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A weekend of frantic winds and pouring rain saw a handful of hardy A&D members braving the elements to take part in some tough half marathon challenges.

First up and closest to home was the Folkestone Half Marathon.  Here, despite coastal headwinds, Hugh Scarlin crossed the line in an impressive PB time of 1.54.49.  Next home were Sarah Taylor (2.30.37) and Lesley Moody (2.30.42), who both showed strong determination and finished with seconds between them, with Moody also posting a PB over the distance.

 

Still coast bound but this time in Deal, the 4 Castles Challenge saw Paul Brasington take on this hilly, wet and windy race, and finish strongly in a remarkable 1.50.51.  Next home for the club and not to be deterred by the climbing trails and winds, was was Sue Reader (2.27.00), followed closely by Trevor Sparkes with a PB of 2.31.57, Rachel Jenkins (2.32.02) and Lucy Johnstone (2.32.03).

 

Such amazing performances all round, where not even the weather could dampen enthusiasm and determination.

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Ashford and District runners posted a series of excellent times around scenic Bewl Water this weekend.
Never to miss the opportunity to run a marathon, Rik Holden posted a time of 3:41:56. When Rik describes the event as ‘tough’ we knew that this was not an easy day’s work.
Linda Jean Delport’s battle with injury did not prevent a 4:25 run. An impressive run for a trails marathon and a reflection of the hard work Linda has been putting in.
To celebrate her birthday weekend Ingvild Drake ran a personal best of 4:34:14. A tremendous reward for the hours of training from someone who runs in Kings Wood so much must know most of the tree’s personally.
Ricky Yates has showed a massive improvement by running the half marathon in 2:45:17. A great achievement by Ricky who has only recently joined A&D but has been a regular throughout the recent Tuesday and Thursday training sessions.

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Thanks to the hard work of race organisers to ensure safe and COVID secure events, A&D RRC members were able to showcase yet another successful weekend of racing.

Keeping it local, Anne Fidge and John Fidge put on a remarkable performance at the Wingham 10k.  This undulating, mixed terrain course, in warm and windy conditions, saw them show determination and endurance as they crossed the line in 1:01:07 and 57:03 respectively.

Flying the A&D flag further afield, Rhian Shrimplin and Anthony Brown took part in the Kew Gardens 10k.  Putting her remarkable training schedule to the test, Shrimplin absolutely blazed round the course in a speedy 42:59, beating her previous PB by over 3 minutes and finishing 24th lady out of a field of 802.  Brown also impressed and crossed the finish line in 48:50.

Meanwhile, James Booth ran the 10km leg of the Channel Triathlon, which helped his team claim 2nd place overall.  Despite the heat and headwind, he completed the hilly 10km course in the 2nd fastest time of the day (38:39).

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On Friday 4th September and kicking off the race week was Rik Holden, impressing yet again with another marathon effort at the Cyclopark for the SVN 20 in 20 series. Showing true determination and running form, he stormed round the hilly trail course in an incredible 3:38:53.

Sunday 6th September saw a hardy A&D trio tackling the Chatham Maritime 10k.  First home for the club and claiming a PB over the distance was Adrian Beresford (43:31), he was closely followed by Adrian Moody (44:12) and Simon Jackson (49:28), who also claimed a PB.

Meanwhile down on the coast, dynamic duo Tracey Calnan and Ailis Goddard took on the Folkestone 10k. Sunny skies and and steely determination saw  Calnan finish strong in 47:37, with Goddard crossing the line in a respectable 54:26.

Travelling to Rye, Lesley Taylor (22:01) and Andrew Noble (20:05) both showed speedy form at The Rye Summer Classic 5k by coming first in the ladies and men’s Vet 55 age category respectively.

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Despite races being a bit slow to kick off, Thursday 27th August saw marathon regular, Rik Holden complete his second 26.2 miler for the month.  Here as part of the SVN 20 in 20 series at Cyclopark, Rik was the top finisher over the distance on this hilly trail course, finishing in an impressive time of 3.39.06.

 

 

 

LATEST CLUB NEWS…

“Brave men are all invertebrates; they have their softness on the surface and their toughness in the middle”.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
On a humid Sunday morning a trio of soft skinned tough guys toed the socially distanced start line in Peasmarsh to take on a challenging undulating course in the Rye 5 and 10 mile races. Following strict hygiene measures and starting their run in waves of twelve athletes at 5-minute intervals, Trevor Sparkes completed five miles in 48:38 for 28th place. Finishing his ten miles at almost the same time of day, Paul Ridley squeezed into the top-20 with his time of 1:08:02. Aidan Gorham ran his second race in as many weeks completing the same distance three (virtual) places ahead of Ridley in 1:06:57.
The previous week two newer club members ran the University of Kent Canterbury 10k. The flattish course yielded some impressive times with Aiden Gorham romping home in 38:32 to steal fifth place overall. Also running a strong race was Ricky Yates who clocked 1:04:22 and 122nd position.

