*M&M back on top!*
The first Kent Fitness League cross country race of 2022 was held at Minnis Bay, Birchington this Sunday, with the six mile course featuring five infamous dykes, some with waist high mud and water that the athletes have to navigate. Despite the wet and muddy conditions, Medway & Maidstone AC fielded a strong team of twenty-six athletes.
Daniel St Martin was the first placed M&M athlete for the third time this season, finishing in 9th place. He was quickly followed by Jonathan Whittall in 10th then Carl Eldred, running his first KFL race, finishing 12th. Chris Rampling (18th) and Neill Wright (20th & 1st M45) helped M&M see five of their athletes finishing inside the top 20. The team continued to pack well down the field, with ten M&M athletes finishing inside the top 50 places. Alun Rodgers (24th) was 1st M55, stretching his lead at the top of the M55 standings with fellow M&M Gareth Williams not far behind. This saw the men’s team again finish first in the team result, cementing their place at the top of the standings.
First lady home for M&M was Chloe Hammond, finish 7th lady, her best result to date. Taryne McPherson battled through the dykes to finish 10th (3rd F45) and continue her challenge for a medal in the ladies standings. The final scoring lady for the ladies team was Rachel Cottam, in her first race for M&M, finish 36th lady. With the team still missing F55 athlete, the ladies team finished a respectable 8th.
The strong performances throughout both the men’s and ladies’ teams saw M&M finish 1st in the Combined Team result for the first time this season and keeps the hopes of defending their league title alive. The next league fixture is on Sunday 6th February at Blean Woods, Canterbury.
(For those interested, footage of the athletes navigating one of the dykes, featuring expert commentary from Adam Featherstone and Barry Royden can be seen at the following link: https://youtu.be/4ghXQVXMjRY)
Report- with thanks Sean Rodwell
Photos – with thanks Andy Mair