National XC Champs: K&D’s Big Day Out

It’s the greatest race in the English running calender. Thousands charging across the countryside in search of glory. For the first time K&D organised a Fun Bus to take us to Leeds. We were joined by excellent representatives of Centurions, Solihull & Small Heath and Kings Heath as we headed North.

Harewood House, Leeds. A bit posh. A bit pretty.

Absurdly glorious weather made it feel like mid-summer with temperatures hitting the mid-teens. Chairman Darren fell down a hill before we even had the flag raised and we found Rob Michaelson-Yeates lounging around enjoying his picnic on the grass in February, the ice-cream vans were doing roaring trades as the youth championships finished and youngsters took their reward in medal or dairy form.

First to go for K&D were the women, Rachel Gifford and Jess Woolley. With more than 1000 women of all standards it was always going to be a tough race. Despite forgetting her K&D vest Rocket Rachel more than made amends by finishing a stunning 143rd! Top 150th in the country is an astonishing result. Jess Woolley who’s shown great development all through winter ran a superb race finishing 353rd! on her National debut. With The National in Nottingham next year K&D’s women could do something very special.

The earth literally rumbles as The National competitors get under way.

The Men’s race incorporates the historic 9-Scorer Championship and the newer format 6-scorer Champs. A battle of Depth vs. Speed if you will.

K&D men’s previous best at The National was a 69th place in Nottingham a couple of years ago in the 6 man team race.

Consider that record well and truley smashed as K&D (pipped Tipton!) and stormed round to 56th in the 6 to Score Champs and even more impressively finished 40th in the country (and for good measure beating Tipton again) in the 9 to score format. The K&D Fun Bus bringing the lads home to glory.

Yorkshire. It’s alright.

Pick of the bunch was Rob Michaelson-Yeates who crowned a superb year with a 346th out of more than 2000 club athletes competing. Even Simon Bentley rolled back the years to finish 562nd and Jack Bristow, fresh from taking down the ITU rounded out the top 3 in 692nd. It was brilliant to see K&D athletes like Phil Wood popping their National Cherry and having a superb day.

Ultimate Game Face. See the woman pointing behind Max saying “What a silly old wazzock?”. That’s Max’s wife. Hi Mrs Gimson!

We must also mention our Development Loanee Joe Read who’s currently being molded into a full on showpony by the team at Birmingham Uni. Joe Read, having spent last year with a stress fracture and in a lovely space age boot made up for lost time with a 187th place. A superb result.

Finally we’d also like to congratulate all our companions on the K&D Fun Bus. Ed Wallace, Sam Horsfall, Clare Colquhoun (all Centurions) and Chris Dix and Paul Lloyd (S&SH AC) as well as K&D 2nd Claimer Kate Shephard who races under the Kings Heath colours. Who not only provided great company but put up with our louts at the back, didn’t complain at Torsten stripping and helped make the day even more memorable.

The Diet of Champions (of the 40th Place)

Wollaton Hall in Nottingham next year. We cannot recommend The National highly enough for all level of athletes as an experience up there (and in your humble writers opinion even higher) than the London Marathon. A true club focused event. Think of it like a Warwickshire Road Race League race with a little bit more mud and 8000 more club runners from across England. Though this year was hotter than some of the WRRL events.

The K&D Fun Bus is highly likely to be called back into action. If only so the lads can enjoy their once-a-year beer and Maccies session on the way home.

PositionK&D Legends
348Robert Michaelson-Yeates
562Simon Bentley
692Jack Bristow
763Torsten Roesler
869Richard Dixon
873Gregory Turner
927Nicholas Woolley
1124Daniel Malone
1348Max Gimson
1395Darren John
1643Phil Wood

Remeber: What happens on the K&D Fun Bus stays on the K&D Fun Bus. At least until the photo’s emerge at the awards do in May…