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KENT AC NEWS BULLETIN 

21st December, 2020
NEWS
Club activities suspended 
As you will have heard London and the South East has now moved into Tier Four Covid-19 restrictions. Kent AC is suspending all club activities until further notice. This means the track is now closed, there will be no group training and members can not run with more than one other person. To echo what was said at the press conference on Saturday, the safest thing to do at the moment is act as if you have the virus. We urge all members to stay safe over the holiday period and will provide more information as it becomes available.   
London Youth Games CX
As mentioned in previous newsletters' this year's London Youth Games CX took place virtually, with some fantastic runs by Kent AC athletes. Olly Buck took the win in the Under 13 male category, running 6.33 for 2km. This was an impressive 11 seconds faster than second place. Lucas Zurdo bagged fifth in the U17 male category, running a swift 15.19 for 5km. Well done to both! Unfortunately Guy Barnett and Theo Gaymes were unable to participate due to Covid related reasons, but looking at the results they would have also highly likely finished in the top 10. The full results are available here.

The Kent AC newsletter will be taking a break over the holiday season. We wish all members a safe and healthy Christmas and look forward to hopefully returning to some sort of training normality in 2021. 
SECRET XC
Last weekend saw Secret XC move to Oxleas Woods in what would be the final edition of the year. There will be no more races until further notice. A big thanks must go to Jonathan Tipper and Pete Lighting for putting on such a fantastic event and keeping us racing during such disruptive times. Here's Jonathan's race report fromSaturday's races.

With the enforced cancellation of the proposed Secret XC on the 28th December, Saturday 19th December saw what was to be the last Secret XC event of the year. In the new location of Oxleas Woods, with its microclimate of constant drizzle, steep hills, deep mud and cash-only café, it was clear that this would be the ultimate challenge.

The first race saw the welcome return of Sarah Hanley. Unfortunately, Sarah was so disappointed by the absence of her nemesis James Bowler that she could not bring herself to finish the race. Vic Buck returned following her debut at Beckenham the previous week, coming home in 26.02 and becoming the first and only female competitor to have completed the course, heading off the challenge from John Barron and Bernie Hutchinson in the process. Ian Ellwood, the winner of the inaugural SXC event scrapped home victorious just ahead of Vic in 26:00.

The second race saw newcomers Alex Newton and Toby Gowan duking it out at the front with Alex eventually winning that battle and the race in 21:44. Alex and Toby’s reward for their front running was to be spectators for the fast and furious downhill finish between the other runners, with James Booth closing in 24:30, followed by Paul McCrone in 24:37 and Simon Allen in close attendance in 5th, all finishing within 10 seconds of each other.

The final race of the day saw the return of Rowan Chrichton. Rowan in his now customary style pulled out a substantial lead in the early stages. However, unlike many other weeks, he was able to sustain it, comfortably taking the win in 20:00 exactly. Following him, Jonathan Tipper gave chase, occasionally catching glimpses of Rowan through the trees, he was never close enough to threaten his lead finishing in 20:37. Olly Buck ran strongly in the early stages, but having lost his shoe last week, was once again struck with misfortune. As a junior, Olly was due to complete one lap of the two-lap course but was misdirected onto a second lap before realising the error, consequently missing the finish. Pete Lighting was able to take advantage and with no one close behind him or in front of him, ran a storming finish on the final downhill section, to finish in 21:01. The final man home was Calum Fraser in 22:25, who finds himself the last person to finish the Secret XC in 2020.

Many thanks to all those who have participated. We will hopefully be back in the new year.
 
Q&A
This week we speak to new Club Secretary Dan Ansell about his plans for the role.

How long have you been at Kent AC, and why did you join? 

I moved to London in 2015 and landed in Peckham. Tried a couple of clubs but I liked the spirit of Kent from the couple of sessions I attended. I remember Phil and Stuart were both very enthusiastic and welcoming. Well I've been in the club for a while and now and all vestiges of my youth have gone so I thought it was time to give back and contribute to the running of the club. The post came available so I thought I'd put my name forward. Also two of my club heroes Phil Sanders and John Barron were the previous postholders so trying to be like them a bit.

What attracted you to the Secretary role on the committee and what do you think you’ll bring?
I think I can offer new energy and a calm head to the committee. I've been told I'm a good listener. I think that's what they said at least.

Do you have any running aims or targets for 2021?
 I've had a bit of bad luck the last few years with illness and injuries so it would be good just to get some consistent training in again and try to be a contender for teams. First target race is Surrey League 21/22 Match One.

Is it true you can drink 6 pints in a minute?
Perhaps in a previous life. I think my sprint volume drinking days at elite level are over though, sadly. Sprint volume drinking is a young person's game.
KENTversation
There is no podcast this week, but you can listen back to all the episodes in what has been a memorable year on Spotify now.
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