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A powerful squad of six represented A&D at the English Cross Country National Championships at Wollaton Park, Nottingham, on Saturday. The scenic course around the lakes and grounds of Wollaton House was described  as “one of the toughest” Men’s Captain Scotty Lynch had ever run. Waterlogged ground, with knee-high mud at points, made the races a true test of mettle and strength against thousands of the nation’s finest.

Despite the soggy conditions underfoot, ladies Massah Cooper (633rd; 52min 19sec) and Lucy Johnstone (860th; 1.03.57) ran their 8K race with aplomb. With ground and groundwater freshly churned by the ladies, A&D’s men finished their “cruel” 12K course in quick succession. Andrew Noble (929th) lead the men home in 1.01.25, followed by Tom Preece (987th; 1.02.13) in his best run of the season. Scotty Lynch (1053rd) was next home for the club in 1.03.21, followed by Adrian Moody (1087th) in 1.03.55.

Sunday saw Ingvild Drake hit the trails for the Lenham Cross Winter Marathon. Starting and finishing in Detling, the course featured treacherous descents and steps. Drake finished 4th lady, with a time of 5.27.00.

Three A&D runners contended with Sunday’s strong winds to represent the club at the Brighton Half Marathon. Marking a five-year PB streak on the course, James Booth achieved a PB of 1.27.00, more than 27 minutes faster than his time in 2016. Gill O’Connor placed 212nd in a field of 3431 women, with a time of 1.46.16. Reaping the benefits of focused and disciplined training, Julie Foster crossed the finish line in 3.03.20. Meanwhile, James Phillips flew the A&D flag down under at the Melbourne Half Marathon; in scorching 30C heat, Phillips crossed the finish line in 1.51.37.

Back on the trails, A&D duo Rhian Shrimplin and Anthony Brown took on the Trosley Park 10k, near Rochester. The pair showed their trail-running prowess along the muddy woodland course, as well as nimbly climbing a total of 174 steps during the race. Shrimplin was 4th lady over the finish line, with a time of 54.34; Brown finished in 57.11.

Fresh from an impressive performance at the Cross Country Nationals, Andrew Noble rounded off the weekend in the East Midlands by racing the Stilton 7 alongside Lesley Taylor.

A&D Runners Beat Storm Dennis

The threat of Storm Dennis did not deter the hardy souls of Ashford and District over the weekend.

The weekend started at Betteshanger and the SVN Heroes and Villains Challenge. Ever the master of understatement in conditions he described as being ‘nasty’, Rik Holden completed the marathon distance in 3:42:30 and a heroic third place. Lucy Johnstone and Becky Hodgson ran the half marathon distance in 2:43:30 and 3:17:00. The only villains on the day being the wet and windy weather.

 

Headcorn half marathon saw an impressive turnout of 19 runners from the club. First home for A&D was Julius Samson in 13th overall and 3rd V50 in a time of 1:26:48. Next home was Paul Moses, 17th overall and 4th V50 in 1:30:02. Scotty Lynch was hot on Pauls heels in 18th and 5th V50 in a time of 1:30:28. With Linda-Jean Delport finishing 3rd lady and 2nd V45 in 1:39:23, this gave A&D the team prize. Mark Harrison showing tremendous form completed his first half marathon in 1:34:21 and 26th place. Richard Baker 33rd, 1:38:21, John Beale 35th, 1:39:04, Chris Francis 39th 1:40:10 and Adrian Beresford in 40th, 1:40:42 surfed their way round the waterlogged course to give Ashford 9 runners in the top 40 finishers.

Don Dewer, 85th in 1:49:48, was closely followed in by Ian Grundy taking the V60 prize with a time of 1:51:53.

Sandi Mortimer was next home and was 18th lady finisher in 1:53:12. Alison Waters ran a personal best time of 1:53:52, placing her 22nd lady. Ed Rodger would not be deterred by a splash of rain finished 113th and 1:53:03. Simon Jackson targeted a sub two hour time and his determination was rewarded with a personal best time of 1:58:13 and 138th place. Ailis Goddard suffered with stomach cramps from early in the race but fought through to a time of 2:01:26 and 38th lady. Helen Weeden finished in 2:05:58, 46th lady, and Sarah Homewood returning from injury was 78th lady in a time of 2:21:57.

