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Race Report: Kent Cross Country League-Fixture Two, Somerhill Park, Tonbridge

(Senior Men)


Saturday was certainly a trial of hills, mud and atrocious weather, and everyone who ran on the day came away with real credit. At the best of times, Somerhill Park is one of the district’s most notorious cross country courses, and sorts out the men from the boys - not least the Senior Men’s distance of 10KM. With 4 climbs up that first hill everyone who ran on the day can now claim reasonably to have calves like Arnold Schwarzenegger.


As with the meeting at Swanley three weeks ago, only a very small number of people ran the U20 race at all on the day, and, predictably, no one from Invicta competed over the 5KM distance. Indeed, no one from this age bracket ran in the senior event in the end either, and, as it transpired, the same 4 competed as at Swanley, those being Tim Corby, Rob Whittaker, Michael Gallyer Barnett and myself.


Pleasingly, everybody finished higher up the field on Saturday than they did at Swanley. Tim went from eighteenth to sixteenth, and is beginning to compete with some of the finest runners the county has to offer. No pressure Tim, but I think you may yet be able to break into the Top 10 by the time the Kent Champs come along at the turn of the year. I look forward to your battles with the likes of Chris Holmes and Donald Carter when they resume racing.


Meanwhile V50 man Rob continues to impress, improving by one place on his 53rd at Swanley to move a step closer to a Top 50 spot, while Michael rocketed up the standings by twenty-five places to finish 133rd, which was a fantastic effort.


Best of all, we all agreed that Saturday’s run felt that much better than the one three weeks ago. Cross Country is a discipline which puts different demands on the body mentally and physically to track and road, and it can take time to establish a rhythm after months of pounding out miles on flat, smooth, hard surfaces. This is most definitely the case where I’m concerned, having only just started running cross country again, having completely missed last season. All I can promise is that I will be training as hard as I possibly can between now and the end of the winter and beyond to improve on my 62nd and 60th finishing places so far this term.


In short guys, well done, keep up the good work, and hopefully see you all on December 1st at Danson Park.


Nick Little


Senior Men’s Cross Country Captain