Kev's Angels spread their wings

It was a Monday night in April 2021. Kev Davis was sitting on the sidelines watching his granddaughters Maddison and Alexis participating in a track session.
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“I’m bored just sitting here, Terry,” Kev said to HY Runners head coach Terry Skelton. “I need to do something.”

Kev first met Terry in 1993 when he completed a 10k in 53 minutes. Terry saw Kev’s potential and trained him, knocking his 10k time down to 35:48, and 5k time to 17:41 in 2005. He even completed the famous Hastings Half Marathon in 1:18.

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His proudest achievement was running 10 miles in 59:48. But in 2005 Kev had an accident which resulted in an injury to his hand which doctors advised would take two years to heal. Kev decided he would hang up his running shoes.

Kev - far left - with his AngelsKev - far left - with his Angels
Kev - far left - with his Angels

Fast forward to 2021 and Kev’s wife Lisa spotted an article about HY Runners which prompted them to take their granddaughters along to sessions.

With such great achievements in the past, Kev wanted to pass on to beginners his own training tips and he takes great pleasure in seeing them achieve their own goals. He’d noticed at track sessions the new starters might benefit from some training on form and technique to get the most from their running and ‘Kev’s Angels’ was formed last July.

They meet every Saturday at 9am at Harrow Lane. Kev has taken parents who were coming to watch their kids with little or no running experience up to 5k level and beyond to complete the Hastings Half Marathon.

Hastings Runners at the cross country league finaleHastings Runners at the cross country league finale
Hastings Runners at the cross country league finale
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Jenna Harmer was one Angel who took her three young girls to the track sessions. The girls wanted to take part in cross country at Goodwood and Jenna was persuaded to run to ‘save face’ for her daughters.

By the end of the cross country season in February Jenna had become a natural and had put her fears aside to complete the race in a strong finish of 31:41.

On Saturday Jenna completed her first parkrun in a PB time of 27:55, a significant improvement on her previous best of 30:57.

Kev was beaming with pride as his Angels flew round the parkrun on Saturday. Of particular note was Sonni Pine (24:39) and he said: “My work here is done now. Sonni has gained her wings. To see how well she did and how far she has come since she started on Saturday was incredible to see.”

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Kev led by example as he dusted off his racing shoes to finish in an excellent 22:09.

He said: “It was like it was meant to be. I get more pleasure now from seeing my Angels succeed then my own PBs back in the day.

“Without a doubt it is the best thing I have ever done.”

The Angels and the rest of the HY Runners parkrun times on Saturday were as follows: 1st Jethro Atherall 17:00; 5th Leo Cacciatore 18:32; Kev Davis 22:09 (First Timer); Glen Cooper 23:13; Samuel Johnson (23:23); Sonnii Pine 24:39 (PB); Stewart Ide 25:54; Hayley Foster 27:47 (PB); Jenna Harmer 27:55 (First Timer); Karen Emerson 28:17 (PB); Laura Dearsley 33:49 (First Timer); Donna Foster 34:17 (PB); Amanda Porter 38:30.

* Hastings Runners have always been proud to be a club representing all abilities and age categories.

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It’s inspiring to see the achievements of fellow runners and so it was as they staged the final East Sussex Sunday Cross Country League meeting of the season.

Thanks went to Tim Jury for all his hard work in ensuring the event continues to be a roaring success. Tim and volunteers gave up their Sunday morning to trudge through the mud, stand in the cold and cheer on the runners. On the day, Will Withecombe capped a superb debut season in the green and black with a fourth-place finish in 28:14, securing second in the overall standings.

Mark Goodman was the second Hastings Runners across the line in 31:59. Martin Noakes finished another excellent campaign to take second place in the M55 category, finishing this race in 32:21. Darren Barzee (32:32) and Kevin Blowers (35:11) made up the top five finishers for Hastings Runners.

Claire Thomas was the first female up the hill in a fantastic time of 37:16, followed soon after by Tamsin West in 42:16.

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The women dominated the overall standings, especially in the F70 category with a clean sweep in the top three. Sarah Marzaioli (1st), Yockie Richardson (2nd) and Christine Sanderson (3rd) claimed the spoils.

There were prizes for Trish Auldis (FV65) and Jane Coles (FV55) both second in their categories. Overall the club were eighth out of the 17 teams that took part.

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