Weekend News Report - 20th/21st January 2018

Pitcairn-Knowles Surprises With First Ever Cross Country Win

The Club's distance runners were faced with perhaps the worst weather conditions of the Winter so far on Saturday and Sunday, as they tackled events in the far east of Kent. Cold temperatures and plenty of rain tested athletes at both the Kent Schools Cross Country Championships and the Canterbury 10 mile road race.

On Saturday the Duke of Yorks School, at Dover, hosted the Kent Schools Cross Country Championships, which comprised of eight races across the age groups. Tonbridge had five winners, plus the first home in the invitation year six categories.

The Senior Boys' race, for school years 12 and 13, was run over seven kilometres and for half the distance there was a pack working together at the front. However, it was Bede Pitcairn-Knowles (775) who pushed on at the start of the final lap of four, to build a winning lead and come home for his first ever cross country victory. Five other Tonbridge AC runners made the top ten, as James Puxty finished 4th, Dan Seagrove 5th, James Stoney 6th, Dan Schofield 7th and James Elgar 10th.

Unlike Pitcairn-Knowles, Phoebe Barker (pictured above) was the pre-race favourite to win the girls' event, in the same age group and she lived up to expectations with a resounding victory, by nineteen seconds. Grace Fleming showed terrific form to come home 3rd and Clara Tyler was 8th.

James Kingston, who is in the best form of his life, won a hard fought Inter Boys race, as Fraser Gordon moved up two places near the finish to come home in 2nd, just ten seconds behind the winner. Adam Van der Plas was the third Tonbridge AC runner home in 7th.

Katie Goodge had perhaps her best race of the season, to finish 2nd in the Inter Girls race, as Tonbridge had seven others make the top twenty, of the sixty four finishers.

The Junior races are for years 8 and 9, with 109 boys and 93 girls finishing. Matthew Taylor came within a second of winning the boys' race, whilst  his brother Henry placed 3rd. Matthew Dubery (4th), Fin Croll (6th) and Ollie Hill (10th) all made the top ten. Maddie Wise, pictured above, put in a dominant, front running performance, to win the girls' race.

Olivia Breed captured the year 7 girls' title, with Sophie Slack 2nd, whilst Lily Slack won the year six event.  George Hopkins was 4th in the boys' race, of the same age group, with Sam Breed having one of his best races in 9th, whilst Tim McLain was the first year six home.

Videos can be viewed here

Canterbury 10 Mile Road Race

On Sunday morning, in cold, damp conditions, the Club had a few athletes towards the front at the Canterbury 10 mile road race, and three new Club records.


Nicole Taylor won the women's category in 58.34, slicing 85 seconds from her previous best, whilst Tina Oldershaw was second and first veteran with 63.34, setting a new Club record in the W50 age group.

Harry Paton set a big pb of 54.41 to place 6th overall, with Julian Rendall 8th in Club record time of 55.05 and Dan Bradley 10th in 56.50.

Graeme Saker set a new Club record as he finished in 61:29 and was the second of the M55 runners home.

Around 1400 finished the race, results are available here.

London Indoor Games

On Saturday Anton Bachorski lowered the Tonbridge AC U17 men's indoor 60 metres record to 7.27, which took two hundredths of a second from Toby Seal's two year old mark.

The time was a tenth of a second improvement on Bachorski's own pb set two weeks earlier, at the same venue of Lee Valley.

Eddie Davies

Mark Davies would like TAC athletes and supporters to know that his father Eddie sadly passed away on 31 December 2017. He was a keen photographer and an Associate Member of the Club for several years. Many of you may remember Eddie as Mark's long suffering coach and taxi service in the early days, and staunch supporter thereafter.

Please click here for details of the forthcoming funeral service.