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UK Athletics

Preparation camp for Britain’s top juniors

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St. Mary's College, Twickenham, home to UKA’s Endurance Performance Centre hosted the annual Junior cross country preparation camp last week, attracting 25 athletes, all aiming to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the European Cross Country Championships in December.


The programme for the week included grass sessions on Lensbury Park, hills and recovery runs, plus a series of lectures and seminars covering topics from core stability and lifestyle factors to interviews with Jo Pavey, Mara Yamauchi, Mo Farah and Becky Lyne.


The seven day camp was organised and supported by UKA Performance Coach Mick Woods, Senior Co-ordinator for Endurance Spencer Barden, UK Event Coaches Nick Anderson, Bud Baldaro, Steve Benson, Spencer Duval and Event Management Group Chair Bob Ashwood.


Ruth Senior (City of Norwich) a member of the GB & NI team at the World Junior Championships in Beijing this summer, boosted by a personal best in the steeplechase is looking forward to the winter and starting her first year at Loughborough University.

“The World Juniors was so different to anything else I have experienced. It was a big learning experience. My goal for next season on the track has to be to break 10 minutes. “The training camp has been really beneficial. It is good to see what everyone else does and see what you can do differently. Listening to the professional athletes has been great, they are so inspirational. I just aim to increase my training gradually, each year, it’s about progression. “I’m looking forward to going to Loughborough in a few weeks time.


Sam Godfrey (West Suffolk) is ready to start his first year at Birmingham University, he said: “I’ve spent a long time training by myself so I’m looking forward to working with a group that can push me on. “One of the main messages of the week has been that we all need to be patient and wait for success to come. I hope to make the team for the Europeans, that is my focus.

When asked what he felt about the attention on the Junior women with the likes of Sian Edwards finishing in the top ten at the World Cross Country, he said: “We need to match if not do better than the girls. Sian has put in some great training this week, she is such a determined athlete.”


The UK Cross Challenge series gets underway in Birmingham on Saturday 28 October. The trials for the European Cross Country Championships take place at Sefton Park, Liverpool on Saturday 25 November.