Lucy Johnstone heroically completed her second half marathon on a treacherous weekend in a time of 2:42:21 and 89th lady.

 

In her first half marathon for quite a while,the  Tunbridge Wells half saw Lesley Taylor take the ladies V55 prize with an impressive time of 1:41:43. Andrew Noble finished in an excellent time of 1:27:58. Rhian Shrimplin posted a superb time of 1:55:05 over a challenging course and unpleasant conditions.

 

 

A successful weekend for A&D was capped with Chris Costiff taking the 1st lady prize at the Tenterden 5 mile.

A&D Celebrate Successful Cross-country Season

The final cross-country of the season was held at Norman Park Bromley on Saturday. A strong turnout from the club on a sunny and still day was rewarded with a tremendous set of results. The success of the team, in only it’s third season in the league, is a tribute to the hard work of all the runners who have taken part and the coaching and mentoring by cross country captain Adrian Moody. The efforts of Adrian Moody and Scott Lynch in ensuring the runners were provided with a shelter at every race provided a boost to the team and this hospitality was extended to club runners from other squads, enhancing the reputation of A&D.

The day started well with an inspirational performance from Michael Davies. He completed the clean sweep, winning all of the seasons races in the V70 category taking the overall first place.

The flat and fast course gave the ladies team an opportunity to battle with the best athletics clubs in Kent, and the ladies team accepted the challenge.

Becky Macey ran a strong race to finish 19th. This guaranteed Becky 11th overall in the senior Women’s competition and a well earned 2nd place in the W35 category.

Once again Chris Costiff showed her dominance in the W55 group. Finishing 38th on the day meant the Chris finished in first place for the season. Gill O’Connor in 60th place was rewarded with her consistency over the season with 2nd overall W55.

Tremendous team performances from Essen Larsen in 39th, Tracey Calnan 45th with Rhian Shrimplin close behind in 46th, Jill Crofton Martin 49th, Massah Cooper 68th and 5th overall in the W35 category in her first season, and Ailis Goddard 71st contributed to 5th place on the day for the 3 to score team competition and an amazing 3rd place in the 6 to score.

Strong team performances throughout the season placed the ladies 7th overall in the 3 to score and 6th in the 6 to score leagues.

Some tricky sections through muddy woodland ensured that by the third lap of the 10Km race the A&D men were pleased to see the finish line. Unfortunately club coach and specialist for the challenging event, Jon Pearce had to pull out on the first lap due to a calf strain.

Lawrence Teeling led the team home in 54th place overall. Julius Samson looked very strong and finished in 76th place. Andrew Noble in 79th and impressive 6th overall V50  and Scott Lynch 92nd and 8th overall V50, gave A&D 8th place on the day in the 4 to score league. Paul Ridley was the next finisher in 111th. Good teamwork and inter-club battles made for some competitive races throughout the race. Dan Green and Paul Moses finished 119th and 121st just 1 second apart with Moses finishing the season in 14th in V50’s. Tom Preece and James Booth separated by 2 seconds in 123rd and 125th with James having to deal with a thorn piercing his foot during the race. Adrian Moody ran a strong and steady captains race to finish 140th. Mark Harrison and Carl Ireland provided a sprint finish for 151st and 152nd with Keith Haynes in 174th and Adrian Beresford in 175th split by just 1 second. A solid run from Neil Woodham in 200th ensured the club were good for 6th place in the 12 to score competition.

The efforts throughout the season gave the men’s team 9th overall in the 4 to score league and 6th in the 12 to score.

Storm Ciara hit Sunday’s events hard with all races cancelled leaving for very frustrated runners and a host of challenging training runs through the day.

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Mike Davis put in a stellar performance at the Chichester 10K on Sunday, finishing 3rd V70 with a time of 43min 37sec and earning an invitation to represent England at the Age Group Masters in the Spring.  Andrew Noble completed the course in 38.45. In her debut run for the club, Lesley Taylor crossed the finish line in PB time of 44.02, finishing 9th in her age group.

 

 

 

Also marking her A&D debut, Naomi Attenborough finished the Girlings Solicitors A&D 10K well within the top 30 ladies, with a time of 51.49. A&D were out in force to support the race: marshals cheered runners around the course and provided hospitality at Race HQ, whilst lead cyclist Paul Moses saw the front runners across the finish line. In its 31st year, the event proved as popular as ever, with over 450 runners taking part.

