For once we were able to field complete teams in all four age groups at the Kent Vets.
In the 40-49 race David Reader was our first finisher in 20th (and 6th M45). He was joined by Warren Mills turning out for a cross country for the first time this season and by Matt Preston turning out for the first time ever, or at latest since he was at school. Hopefully we will not have to wait another 30 years until his next appearance. Matt had Warren in his sights for most of the race and was gaining on him towards the end but Warren managed to hold him off to finish with a lead of six seconds. Teams are of four in this category and four is what we had with Mike Daly also running, the team coming 9th.
There was a similar story in the 50-59 race with Christian Poulton running well for 12th and the numbers being made up by Clem Dixon and Martin Hawkins, the team of three coming 8th.
The 60-69 age group run over a shorter course with the women, Alan Black in 14th was second M65 with Ian McCarthy and Mike Simmons completing the team: another 8th place.
Unfortunately team medals have never been awarded for the 70+ category as there have never been enough teams to warrant it but this is something that the organisers may look at in future as the numbers continue to grow. This year in a field of 24 we were one of two clubs with three entries, the other being Canterbury Harriers, and if medals had been awarded ours would have been gold. Keith Dungate in 7th was our first finisher with Peter Hadley and Ian Marshall also running.
The Dartford Central Park course is not to everyone’s liking but the monotony of the straight flat bits is broken up by some steep but short ups and downs. Thick fog in the morning lifted in time for the first race to be replaced with winter sunshine, perfect conditions for spectating as well as running.
Results M40 9300m
20 David Reader (M45) 32:22 47 Warren Mills 35:26 48 Matthew Preston (M45) 35:32 73 Michael Daly 39:27
12 Christian Poulton 33:07 54 Clem Dixon (M55) 37:50 65 Martin Hawkins (M55) 38:39
14 Alan Black (M65) 22:53 30 Ian McCarthy 25:30 43 Michael Simmons 28:50
7 Keith Dungate 26:59 12 Peter Hadley 27:48 19 Ian Marshall 31:00