Somerhill School in Tonbridge provided the perfect backdrop to the second race of the Kent County Athletics Association cross country season, with 33 A&D members taking on the 2 lap notoriously hilly course.

In the men’s Under 20 5k race and in a very competitive field, Kieran Hodges put in an excellent performance to finish 6th overall in a time of 20 minutes exactly, just 11 seconds ahead of brother Jack in 9th.

The senior ladies team, racing over a distance of 5 miles this season, put in another strong team performance, with Alison Waters coming home first for the club in 41st place overall in a time of 37:41.  Hot on her heels was Alice Cook taking 47th place in 38:08.  Tracy Calnan was next to cross the line in 39:19 and 54th place with Holly Cook right behind in 55th place and posting 39:35.  Ailis Goddard finished strongly holding off the competition with a 39:42 and 57th place, and Sally Smith also grabbed a sub 40 minute finish with 39:59 and 61st place to complete the ladies 6 to score result.  Emma Hanna, suffering from illness, was 71st in a respectable 40:49 and Jaclyn Kay completed the A&D field in 51:44 and 110th place.

At the half way point in the 3 to score competition, the ladies are sitting in 9th place out of 18 teams and in the ladies 6 to score league table, they are holding on to 3rd place.  An excellent start to the league season.

The A&D men were out in force, also racing over a distance of 5 miles this season.  Another stunning performance from Nick Collins saw him first home for the A&D men and in 24th place overall, with an excellent time of 28:41.  Aidan Gorham stormed round the course and finished 47th in 30:26 ahead of Trevor Kay in 71st place with a time of 31:45.  James Booth in 115th place completed the men’s 4 to score in 34 minutes exactly.

The ever reliable Scott Lynch was 120th and just 9 seconds behind Booth in 34:09, with Cris Francis in 130th position with another very strong outing in 34:39.  Also enjoying the hills was Paul Moses just behind in 132nd and 34:44, just ahead of Paul Crisp in 133rd with a time of 34:46. Philip Marr was next to cross the line for A&D in 140th place in 35:14 just in front of Daniel Head who tore up the final hill to overtake some of the competition and finish in 35:43 and 154th place.  Robin Butler took 157th place just in front of Dave Chappell in 160th, completing the men’s 12 to score team, with times of 36:03 and 36:10 respectively.

Adrian Moody took 170th place in 36:21, just ahead of Chris Boyce who crossed the line 36:49 and Mark Harrison just 2 seconds behind in 36:51 in 175th and 176th place.  Darren Fagg in 183rd finished the tough course in 37:24, followed by Keith Haynes, 190th, 38:09 and Steve Hodges, 191st and 38:10.  The sea of blue vests continued across the line with Michael Stanley in 193rd and 38:27, Richard Baker, 214th place and a time of 40:05 and Neil Woodham, 225th with 41:01.  Stuart Nunn took 234th place with a finish time of 41:56 and Chris Field completed the team effort in 43:07 and 241st place.

In the men’s 4 to score table the A&D team are currently sitting in 7th place overall out of 22 teams, with a 12 to score league position of 6th place.


If the hills were tough at the cross country meet, then the last minute change to the Beachy Head marathon, providing participants the opportunity to run across the Seven Sisters not once but twice, was a huge challenge.

Undeterred by the route change Ingvlid Drake posted a superb time of 4:18:38.  Christine Costiff was not far behind, storming to a 4:37:15 finish.  Alex Francis, completing only his second marathon, took on the hills and recorded an excellent 4:42:50.


Fresh from London just 3 weeks before, Simon Jackson also took on the Eastbourne coastline finishing the course in 5:01:38.  Gill O’Connor was next to finish the 2 lap course in 5:18:32.  Lucy Johnstone finished in 5:57:00 which was a personal best for her for a trail marathon by 13 minutes.

SVN 500

Back in Kent marathon man Rik Holden completed his latest 26.2 mile distance at the SVN event in a fabulous 3:35:01 and Becky Hodgson also ran at the same event, completing 14.1 miles on the trails and bike paths at Betteshanger country park in 3:50:50.


