In accordance with government and England Athletics advice, the club is currently once again unable to organise group activities and all races have been postponed.  However, it is hoped that at the end of Lockdown 2, it will be 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.

Additionally, the club is continuing to give support and encouragement to members via weekly Zoom meetings and challenges.  These have included 1 mile, 5k and 5 mile challenges, and monthly mileage targets.  Online social activities such as quizzes have also taken place,

Beckley 10k

5 Istead members managed one final event before Lockdown 2 – the Beckley 10k which  incorporated the SCVAC (Southern Counties Vets) 10K championships for 2020
On a testing course (one veteran of over 30 years’ of running described it as the hilliest 10k he’d ever run!) with wet and windy conditions, times were a little slower than the runners might have hoped for, but nevertheless some impressive results were recorded.
5th – Mark Champion 40:05 (2nd V50)
30th – David Sancto 43:51 (2nd V55)
52nd – Lynne Champion 45:31 (5th lady and 1st V50)
104th – Trevor Edgley 51:18 (3rd V70)
127th – Deborah McCarthy (running her first event as a a member of Istead & Ifield) 53:22 (25th lady and 2nd V50)

Virtual London Marathon

Several club members took part in the Virtual London Marathon on 4th October, choosing different ways of covering the 26.2 miles in their own way.

Paul Jones recorded the fastest time for the club, in an impressive 3:08:10, followed by Steve Cable who chose to run laps of the Deangate Running track. His time of 3:17:35 qualified him as ‘Good for Age’ for the 2021 London Marathon.

Matt Holt and Al Savage made a last-minute decision to run together, which helped them to achieve times of 3:42:46 and 3:43:30 respectively – a PB for Matt and a very creditable time for a first marathon for Al.

Joyce Bell enlisted the help of nearly 20 fellow club runners to run sections of the course with her around the streets of Gravesend (socially distanced of course!) in a time of 5:44:20, while Tammy Pullen completed her first marathon in a time of 5:57:13.



Finally Ella Thompson chose to do a run/walk along the blustery Thanet coast between Herne Bay and Margate and back, in a time of 8:07:46.

Return to Racing

Having taken part in various ‘virtual’ events across the summer, some members have made a tentative return to actual races, undertaken in accordance with COVID guidelines, which include small waves, rolling starts and strict rules regarding social distancing both on the course and at the start and finish areas.

3 Istead members took part in the Chatham 10k on 6th September, with Dan Smith coming home in 43.48, followed by Julie Aspinall  in 1.11.43 and Lisa Smith in 1.21.58.

Matthew Holt was the lone Istead participant at the Bewl Water Half Marathon, coming in a commendable 18th out of 140 runners in a time of 1 hour 48 minutes.

Three hardy runners braved the blustery conditions at the Folkestone Half Marathon on 27th September with Ed Bovingdon finishing in 3rd place in a time of 1.11.31.  Helen Fooks completed the course in 2.05.39, followed by Jason Beaney i 2.15.08.


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.

Shorne Woods Cross Country

A record 57 runners turned out for Istead & Ifield at the Shorne Woods Cross Country on 5th January, ranging in age from 21 to 75!  And they were confronted with an abundance of mud and hills – a proper cross country!

First home for the club was Paul Jones in 8th position, with Katie Vick in 7th place for the Women.  The club finished in 7th place in the Combined Team Results (3rd for the Women and 9th for the Men).  Overall after 4 events Istead Women are in 2nd place, and the Men in 10th Place, giving them a Combined Team Standing of 8th out of 18 teams.  Two Istead women – Lynne Champion and Katie Vick are in the top ten Female runners across the 4 cross country events in the series to date.


Mark Champion and Jackie Day tackle the mud!

Photos by Dawn Granger