Kent Fitness League Cross Country – Knole Park Report

Cross Country season has arrived. It’s time to put away the racing flats, break out the trail running shoes and embrace the autumnal weather. If you have never run Cross Country before, not only is it a great event, but it is also brilliant for building strength and stamina into your running.


The first event in the Kent Fitness League Cross Country calendar saw our TRACies travel the length of the county to Knole Park in Sevenoaks.


15 TRACies in total made the journey ensuring that a full team for both the male and females, covering all age categories, competed. The group was made up of a good mix of seasoned veterans and first timers who had yet to experience the thrill of Cross Country running.


Upon arrival there was a bit of a trek through Knole Park to get to the starting area. For some this doubled as a bit of a warm up and also a little preview of the undulating terrain that made up the race course. This national trust park got a chance to show off its beautiful scenery on this sun drenched morning, it was also great to see wild deer roaming around.


Once warmed up and in TRAC racing colours it was time to head to the start. It was also great to see so many runners from almost every running club in Kent in attendance to participate in this event. Unlike other races that use chip timing and bibs etc, the Kent Fitness League is all about your position and therefore you collect a numbered chip at the finish similar to what you do on Parkrun to get your final position.


Before the start there was a really touching moment when a minute silence was immaculately observed for Wim van Vuuren, of Canterbury Harriers, who sadly passed away the previous Sunday.


It wasn’t long before the klaxon sounded and all the runners were underway. The course was a mixture of grass, paved roads and everything in between which kept all of our runners on their toes. The run started with a long drawn out incline which turned out to be just an appetiser for some of the more brutal inclines, these came in fairly quick succession at round mile 3. Once they were out of the way the course twists and turns its way back around the park before treating the runners to a quick finish down the final straight.


Despite the challenging course our TRACies put in some really impressive performances. Jack Bradley led the way for the men finishing in an impressive 17th position, closely followed by Chris Brenchley and Jamie Collins. For the ladies it was Maria Skinner that was first home followed by Claire Morgan and Nikki Boyes.


A special mention for Karen Moys, Steve Morgan, Phil Stevens and Max Hubbard who all to part in their first XC.


It was a genuinely fantastic team performance with every runner that finished contributing to the teams final score. Although there were no medals for these events our runners left a huge scene of achievement and plenty of tired legs. Well done everyone.


The next event in the Kent Fitness League takes place on Sunday 10th November at Swanley Park. We would like as many of our club runners to get involved as possible. Please get in contact if you are interested.


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