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Swanley Race Report


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On a lovely morning which promised much and delivered more, Invicta athletes had much to be proud of….to say we punch well above our weight would be an understatement…

First up our u13 girls of Alex Millard, Freya Lee & Ellie Laffey
With just under sixty girls on the start line Alex Millard ran an outstanding race and I think she shocked herself ,we have seen it in her training this consistent and precocious talent stayed in the front group then took the race by the scuff of the neck and took it on…anyone who knows her knows how competitive she is and once at the front well frankly know one was going to overtake her!!
1st place secured ,Freya Lee has taken a huge step forward and I  think this could be a good season for her, determined and tenacious is our Freya and rewarded with an excellent top 20 finish (19th)…talk about tenacious and described by her coach as a precocious young talent Ellie Laffey was not far behind in 25th I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing her progress as she clearly has talent.. the team a 3rd overall and I’m confident they can win this league well done girls !!

Next up were our u13 boys Joe Laffey ,Oliver Weston. Joe Fox & Alex Holliday
fifty in this race and Joe Laffey was determined to lay his marker down for the season. This boy can run !!...never out of the front group and attacking them early on Joe came in 6th a great result  id bet real cash that he will win one of this series before the winter is over that’s how talented he is ..Oliver Weston has been a consistent and brave runner over the years…always turns up always gives his all and that is now being rewarded I thought he ran brilliantly and an excellent start to the season a 12th place finish..not far behind a boy who has been watching his sisters for years and can now at last  race as he has reached the age YAHOO !!
Joe Fox, I know will win this series when he gets accustomed to racing in the league ,as a first year u13 boy he has much to look forward too and this year will give him the depth of strength he needs as I believe next year will see him winning theses races I thought this was a really credible performance and worthy of his 17th place well done Joe. Alex Holliday is an enigma to me…he is a delightful chap if you watch him run he has one of the easiest styles I’ve ever seen , he makes running look effortless he really does!!..he can run fast and he is much much better than this 34th place finish. we need to find the key to motivate him as id love to see him at the front and he is so so capable of it…well done boys 2nd place as a team and surely we can win the league with all this talent !!

Talking of talent we have it in abundance in the u15 girls…if you look in the dictionary for the definition of determined it will say Ella Fox like !! This young lady has strength in depth and this could most definitely  be her season.. a top ten finish (10th) her reward for a brave and strong run I think we will see in her the front five soon …just two places behind was Emily Bond (12th) I don’t think Emily will tell me off for saying she much prefers the track and sees the cross country as a necessary evil (which it is if you want to do well in the summer) and for someone who doesn’t like it, she can run them and run them well..she wont be happy with her position but her coach is.. as  this was a good performance and great to build on…Jesse Carley was just six places back(18th)….whenever I write a report I always wax lyrical about how well she trains and its going to come right soon and I’m almost certain she is fed up with hearing it…however she does train so brilliantly that its hard to believe she is not the number one in the county
So all I can say is Jesse you are without doubt one of my favourite athletes ,your attitude ,your sprit your tenacity are strengths which will bring success to you ,I cant tell you when, but Peter and I know it will happen ….it was without doubt a good run and if we can persuade your brain of how good you are then victory is near me thinks !!...Our multi eventer Holly Fielder was next 20th overall and one must think for a multi eventer to do the cross country is a very good sign of things to come next summer. Holly will reap the benefits of a tough winter of that I’m sure a good run much respect !!....Alice Mount was our next athlete across the line….for those that don’t know her I’m not surprised Alice quietly goes about her business getting better and better one thing about Alice is she is a racer performs brilliantly when pushed hard ,we are expecting great things from her this season and I’m sure soon,you will all know who she is as I expect her to be getting closer and closer to the front….our final athlete across the line was Laura Parish (36th)…it seems to me that Laura is going through that age when the bones have grown but the muscles haven’t quite caught up make you run slightly out of sync but don’t worry I believe once this difficult period has past Laura will be racing and getting the results she so deserves. 4th overall for the team.

