North Downs Run



Runners’ Information has now been emailed to all entrants.  If you have entered and have not received this information, please contact us on  Please check your junk box before contacting us!



The race will once again use chip timing supplied by Race Director and results will be accessible via the following link




In accordance with government and England Athletics advice as we move out of Lockdown 3, it is again possible to resume group sessions, in small groups, with members needing to pre-book and follow social distancing guidelines.  These take place on Mondays and Wednesdays and include road runs and targeted speed sessions.  All sessions are conducted in accordance with Covid guidelines.

We are pleased that members are beginning to return to racing and summarise below some of our activity over the last couple of months.

Three in a Row?

Lockdown has obviously suited Istead’s Ed Bovingdon and his hard work is paying off with some stunning results over the past few weeks.

On 12th May he won the Ardingly 5k in a time of 14:38, beating a very strong field of runners in the process.  His aim had been to break 15 minutes – this photo proves he was quite pleased to have done this!

He followed this up by winning the Folkestone 10k on 31st May in a time of 31.08 (just outside his PB)

Now the question is – can he make it three in a row by winning our very own North Downs Run?  He won it last year and we know he has been putting in the miles over those hills, but our spies tell us he has some stiff competition – it will make for a fascinating race – and on a new course we wouldn’t be surprised to see some impressive times..


Island 5k and 10k

It was almost like old times on 23rd May, when a total of 24 Istead runners donned their purple vests to compete at the Island Run in Sheerness – 16 in the 10k and a further 8 in the 5k.

The club had 7 men in the top 20 and 3 women  the top 10.

First home for for Istead was Dan Smith in 36:19 (3rd place and  a PB), followed by Mark Champion in 37:38 (6th), Dan Walsh 38:13 (9th), Dominic Montford 39:35 (13th), Kieron Mumford 39:40 (14th) Al Savage 40:0 (16th), Matthew Holt 41:04 (19th)


Dan Smith finishing strongly at the Island 10k

Lynne Champion was 2nd female in a time of 43:10 (30th overall), followed by Caroline Howes 46:15 (49th overall) and Becky Newnes 49:51 (81st overall).

Full results can be found here.




Race update May 2021

The early Bank Holiday Monday saw a number of Istead Runners compete in the Ted Pepper 10k, which was also a SCVAC Southern Counties Event.  Starting on the track at Norman Park, it featured some  tricky off-road sections which needed to be carefully negotiated – several runners took tumbles but fortunately no Istead runners!

Deborah McCarthy took the Gold medal in the F50 category in a time of 49:12, while Trevor Edgley  silver in the very competitive  V70 category in a time of 46:36.  Barbara Ockendon also took silver in her F65 category in 53:36, with Joyce Bell taking Bronze in the same category (1:02:13).  Barry Bell, also competing in the V70 category finished just outside the medals in a time of 53:10.

Deborah McCarthy takes Gold in the SCVAC F50  category

Father and son Lee and Bailie Marsh were not competing in the Southern Counties competition and clocked times of 51:49 and 48:38 respectively.

8th May was a very wet and windy day but nevertheless some brave souls ventured out with Matt Holt completing the tough Bewl Water Half Marathon in 1:41:24.  Meanwhile Barry Marsh and Jeremy Horton completed the 22k Maverick trail, with Penny Marsh and Hannah Horton opting for the 11k course.

Sunday 9th May was a better day with Lisa Smith (1:22:49), Lee Marsh (53:04) , Bailie Marsh (50:54)  and Peter Moore (44:32 and a PB) all completing the Chatham Maritime 10k.

27th May saw 4 runners compete in the 5K Gravesend Floodlit series, with Matt Aspinall coming in first for Istead in 16th place with a time of 22:22, followed by Richard Storr 26:16, Jason Beaney 27:57 and Helen Fooks 32:58, while on the second Bank Holiday Monday the Folkestone 10k was won by Ed Bovingdon in 31:08, followed (again) by Richard Storr (51:39), Jason Beaney (59:15) and Helen Fooks (1:02;30)

Run Young 50

As part of the Virtual Istead Zoom sessions held throughout lockdown, the club has organised a number of guest speakers.

One of these, to mark International Women’s Day, was Katie Holmes who talked to us about the history of women’s running.

It seems incredible now, but distance running was not open to women until the latter part of the last century.  In the  UK women were not permitted to compete in road races longer than 6 kilometres until late 1975.  Kathrine Switzer gained fame by entering the 1967 Boston marathon in the name of K. Switzer.  When it was discovered she was female, the race director tried to push her off the course and subsequently disqualified her.  It was not until 1972 that she was able to run the Boston Marathon legally.

Katie’s website  has some fascinating stories about women’s running and is well worth a look .

Katie is particularly passionate about running for older women and following on from the meeting, she invited Istead Runner, Joyce Bell, who took up running in her early 60s, to write a piece for her website.  This is her story –


Cross Country Season and Race List

The club takes part in  both the Kent Fitness League and Kent League Races, plus various other Championships races through the Autumn/Winter.  Results for the 2019/2020 season can be found on the Cross Country page.   If you have not run Cross Country before, speak to one of the committee and they will be able to help you.


At present no cross country events have been scheduled because of the coronavirus.