A beautiful autumnal Sunday morning provided perfect race conditions for the team at the Woodchurch 5 and 10 miler.

Taking on the 5 mile distance Stuart Nunn impressed, finishing in a time of 38:18 despite racing cross country less than 24 hours previously and swallowing a fly!  A&D stalwarts Ann and John Fidge ran the course together, both crossing the line in 47:47.  Emma Jenkins finished in 1:03:50 and Julie Foster, back in racing action, completed the undulating route in 1:14:11.

The 2-lap 10 mile option provided plenty of personal best times for a competitive A&D team.  Daniel Head, also running the day after cross country exploits, nailed a new PB in a fantastic time of 1:11:03.  He was swiftly followed by team mate Richard Boakes less than a minute behind in 1:11:59.  Not far away was Mark Attenborough, with a super 1:13:17 and he was followed by Linda-Jean Delport, who was 1st placed lady in 1:13:44.  Sophie Edmonds also impressed for the ladies, showing how much she has improved – with a personal best of 1:17:38 and a 3rd placed lady trophy as a reward for her hard work.  James Phillips, having already run over 5 miles to warm up before the start of the race, crossed the finish line in 1:25:06.  Peter Buckley was next to finish, another club member setting a new personal best time, in 1:28:23.

Club chairman Sue Reader also set a new personal best over the distance, finishing strongly in 1:30:49 just behind Keith Lynn, fresh from Paris marathon last weekend, who brushed off any post-marathon fatigue to cross the line in 1:30:11.  Trevor Sparkes battled through a stiff leg to post a time of 1:45:13 with Lesley Moody bringing it home for A&D in 1:48:30 – another excellent PB.





In a mixed weekend of events covering a total distance of over 194 miles there was plenty for A&D’s talents to celebrate. Beginning with Saturday’s Parkrunners, Christine Costiff extended her long run of impressive results by taking the Ladies V60 record in 21:58 at Ashford Parkrun. Congratulations Christine! Linda Delport travelled to Margate for her first parkrun there, finishing in 21:13. On the same day Trevor Sparkes entered the Harbour Wallbanger race on the sandy beaches of Broadstairs, covering 7k in 46:33.

Sunday was a busier day beginning with several club members travelling north for the sunny Manchester Marathon. Paul Ridley finished in 2:58:35 after his earlier wave start. Following a strict training regime worked well for Alice Cook who was next home in a well-earned time of 3:45:34. Hugh Scarlin finished under the four-hour mark with his time of 3:56:15. Enjoying his third entry at the race, Gary Mcintosh ran well and clocked 4:06:39 while Sarah Taylor rounded out the club’s presence with her time of 5:38:34. Well done to those marathoners.

In the 10k distance Cris Frances and Alison Waters competed at Silverstone racetrack. Alison pounded the asphalt to finish 17th out of 717 female entrants and 7th in the V40 category. An excellent result, Alison! Cris came closer to breaking the 40-minute barrier with 40:41 as his improved training plan and diet build his already-impressive fitness.

Also on Sunday, several racers competed over the half marathon distance. At the busy Royal Parks Half, Andy Dedman ran well to finish in 1:50:49. James Phillips tackled the hilly Tonbridge Half, finishing in a time of 1:45:49. Running his second race of the weekend, Trevor Sparks finished in 2:33:32.