Off-road, an A&D quartet represented the club at the hilly Bedgebury Forest 10 Mile. Christine Costiff (1.20.19) and Gill O’Connor (1.25.38) finished 1st and 2nd V55, respectively. Hot on their heels, Ingvild Drake then crossed the finish line in 1.25.46. Together, the trio won the Ladies Team Prize. Keith Lynn was next home for the club in 1.34.32.

On the Isle of Wight, Steve Hickman completed the Ryde 10 in 1.38.04.  Described as a “brute”, the single-lap, undulating course took runners along the north east coast of the Island.

Ashford’s Parkrun saw Dan Green (19.42), Paul Moses (20.06) and Scott Lynch (20.15) finish 6th, 8th and 9th, respectively. Tom Preece crossed the finish line in 20.35, followed by Pat Butler (23.44) and Terry Sellen (24.41). Trevor Sparkes (26.35), Ailis Goddard (26.42) and John Fidge (27.00) then finished in quick succession, followed by Laura Segust (27.35), Alison Waters (28.05) and Cris Francis (28.13). Returning from injury, Ann Fidge (32.25) was next, followed by Emma Jenkins (34.51) and Becky Hodgson (36.17).

A&D Take on Parliament Hill

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.

Two at Tanners 20

LDWA Tanners 20 – Sunday 19th January 2020

A&D duo Christine Costiff and Gill O’Connor made the most of the crisp winter weather at the 42nd Tanners 20 event, near Leatherhead.  Following frosty start just after 8am, the pair navigated their way between checkpoints in the Surrey countryside, running through mud and up hills, and climbing over styles. A perfect winter trail event, all round.

Parkrun – Saturday 18th January 2020

On the south coast, Andrew Noble (19.30) finished 8th overall at the Littlehampton Prom Parkrun.

A throng of A&D runners represented the club at the weekly 5K around Victoria Park. Trevor Kay, Carl Ireland, Linda-Jean Delport placed 4th, 11th and 14th, respectively. Rob Carpenter was 25th, followed by Don Dewar (23.22), Paul Brasington (23.49) and Stu Nunn (24.48). Will Whittington (25.04) and Rod Kessack (25.08) crossed the finish line in quick succession, with John Fidge (26.25) and Terry Sellen (26.56) close behind. Next home for the club was Trevor Sparkes (28.09), with Mark Harrison (28.35) and Laura Segust (28.50) hot on his heels. Rachel Jenkins (29.49) and Emma Jenkins (33.43) were next, whilst tail walkers Ann Fidge (58.57) and Julie Foster (58.58) completed the course together.

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Country to Capital Ultra – Saturday 11th January 2020

Saturday saw Edward Rodger step up to the start line of the first in a series of four Ultras to raise money for Scottish Huntington’s Association. Starting from Wendover (Buckinghamshire), runners made their way across muddy countryside towards London, following the Grand Union Canal tow path to the finish line in Little Venice. Despite feeling utterly drained and frozen at the 26-mile mark, Rodger persevered through the mud, hills and bitterly cold winds to complete the 43-mile course in 9hr 29min 32sec.

 

 

SVN Chocathon – Saturday 11th January 2020

Also facing the biting winds, two club runners took on the SVN Chocathon at Betteshanger Country Park on Saturday. Becky Hodgson completed her first half marathon of 2020, finishing in 3.13.44. Less than two weeks in to January, Rik Holden marked his second marathon of 2020 by finishing 2nd overall and 1st in his age group, with a time of 3.39.39.

Parkrun- Saturday 11th January 2020

Will Whittington (28.04) and Emma Jenkins (38.47) donned their trail shoes for some parkrun tourism at Kingdom, Penshurst. The three-lap circuit saw Jenkins achieve a course PB. Gill O’Connor (24.00) was fourth lady and 1st in her age group at Tilgate Parkrun.

