Just a week on from the Kent Fitness League fixture at Shorne Woods, Medway and Maidstone AC travelled to Minnis Bay, Birchington, for the penultimate fixture of the season. The course is famous for its water-filled dykes, four miles in, which the runners have to carefully negotiate.
The club followed their strong showing last week with another solid performance throughout the team. Barry Royden rolled back the years, leading the field for the first three miles into a strong headwind, before finally being overtaken in the tricky dyke section. This gave way for Neill Wright to again lead the club home with another quality run for 5th place, followed in quick succession by Chris Rampling (6th), Barry Royden (7th) and Harry Collins (8th). Dan St-Martin, Alun Rodgers, Sean Rodwell and Adam Featherstone completed the men’s scoring team, all finishing in the top 30. Rounding off the men’s team in difficult conditions were Martin Taylor, Gary Hughes, Ivon Whitmore and Nigel Read.
For the ladies, Emily Hale consolidated on previous strong results with a 3rd place finish despite shoe lace issues for much of the race, with Taryne McPherson not far behind. Vanessa Vander, Bernadette Harrop and Kat Ford completed the ladies team with great runs in tough conditions.
In the team competition, the club record performance by the men’s team gave them their third successive win and confirms them as winners of the overall competition with a race to go. With the ladies team finishing in 5th place on the day, the combined results for the fixture again saw Medway and Maidstone at the top of the pile which means they have an unassailable lead in the overall league with one fixture remaining, claiming the combined team championship, which they last won in 2006/7.
Reported by Sean Rodwell