Mason beats Sutton over the Dykes
The sixth race in the Kent Fitness League Cross Country series took place in Minnis Bay on Sunday January 10th, over a very challenging and muddy 6-mile course along the seafront towards Reculver Towers and back through deep water-filled dykes, writes Jim Knight.
Sevenoaks AC athlete James Mason had a brilliant run to win by 20 metres from Thanet Road Runner's Noel Sutton.
Mason summed up the race; "The first half was flat and fast and I had difficulty keeping up. In fact at halfway I was lying 3rd, about 70 metres behind Sutton. However it was much tougher on the second half, jumping over the dykes. At one dyke, the marshal said "this one's a bit deep", and next thing I knew I was chest deep in cold water. But Sutton was having even more trouble and I finished that section only about 10 metres behind him. With the finish in sight I sprinted and fortunately he had nothing left as I stormed past"
This was Mason's 3rd win in the series, to draw level with Sutton. Each has 3 wins and two 2nd places in the series. The individual championship will be settled at the next, and final, race of the series on Feb 7th in Rough Common, Canterbury.
Despite injuries to several of the club's top runners, Sevenoaks AC managed to field a team of 22 athletes who made the long journey to Minnis Bay.
There were excellent scoring performances from Andy Ashlee (20th), Joe Parsons (30th), Andrew Milne (34th), and Edmund Saunders (37th). In the absence of Chris Desmond, Stephen Searby and James Graham with injuries, the M50 scorers were John Stevens who ran well to come 62nd and Duncan Cochrane in 179th. Other great performances came from Dan Witt (47th) and Tony Waldron (63rd).
Once again Cath Linney led the women's team home with an excellent run to finish in 4th place (1st W45). The club's other scorers were Annabelle Milne in 19th and Sally Mortleman in 27th.
Both Dartford Harriers and Dartford Road Runners were out in force, but the strong performances by the Sevenoaks team keeps the club in 3rd position in the series, still ahead of Canterbury Harriers despite their second place on the day. In detail, SAC women were fifth and the men and combined team fourth in the match, leaving the men and women both fourth in the series but the combined team third.
The Kent Fitness League is a series of cross-country races between the 18 registered Athletics Clubs in Kent. Any number of club members can compete, but 10 are needed to score in the team competition – 7 men (of whom two must be V50 and one V40) and 3 women (of whom one must be V45 and one V35).
The next race, the final match in the series, will be on Sunday Feb 7th in Blean Woods, Rough Common, Canterbury, starting at 11 am.
The SAC results were as follows:
The full results are here.