In the u15 boys we were short of competitors Joseph Whitby playing footy and my own Douglas Noel failing at getting his bike to fly and breaking his collar bone in the process (pillock)….so Billy Harrop stepped up to the line in great shape..Billy has really come on this summer and is kicking some well known athletes round the track in training…he certainly attacked this race and showed very well early on ..i think he paid for that in the middle of the race but finished very strongly in 15th overall out of over sixty runners.watch out for Billy I think he is definitely a candidate for most improved athlete.great attitude too…

The u17 women team were Anna Weston,Sarah Hall & Abbie Fox…they really had the rough end of the day just as they lined up the heavens opened and boy did it rain ..embarrassingly a lot of us ran for cover to get into wet weather gear
So we missed a large part of the race (my personal apologies girls)..however just got to see the finish and shout over the line the fast improving Anna Weston (5th)
What a difference a year makes really really getting her mojo back and right behind her Sarah Hall (6th) who frankly is at last getting rewarded for her years of hard work and tenacity..Abbie Fox was 19th looking a little out of kilter but must be applauded for her strength and courage for what looked like a hard run..
Overall team 2nd well done all.

In the u17 boys that lunatic Jamie Carley lined up ..he is the most enthusiastic bubbly athlete at the club no question..his enthusiasm holds no bounds and we love him for it !!..his running aint too bad either and again must be a contender for most improved, ran a very credible 13th place which if I know him he will be bothered about ,but he needs to remember this is his second yes second season..well done Jamie great effort and result…

The u20 men lined up next and all of us must be grateful for our new star Abel Tsegay…Abel is a very unassuming character, but what a great guy he is and boy can he run…he led this race from start to finish and destroyed a very good field ..he finished one and a half minutes in front of the second placed chap..and surely will be an international before too long. Coming back from a injury Dylan Rigby showed again why he was last years most improved athlete.. 4th overall and lets be frank here, cross country is not his favourite time of the year, shows what talent this young man is..  cant wait to see him on the track next year as I believe he will go onto university holding a new club 800m record…our final athlete Ben Hall (9th) helped the team enjoy an overall 1st place, I know I’ve used the word a lot in this report but this young guy is tenacious ,I don’t apologise for using the word again but boy does he keep going and is getting better too he is much valued at the club and we should look at him and get inspiration from his fabulous efforts…

The under 20 women and senior women’s race was run as one, so there were many IEK athlete on the line…I often wonder what the other competitors think when they line up and see the Clay sisters in the race..these two young ladies are remarkable they set of with real intent and very little doubt that they are going to dominate the races they are in..Bobby looks in great shape and got a grip on this race very early on Alex chasing her hard for the whole course 1st & 2nd the rewards (envy on every other clubs face that they are ours ) not that far behind was Emily Mckane a much improved athlete and a great example that if you keep going you will keep getting better and thus will enjoy the rewards (10th)Lilly Coward (13th) running back into some form I thought ..not naturally a cross country runner but again showing her true grit and a fine finish…So Kyla Clay next across in 24th showing what ones offspring can do so can she..a fine run of which i hope she is pleased..Our club secretary Sarah Hotham came in next (46th) after what can only be described as a difficult year for her running, with injuries keeping her away, she showed real strength and determination over this challenging course …

Finally the senior men lined up for a 10k cross country !!yes you did read that right, 6 miles of mud ,hills and pain…Tim Corby having a fine race finishing 10th overall…what an accomplishment from one of our most consistent athletes, Our treasurer Michael Galleyer-Barnet finishing 146th over this very challenging course ..it makes me feel proud and embarrassed all at the same time,proud to see this guy with sore legs achieve such a feat, embarrassed that I don’t even try
And lastly Gavin Knight 159th again proving what guts ,sprit and determination he has well done all…

A great start to a season.. one thing I want to mention there were nine races ,five of the nine winners are either trained directly by or are  enjoying some advice and influence from our very own Peter Mullervy…it leaves me to a conclusion..i wish I were fifteen and he my coach, as I would think  I have no limit I can go all the way with this man as my coach we are lucky …..some might say it’s the guy who stands beside him with the stop watch but that’s another story !!!