Weekend News Report - 6th October 2019

Tonbridge Women Crowned English Champions

The Club's women's team captured the English Road Relay title, at the National Championships, on Sunday, at Sutton Coldfield, although on the day finished second to a strong Cardiff outfit from Wales.

Nicole Taylor opened up on the first leg of four, run over the 4.33 kilometres course. She handed over in 4th place, running 14.39 and what was eventually the 10th fastest lap of the race. Lincoln led at this stage, from Cardiff and Aldershot, as seventy-seven teams started. Kiri Marsh ran an excellent 15.08 on the second lap to keep Tonbridge in 4th, not far behind Charnwood and Aldershot, as Cardiff started to build a commanding lead.

Phoebe Barker, who is hitting her best form, pulled Tonbridge into second place with a 14.53 stint, finishing ahead of Aldershot and Highgate. The top four remained in the same positions over the final circuit, with Lucy Reid consolidating the Tonbridge second place and ensuring that they were the first English team home. Reid ran 14.44, which was the 12th fastest lap of the race.

The men's team finished 12th over six legs of 5.88 kilometres through Ben Cole (17.38), Alasdair Kinloch (18.12), Jamie Goodge (18.49), Jamie Bryant (18.45), Ryan Driscoll (18.15) and Kieran Reilly (18.10).

Tonbridge just missed winning further medals in two of the young athlete races. They finished 4th in both the under 17 men's and under 13 girls' championships, in both cases only being a few seconds away from a podium place. Alex Beeston ran 12.09 to come home in 8th position on the opening leg of the under 17 men's race. This time gave him the eventual 9th fastest split of the race. Fraser Gordon (12.11) showed good form to move the team into second place, but they slipped back to 4th, with Matthew Taylor (12.43) anchoring the team.

The under 13 girls' team were always inside the top ten of their event, which had 61 teams starting. Gracie Macauley ran 15.05 to come home 7th and Harriet Raven 16.09 for 9th place, after two legs. Lily Slack then took up the challenge of moving past a number of clubs. She ran a 14.02 split, which was the second fastest of the race and brought the team home in 4th, just thirteen seconds away from a medal position. In the other races the under 13 boys placed 30th, under 15 girls 24th and under 15 boys 14th.

Tonbridge AC had some success in two of the more local races, on Sunday. At the Tonbridge Half Marathon Dan Bradley finished as overall runner-up in 77.23, whilst Helen Gaunt won the women's race in 87.01. Over at Ashford, in the 10km road race, Becky Morrish was first female home in a time of 37.50, just two seconds away from her personal best. Also racing on the roads at the weekend Harriet Woolley ran a personal best half marathon of 84.16 for 11th place at Cardiff.

This coming Saturday 12th October Tonbridge AC will be represented across the age groups at the first Kent Cross Country League event on the season, at Swanley.