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archer and douglas rule the mountains

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2 August 2016


The British Athletics Mountain Running Championships took place up Skiddaw near Keswick over the weekend with a number of honours were up for grabs. Not the least selection for the world championships (uphill) to be held in Sapareva Banya, Bulgaria on 11th September, as most of the country’s top runners came to battle it out.

With both senior races also being home country internationals and British championships there was even more at stake in these events and both were won with outstanding performances. 

Hatti Archer (coach: Bud Baldro) made up for the disappointment of having to pull out of last year’s world championship team in the last week because of injury by leading from the off to win by just over a minute from seasoned international Victoria Wilkinson. The latter had been in a close battle with Annie Conway and Rebecca Hilland throughout, with the positions changing as the race progressed, but in the end her strength on the uphill course shone through. Hillard, winner of the European up and down trial race in May, had to settle for fourth behind Conway, the world long distance mountain running champion.

Andrew Douglas (Sophie Dunnett), fourth at the European (up and down) championships after winning the trial race, also lived up to the mantle of pre-race favourite with another front running performance to take the men’s British Championship title. Behind him there was a close battle for the minor places with newcomer to this type of mountain racing, Jonathan Albon, overtaking Chris Smith in the latter stages of the race to clinch second place.

England won both men’s and women’s team events ahead of Scotland.

The junior women’s trial, finishing part way up Skiddaw, saw seasoned international Heidi Davies justify her pre-race favourite status with a clear gun to tape victory while Bronwen Jenkinson and Emily Nicholson filled the final podium slots.

Scottish international cross country runner Euan Gillham (Robert Hawkins) gave a similar dominant performance in the junior men’s race, reaching the finish at the top of Skiddaw ahead of Josh Boyle and Nathan Smith (Ian Wilcock).

Full results can be found here.