LATEST CLUB NEWS…

Many Ashford & District RRC members have shown amazing effort and dedication to their running fitness regime over the past few months by taking part in various virtual runs.  This has resulted in an impressive collection of personal achievements and medals.   However, as the road race calendar slowly begins to open up, A&D members are once again able to start showcasing their running talents and put their lockdown training schedules to the test.

First up, and running his 2nd marathon in as many weeks, is the tenacious Rik Holden.   For this literal marathon effort he travelled to Betteshanger Park in Deal to take part in the SVN Dragon Run.  Here he took on this gruelling, off road, undulating trail route in the unforgiving summer heat to finish in an enviable 3.49.41.

 

Meanwhile down in Minnis Bay, Daniel Head took on the Smugglers 10k.   Not to be defeated by the heat or coastal headwinds, he raced round the course in an impressive 48.34, grabbing himself a PB over the distance.

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In a week that rocked the running community with race cancellations across the board, A&D RRC members showed grit and determination with a weekend of awe inspiring racing.

Kicking it all off with an amazing show of stamina and endurance, was Mark Harrison with the Fortitude 10 hour challenge. This event saw him battling weather, terrain and mileage as he completed 6 x 4 mile laps, followed by 3 x 3 mile laps before knocking out a final 4 mile lap to finish. This ultra superhuman effort saw him complete a staggering 37 miles in total.

Taking on this years Thanet 20 (Ricki Savage) a hardy crew braved the wind and hills with an exciting selection of results. First home, and despite having raced 20miles the week before, Adrian Beresford ran an impressive 2.46.33.   Not only was this a PB for him over this distance, but he finished 29th overall and 3rd in his age category.   Massah Cooper (3.19.33) was the club’s first lady to cross the line, swiftly followed by Claire Williams (3.21.10) who completed her furthest running distance to date, and Ailis Goddard (3.21.10) who knocked an impressive 23mins off her previous PB. This trio of ladies also managed to take the ladies 3rd team prize. Next to finish was Hugh Scarlin (3.31.47) in his first official 20mile race, closely followed by Helen Weeden (3.35.15), Sarah Taylor (3.57.34) and Lucy Johnstone (4.03.28).

Anthony Brown and Rhian Shrimplin travelled to Bath to take on this years Half Marathon. Shrimplin showed excellent pace by completing the 13.1 miles in an incredible 1.47.22. Brown, making a comeback from injury, ran an equally impressive 1.56.01.

Dartford Half marathon saw Andrew Noble (1.26.38) and Lesley Taylor (1.39.58) take on yet another 13.1 mile race this month. Both showed excellent form, with Noble finishing 22nd overall and Taylor claiming the 1st in age V55 trophy.

Despite wet conditions, Ashford Parkrun saw a flurry of A&D members tackle the course this week. First home and 7th overall was Paul Moses in an impressive 19.37, he was followed closely by Scotty Lynch (19.39) in 8th position.   Despite having just completed a 20mile training run, the next 3 athletes home, Paul Ridley (20.37), James Booth (20.43), and Julius Samson (20.47) took the 9th, 10th and 11th slots respectively. Gary Sage (21.23) was not far behind in 15th position, and coming in first for the ladies and 19th overall was Linda-Jean Delport (21.37). Not to be out done, Stuart Nunn impressed with his fastest Parkrun in over 3 years, by finishing with a time of 22.05. Next up was William Whittington (25.02), Rod Kessack (25.09), Lesley Moody (33.16), Sarah Taylor (34.55), Hugh Scarlin (34.55) and Emma Jenkins (58.07) who showed great determination in making her first appearance since injury.

A&D also represented well with Parkrun Volunteers with Terry Sellen being this weeks RD, also volunteering were James Booth, Alice Cook, Becky Hodgson, Helen Marshall, Simon Jackson and Keith Lynn.

Taking part in some Parkrun Tourism was Christine Costiff who ran Bedgebury trail Parkrun and finished 16th overall in a time of in 21.46.   Salisbury Parkrun benefited with a visit from Rhian Shrimplin and Anthony Brown who completed the multi-terrain course in 27.55 and 27.56 respectively. Travelling to Cambridge Parkrun, Lesley Taylor and Andrew Noble both ran the course in a time of 23.48

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Rik Holden kicked off the weekend’s racing on Saturday recording an impressive 3:51:45 over a muddy marathon distance at the SVN Book Day Challenge. This was Rik’s sixth marathon of the year. Helen Weedon also took on the event, covering a solid 17.61 miles in a time of 3:34:51.

