Written by Observer
Surrey Mens CC League D3 M4
Lloyd Park 13th February 2016
An exemplary response to TM Matt Hyett’s pre-race exhortations was more than matched by the determination of the squad to impose themselves on the D3 field on a typically testing Lloyd Park course and five in the first 10,led aggressively by a 1-2 from Scott Evans and U20 Neil Wellard,did the trick. With a smaller than normal D3 turnout of 125,this was a key component and the final analysis saw us clawing back the pre-match deficits to E&E and Stragglers,and going on to claim promotion back to D2 as Champions.
Morning rain and an early parkrun had chewed up the course(God bless the D2 match runners who followed on after us!) but Scott and Neil lit out decisively and our clutch of watching supporters were delighted to see those two well clear within the first mile,followed by a further six within the top 30. However,there were plenty of E&E vests in the early mix and,with it being difficult to separate the D3 from the D4 runners without a mathematician present,there was still a touch of nervousness abroad amongst the K&P followers. Through the 4 mile mark,Scott,Neil,James Robertson,Tom Pinder and a rampant Michael Huntley had consolidated in the top ten and hopes were high,with an experienced K&P group in close order about a minute or so behind.
At the funnel,Scott(28.16) had won by nearly a minute from the aggressive Neil in 2nd(29.09),with James 6th(31.07),Tom 8th(31.23) and Michael H. 10th(32.00). With E&E runners still in the mix,it was a relief to see a repeat of the close packing of recent fixtures and we soon had a full scoring complement in – Mark Reed 23rd in a hurry to catch his plane from Stansted(33.20),Jamie McCullagh 24th(33.25),Alex Thomas 26th(33.32),TM Matt Hyett 32nd(34.09) and Jon Darby 46th(35.30).
That gave us a full total of 178 to E&E’s 270 and the 354 by Stragglers but this was not confirmed until later in the evening – it was a matter of fingers crossed given an initial provisional tally suggested we had caught only Stragglers.
It was an exuberant Matt who mailed us all with the best news we had hoped for – we had,in fact,slipped past both Clubs and were crowned D3 2105-16 Champions and thus back in D2 for next winter.Final Totals – K&P 1153 from E&E 1179 and Stragglers 1294 were the first 3 to close in.
There was very strong support from those who were just outside the scoring 10,and their presence was just as welcome and appreciated – David Wilby 47th,Andy Arbour 51st,Peter Wilkins 61st,Mike Maranzano 65th,who would each still have ensured our full success,had there been any hiccoughs. Rupert Bole 106th and David Greenfield 115th made the day,too,giving us the welcome solidity of 16 finishers.
Some interesting stats – 5 of those running and 5 of the supporters present were in the squad that won the corresponding fixture at the same venue 11 years ago which saw us promoted to D1 under Bob McDonough’s management. To which can be added,to bring things into rather more recent recollection – over the last 2 winters’ 8 matches,K&P have supplied the winner on 6 occasions – Scott with 3 successes,George Corcoran with two and one from James R. Today’s team also included two former League race winners in Mark Reed and Mike Maranzano.
Substantial congratulations to Matt and to Tukki for a significant success.
Thanks,too,to the travelling support – Geoff R,Graham H,Ant B,Bob McDonough.
And a fully-endorsed postscript from GR
“and congratulations to all who ran in her.
It was a great day just watching the performances come in - after the amazing first two from KP who had run their own races hundreds of yards ahead of anyone else and seemed, amazingly, relatively fresh, we got a series of almost dead men at the finish funnel who had obviously all put their utmost into it.
The course was unimaginable to those of us who just watched but those who ran will all have that indelible memory of an amazing extreme race. and, as David Greenfield has said, all capped with wonderful success. So, congratulations team. and special congratulations to the team manager - Matt - for stimulating this amazing outburst of commitment and quality running.
Best wishes to all, and good running for the future to all of you
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