Kent Fitness League Cross Country – Shorne Woods Race Report
With the Christmas festivities and the New Year out the way, it was back to business for our Thanet Roadrunners for the 4th round of the Kent Fitness League Cross Country.
This week saw our Roadrunners head out to Shorne Woods Country Park. It was the first time that this venue had been used for the cross country so very little was known about the course or what to expect. The big talking point was whether to wear spikes or trail shoes (for those who actually had the option) but this course ended up being so diverse by giving a little of everything and a lot of mud. However, what you really needed was some sort of running-hiking-wellington hybrid to successfully take on this course which treated runners to a real variety of racing conditions including fast and flat sections, mud, trails, mud, hills, muddy hills and steep descents.
The course begins with a fast small loop followed by two larger loops through Shorne Woods. The idea around the first smaller loop is to help thin out the circa 500 runners but with a narrow course and this volume of athletes it did little to ease congestion before the route entered the woods. However, one thing the smaller loop did do was lure participants who were unaware of what was to come into a false sense of security as this first mile is flat and on fairly firm ground. Once the course entered the wooded section, it certainly got more challenging. Runners were treated to ankle deep mud, tricky woodland trails, steep descents and a notorious incline aptly named Cardiac Hill! Of course, once you have done the large loop once, back round you went again before a speedy finish back on firmer ground.
Even with these tough conditions, plenty of our TRACies seemed to thrive in them. Jack Bradley led the way with an outstanding run finishing 7thoverall. He was closely followed by Chris Brenchley who finished 20th and Jamie Collins in 32nd which was also his highest finish this season. For the Ladies, it was Maria Skinner again that continues to set the pace. Maria finished 5th female (92nd overall) and this was her best finish of the season. Claire Morgan also achieved her highest finish so far this season by finishing 26th female (195th overall). Nikki Boyes finished 55th female (285th overall) with a strong finish for our ladies’ team.
We also had several runners that also managed to achieve their highest finish in the league this season with Max Hubbard, Paul Brackenborough, Oliver Northrop, Sarah Harmes, Janet Morgan and Karen Moyes all putting in great performances.
There were also some new additions to our cross-country team who ran for the first time this season which included Julia Hermitage, Karen Daniels and Steve Forshaw who all chose one of the toughest races in the fixtures so far to get involved. Well done guys.
Next up for our Thanet Roadrunners in the Kent Fitness League is our home leg at Minnis Bay, Birchington. Please get in touch if you want to get involved which includes running or help with marshalling this event.