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Despite recent heavy rain, Knole Park was in immaculate condition for the 21st running of the annual 7Oaks7 running race, sponsored by Up & Running, on Sunday 31 August 2014. Fine weather on the day saw a surge in on-the-day entries that boosted the registered entrants close to the race’s 300 entrant limit. However, as the temperature continued to rise it probably wasn’t too long after the starters gun that some participants were thinking that a more leisurely Sunday morning might have been a better option rather than testing their endurance against the hills of Knole. Conditions were tough on the course, which accounted for times that were slightly slower than past years. The full sun may have made it very pleasant for spectators, but it pushed the temperature a couple of degrees above most runners’ comfort level. In addition there was a slight headwind blowing through the long stretch along the gallops, a section of the race where runners can normally push-on.
Having lead from the very start of the race, it was the young legs of Daniel Watt from Tonbridge AC who won the race in a still impressive 40:11, almost two minutes clear of his team mate James Taylor in 41:58 (3rd in 2013), with the sprightly Tony Tuohy (M50) from Dulwich Runners AC completing the male rostrum. The women’s race also saw a large gap at the front with Maria Heslop from Paddock Wood again defending her title, winning in 44:00, followed by Melanie Edwards and Clare Elms, both from Dulwich Runners AC in 45:07 and 45:36, respectively. Indeed the strong Dulwich Runners were out in force and took a clean sweep of both the men’s an the women’s team event, pushing Sevenoaks into 2nd place on their home turf for both titles.
In the veteran categories, Ty Farrer from Southend On Sea AC won the M40 trophy in 43:21, Chris Desmond from Sevenoaks AC won the M50 in 44:49, Andrew Catton from Ilford AC won the M60 in 50:18 and Pete Burton from Istead & Ifield Harriers won the M70 in 1:00:10. For the women, Catherine Linney from Sevenoaks AC won the FV35 in 49:25, Stephanie Upton from Striders of Croydon won the FV45 in 52:51 and Sally Shewell from Sevenoaks AC won the FV55 in 1:00:12.
Race Director, Duncan Warwick-Champion, noted that while the club athletes may have dominated the top finishing positions, this race remains much more about local runners who make up about 60% of the field. “Its simply great seeing local families and friends running together and simply enjoying this great Park”.
Sevenoaks Athletics Club would again like to thank Lord Sackville for his kind permission to host this event within Knole Park. Full race results are here, and some professional photos can be found on this link.
The Sevenoaks Seven returned to its traditional HQ at the Sevenoaks Rugby Club for the 2014 event on 31 August at 10:30.
The full results of the 2014 race are here.
For the home club, Chris Desmond was first SAC runner home in 12th place (2nd M50) in 44:46. Cath Linney was our first woman in 38th (1st W35) in 49:18, just ahead of Heather Fitzmaurice, 43rd (2nd W35) in 49:29. Apart from Cath, the other SAC prizewinner was Sally Shewell, 1st W55 in 60:12. The SAC results were:
|12||184||00:44:49||00:44:46||CHRIS DESMOND||M||M50||Sevenoaks AC||1|
|21||18||00:46:52||00:46:49||DANIEL WITT||M||SM||Sevenoaks AC||2|
|23||114||00:47:17||00:47:14||ANDREW MEAD||M||M40||Sevenoaks AC||3|
|32||219||00:48:59||00:48:55||JAMES WRIGHT||M||M40||Sevenoaks AC||4|
|38||235||00:49:25||00:49:18||CATHERINE LINNEY||F||W35||Sevenoaks AC||5|
|43||96||00:49:34||00:49:29||HEATHER FITZMAURICE||F||W35||Sevenoaks AC||6|
|57||98||00:51:04||00:50:59||MARC THATCHER||M||M40||Sevenoaks AC||7|
|58||175||00:51:07||00:50:57||SIMON BISHOP||M||M50||Sevenoaks AC||8|
|60||44||00:51:11||00:51:05||ANDY RACKHAM||M||M40||Sevenoaks AC||9|
|77||240||00:53:25||00:53:16||STUART THOMPSON||M||SM||Sevenoaks AC||10|
|108||94||00:56:55||00:56:46||ANTON MAUVE||M||M40||Sevenoaks AC||11|
|114||255||00:57:21||00:57:08||JONATHAN COPPING||M||M50||Sevenoaks AC||12|
|127||112||00:58:38||00:58:24||STEPHEN NICHOLSON||M||M40||Sevenoaks AC||13|
|134||59||00:59:26||00:59:11||JANE MORGAN||F||W35||Sevenoaks AC||14|
|145||183||01:00:12||01:00:06||SARAH SHEWELL||F||W55||Sevenoaks AC||15|
|182||227||01:06:17||01:05:57||JENNY AUSTIN||F||W35||Sevenoaks AC||16|
|184||185||01:06:22||01:06:14||RICHARD THOMAS||M||M50||Sevenoaks AC||17|
|206||220||01:10:52||01:10:28||TONY OSTLERE||M||M60||Sevenoaks AC||18|
|209||95||01:12:14||01:12:05||JAMES FITZMAURICE||M||M70||Sevenoaks AC||
|210||113||01:12:14||01:11:51||SYLVIA LEWIS||F||W55||Sevenoaks AC||