Published: 00:00, 21 December 2001
ALAN NEWMAN (Medway and Maidstone AC) became the second Ditton resident to win the Ditton Turkey Run which was held for the ninth consecutive year. Course record holder Daniel Green, who finished 23rd this year, is the only other local winner with his victories in 1998 and 1999.
Newman was able to jog to the start from his home in Cherry Orchard opposite the local community centre which hosts this annual multi-terrain challenge over a generously measured 6.8 miles course. The capacity field of 250 athletes was led up Kiln Barn Road by the title holder, Mike Poppy (Sittingbourne Striders) with Paul Ross-Davies (Invicta) from Maidstone, leading the chasing group.
On the climb from The Rocks to East Malling Heath it was Maidstone Harriers veteran, Mike Stacey who was forcing the issue but Poppy still led as the mud of Oaken Wood approached. The break came before the leaders arrived at Seven Wents with Newman clear of Stacey who had passed a tiring Poppy. The closing stages saw Andy Sando from Leybourne make excellent progress to finish third from Nigel Cook (Thanet), Ross-Davies and Poppy.
The women's race was much more exciting than the processional men's event. Jenny Harnett (Medway and Maidstone) has won this race six times since 1993 and had never been beaten - until now. The current course record holder looked well on her way to a seventh win until the athletes emerged onto the recreation ground with less than 400m to run. Hot on her heels was the 1988 Olympic 1500m finalist, Shireen Bailey, who was representing her local health and leisure club in the fun team category.
Harnett was unable to respond as Bailey revived memories of her 1min 58.9sec for 800m speed to sprint to victory in 41.33, leaving Harnett still the fastest athlete on this course with her 41.31 victory in 1996.
Maidstone Harriers, despite their responsibilities as hosts, won the club team race from Swanley and Paddock Wood while Barming Nomads narrowly defeated Priory Health Club from Surrey in the fun team event.
With the overall winner being excluded from the Ditton residents race, the winner of this category was Stephen Throssell from Cherry Orchard while that address accounted for another award when sixth placed woman Sue James claimed the fancy dress prize for her rather fetching Mother Christmas outfit.
Results: 1 Alan Newman (Medway & Maidstone M40) 37.52, 2 Mike Stacey (Maidstone Harriers M40) 38.05, 3 Andy Sando (Unattached) 38.14, 4 Nigel Cook (Thanet) 38.31, 5 Paul Ross-Davies (Invicta M50) 38.50, 6 Mike Poppy (Sittingbourne) 39.11, 7 Andy Fletcher (Paddock Wood M40) 39.20, 8 Patrick Butler (Ashford & District M40) 39.28, 9 Andy Keeley (1066 Triathletes) 39.38, 10 Martyn Sedge (Sittingbourne M40) 39.58, 11 Mark Norman (Medway & Maidstone) 40.20, 12 Peter Gibson (Istead & Ifield M40) 40.30, 13 Andy Archer (Istead & Ifield) 40.34, 14 Matt Chambers (Priory Leisure Club M40) 40.41, 15 Dick Gummery (Maidstone Magpies) 40.45, 16 Ray Larkins (Ashford & District) 41.12, 17 Stephen Throssell (St Peters Church) 41.14, 18 Glen Ridout (Swanley & District M40) 41.18, 19 Ken Jones (Invicta M40) 41.26, 20 Trevor Walker (St Peters Church M40) 41.41, 21 Stephen Roach (Boxhill Races) 41.42, 22 Grant Woodman (Maidstone Harriers M40) 41.53, 23 Daniel Green (Babtie) 42.04, 24 Dean Firmin (St Peters Church) 42.06, 25 Simon Robertson (Swanley & District M40) 42.13, 26 Barry Ley (Barming Nomads) 42.25, 27 Peter Worsley (unattached M50) 42.43, 28 Adam Hume (Ashford & District) 43.14, 29 Paul Hale (Unattached) 43.34, 30 Martyn Earl (Barming Nomads) 43.56.
Over 60: Michael Brown (Gravesend) 45.58. Over 70: Gordon Booth (Farbanks) 55.57. Women: 1 Shireen Bailey (Priory Leisure Club W35) 41.33, 2 Jenny Harnett (Medway & Maidstone) 41.34, 3 Kim Howes (Maidstone Harriers W35) 43.41, 4 Alyson Parlett (Bexley W35) 44.03, 5 Pat Halstead (Swanley & District W45) 46.30, 6 Sue James (Paddock Wood W45) 47.00, 7 Jenny Poulter (Barming Nomads W45) 47.40, 8 Almas Frost (Unattached W45) 47.50, 9 Carol Emery (Paddock Wood W35) 48.28, 10 Kerry Mitchell (Paddock Wood) 49.38, 11 Lindsey Turner (Tunbridge Wells) 49.55, 12 Josie Ludford (Maidstone Harriers W35) 51.02, 13 Cherry Burnett (Maidstone Harriers W45) 51.06, 14 Julie Miller (Unattached) 52.48, 15 Annie Ross-Davies (Invicta W45) 52.54, 16 Kay Risby (Maidstone Harriers W35) 53.44, 17 Debbie Foy (Unattached) 53.47, 18 Trudy Thomas (Sittingbourne W35) 19 Carol Wigley (Priory Health Club W45) 54.53, 20 Juliet Austin (Wye Wobblers) 54.58.
Over 55: Ann Taylor (Tunbridge Wells) 74.21.
Club teams: 1 Maidstone Harriers 160 points, 2 Swanley and District 232, 3 Paddock Wood 266, 4 Medway and Maidstone 335, 5 Larkfield AC 433, 6 Thanet Road Runners 468.
Fun teams: 1 Barming Nomads 237, 2 Priory Health Club 243, 3 Topnotch Gym 362, 4 Maidstone Magpies 456, 5 Wye Wobblers 662, 6 Maidstone Magpies B 777.