On 15 July the sixth and final meeting in the Southern Counties Veterans AC (Kent) league 2013 series was held at Dartford. The evening was hot, still sunny enough to have competitors seeking shade at the outset. We had a full team, but an exploratory jog round the track convinced Chris Desmond that he would not be able to run through injury, and we re-adjusted the team in consequence.
Our sprinters were well on form, winning all three 100m races in division 2. Paul English led the way with an impressive 12.3 seconds in the M35A race, yet again lowering his M40 personal best and the club M40 record for equal 19th place in the UK rankings. Martin White ended well clear in the M35B race with an M45 personal best in 13.6 seconds; and Geoffrey Kitchener, in a very close finish, took the M50 race with a season’s best of 14.1 seconds, for equal 20th place in the M60 UK rankings.
The other track competition was 800m, where John Denyer took second place in the M60 race (photo below), picking up the lead 150m from home, but being outsprinted down the straight. With 2 minutes 44.1 seconds, he shaved a tenth of a second off his time at Bromley in June, good for fifth place in the UK M65 rankings.
John was the fastest of the Sevenoaks competitors: Rob Peers and Geoffrey both jogged round the M35A and B races in almost identical times for a couple of points, and Ron Denney (see photo below) finishing to applause in 3 minutes 56.4 seconds in the M50 race, against competitors who were up to a quarter of a century younger.
In field competition we had two long jump third places: Rob Peers in the M35s with 3.72 metres and Geoffrey Kitchener in the M60s with 3.21 metres, both season’s bests. David Simpson helped out in the M50 long jump and also took a fourth place in the M60 discus with 11.75 metres. Ron Denney threw in the M50 discus competition for an M75 personal best.
The evening ended with the medley relay, where Rob ran a solid 800m first leg. The next two legs were each 200m, taken by our star sprinters Martin and Paul. By the time that Paul handed over, we had achieved an unassailable third position, which Geoffrey held in taking the baton home over the final 400m. The relay certainly provided a sense of achievement in finishing the league season. Overall, we achieved fourth place at the meeting, with twice as many points as the fifth-placed club, and this consolidated our fourth place in the division for the 2013 series.
Many thanks to all who have participated in the team during the series, being, in addition to the team manager: Chris Desmond, David Simpson, John Denyer, Martin White, Maurice Marchant, Paul English, Rob Carr, Rob Peers and Ron Denney.