New order reigns at North Downs Run
Deed and Woodyard take this Kent off-roader to the next level
There was another cracking race on Sunday (27 June) at the 37th North Downs 30K incorporating the British Masters Multi-Terrain Championships, held on a new course for 2021 based at Cyclopark, Gravesend.
There were new champions in both the men's race and women's races after this fully sold-out race had taken a one-year Covid-enforced sabbatical in 2020.
Defending champion Ed Bovingdon of the host club Istead & Ifield Harriers came up against an inspired M40 Darren Deed (Bedford & County, 1:51:57) who recorded the fastest time seen at this event – albeit on a revised course – as 551 finished in 4:49:19.
Six men managed the rare feat of beating two hours. Local favourite Bovingdon put up a resolute defence in second place (1:54:01) followed by Andrea Fraquelli (Serpentine, 1:56:50) and M40 age-groupers Jeff Pyrah (Hastings, 1:58:27), Phil Sanders (Kent AC, 1:59:05) and Fabien Lassonde (Victoria Park Harriers, 1:59:56).
The higher age-group champions were M50 Steve Winder (Epsom & Ewell Harriers, 2:06:51); M60 Ifan Lloyd (Swansea Harriers, 2:2:08:06) and M70 David Winch (Thanet Roadrunners, 2:47:12).
The absence of five-times consecutive winner and title holder Amy Clements (Kent AC) opened the door for a new women's winner and W35 Nikki Woodyard (Springfield Striders, 2:24:33) stepped up to the plate with considerable aplomb.
Also under two and a half hours on this tough, hilly but visually rewarding course were W35 Lara Bromilow (Marshall Milton Keynes, 2:26:25), Amelie Karlsson (Tunbridge Wells Harriers, 2:27:25) and W45 Victoria Buck (2:29:05). The female upper age category winners were W55 Lynda Hembury (Tring RC, 2:44:07) and W70 Sarah Marzaioli (Hastings, 3:48:15).
The 30K course includes the notorious 180m climb of Holly Hill as it winds through farmland and orchards in the Cuxton Valley and Cobham Park – one of the most beautiful courses in the South East.
Host club Istead & Ifield Harriers won the men's team awards and Kent AC was in charge of the women's teams.
Full results available to view at runABC South race listing here
Image courtesy North Downs Run on facebook