Kent League – Senior Men
The club tent provided a welcome if somewhat forlorn sight to those who made their way through the falling snow to Footscray Meadows for the final Kent League fixture of the season. There was no sign of the weather having any adverse effect on our turnout with 16 of us joining the 10 who had come for the women’s race: at this rate we will need a bigger tent!
Dean Lacy underlined his return to form with a fine win, he opened up a gap about a mile from home and although he confessed afterwards that he felt he may have gone off too soon he had enough strength to hold off Ben Cole of Tonbridge by 10 seconds. That win took Dean up to third place in the final individual league table. Other runners who competed in all four fixtures for the club were Graham Maynard and Clem Dixon finishing 26th and 35th respectively in the final standings with Graham 4th over 50.
A bit further back Bayley Massey, making his debut in the seniors’ race, hung on to the heels of James MacDonald for most of the two laps. There had been some expectation that Bayley might try to sprint past James at the finish, but he did the decent thing at let James take 17th place to his 18th. David Reader in 24th completed the four-to-score team which finished third, our highest placing of the season but not enough to lift us up from fifth place in the table.
In the twelve-to-score Mark Ashby (101st) was our final finisher and we were third here too. Aided by Blackheath & Bromley failing to field 12 runners (nothing to do with the weather surely?) this was enough to move us up to fourth in the table. There have now been four consecutive seasons that we have managed to field a full field of 12 or more in every race: let’s keep it that way!
This is the fixture for which we are the host club and on behalf of all of the runners I would like to record our thanks to Phil Pape for all his hard work and for laying on an interesting and challenging course, and to his army of enthusiastic marshals who braved the elements to make the event such a success. As this was the last League fixture of the season we also thank the League’s organizers and officials: Cambridge’s Dave Kitcher, Mick Paul and Dave Maynard and those from other clubs too.
Peter St Amour