A&D took a team of 17 to the South of Thames Cross Country Championships on Saturday. The race is steeped in history with the first race being held in 1888 making it one of the longest running athletics events in the country. And, no, Messer’s Moody, Moses and Hodge were not in attendance at the first race.

The Ladies team put in a particularly impressive performance on a course of over 7 miles, somewhat longer than the usual cross-country races. To add to this as a championship event the quality of the competition was very high. This did not stop Gemma Carter Collins from putting in superb run to finish 14th lady and 4th in her category. In 35th place and running a 10K personal best was ladies captain Ailis Goddard. Ailis was closely followed by Tracey Calnan who, with a very determined finish gained extra places on the line. Jill Crofton Martin also dug deep for a sprint to the line to finish 50th. Despite losing her spikes cross country experience saw Gill O’Connor through to 54th place. Emma Hanna completed the line up with 57th place. The great team effort and spirited sprint finishing earned the lady’s a truly outstanding 4th place overall.

An in-form Julius Samson finished the 3 laps in 90th place and 4th vet 50. James Booth was close on his heels in 94th. Good pacing by Paul Crisp saw him finish in 112th place, Paul getting better with each cross-country. Paul Moses next over the line in 124th. Alex Francis and Mark Harrison in 127th and 129th gained valuable experience and seeing the rewards for the hard mid-week training on the track. Adrian Moody had a strong run on the undulating and, in places, muddy course placed 133rd. Not far behind Darren Fagg battled through to 136th. Rob Butler found the second half of the race quite a challenge and dug deep for his 138th place. Adrian Beresford finished 142nd and Steve Hodges completed the tremendous efforts from the A&D men’s team finishing in 144th.

It was Stephen Hickman’s 170th marathon on Sunday. Steve ran the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon in a time of 4:54:49. If it’s a marathon then ‘usual suspect’ Rik Holden will not be far away. Suitably recovered from the 10 in 10 achievement Rik ran the SVN Usual Suspects Marathon in 3:53:58. Also taking part was Linda Jean Delport enjoying her 12th marathon of the year clocking a very respectable 4:29:10 on a muddy course.

At Southend Santa Dash saw Rhian Shrimplin, chased after the mince pies and run a personal best for the 5 miles of 33:06 earning Rhian 2nd female on the day.
Taking a break from helping Father Christmas, elves Will Whittington and Emma Jenkins took to the Folkestone parkrun on Saturday morning. Meanwhile, at the Ashford there were impressive personal best runs by Michael Hill, 19:08, and Alice Cook with 21:16. Jack Hodges continues to impress with a time of 19:01 along with Matt Hardwick ever improving in a time of 23:15.


169 Not out for Hickman
Marathon man Steve Hickman completed his 169th marathon at the SVN Viking marathon in Thanet this weekend. He completed the 26.2 miles in a respectable, 4 hours, 49 minutes and 26 seconds.
Elsewhere Gill O’Connor and Christine Costiff both ran the South of England Athletic Association (SEAA) cross country event at Lloyd Park, Croydon. A 4 mile muddy and hilly course saw Costiff finish in a super 31:44 and O’Connor, despite the loss of her spikes, completing the race in 34:24. An excellent effort ladies.
There were a number of personal bests and a season best for Ashford & District RRC at the Ashford parkrun on Saturday 12th December.
Nick Collins ran the 5km in a time of 16:12, finishing first Vet 40, second overall and gaining himself a new PB in the process. Scott Lynch finished in 9th overall in a season’s best time of 18:57. Just behind in 11th was Paul Moses, 19:35. Paul Crisp in his first ever parkrun finished 13th, in an excellent 19:49. Alex Francis finished 15th, dipping just one second under 20 minute mark, a new PB. Trevor Kay, superbly hitting 20 minutes dead, paced Alex round the 2 lap course.
Cris Francis ran the Folkestone parkrun in 20:22, finishing 18th, Alison Waters continued to flourish, recording a PB in 21:25 finishing in 30th place overall. Will Whittington was next for A&D in 26:47, a PB time for the Folkestone event, with Emma Jenkins in 37:04.

