The seventh, and final race of the Kent Fitness League 2018/19 Cross Country series took place at Rough Common, Canterbury in early February, and once again, Sevenoaks Athletics Club (SAC) were out in force with their team of 30 seniors and four juniors coming away with 30 trophies.
After six races, the senior team was guaranteed 2nd place behind league champions, Petts Wood, but having won the 6th race in Minnis Bay in January, the Sevenoaks runners were keen to finish with another win.
In the junior race, two laps of the playing fields, SAC athletes Ella Baker, William Hurst and Harvey Taylor performed with distinction.
Ella had another excellent win to confirm her place as U13 girls champion. William Hurst received his trophy for 3rd U11 boys in the series, and Harvey Taylor 3rd U17 in the series.
Led by head coach, Darrell Smith, the SAC juniors are now looking forward to an equally successful summer season in the Kent Young Athletes League of track and field competitions.
In the senior race, 321 runners tackled the slippery footpaths of Blean Woods to complete the challenging 8 km course.
First home was Jay Smith of Dartford Road Runners, in 29.14 to complete his 6th win in the series and claim his prize as 2018/19 champion.
The fastest SAC runner was Darrell Smith in 10th position (2nd M50). However, with 4 M50 wins from earlier in the series, Darrell becomes 2018/19 M50 champion.
A fine run from Andrew Hutchinson brought him home in 20th position, closely followed by Andrew Milne (26th), Daruis Sarchar (29th), Mike Lochead (35th), Jimmy George (41st), and Dan Witt (49th).
The team’s other M50 scorer was James Baker in 66th. This gave the men’s team a convincing win over Petts Wood AC (2nd) and Dartford Road Runners (3rd).
In the woman’s race, Renata McDonnell of Deal Tri Club won in a time of 32.57, to record her third win in the series, but finishes the series in 2nd place behind champion Becky Morrish of Petts Wood AC.
The Sevenoaks team was led home by Vanessa Gilmartin (10th) followed by Cath Linney (11th), Heather Fitzmaurice (21st), and Pauline Dalton (22nd). This gave the women’s team 2nd place behind Deal Tri Club, but importantly ahead of Petts Wood AC, in 3rd place.
The combined team had a convincing win on the day, to finish on a high; runners-up in the series but with wins in the final two races.
The 30 runners who had completed more than 3 races and attended the final race were awarded with runners-up medals. In addition to Darrell Smith securing 1st M50 in the series, Bridget Weekes was 2nd W60, Pauline Dalton 3rd W50 and Heather Fitzmaurice 3rd W45. Team Captain Dan Witt said: “I should like to thank all the runners who gave up their Sunday mornings to compete for us.”