- Maryse Ford
Kent XC League – Match 3, Senior Women
The third Kent League cross country race saw the return of some “old” friends. Lucy Marlow had a great run on the back of just 4 weeks training since the birth of Joe. We welcomed back Megan Williams who has been away for four years at university and in Australia. It was also her debut run as a senior over cross country. Finally Caroline Ford took a break from her heavy winter training schedule to turn out for the team. Of course, we can’t do without our regulars and as most of them do the Parkrun every week at Danson park the prospect of a cross country race there is not all that enticing. So their loyalty was much appreciated. A special mention must go to Rose Baker who is still recovering from her 100 mile five day race in the Himalayas (see her report on the website) but still did both the Parkrun and the cross country and to Maria Macdonald who ran a marathon in Verona just one week previously.
The weather was cold, windy but sunny and as there had been some rain during the week the ground was heavier than it had been for the previous races. Caroline Ford led for the first lap in a tussle with Elaine Rayner of B and B. As someone who considers herself as primarily a track runner Caroline would have preferred harder ground and no wind! Both of them were overtaken on the second lap by Maria Heslop from Tonbridge. The three of them had pulled away from the rest of field and it was just a matter of sorting out the places between them. Elaine got Caroline just before the line but was tiring as Caroline ran out of ground to overtake. Meanwhile further down the field Christine Bond was vying with Rose to be the next harrier back and they made up the team of three. A similar contest was taking place between Lucy, Megan and Susan Dixon to make up the team of six. Between them all we produced an improved performance coming fourth in the match in both competitions. This has also improved our overall standing to seventh and sixth in the team competitions.
I have to confess to being slightly distracted about what happened next as I was happily occupied in playing with Joe. I did notice that Shelley was running more steadily and that as a result she looked more comfortable. I also noted that poor Angela Ford started nearly a minute after the gun and was making up several places. She had been held up at home but others on the team nearly missed the start as well – the perennial problem of the loo queue.