In Ashford, Trevor Kay (18.02) was 4th overall in 18.02, followed by Dan (19.48) in 7th and Julius Samson (19.56) in 10th and Paul Ridley (20.00) in 11th. James Booth (20.29) and Paul Moses (20.47) placed 15th and 18th respectively, whilst Christine Costiff was 1st lady home in 22.19. Ian Grundy finished in 22.54, closely followed by Stu Nunn (22.58), Ian Cox (24.14). Rob Carpenter (25.07) and Pat Butler ( 25.08) also crossed the finish line in quick succession, followed by Terry Sellen (26.09), Rod Kessack (26.19), Keith Lynn (26.27) and Rachel Jenkins (28.51). Cris Francis finished in 31.03, with Trevor Sparkes (31.36) next home for the club and volunteer Julie Foster (53.29). Other A&D volunteers included James Booth, John and Ann Fidge and Alison Waters.

A&D Compete at the Kent Cross-Country Championships

  Cross Country Captain and Mentor Adrian Moody stated he was “Humbled and proud watching Ashford and District’s cross country teams take on the might of Kent’s youth at Brands Hatch”. This was validated by the excellent results and indomitable spirit of the 19 athletes taking part.

 

The ladies team were led home by Becks Macey finishing 30th and 6th in the V35 category. Linda-Jean Delport’s family were able to cheer on as she finished 44th overall and 7th V45, a tremendous result in her first Kent championships. Jill Crofton-Martin with a spirited sprint finished in 75th place completed the trio in the 3 to score competition with A&D being placed 8th. Ladies captain Rhian Shrimplin ran a strong race for 89th place. Ailis Goddard 90th, Alison Waters 91st and Massah Cooper 94th were nip and tuck throughout the race and the battling, determined teamwork gave the A&D ladies 5th place in the 6 to score competition. A tribute to the strength in depth within the ladies team.

 

The men’s team required the full complement of runners to return a result to secure a place in the 12 to score competition. Club coach John Pearce can always be relied upon for an inspiring run and led the team with his 75th place. A strong run by Jon Wells was rewarded with 93rd place closely followed by an in from Julius Samson. Julius finished in 95th place and 6th V50. Scotty Lynch used his strength and experience and finished 111th and 10th V50. Paul Moses fought off challenges over the final lap to finish 124th and 4th V55. James Booth in 135th place gave A&D the 10th place in the 6 to score competition. Carl Ireland, improving with every race was pleased with his 142nd place and looked strong throughout. In 145th Keith Hayes suffering with cramp from lap 2 onwards dug deep to finish to ensure a score in the 12 to score competition. Mark Harrison in 151st, Cris Francis, enjoying his first run at Brands Hatch, in 161st, Adrian Beresford 174th and Stu Nunn 180th gave A&D’s men team 7th place in a competition where other clubs struggled to field the required number of runners.

 

Rik Holden started 2020 with the SVN New Years Day marathon. A good start to the year saw Rik post a time of 3:43:28 finishing 4th overall and 1st in his age category.

 

A number of club runners took to competing in 2 park runs on New Year’s Day including Keith Lynn taking on Canterbury and Whitstable, and Gill O’Connor at Ribblesdown and Squerrys Wedsterham.

Meanwhile Lesley Moody took a chance while back in Scotland to take part in the 2020 Shortbread Challenge.

 

The first park run of the year at Ashford had a good turnout from A&D runners. This included Trevor Kay, Dan Green, Rob Carpenter, Don Dewar, Michael Hill, Keith Lynn, Patrick Butler, John Fidge, Laura Segust, Sue Reader, Terry Sellen, Emma Jenkins, Helen Marshall, Hugh Scarlin and Sarah Taylor.

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Cambridge Harriers Cross Country Championship – Saturday 28th December 2019

There was no lull between Christmas and New Year as a formidable trio of A&D runners headed to Bexley for the Cambridge Harriers Championship on Saturday. The undulating 7.5 mile course saw Becks Macey storm home in 59min 24sec, claiming the prize for 2nd Lady. Cross Country stalwarts Adrian Moody and Adrian Beresford also put in superb performances on the course.

Alison Waters flew the A&D flag at Staplehurst’s End of Year 10 Mile Run. Despite a gruelling hill at the 6 mile mark, Waters completed the course in 1.26.56.

Saltwood Boxing Day Run – Thursday 26th December 2019

A strong club contingent turned out for the 45th Saltwood Boxing Day Run. The 3-mile, off-road route provided a suitable challenge for runners seeking to burn off their Christmas dinners. Julius Samson was first home for the club in 19.26, closely followed by James Booth in 21.54. Steve Hickman finished in 33.27, followed by Simon Jackson in 34.28. Gary Sage was next home for the club in 38.36, with Laura Segust hot on his heels in 38.52.