On Sunday for the second year in a row A&D’s finest battled the blustery winds of Lydd as they took on the 20 mile and Half Marathon events. The race suited many of the club’s runners targeting Spring marathons with its flat, out-and-back course providing opportunities for steady pacing and a test of training so far. In the 20 mile distance Paul Ridley was first home for the club beating his PB by 6 minutes to finish in 2:16:53, followed by the duo of Julius Samson, also setting a new personal best of 2:19:13, and Andrew Noble chasing him down for 2:19:37. Next home was James Booth whose heart rate training paid off to see him achieve a PB comfortably in 2:21:03 while men’s captain Scotty Lynch finished 63rd overall and 4th Vet50 in 2:21:57. Mark Attenborough used his extensive ultra experience to finish in 2:32:27 and the club’s first lady back was Linda Delport in her longest race so far, stopping the clock at 2:35:44. Cris Francis finished ahead of John Beale, who was also running 20 miles for the first time, in 2:37:44 and 2:38:16 respectively. Keith Haynes edged Adrian Beresford for 10th home for the club in 2:49:45 with Beresford only fifteen seconds behind and running a PB of 2 hours and 50 minutes exactly. The final sub-3 finisher was Essen Larsen in 2:52:18. Sandy Mortimer continued her push for marathon success with a strong first attempt at the distance to finish in 3:02:33 and then five minutes later another experienced member of A&D, Mark Carlton, finished strongly despite the strong headwind to chalk up 3:07:49. Aaron Homewood continued the club’s strong showing to finish in a respectable 3:08:26. Running a 3:18:35 long-distance specialist Eddie Rodger arrived home looking fresh and was followed by Karine Reid and Nick Erskine rounding off the club’s entries to both PB the distance in their times of 3:26:32 and 3:26:42.

 

In the Half Marathon distance Johnny Wells once again proved his stamina taking on the distance in 1:27:24 to grab 17th place overall. Christine Costiff finished 4th lady and won her age category in 1:40:54, followed closely by Carl Ireland who ran a strong race to record 1:41:47. Stuart Nunn overcame the windy conditions to finish in 1:47:41 before Massah Cooper’s weekly marathon training runs brought her over the line in 1:58:25. The pair of Ailis Goddard and Claire Williams ran the distance together, encouraging each other to a double PB of 2:01:53 and 2:01:54 respectively. Rounding out the Half distance racers was Lucy Johnstone who battled the wind for the final 3 miles to clock 2:19:48. 

At Ashford Parkrun a lone A&D participant in Alison Waters completed the 5k around Victoria Park in a rapid 24:14.

At the SVN Funky Pants Challenge several members braved the slippery mud of King’s Wood, Challock. Lesley Moody finished the Half Marathon distance first in 3:04:15 and was followed in by Sarah Taylor in 3:14:11. Next to complete the muddy course in 3:28:25 was Becky Hodgson and later Rachel Jenkins ended her day having covered 17.5 miles in 4:21:41.

Latest Club News…

Kicking off the A&D RRC run week was Rik Holden, marathon runner extraordinaire, who decided that why run one marathon in a week, when you can run two?   His first 26.2mile outing was the Marathon Day Marathon (26.2 miles on 26th February) and despite the challenging windy conditions, he completed the distance in an impressive 3:33.22. Undeterred, 4 days later he then ran the Olympic Challenge Marathon, where he conquered the mud, wind and hills in an equally impressive 3:49.44.

On Saturday 29th February, despite a torrential downpour, wind and copious amounts of mud courtesy of Storm Jorge, Cris Francis, Alison Waters and Becky Hodgson decided to brave the SVN Leap Year Challenge.   Hodgson ran an impressive 13.1miles in 3:15.18, while Francis (2:53:45) and Waters (2:55:59) completed 17.5miles, coming first and second respectively in the 4 lap category.

Sunday 1st March saw Simon Jackson and Will Whittington travelling to London to take part in the Vitality Big Half. Here Jackson absolutely smashed his own half marathon PB by completing the distance in an amazing 1:53:53, with Will Whittington crossing the line shortly after in a very accomplished time of 2:03:11.

Taking part in this years hilly and muddy Steyning Stinger Trail Marathon was Stephen Hickman (5.49.01) and Keith Lynn (06.04.04). Hickman has now clocked up an impressive 18 of these marathons in a row and raises his total of completed marathons to a staggering 164.

Meanwhile, Jacklyn Kay (2:00:34) and Ricky Yates (2:18:33) both took part in the rescheduled windy Deal Half Marathon, which was completed over a 6.5 lap circuit at Betteshanger Country Park.

Keeping it coast bound, Andrew Noble (1.29.20) and Lesley Clancy (1.41.20) showed determination and pace at the Eastbourne Half Marathon by setting excellent times over the gruelling 13.1 mile distance.

Further afield, Alice Cook took part in the very hilly Berkhamsted Half Marathon, and completed the hilly course in an unofficial PB time of 1.43.19.