Ashford and District Runners Shine at the London Marathon

A&DRRC were well represented at the London Marathon with outstanding performances from across the team.
First home for the club was Nick Collins finishing 42nd in the V40 category and beating his own V40 marathon club record with an outstanding 2:35:58. To put this in context it is the equivalent of running over 8 consecutive sub 19 minute 5k’s.
Brothers Janusz and Robert Latala had their own personal battle with Janusz taking the honours this time out. Robert in his first run out for A&D for quite a while clocked a very impressive 2:47:24.
There was no bad luck for Scotty Lynch on his 13th marathon. Scotty ran his first sub 3 hour marathon in a time of 2:59:57. A reward for his text book preparation and metronomic pacing on the day.
Andrew Noble seems to enjoy the capital city marathons and followed up his trip to Berlin with another good for age run in 3:10:37. There was a well deserved personal best for Cris Francis finishing in 3:38:57.
Simon Jackson has worked incredibly hard for his debut marathon, his training has been and example to all. Great pacing gave Simon a time of 4:00:05. Another marathon debutant, Daniel Head, battled through stomach cramps from mile 21 finishing in 4:01:20.
Ed Rodger is no stranger to the marathon and completed this one in 4:10:46.
Linda Jean Delport put her Brighton marathon experiences behind her and led home the A&D ladies with a time of 3:39:59. Essen Larsen was next home in 3:56:14.
A year of injuries and knock backs was not going to stop Lesley Taylor making full use of her good for age place. Lesley finished in 4:12:05.
There was tremendous support throughout the day from a contingent of A&D members, making sure the runners were not short of encouragement.
In conjunction with the main London Marathon a virtual London Marathon also took place. James Phillips took advantage of the calm conditions Sunday venturing across Romney Marsh covering the marathon distance in 4:05:10. Stu Nunn with a strong group of support runners took to the streets and lanes around Ashford, battling through with a time of 4:26:25.
Aurelie Morris and Tracey Calnan covered the virtual marathon together completing their runs in times of 4:15:06 and 4:18:47 respectively.
The Hastings 10k was an opportunity for the ever improving Holly Cook to run a personal best of 46:48 finishing 4th lady.

In her first race as a V60 runner Chris Costiff was 1st lady at the Bewl off-road 10k in a time of 45:28.
There was a tremendous turnout at the A&D take over of Park Run. Club members were out in numbers and filled the volunteers places needed to make this much loved community event go ahead.

Noble Masters Berlin

Andrew Noble followed up his impressive half marathon at The Great North Run with an equally impressive time at the iconic Berlin Marathon. At one of the classic marathons Nobby finished in 3:09:51 giving him 46th place in his age group.
The late start to the running season has not held back Rik Holden. In his 15th marathon of the year and the SVN Tolkien Challenge at Samphire Hoe was despatched in a time of 3:39:16.
At the same event Becky Hodgson looped round for 16.4 miles in a time of 4:10:23.
Well done to Holly Forrest completing her first half marathon round the streets of Hackney. A tremendous atmosphere with great support and bands playing throughout the course motivated Holly to a time of 3:04:18.
The 4 Castles Half Marathon crams in 260 metres of climbing in the run from Deal to Dover. Club Captain Adrian Beresford, recovered for the efforts at the Brighton Marathon with a very respectable 26th place and 5th in age category in a time of 1:46:25. Emma Hanna closely followed Adrian home in 1:51:46, earning Emma the 4th place female. The hard work and training miles certainly paying off for Emma. Peter Buckley was next home for A&D in a time of 2:15:24 with Trevor Sparkes running his 3rd half in 5 weeks finishing in 2:16:08. Rachel Jenkins completed the good turnout by the club with a time of 2:28:37.
The Eridge Park 10 is a popular and testing trail run, offering a variety of terrain to test the runners with a total of 450 metres of climbing in the 10 mile loop. A&D were represented by Paul Moses and Adrian Moody. Paul finished in 18th place and 4th Vet 50 in a time of 1:28:23, with Adrian in 32nd and 9th Vet 50 in 1:30:40.
At Ashford Park Run on Saturday Morning there were personal bests for Cris Francis with a time of 19:36, Dave Chappell with 20:24, and Alison Waters with 21:55. Chris Costiff and Gill O’Connor continued with their 60th birthday celebrations, both finishing in 24:07.
May be an image of 3 people, people standing and outdoors


