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Race Report-Kent League Match-day Four, Parkwood School, Swanley (09/02/13)


Well, that’s the Kent Cross Country League done and dusted for another year - and the cross country season itself will be over for the Club in ten days time. Anyone who is running at Parliament Hill, Sunderland, or both will consider Saturday’s race as good preparation.



At the race itself, only the seniors ran at the weekend, with the young and junior athletes having already completed their League Programme. Pleasingly, we had the biggest turnout of the season by some distance, capping off what has been an almost race by race increase. Long may it continue into next year. All in all, seven Invicta men ran, and finished on Saturday.


Top of the pile for us was Donald Carter, who continued his impressive form over the last few months with a top 10 finish (8th). Donald is undoubtedly more of a track runner by trade, but he has put in a great shift on the cross country circuit recently, and is running himself into great form at just the right time from his point of view.


Tim Corby was once again following closely behind Donald, and despite admitting he was not feeling at his best over the weekend, he still added another top 20 finish to his name (18th). I’ve no doubt he will have aspirations of finishing in the top 10 more often than not next year, and I’ve no doubt he is up to the challenge.


Next in was Chris Holmes in 25th. Welcome back Chris, it’s been a while that’s for sure. Having struggled through an unenviable year injury wise, this was an impressive return. Having been right up around the top 10 last season, he will no doubt be looking to emulate those highs again when fully fit next season.


Robert Whittaker, an ever present this season, finished the League programme as he’s been going all year. At 56th, he continues as impressively as ever, and doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon. He and everyone else are certainly setting the benchmark for myself. With a finish of 70th, my own season has been so-so, and I will be looking to improve significantly, and put in the hard miles which are required to do so.


Michael Gallyer-Barnett, another ever-present, finished 95th. He has undoubtedly got steadily better with every race this year. To have the appetite to come out and race every other weekend by the time you get to veteran status is remarkable, and should in no way be underestimated. The same goes for John Wilkins. If I remember correctly, I think he said he’s been a member of Invicta since 1972 (please correct me if that’s wrong John). The point is, you can’t buy that kind of commitment of longevity. Who knows what the future holds for the twenty-something’s like myself, Chris, Donald and Tim - but if we’re still racing for a club for that kind of time period, it will be an achievement in itself.


In short, well done everyone, and good luck to all the guys who are doing the races in London or Sunderland in the next two weekends. Roll on the track season. 


Nick Little,

Senior Men’s Cross Country Captain