Seasonal Festivities
In a seasonal twist to the weekend, Simon Jackson completed the Maidstone Harriers Turkey Run in the countryside of East Malling in fine festive costume. Despite the course being hilly and muddy, he finished the race in 1:15:15.
As a Club A&D held their annual Chair’s Charity Run on Sunday 12th December, offering members the chance to run either 4.5, 6 or 9.5 miles – Christmas fancy dress optional! Those who took part have raised over £150 which alongside the club’s other Christmas fundraising efforts, will be donated to the Pilgrim’s Hospice.


A&D Success at Kent Vets cross country championships, and a Marathon masterclass.
Ashford and District took to Dartford Central Park en-masse on Saturday for the Kent Veterans Cross country championships. A total of 27 runners donned the light blue vest on what proved to be a profitable days running.
The day started with the men’s V50 race Scott Lynch and Julius Samson were up to the challenge working well together to finish 16th and 17th respectively in 34:00 and 34:14. Paul Moses and Phil Marr were next home for the club in 28th and 32nd place with 35:51 and 36:16. Andrew Nobles first A&D cross country of the season saw him finish in 42nd place in a time of 37:12. Steve Hodges celebrated his birthday with 44th place in 37:21. Adrian Moody and Adrian Beresford finished in 54th and 56 place with times of 38:02 and 38:08. The solid performance was rewarded with 5th place in the team competition.
In a strong field a tremendous run by Nick Collins earned him 2nd place in the V40 event, only 4 seconds behind the winner and completing the 8,7Km (5.4mile) course in 29:02.
James Booth was next home in a time of 34:19, good for 31st place. Not far behind Paul Crisp had a superb run to finish in 35th with 34:41. Cris Francis used a strong finish to take places back on the line and finish in 42nd with 36:01. Mark Harrison is gaining in confidence and experience with every cross country and had his best run of the season to finish in 46th in a time of 36:31. Keith Haynes put everything into the race and finished in 48th place with 35:51, Darren Fagg was next over the line in 49th with 37:04.
Team work was very much evident in the woman’s V35 race. Nicola Moffat, Ailis Goddard and Sally Smith finishing 16th, 17th and 18th with times of 24:22, 24:32 and 24:36. A trademark gutsy performance from Emma Hanna saw her finish in 24th with a time of 26:16. Sue Reader was 28th in 29:08 and Jaclyn Kay 29th in 29:11. This saw the ladies to 5th place in the team competition.
Carrying her recent good form into cross country Alison Waters led A&D home in the V45 race with 12th place and 23:50. Strong running from Tracey Calnan, 18th, 24:20, Jill Crofton-Martin 25th, 25:25, and Massah Cooper 33rd, 26:49 gave the ladies an impressive 4th place in the team event.
There was a welcome return for Lesley Clancy, finishing 11th in the V55 competition with a time of 27:04. Ann Fidge finished in 20th with a time of 32:14.
Dover Castle was the backdrop for a hilly 5k on Saturday night. The hills did not deter Daniel Head from a 5th place finish in a time of 20:50. Stu Nunn, put hamstring issues to one side and finished 29th in 25:32. Aaron Homewood was 39th, 26:33, Peter Buckley 51st, 28:00 and Trevor Sparkes 57th with 28:32. Lesley Moody completed the 5k in 32:42.
Chris Costiff ran the scenic New Forest half marathon. Chris was first in her age group and top 10 lady with a time of 1:43:59. Steve Hickman also ran the trail half marathon with a time of 2:17:24.
Becky Hodgson completed two SVN half marathons at Samphire Hoe in times of 3:12:49 and 3:36:49.
On Friday Mark Attenborough accompanied Rik Holden at Samphire Hoe running the SVN ‘Lucky Dip Marathon in 4:50:11.
It was Samphire Hoe that saw a truly incredible feat of endurance running by Rik Holden. Over the course of 10 days Rik competed in 10 marathons, also reaching his century of marathons. During the course of the week Rik pocketed a very respectable 3:27:56. The challenge of doing 10 marathons in 10 days was made even more of an achievement when the weather conditions were taking into account. A truly inspirational feat of running, A&D salute you.


Ashford parkrun 20th November
A&D’s men were out in force at Victoria Park, with Jack Hodges and Scott Lynch battling it out, Hodges crossing the line in 18:53 taking 30 seconds off his previous best and taking 5th place overall. Lynch was close behind in 19 minutes exactly. Will Whittington clocked a time of 25:44 despite the slippery ground.
Elsewhere at parkrun…
Christine Costiff travelled to Plymvalley parkrun where she ran an impressive 23:48 on a hilly course to take 1st place for the ladies.

