Alton Towers is not around the corner for Bexley AC, and it is difficult to send a full team to a venue that far north, and really the only practical way is to stay overnight, instead of the long early morning coach journey. Great for those that travelled as we really had great fun, but obviously not always pratical for everyone, still great success was had.
Its was muddy, Oh yes it was muddy thanks to others I will be putting some photo’s on the web site in the near future, which will prove its was muddy – sorry did I mention it was muddy.
The main group stayed at a premier inn at Stafford (the young men in Nottingham, better nightlife apparently or my company), we arrived at various times on Friday night. Through not without some little hiccups (Please ask Richard Long) . We settled in quite comfortably with a team talk for adults in the pub/restaurant.
It rained all night and apart from the odd short break, all Saturday as well. When we arrived at Alton the rain was just washing the snow away. So this set the scene for the day. But thanks to Geraldine Legon we had our tent, a small oasis in a sea of mud. Then the first race
Our Kent champion Beth Armstrong opened our account and set off in a splash & into the mist, Beth had a very strong race again, finishing high up at 64th in the U17 Ladies, this inspired what was to come.
2nd race was an absolute stormer & perhaps our best team position ever at the nationals. Billy Somoygi who perhaps was around the 60th postien after the 1st k, just started reel everyone in to finish 25th, well done Billy outstanding. Next came Nick Armstrong whose aim was supposed to complete the race, he was slightly disappointed to finish 68th, well no one from the club was. So what off the two younger members off the team. Joseph O’Hara 121st and Andre Stone 139th this was well up the field and was no surprise for a team position of 7th
Under 13 girls, Victoria Blincoe was our first home in 292nd, Eleanor Winch followed in 338th. Once they recovered they couldn’t wait to tell us off their adventures out in the mud. This was before they revised the course. In fact many girls had pulled out of this race, & and their relative position in the field would have been much higher.
Under 17 men, this was our 2nd junior team of the day, and really proved the juniors progression, as a team they finished 19th. First over the line was a typical strong Adam Willis performance in 114th, Tom Wright another fine run 162nd, Nick Faulkner 235th & Charlie Winch 242nd gave Stirling work to complete a pleasing performance, Charlie thanking all the officials much to their amusement.
Under 15 Girls, Katie was our sole runner in this race, a bit tough on the girls today as they had no one to gauge themselves against. Still Katie done well in 301st.
Under 20 men, Hari Faulkner was our sole entrant, and certainly did not look to exuberant during this run, but all credit as again many pulled out and he finished 179th.
Under 13 Boys, Luc Legaon & Harry Jarvis were our entrants, they were quite unlucky that due to the conditions their course was rerouted and they seem to race into the distance, do a quick circle and then come back, the race for the leaders only took 8 mins. Luc took full advantage and had an excellent run in 206th. Harry unfortunately was a bit off colour he had picked up a heavy cold a couple of days before he was in 302th, though not bad considering the conditions.
Senior ladies, seem to really enjoy them selves mercifully the course slightly shorter than expected, Dawn Saunders was an excellent 267th, Geraldine Legon 525th. Wendy Somogyi 543th. Us lads tried to raise the Ladies sprits with where else can you get a free mud pack.
Time for everyone to get their own back over the Senior Men, because of the size the seniors are a bit of a spectale. and it was a mad start over the only bit of green available which diminished very quickly into a sea of mud. We all found it very hard work but our position team wise was 65th well up the field. This was most surprising to me as I personally struggled, but after all what our youngsters had done we had to finsh. First home was Jon Armstrong as usual well up in 418th, followed by Paul Smyth 566th,Martin Jenner 706th, Tom Clench 800th, Glen Butler 967th, Colin Hyde 968th, yours truly in 982nd & Richard Long in 1038th. Again I think we are please it was shorter than the scheduled 12k.
Back to the hotel, where a huge rush for showers, we also had our friends from Herne Hill staying so water pressure was a little down to say the least. Once we were finally mud free we stayed in the hotels pub/restaurant though the boys played football in the car park till 12 – mad
Well what a great weekend, some outstanding performances from the team from Kent. Alton is not around the corner and we were missing many because of this. We would all like to do this again, fab team sprit and great support from parents. We would also like to thank the committee of the club for their help it was really appreciated, we hope we done you proud.
Next year its parliament Hill, Southerns in Brighton. The season is still not quite over as we have the southern realys in Wormwood Scrubs on the 12th March then at least we can rest our 12cm spikes & clean our shoes. Many youngsters will also be competing at the English schools.
Watch out for a review of the year, pictures and a list of all the silverwear
Still washing my kit – Kevin Winch