Well done to everyone who competed yesterday in the first full length cross country race of the season in a humid and somewhat sunny Swanley Park. We had a strong contingent of 20 men to tackle a twisting and turning course soft in parts and firm in others.

Dan Kennedy led the charge in 13th place after a patient start as numerous people hared off. Next home, in his cross country debut for Blackheath, was Micah Evans in an impressive 22nd place. Kent League ever present Alex Gibbins put his recent marathon jaunt to good use in 30th place, and Fintan Parkinson stormed home in 35th place for one of his best ever Kent League finishes to complete the 4 to score quartet and secure 4th position out of 20 complete teams.

Luca Ercolani produced another fine run a mere fortnight after his recent marathon PB to reach 41st, Greg Firth followed in an impressive 52nd, Ian Scott, another debutant, was next home in 59th, and Roger Beswick fell just short of winning his age category in 77th.

There was a smattering of Heathens just inside the top 100 with Darren Corneille in 87th, Paul Sharpe in 92nd and Chris Tuck in 96th, as another triumvirate of Tim Ayres (116th), Jason Meers (119th) and Steve Evenden (124th despite a fall and drawing blood in the grittiest run of the day) closed on behind them in short order. Tim’s finish also attained 4th place in the 12 to score team category, in sync with the 4 to score measure.

Steve Pairman was grateful to cast aside management duties and focus on the running in 153rd place, Rich Byford continued his path back to full fitness in 171st, and just pipped a returning Steve Hough in 174th. Andrew Tutt battled through to 213th, Luigi Arcuri crossed the line in 225th and Rod Harrington returned from injury to bookend the team in 231st.

Full results can be found here: https://kcaa.org.uk/kent%20league%20results.htm#22

This was a great start to the season and will hopefully set the tone for all upcoming races, starting with next Saturday’s 2nd Kent League fixture at Somerhill School in Tonbridge.

Report by Dan Kennedy