Sevenoaks AC celebrated 25 years of their popular Sevenoaks 7 with a 250-strong field contesting the anniversary race in historic Knole Park on Sunday (15 July). The sun shone and temperatures reached 30C as Daniel Pink and Becky Morrish claimed the spoils of victory.
The Sevenoaks 7 course is nothing short of spectacular, with one main climb on each of the two laps round the 1,000 acre Tudor deer park. The jewel in the crown is the mid-15th century Knole House, seat of the Sackville family for more than 400 years.
The National Trust property is a film star having featured in Burke and Hare (2010), Sherlock Holmes and Pirates of the Caribbean and a lesser known fact is that it provided the setting for the Beatles' videos that accompanied the release of Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever in 1967.
There were 200 starters in the first Sevenoaks 7 and the peak entry saw 482 finishers in 2005. Previous competitors include the late Bruce Tulloh, former European 5,000m champion, and the most successful runners are Sevenoaks' Darrell Smith (six wins) and both Tina Oldershaw and Maria Heslop (five wins each) representing Paddock Wood AC.
Neither of the former women's champions were present for this year's race, which was started by the six-time winner and now Race Director, Darrell Smith and raised funds for the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust to help disadvantaged youngsters get their lives back on track.
After a gruelling two laps Dan Pink (Petts Wood, 41:44) was first down The Gallops to the finish, followed by Steve Hodges (Cambridge Harriers, 41:59) and Sevenoaks' James Mason (44:12).
Becky Morrish (Paddock Wood, 50:30) took the women's race from Sevenoaks' Heather Fitzmaurice (W45, 51:00) and Susan McDonald (W45 South London Harriers, 52:30).