Kent League – Senior Men
Congratulations to Rob Jackaman for finishing third in the Kent League this season. Rob came into the final meeting of the season in first place in the individual table and expectations were further heightened by the news that Tom Collins of Medway & Maidstone, Rob’s closest challenger, would not be running. But on the day Rob could do no better than come 10th allowing Tom Cox (Tonbridge) and Mike Coleman (South Kent) to leapfrog over him in the table. Rob was in no hurry to offer excuses or explanations but owing to his London Marathon preparations he had come into this fixture at the end of another high mileage week and sometimes you have to make choices: you can’t be the best marathon runner you could be and the best 10k runner you could be, not at the same time anyway.
This was the first time for many years that Cambridge Harriers had hosted a Kent League event and we are very grateful to Phil Pape for all the hard work that he put in to make it a success, and to all of the club’s marshals who did a great job in wet and miserable weather. The general consensus was that the two lap course in Foots Cray Meadows that Phil had devised was one of the better ones that we have run over this season.
This was also the final reckoning in the team competitions. In the past two years we have come third in the 4-to-score competition, but with Dean Lacy absent through injury for the whole of this season we came into the final race in fourth place. And here, with not only Dean but also Chris Wyles missing, although Rob Jackaman was well supported by Steve Hodges (16th), David Reader (31st) and Steve Groom (33rd) we had to settle for another 4th place leaving us in 4th.
We fared better in the 12-to-score. Again we came into this race lying in 4th spot but as is often the case in this competition consistently fielding 12 runners turned out to be a decisive factor. We had 14 finishers but rivals Medway & Maidstone and Blackheath & Bromley had only 7 and 9 respectively. Although we were only third in this race, behind not only Tonbridge but also Dartford Harriers, it was enough to leave us in second place at the end of the season, our highest position for many years.
Finally there was another good run from Alan Black who, despite sporting a few facial blemishes – momentos from a tumble on the Long Mynd fell race the previous weekend, managed to pick up enough points to take home a trophy for finishing third in the over 60s category.
So that is the Kent League over for another season. Thanks to all who turned out for at least one of the four races (27 of us in all) and who helped ensure that we were ever present in the 12-to-score competition for the third year running. And thanks to all of the League’s organisers and officials, particularly our own Dave Kitcher and Mick Paul, for another excellent season.
RESULTS: 10. 33:05 Rob Jackaman 16. 34:13 Steve Hodges 31. 35:33 David Reader 33. 35:57 Steve Groom 37. 36:19 Christian Poulton 46. 37:21 Dom Fiore 54. 38:11 Jerry Carnell 78. 40:37 Clem Dixon 79. 40:41 Martin Hawkins 81. 40:43 Alan Black 94. 42:45 Mal Pires 100. 43:38 Mark Ashby 103. 44:30 Ian Marshall 111. 48:14 Peter Hadley
FINAL STANDINGS: (position and points of those scoring in all 4 races) 3. 22 Rob Jackaman 14. 114 Steve Hodges 18. 157 David Reader (4th vet) 40. 459 Alan Black (3rd V60) 44. 508 Clem Dixon