John and Ann Fidge took part in the Houghton Hall parkrun in Dunstable, where they enjoyed the 3 lap woodland course, John finishing in 26:31 and Ann in 29:38, taking 1st in her age category.

666 Trail Race
The ever challenging but popular 666 trail race at Kings Wood made a welcome return to the calendar after last year’s event was cancelled.
Julius Samson set the pace with an impressive 49:44, competing for the first time in this event. Paul Moses took on the hills completing the race in 53:23, with Alex Francis also a first timer at Kings Wood hot on his heels in 54:02. Adrian Beresford was close behind in 55:11, a new personal best for him. Tracey Calnan also impressed, coming home just under the hour mark in 59:54. Next back for A&D was Jill Crofton-Martin, setting a new best of 1:00:36 and she was followed by Aurelie Morris in 1:06:03 and Stuart Nunn in 1:06:23. Keith Lynn was next across the finish line in 1:07:29 and Lucy Johnstone finished in a new best of 1:25:25.
10 in 10
Club marathon specialist Rik Holden started the first of his 10 in 10 marathons at Samphire Hoe on 26th November, completing the SVN Black Knight challenge in a time of 4:10:45. The following day’s Fudgeathon at the same venue saw him cover the same distance in 4:25:00. Marathon number 3 for Rik was Sunday’s Bobble Hobble which he finished in 4:30:00 and his 4th consecutive marathon on 29th November saw an impressive finishing time of 3:35:58.
Rik continues his challenge into the next week, so we will have further updates on his progress in next week’s round up
Lesley Moody and Rachel Tomsett also took part in the Bobble Hobble SVN event, covering the Half Marathon distance. Moody finished the race in 2:44:32 and Tomsett in 2:46:00, on a cold morning.

Serpentine 5k

Elsewhere at the weekend, Trevor Kay travelled to London to compete in the Serpentine Last Friday of the Month 5k. His impressive time of 16:33 not only earned him a new personal best but also secured him 4th place overall at the event.

Matt Hardwick took on Ashford parkrun on a very wet and cold morning, covering the 5k distance in an excellent 24:07 despite the sleet and strong winds.
KCAA Cross Country League
Footscray Meadows, Saturday 28th November
The latest round of the Kent Cross Country races involved the Mens Under 20 and Senior Mens teams.
In the Under 20s, Jack Hodges finished in style taking 9th place in 22:37 over the 5000 metre distance. Jack took 5th place overall in the final standings, with brother Kieran unable to compete at the weekend due to injury finishing in 12th place. An impressive start for both in their first season at cross country.
The senior mens team were out in force once again, and leading the way against some strong competition was Nick Collins who took 22nd place in a time of 30:50. Second home for A&D was Aiden Gorham who finished in 32:19, followed by Trevor Kay in 33:15 and Scott Lynch in 35:08 competing the mens 4 to score team.
Just behind was Julius Samson in 84th in 35:24 and James Booth in 105th place and 36:23. A battle between Paul Crisp and Daniel Head saw Crisp edge home in 108th place and 36:44 with Head in 109th and a time of 36:47. Paul Moses was next home in 37:02 in 115th and Philip Marr just behind in 37:12. Gareth Harper took 122nd in 37:26 and Alex Francis secured 129th in a time of 38:08 after an impressive sprint finish taking the final 12 to score points.
Robin Butler and Cris Francis were not far back in 131st 38:24 and 132nd 38:25 respectively, followed by Keith Haynes in 38:31. Adrian Moody took 137th in 38:42 with Steve Hodges (38:52), Adrian Beresford (38:54) and Mark Harrison (38:57) all close behind.
Darren Fagg was next home in 39:28 followed by Richard Baker (40:48), Neil Woodham (42:23), Mark Attenborough (43:00) and Chris Field (47:10)
On the day A&D finished 6th of 18 teams in the 4 to score event and 5th in the 12 to score, and this weekend’s solid team performance leaves them in 7th place in the 4 to score competition, and 5th overall in the 12 to score event.