Half Marathons were the order of the weekend for club runners this week, with Trevor Sparkes heading off to the picturesque Hampton Court to compete on the mixed tarmac and off road course as part of a field of 2000 athletes. His time of 2 hours 11 minutes 27 seconds bagged him a new personal best time, shaving off over 3 and a half minutes off his previous best time.
Sandra Gooding – taking part in her first ever half marathon – took to the streets of Folkestone, a lovely flat course with a notoriously steep hill to finish. She achieved an excellent time of 2 hours 31 minutes 21 seconds.
The return of parkrun events in the UK has given club runners the opportunity to take part in both the local event at Victoria Park and other parkrun events throughout the UK.
At Ashford Keith Haynes had an excellent run, clocking a finish time of 20:57 – a top 20 finish and 3rd in his age category. He was hotly pursued by Simon Jackson, who was surprised at his own speed, crossing the finish line in a new personal best time of 23:50.
Elsewhere Ann and John Fidge travelled to the hot and sunny Isle of Wight and took part in the Medina IOW parkrun at Appleby Park in Ryde. The 1 lap course described as ‘undulating’ was mainly off road with a short section along the promenade, but undeterred by this John crossed the line in 31:23 with Ann shortly behind him in 32:06.
Cris Francis and Alison Waters were also on their travels, at the Lydiard Park parkrun in Swindon. Despite the start being shrouded in a cloud of thick mist the sun soon broke through, unveiling a 2-lap trail course with a long section on damp grass. Despite the challenging conditions, Francis flew round in 19:55, another superb sub-20 minute finish. Waters was not too far behind, finishing in a new PB time of 22:32 and 2nd lady in the rankings.


Darren Fagg’s Ultra-Impressive Performance
Dedicated training and thorough course reconnaissance meant that Darren Fagg was justly rewarded on his first ultra distance event. Darren was first to cross the line in the 55 mile Cliff Top Challenge running for just over 12 hours.
Club-mate Paul Brasington completed the half marathon distance in 4hrs and 40 minutes.
Meanwhile in East Sussex the popular Rye Ancient trails 30K race was well attended by the A&D distance runners. Paul Ridley showing his experience at running trails finished in 2:26:53 and a very impressive 8th place. In an event he always looks forward to, Mark Attenborough completed the course in 2:50:32, with training partner Richard Baker finishing in 3:24:44. Chris Costiff finished 4th lady and first in her age category with a superb time of 2:57:21. Not to be deterred by a nasty fall leading to a broken collarbone, Gill O’Connor finished 12th lady and 3rd in her category in a time of 3:24:44.
The Great North Run is one of the classic races in the running calendar and the A&D representatives provided outstanding performances. The ever impressive Michael Davies ran the half marathon in a time of 1:35:52, finishing 1st in his age category. A truly stunning run in a world class field. Andrew Noble put in a trademark solid performance in a time just over the 90 minute mark. Dave Chappell made the trip to the north-east worthwhile with a personal best time of 1:42:08. Simon Jackson once again beat the 2 hour mark with 1:51:56. Tremendous efforts all round on a course described by the elite athletes as challenging.
The Wingham 10k is a tough hilly course. This did not deter Adrian Moody who posted a time of 46:29. Not to far behind Adrian was Mark Carlton in a time of 48:24. A gritty run by Trevor Sparks was rewarded with a time of 61:19.
There was club success at the Staplehurst 5k and 10k on Sunday. Stu Nunn took the honours with 4th place overall and 1st V45 with a very satisfying time of 22:14. Verity Dunbar ran a time of 31:49 finishing 20th lady. Lesley Moody opted for the 10k race finishing 10th lady with a time of 1:02:13.
Chris Francis and Alison Waters traveled to Bowood to take part in the Outlaw Half Ironman Triathlon. Chris completed the 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and half marathon on 5:47:41, Alison closely following in 6:09:45.
The Brighton Marathon is a must do event for the A&D marathoners. An occasion always well attended by runners and supporters and the 2021 race did not disappoint. A mistake with cone placement led to the course being over 300 metres longer than the recognised marathon distance, an extra challenge in an already challenging race.
Julius Samson justified his decision to run even though he has been struggling with injury and put down a time of 3:13:08. James Booth ran yet another impressive marathon with a time of 3:22:42. As it is the weekend Rik Holden is running a marathon! He took on pacing duties for Linda Jean Delport and was rewarded for his efforts with a pair of ruined running shoes due to a digestive issue from Delport. Not to be beaten by an adverse reaction to a gel Linda Jean crossed the finish line with Rik completing her 10th marathon in 3:49:28.
Mark Harrison beat the 4 hour mark in his first marathon with a time of 3:59:17.
In his first year with A&D and first marathon Richard Boakes was very impressive with his time of 4:01:19. Another newcomer to the club, Matt Hardwick put down a good marker with a time of 4:09:27. Ingvild Drake ran a personal best marathon time of 4:23:14, reward for the long training miles Ingvild puts in. Also running a 4:23 marathon was Massah Cooper. Ed Roger completed the course in 4:32:07.
Steve Hickman running his 168th marathon finished in 4:47:28. Lucy Ellen Johnston building on her solid training miles posted a time of 5:14:01
To underline how challenging the marathon is, club captain Adrain Beresford was unable to complete the marathon. Adrain’s meticulous preparation was scuppered and he required medical attention on the course. We all wish him well and know he will be back stronger and wiser.