Chiangmai 10K – 22nd December 2019

In Thailand, Richard Baker completed the Chiangmai 10K in 48.04. Starting at 5am, 2500 international runners competed on the flat, fast course.

Christmas Day Parkrun – 25th December 2019

Christmas Day saw dedicated A&D Parkrunners assemble in Victoria Park for a special Ashford Parkrun.  Paul Moses (20.18) and Julius Samson (20.41) finished in 17th and 18th place, respectively. James Booth (20.49) placed 20th, followed by Ian Grundy (23.06), Aaron Homewood (24.57), Hazel Turner (25.23), Sandi Mortimer (25.26). Alison Waters (26.05), Cris Francis (26.06) and Keith Ly (26.19) crossed the finish line in quick succession, followed by Don Dewar (31.34), Debbie Payne (35.56) and Lucy Johnstone (37.42). Volunteers included Leonora Cinco, Becky Hodgson, Simon Jackson and Rachel Jenkins.

Parkrun – Saturday 28th December 2019

Cris Francis extended Saturday’s Ashford Parkrun in to a Parkrun Marathon in order to kick start his 2020 London Marathon training and fundraise for The Family Holiday Foundation. Francis was joined by teammates for a few of the 8+ laps of the event.

Janusz Latala covered the 5K course in 18.09, making him 4th overall. Scotty Lynch (20.04) finished in 18th place, followed by Stu Nunn (23.26), Terry Sellen (23.57), Rod Kessack (25.00), Will Whittington (25.25), James Booth (27.40), Alison Waters (29.31), Cris Francis (29.39), Don Dewar (31.08), Emma Jenkins (34.07), Becky Hodgson (37.13) and Debbie Payne (37.19). As ever, the event was made possible by volunteers, amongst whom this week were A&D’s Dan Green, Simon Jackson and Alison Waters. In Dumbartonshire, Lesley Moody ran the Levengrove Parkun in 33.31, whilst John Fidge (27.02) and Ann Fidge (volunteer) took part in Dunstable’s Houghton Hall Parkrun.

Race Report – 16th December 2019

Attenborough smashes his 50k PB

Mark Attenborough took the SVN Usuals Suspects challenge in his stride on Saturday and finished the 2019 season with a 62 minute personal best over 50km with a time of 5:11:39 and first place. Just reward for the dedication and hard work throughout the year. Rick Holden chalked up yet another marathon in the shadow of the white cliffs of Samphire Hoe with a time of 3:58:15.

Becky Hodgson received recognition from the event organisers with her 12th SVN half marathon in 12 months. It was Becky’s 15th half in total over the last 12 months. Lucy Ellen Johnstone also competed and completed the windy, undulating course in 2:55:54.

Verity on Sunday took part in the SVN Festive Frolic. It was Verity’s first run back since summer of 2018 due to a foot injury and was very pleased to complete 9.84 miles in 1:50:02.

The 3rd round of the Kent cross country league took the senior men’s team over to the sticky parkland of Foots Cray Meadows. Julius Samson, in tremendous form, led the team home in his first league event finishing in 80th place. Cross country stalwarts Andrew Noble 87th, and Scotty Lynch 101st gave A&D 9th place in the 3 to score league. With one event to go this puts Andrew and Scotty in 7th and 9th respectively in the V50 competition. Next home was Paul Ridley in 117th, and Jon Pearce 120th. Paul Moses 126th, Adrian Moody 132nd, Keith Haynes 135th, James Booth 148th, Carl Ireland 150th, Mark Harrison 159th, Adrian Beresford 174th, and Neil Woodham 178th provided the essential team support to give 6th place in the 12 to score league. Consistent running has placed Moses and Moody in 16th and 20th in the V50 league. The V40 table sees James Booth in 23rd and Keith Haynes 24th. A great team spirit, as ever at cross country, with all runners applauded and cheered over the line by the A&D squad.

Moses swapped his cross country spikes for a Santa outfit on Sunday morning. The club were represented by Jon Wells, Paul Moses and Dan Green at the Gravesend Cyclopark Santa Dash 5k and 10k. Jon Wells finished in 2nd place with a time of 39:48. Moses, finished 3rd in 41:45. Dan Green competed in the 5k taking on pacing duties for the day, ensuring his daughter Chloe had a good race.