Multiple laps of Samphire Hoe provided the challenge for A&D’s masters of distance running Rik Holden and Mark Attenborough. Rik completed the SVN Armistice Day Marathon with a trademark amazing time of 3:39:57. Mark continued on to complete the Armistice day challenge making short work of the 50K event with a time of 5:07:02, a 4:39 personal best for this distance.

On Saturday the Lydd 10k offered an opportunity to chase after fast times. Aidan Gorham continues to impress being placed 4th with a personal best time of 35:00. Michael Davies was not deterred by car trouble on the way to the race, he ran a time of 44:16 and was 1st in his age category and 38th overall. This represented an age graded result in excess of 85%. Andy Dedman came in in 50th place with 46:01. Sarah Gooding was pleased with her time of 1:02:00.

Helen Weeden and Edward Rodger travelled over to Suffolk to take part in the Maverick Aruk Trail run. Edward finishing the 24k of muddy and wet trails in 2:09:52, Helen completing the 10 mile distance in 1:52:52.

The latest instalment of the KCAA Cross Country league saw the U20s men and the Senior Women races take part at Danson Park in Bexleyheath. Conditions were fair with the ground quite dry and firm in parts, but with some very muddy sections into the corners.
In the Under 20s, Jack and Kieran Hodges flew the flag for the club, with Jack bringing it home in 13th position in a time of 19:12 and brother Kieran just behind in 19:36. A tough race with some strong competition from across the district but two strong performances. After 3 races that leaves Kieran in 7th position in the league overall, with Jack in 10th – excellent from both lads.
A 13-strong ladies team took on the 5 mile course, with Rhian Shrimplin first home for the team in an excellent time of 34:19 and 34th place. She was followed by Alison Waters in 34:46, 38th place, and Alice Cook picking up 41st place in 35:10 completing the ladies 3 to score team. Christine Costiff was next for A&D in 51st place in 35:42 with Ailis Goddard hot on her heels in 36:03 in 54th place and Sally Smith in 60th with a time of 36:23 – completing the ladies 6 to score.
Next across the line for A&D was Tracey Calnan in 64th with a time of 36:31 with Sophie Edmonds in close pursuit in 66th, crossing the line in 36:35. Emma Hanna was just behind in 71st place in 37:16, Jill Crofton-Martin in 82nd and 38:13 and Gill O’Connor in 38:26 picking up 85th place. Holly Cook was next in 90th with 39:13 and the team performance was completed with Lucy Johnstone in 46:53 and 126th position.
The ladies 3 to score team are currently in 8th place overall and the ladies 6 to score team are sitting in 4th with everything still to play for.

Not content with a tough Saturday at cross country, Alison Waters ran a 12 minute half marathon personal best and was 2nd placed lady at the Marden half marathon with a time of 1:36:18. Also running at Marden, Cris Francis ran an impressive 1:34:21, with Peter Buckley breaking the 2 hour barrier with a time of 1:59:12.

Trevor Sparkes took off to run the Hayworth Park run in Surrey on Saturday. Closer to home Daniel Head and Dave Chappell targeted the Ashford park run for sub 20 minute times. Both succeeded with Dan finishing in 19:46 and Dave 19:27. Sub 20 minute times were also recorded by James Booth, Paul Moses and Cris Francis. Richard Boakes also running a personal best and Dan Green both returning from injury were just over the 20 minutes marker, as was Chris Boyce showing improvements with every run.


A quieter than usual weekend for Ashford runners but still some really strong performances by those who were competing.

Will Whittington took to Victoria Park on Saturday morning posting a parkrun time of 26:02 finishing in 89th place.

Linda-Jean Delport travelled further afield to take part in Saturn Running’s event on Sunday, completing yet another marathon in an excellent time of 4:07:46.

Elsewhere Christine Costiff took on Nice Work’s Beckley 10k. Undeterred by the hilly course she posted an excellent time of 45:44 to finish 2nd lady and claim a well deserved trophy. Well done!

Trevor Sparkes was closer to home at the Howletts 5k, showing the tigers how it was done by completing the course in a fantastic 26:55, his fastest 5k outside of parkrun.

A flat course and a race filled with sunshine and fresh air was how Holly Forrest and Sandra Gooding described the Deal Castle 5 mile. Sandra crossed the finish line in a tremendous 50:14 and Holly was also under the hour mark in 58:57.
Well done to everyone who took part in events this weekend.


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.