KFL Match 5 Minnis Bay - 14 January 2018

Team at Minnis Bay

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).

KFL Match 4 Fowlmead - 7th January 2018

Team at Fowlmead

The sixteen Sevenoaks AC runners who made the long trip down to Deal for the fourth match of the 2017/18 Kent Fitness League on 7th January delivered a brilliant team performance for the club. In windy conditions, both the women and men ran really well to place second in the combined team results, with the women's team third and the men second on the day. This keeps the combined team second after four matches with the women now leading the standings and the men second.

There were also some great individual performances, in particular Heather Fitzmaurice who led home the women's team in fourth place and first W45. Andrew Milne was our first man in 10th, with Andrew Mead 3rd M40 just two places behind. Keith Dowson was third M50 and James Graham second M60. The SAC results were:

Ov Pos Lg Pos Runner Age Time Club Rating # Races
10 10 Andrew Milne 35 31:23 Sevenoaks AC 96.09 13
12 12 Andrew Mead 49 31:39 Sevenoaks AC 95.22 31
14 14 Andrew Hutchingson 38 31:49 Sevenoaks AC 94.35 3
24 23 Keith Dowson 54 32:31 Sevenoaks AC 90.43 11
25 24 Nick Humphrey-Taylor 45 32:36 Sevenoaks AC 90.00 Debut
28 27 Daniel Witt 42 32:42 Sevenoaks AC 88.70 43
32 30 Andy Ashlee 48 32:55 Sevenoaks AC 87.39 22
71 68 James Graham 64 35:11 Sevenoaks AC 70.87 19
82 4 Heather Fitzmaurice 48 35:41 Sevenoaks AC 97.30 68
85 5 Vanessa Gilmartin 42 35:50 Sevenoaks AC 96.40 4
91 86 Tony Waldron 50 36:15 Sevenoaks AC 63.04 21
216 45 Sarah Shewell 58 43:38 Sevenoaks AC 60.36 99
244 190 Paul Allum 54 46:12 Sevenoaks AC 17.83 3
252 58 Anna Humphrey-Taylor 48 46:52 Sevenoaks AC 48.65 Debut
280 70 Grazia Manzotti 48 51:06 Sevenoaks AC 37.84 5
282 72 Jenny Austin 40 51:48 Sevenoaks AC 36.04 13

The full results are here.

Jim Knight adds: "Congratulations to the 16 SAC runners who made the trip to Fowlmead. A great result. Our combined team is now 2nd and the women’s team is leading the series. It was good to see Grace, Jenny and Anna taking part. A perfect demonstration of Andrew Mead’s point that everyone can help the team.

"After 3 races, Petts Wood women were in the lead. At Fowlmead, they failed to field a full team and their last scorer was given 112th position.
They came 10th on the day and dropped to 3rd in the series. Let’s hope that we can persuade enough SAC runners to enjoy the run (and free swim) in Minnis Bay (match 5 on Sunday 14th January), for us to keep ahead of Petts Wood."

Kent County XC Champs - 6th January 2018


Allan Lee was 11th and first M40 at the Kent Cross Country Championships at Brands Hatch on 6th January. Eleven Sevenoaks AC runners contested the event over a tough muddy course. Allan was joined in the senior men's race by Darrell Smith in 56th (2nd M50) and James Graham 159th (2nd M60).

Six of the runners were juniors in the U13 categories. Ollie Brownridge was an impressive 20th in the boys race, backed up by Dominic Fulton in 56th and Jacques Malan in 88th.The boys were one short of a team, but the girls team of Julia Sackville-West, 39th, Erin Vallance, 46th, and Daisy Fricker, 53rd, did register a team score - the only Sevenoaks runners to do so on the day - in eighth place.

SAC even had representation in the senior women's race in which Jacqui O'Reilly was 25th and Grace Manzotti 100th. All the results are here. Videos of the races are here.

Double Parkrun Day - 1 January 2018

Maidstone Parkrun

What a better way to start the new year than doing double parkrun. Grazia Manzotti and Rob Johnson went first to Maidstone for the Maidstone parkrun which started at 8.30 and then back to Tonbridge for the Tonbridge parkrun which started at 10.30. At Tonbridge we met several Sevenoaks runners. Maidstone is a nice parkrun along the river and back, very congested at the beginning as the path is narrow but then could be a PB one (not today after New Years celebrations!) and when we got to Tonbridge it started raining and the course was puddles puddles puddles and a mud bath. But it was great fun. Happy Running New year to everybody, 

Tonbridge Parkrun