:29||Sevenoaks AC||76.34||20|
|72||68||Nick Humphrey-Taylor||45||42:50||Sevenoaks AC||74.43||2|
|89||83||James Baker||53||43:39||Sevenoaks AC||68.70||17|
|95||89||Tony Waldron||50||43:54||Sevenoaks AC||66.41||22|
|103||97||Tom Waldron||22||44:30||Sevenoaks AC||63.36||Debut|
|108||7||Heather Fitzmaurice||48||44:42||Sevenoaks AC||94.96||69|
|121||8||Vanessa Gilmartin||42||45:14||Sevenoaks AC||94.12||5|
|135||126||Andy Evans||47||46:26||Sevenoaks AC||52.29||38|
|180||158||Alan Lewis||51||49:04||Sevenoaks AC||40.08||5|
|242||38||Sarah Shewell||58||53:08||Sevenoaks AC||68.91||100|
|296||59||Anna Humphrey-Taylor||48||58:12||Sevenoaks AC||51.26||2|
|297||60||Ella Pyman||51||58:14||Sevenoaks AC||50.42||6|
|317||243||James Fitzmaurice||75||59:52||Sevenoaks AC||7.63||65|
The full results are here. The next race will be on Sunday January 28th in Nurstead Court, Meopham.
The Kent Fitness League is a series of cross-country races between the 18 registered Athletics Clubs in Kent. Any number of club members can compete, but 12 are needed to score in the team competition – 8 men (of whom two must be V50 and one V40) and 4 women (of whom one must be V45 and one V35).