Nick Collins Smashes Club Record

The half marathon at Paddock Wood provides a great opportunity to test how themarathon preparations have been going on a fast and competitive course.
Nick Collins, impressive as ever, finished in 28th place and 9th in age category with a new club record in the V40 category with a time of 1:14:14.
Another great run from Alice Cook was good for a top 20 place in the ladies race with a time of 1:47:04. Returning to his old stomping ground, Stu Nunn felt the heat in the second half of the race but still managed a creditable time of 1:49:46.
It was the second running of the Badlesmere 10k on Sunday. An undulating course and a particularly brutal last 1k provides a tough challenge for the competitors.
Paul Moses finished in 3rd place with a time of 42:53. Paul Crisp, running his first race for the club took 6th place and 1st V40 with 44:09. Running on home territory, Adrian Mood finished in 16th with 48:07. But for a mix up at registration, this would have given A&D first place in the men’s teams.

The ladies were led home by Chris Costiff with 49:49 being good for 4th place. Strong runs from Sally Smith in 6th with 51:29 and Emma Hanna, 7th in 51:40 secured A&D the ladies team prize. An impressive run by Holly Cook with a time of 52:59 and 9th place underlined a strong team performance.
The London Summer 10k was another good excuse for Emma Jenkins to make a trip to the capital. Emma completed the 10k in 82:04.


Distance running was the main focus for club members this week, and while many are piling on the pre-marathon miles, a few hardy souls turned their training miles into races.
Linda-Jean Delport took on the SVN Zodiac Challenge at Gravesend Cyclopark on Friday 27th August, completing the 8 laps needed to achieve the Marathon distance in 4 hours 17 minutes 41 seconds, and earning herself the Aquarius medal as a reward. Rik Holden and Alison Waters chose Sunday’s Gemini-themed day at the same event; marathon man Holden completing the 26.2 miles in 3 hours 44 and 30 seconds, and Waters completing 16.4 miles over 5 laps in 2:23:40.
The Bank Holiday Monday Canterbury Half Marathon provided plenty of challenging hills for A&D’s athletes to overcome. Keith Haynes was first home for the club in an excellent time of 1:35:59 to finish in 27th place overall and second in his age category. Christine Costiff was close behind in 1:41:24, finishing in a fantastic 6th place for the ladies and 1st in her age category. Peter Buckley ran a new personal best for the distance in 2:12:22 and Trevor Sparkes completed the run in 2:15:03 – also a new personal best for a half marathon.
Keith Haynes also took part in Ashford parkrun on Saturday 28th, finishing 2nd in his age category in a time of 20:50.

