On a day quite in contrast to the 20 degrees heat of the same fixture in 2022, we had all types of weather conditions – sunshine as well as both heavy and light rain, leading to a course particularly muddy in places, adding to its traditional toughness. This led to a number
of runners slipping, tripping and even falling over completely during the course of the day.
As at Foot’s Cray, we had a good turnout, this time a team of around 27/28, including at least
two making their club debuts – special mentions to Sam Aldridge and Will Senbanjo – apologies if I’ve forgotten anyone else debuting. Again, we still had quite a few missing, so looking forward to getting well over 30 senior men out at one of these Kent League races!
Co-team manager Micah Evans led the team home in 16th place overall and first M40 in a time of 29:10 with an improved showing from Foot’s Cray in conditions which apparently suited him. Kevin Fini was our second finisher, again showing his strong form in 29:43 for
25th place, with Dominic Smith (who Kev introduced to the club a year ago) in his second xc race for us right behind him in 3rd place BBHAC and 26th overall in 29:50. Completing our four to score was Graeme Lugar in 4th for us and 31st overall in 30:05, showing that training with Mike Reeves’s young-stars is paying off. This time round we came 3rd in the four to score behind Tonbridge and Medway & Maidstone, comfortably beating Cambridge Harriers who pipped us two weeks prior.
Next up was Christian Clement with another improved performance from Foot’s Cray, 53rd in 31:26, closely followed by coach Fintan Parkinson, 56th in 31:37. Then came Will Senbanjo making his club debut, 62nd in 31:59, Luca Ercolani continuing to work his way back after injuries, 66th in 32:12 and Greg Bull in his second race for us 68th in 32:14. In 104th was U20 Ted Marston running up with the senior men in 33:54, then Sharpey / Paul Sharpe 110th in 34:10 and completing our 12 to score was Richard Webb, coming down from Scotland after his recent move North of the border and turning up to race for us, 124th in 34:38. We also finished 3rd in the 12 to score, again behind Tonbridge and M&M.
Next finisher for us was Josh Dowling after a week of big mileage still having something in his legs for 129th in 34:53, Greg Firth fresh from celebrating South Africa’s epic Rugby World Cup win 132nd in 34:58, Ian Scott in his first Kent League of the season 146th in 35:53, Martin Parkinson 147th in 35:55, Jason Meers 168th in 36:57, Matt Bullen 172nd in 37:10 and George Kleanthous 192nd in 38:20.
Completing our turnout was Barry Slattery 204th in 39:23, Rod Harrington (who collected a
number of our runners who didn’t have transport from Norman Park and also gave me a lift back to the club – much appreciated Rod!) 226th in 40:20, Chris Martin 236th in 41:09, Will Brindley 242nd in 41:48, Luigi Arcuri 249th in 42:13, Andrew Tutt (masquerading as his son Alessio in the results) 257th in 43 minutes flat, Mark Ellison 259th in 43:12, James Unwin (who also very kindly offered lifts to and from Norman Park to a number of our runners – thanks James!) 270th in 44:48 rounding off our contingent out of the 287 finishers. Sam Aldridge on his debut was unfortunately a DNF after feeling his hamstring after a strong first
5k or so – looking forward to seeing him race going forwards – a strong new M40 addition in
So another successful Kent League fixture, gaining a place in both the 4 and 12 to score
from two weeks ago and still with a number of strong runners to come back into the team.
Thanks to everyone who turned up and raced – see you at the next one!
– Simon Harris
For full results across all age groups >>> Click Here <<<