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Team

The first race of the 2023/24 Kent Fitness League took place in Swanley Park on Sunday November 11th, writes Jim Knight.

A record 618 runners, including 38 from Sevenoaks AC, lined up for the start at 11 a.m. After 2 minutes silence to contemplate the horrors of war and pay respects to those who fought for our freedom in the two world wars, the whistle blew, and the race started.

Three laps of the park – undulating, grassy, muddy in places, but overall a fast 5.5-mile course. The rain held off and the runners enjoyed pleasant cool conditions.

29 minutes and 47 seconds later, 18 year old Callum Featherstone from Maidstone and Medway AC crossed the line to win by 11 seconds from his brother, Cameron.

Just 11 seconds later, 40 year-old James Mason from Sevenoaks AC had an outstanding run to finish in 6th place. He was followed by Jamie Philip (20th), Andrew Hutchinson (34th), and Guillaume Nineven (38th). The other scorers in the men’s team were Darius Sarshar (63rd), 19-year-old Harvey Taylor (74th), Chris Desmond (109th), and Mike McCarthy (125th). There was also an excellent performance from Dan Witt, the club Chairman, who finished in 43 minutes in his first race since undergoing cancer treatment.

In the women’s race, Sevenoaks’ Andrea Berquez led for the first 2 laps but faded on the final lap and came 3rd in a time of 34.47 - an outstanding performance as she had competed in a long trail race in the South Downs the day before. The other scorers in the SAC women’s team were Caroline Fenwick (14th), Cath Linney (23rd), Nicola Glover (30th), and Pauline Dalton (71st).

The women’s team came 3rd, the men’s team 5th, and the combined team 5th overall. A very encouraging start to the season. The SAC results were:

Ov Pos Lg Pos Bib Runner Age Time Club Score Rtg #
6 6 869 James Mason 40 30:09 Sevenoaks AC V40:1 98.73 20
20 20 882 Jamie Philip 46 32:13 Sevenoaks AC V40:2 95.17 2
34 34 858 Andrew Hutchinson 44 32:55 Sevenoaks AC M1 91.60 21
48 48 879 Guillaume Nineven 38 33:35 Sevenoaks AC M2 88.04 11
65 63 886 Darius Sarshar 54 34:37 Sevenoaks AC V50:1 84.22 13
71 3 836 Andrea Berquez 38 34:47 Sevenoaks AC V35 99.11 7
78 74 893 Harvey Taylor 19 35:11 Sevenoaks AC M3 81.42 10
99 92 830 Richard Alford-Smith 47 36:09 Sevenoaks AC NSBLS 76.84 15
104 96 878 Sebastian Naughton 49 36:23 Sevenoaks AC NSBLS 75.83 11
108 100 888 Paul Shelley 49 36:34 Sevenoaks AC NSBLS 74.81 8
119 109 846 Chris Desmond 60 36:54 Sevenoaks AC V60 72.52 85
129 14 852 Caroline Fenwick 45 37:20 Sevenoaks AC V45 94.22 8
139 123 874 Andrew Monk 47 37:54 Sevenoaks AC NSBLS 68.96 5
141 125 871 Michael McCarthy 58 37:56 Sevenoaks AC V50:2 68.45 25
151 133 834 James Baker 58 38:10 Sevenoaks AC NS 66.41 25
158 23 865 Catherine Linney 54 38:27 Sevenoaks AC F1 90.22 44
173 30 854 Nicola Glover 35 38:52 Sevenoaks AC F2 87.11 9
181 149 849 Graham Dwyer 51 38:57 Sevenoaks AC NS 62.34 21
199 166 896 Anthony Waldron 56 39:41 Sevenoaks AC NS 58.02 35
201 35 840 Lucy Ching 42 39:47 Sevenoaks AC NSBLS 84.89 Debut
210 173 831 Brian Allen 51 40:08 Sevenoaks AC NS 56.23 Debut
214 177 859 David Killpack 38 40:13 Sevenoaks AC NS 55.22 4
228 188 837 Simon Bishop 59 40:46 Sevenoaks AC NS 52.42 7
242 199 835 Adam Bates 40 41:00 Sevenoaks AC NS 49.62 Debut
249 205 850 Andrew Evans 53 41:05 Sevenoaks AC NS 48.09 53
255 210 862 Leonard Lai King 44 41:13 Sevenoaks AC NS 46.82 11
276 54 853 Vanessa Gilmartin 48 41:51 Sevenoaks AC NSBLS 76.44 29
285 229 866 Alan Male 53 42:06 Sevenoaks AC NS 41.98 5
301 62 883 Sarah Philpott 45 42:45 Sevenoaks AC NSBLS 72.89 Debut
314 247 900 Daniel Witt 48 43:17 Sevenoaks AC NS 37.40 67
328 71 844 Pauline Dalton 59 43:36 Sevenoaks AC V55 68.89 59
376 288 856 Simon Hallpike 70 45:05 Sevenoaks AC NS 26.97 59
383 294 867 Simon Mann 43 45:18 Sevenoaks AC NS 25.45 Debut
423 107 889 Sarah Shewell 64 47:08 Sevenoaks AC NS 52.89 124
504 355 860 Jim Knight 72 51:24 Sevenoaks AC NS 9.92 6
544 371 892 Lionel Stielow 74 54:40 Sevenoaks AC NS 5.85 24
580 383 872 Nicholas Mileham 43 58:46 Sevenoaks AC NS 2.80 4
582 199 857 Anna Humphrey-Taylor 54 59:08 Sevenoaks AC NS 12.00 5

The full results are here.

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 13 are needed to score in the team competition – 8 men (of whom two must be V40 and two V50 and one V60) and 5 women (of whom one must be V35 and one V45 and one V55).

The next race is on Sunday Nov 19th in Oxleas Wood, Eltham.

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