Ashford and District took strong squads to the South East Athletics Association County Championships. The course did not disappoint and proved to be exceptionally challenging with muddy conditions calling for heroic performances from the runners.
The flags and banners of the clubs taking part in the event lining the side of Parliament Hill and the noisy support made for quite a spectacle and provided tremendous inspiration for the runners.
Ailis Goddard was disappointed not to finish but was injured while attempting to avoid a fallen runner, she will be back next year to finish the job.
Becky Macey’s first visit to this iconic cross country venue was rewarded with a creditable 180th place in 36:59. Chris Costiff battled through a back injury to be next home for the club in 358th with a time of 41:43. It was also Rhian Shrimplin’s first time at Parliament Hill and was 3rd home for the club with a time of 43:42 and 411th overall. Massah Cooper, having a great cross country season finished in 459th with 44:34. Gill O’Connor also nursing a back injury was 482nd with 45:23. Lucy Johnstone was 660th in 55:57. This gave the ladies team 51st place overall.
The men’s race followed took in over 3 laps and 12 kilometres of the quagmire prepared by the previous races. The clubs strongest cross country runners Jon Pearce and Jon Wells led the team home in 472nd with 1:00:28 and 566th with 1:04:31 respectively. Andrew Noble showing great form and experience finished in 627th and a time of 1:05:36. James Booth finished 801st with 1:09:55. Adrian Moody always well prepared for whatever the conditions present finished in 814th and 1:10:14. Tom Preece chose this event as a test for fitness on return from a long layoff due to injury coming in at 915th place in 1:13:29. Keith Haynes has shown tremendous determination throughout the cross country season and has been a stalwart for the club finished in 944th place with a time of 1:14:37.
The popular Canterbury 10 mile had a large turnout of Ashford and District runners. Trevor Kay was first home for the club in 26th place with a time of 1:02:19. Paul Ridley taking advantage of his marathon training posted a personal best time of 1:05:45 and looked strong for his 70th place. Club veterans Paul Moses and Scotty Lynch battled it out throughout the race with Moses coming off better this time with a time of 1:06:38 in 83rd place with Lynch 86th with a time of 1:06:49, placing 8th and 9th in the V50 category. Carl Ireland also ran a personal best for 10 miles in 1:11:12. On a good day for PB’s John Beale and Adrian Beresford were 264th and 286th in 1:14:22 and 1:15:04. Next home was Kevin Tutt in 286th with 1:15:20 then Stu Nunn in 414th and 1:19:45. Darren Fagg was 452nd in 1:21:12. Keith Lynn also with a PB finished in 1:29:56. Michael Teale was 677th and a time of 1:29:08. Hugh Scarlin proved the conditions were good for PB’s with 1:34:04 and 887th place.
A strong ladies representation were led home by Linda Jean Delport with a time of 1:13:23, followed by Essen Larsen in 1:16:37. Tracey Calnan ran a personal best time of 1:20:41. Aurelie Morris completed the course in 1:23:11. Showing the benefit of marathon trading Sandi Mortimer ran a PB time of 1:23:24. Jacklyn Kay completed the 10 miles in 1:30:43. Completing the days tally of PB’s was Karine Reid with a time of 1:48:11. Lucy Johnstone posted a time of 1:48:11, particularly impressive when considering Lucy competed in the cross-country on Saturday. Sarah Taylor finished in 1:53:57.