• Mick Bond

Cross Country Update

Updated: Nov 23, 2021

Kent League, Danson Park - Saturday November 13th


Juniors

Iris Williams started proceedings off with another win in the under 13 girls race. Sophia Pawa had a strong run to finish in 20th place. Anagha Pai and Celia Yeatman finished one second apart in 27th and 28th positions respectively. Completing the team was new member Delilah Lester, who had a fine debut, finishing in 32nd position.

U13 Girls Team: Anagha, Sophia, Celia, Iris and Delilah

Joshua Wellings produced his best performance of the season when finishing in 4th position in the under 13 boys race. New recruit, Rhys Joyeux had a good first outing for the club to cross the line in 32nd position. Our final finisher, Oliver Hill, felt unwell during the race and was on the verge of dropping out. Realising that three were needed to complete the team he bravely continued to the finish.


In the under 15 girls race Amelia Lawrence continued her quest for a Kent vest for the Inter Counties coming up in December. Finishing 10th she put herself in a strong position for this to happen. Ever present Mia Harris was our only other finisher in this age group, coming 33rd.


Due to a schools match a depleted team of two ran in the under 15 boys race. Luke Bridges had a great race to finish in 20th place. Aidan Newton finished a couple of places behind in 22nd position.


In the under 17 women's race Eva Armitage-Woods worked her way through the field to finish in 18th place. Ever present Inez Rice was our other finisher in this age group, crossing the line in 26th place.


There was a close finish between our two under 17 men, with Jonathan Idowu finishing in 27th position and Jake Chea two places further back in 29th position.


Seniors

Megan Marchant earned a well deserved second place. She went straight to the front and for over two laps sat on the shoulder of the leader. In the end she could not quite overtake her- maybe next time. The extent of the leaders breakaway from the opposition was so great that Megan finished a full minute ahead of the third placed runner. The next harrier to score was a consistent Lucy Marlow (12th). Hot on her heels was Julie Backley (13th) who has been rapidly improving over the three races so far. So it was second place for the team of three. More importantly we retained our first place in the league standings. We will need our strongest team in the last match to ensure a win.

Pictured: Megan Marchant tracks eventual winner Verity Hopkins from Tonbridge.


It was touch and go for the team of six. At 9-00am on Saturday the sick list seemed to be never ending. It looked like we had 8 just about fit enough to run but at least 3 were nursing injuries and were not certain they could complete the course. So Rose Baker, who isn’t really a cross country fan but is a great team player, was called up at 9-30 because if she was fit enough to start it was fairly certain she could finish! In the event Sophie Parkes, Christine Bond and Rose nursed their bodies round the course to take 3rd place in the team of six and so hang on the 2nd in the cumulative standings. Lets hope that by the time the last fixture comes around in February that we will have everyone available and fully fit.


It has to said that Danson Park is the least favourite fixture in the Kent League. The course is flat, repetitive, boring and has been consistently allocated to the SW as opposed to the SM. The argument to back up the allocation seems to be that it was hard to get a 10k course at Danson but now that the distances have been equalised we live in hope that this fixture can be shared equally.


2 Megan Marchant 29:29; 12 Lucy Marlow 31:30; 13 Julie Backley 31:48; 42 Sophie Parkes 35:13; 72 Christine Bond 37:25; 78 Rose Baker 37:55; 97 Marian Hine 39:44; 115 Monica Whitefield 42:10; 129 Annabelle Gely 47:42.


Senior women getting ready to go


British Cross Country Challenge Milton Keynes


Milton Keynes offered a much more challenging course than Danson Park and brought together most of the top Cross country runners in the country. Holly Dixon, Sabrina Sinha and Natasha Sinha understandably chose this race over Danson Park and ran really well to take 18th, 27th and 35th respectfully in a field of close to 300