Testing Twenty Miles at Lydd

The Lydd 20-mile race is one of the traditional test events for those in the midst of marathon preparation. The conditions on Sunday were quite a contrast to those usually faced when the event is held earlier in the season. The heat built up through the morning and the cooling breeze at the start of the race became a challenging headwind for the finish.
Leading the A&D runners’ home was Nick Collins in 8th pace and 2nd vet 40 in a time of 2:02:47, a tremendous run on a day when the first 2 finishers took the course record. Andrew Noble showing an impressive return to form finished in 29th place and 2nd vet 55 with 2:22:48. Next home was James Booth in 2:29:17 and 43rd, closely followed by Julius Samson in 45th with 2:29:22. A great return to competition for Julius following a series of injuries.
Richard Boakes continues to impress and in his longest race to date finished in 67th place with 2:40:18.
First of the A&D ladies home was Linda-Jean Delport with 2:42:34 finishing 13th lady and 5th in her age category.
Mark Attenborough took a break from his usual trail events to face the crowds of Lydd and was in 91st place with 2:47:41. Club Captain Adrian Beresford showed no ill effects from his daughter’s wedding the day before and topped up his tan with run of 2:50:37 earning him 100th place and 5th in the vet 55’s.
Steve Hodges run was not without drama, the conditions on the day led to dehydration and a tough mental test to reach the finish. Steve was able to beat the three-hour mark with a time of 2:59:34 and a creditable 130th place. Hugh Scarlin placed 189th with 3:18:30. Stu Nunn suffered with a knee injury at the halfway point but was still able to complete the event in a time of 3:33:07.
It was Simon Jackson’s longest race to date and good training mileage was rewarded with a time of 3:36:02.
The A&D team were completed by Massah Cooper, 3:52:25, Lucy Johnstone 3:55:45 and Sarah Taylor 4:14:51.
A trio of runners took the half marathon option at Lydd.
Continuing her series of impressive results was Emma Hanna, 9th lady and 1st in age category with a time of 1:52:00. Paul Moses was placed 18th and 2nd vet 55 with a time of 1:30:24. Richard Baker was offering pacing duties on the day completed the course on 1:59:10.
Chris Costiff was 1st lady at the Tamar Trails 5k with a time of 22:33.
Ashford Park Run saw A&D runners Aiden Gorham and Trevor Kay battle out for 1st and 2nd place. Aiden taking the honours with an impressive fast finish and a time of 17:44, Trevor close behind at 17:49. The club was well represented with Dave Chappell, Ian Grundy, Hazel Turner, Will Whittington, Rachel Jenkins, Jacklyn Kay, Sandra Gooding, Lucy Johnstone, Emma Jenkins, and Julie Foster also running. It was also good to see a number of A&D runners supporting the event by assisting in marshalling duties.


Holden Marathons in Mordor
Rik Holden competed in the Tolkien trail marathon completing the wet and muddy course around Ashenbank Wood with an impressive time of 3:40:41.
Sarah Taylor took part in the Bedgebury Summer Series 10k and finished in a time of 1:10:39.
Tough weather conditions with torrential rain and strong a head wind presented a challenge to runners at the Twilight Chase with a 6 hour out and back circuit along a very windy Rye Harbour. Aaron Homewood covered 30.8 miles in the 6 hours. Sarah Homewood certainly tested her injured calf with a half marathon distance covered in 2:29:40. Lucy Johnstone was second lady covering 22 miles in 4:23:32. Steve Hickman encouraging Lucy over the distance covered 22.65 miles.
The Mount Ephraim 10k offered a testing run for the A&D runners on Sunday. Scotty Lynch ran a personal best on the course in 40:00 with 5th place. Made even more impressive as this followed a 19:07 park run on Saturday. Next home for the club in 8th place overall with a time of 41:26 was Paul Moses. The trio of veterans was completed by Adrian Moody in 22nd place with a time of 47:01.