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UK Athletics

UK athletes in World Mountain Running Trophy

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World Mountain Running Team
England World Mountain Running Team

After a long and arduous journey to Turkey, the England team performed admirably at the World Mountain Running Trophy in Bursa, Turkey on Sunday 10 September. Injuries to some key athletes compounded with flight delays made the English results even more impressive.


Senior Men 12km: England were 7th team with 158 points, Scotland 18th with 320, Wales 19th with 335 and Northern Ireland 22nd with 418. The medallists were: 1 Eritrea 37, 2 Italy 44, 3 Turkey 62.


With this being easily the strongest field ever at the World Trophy, the pace was fast from the off. Andy Peace had considered withdrawing with a back injury but came through for a magnificent 32nd place in his first WT for 10 years. Will Levett ran well for 38th place to make up for missing last year because of work commitments. John Brown had another solid and reliable run in 43rd place in his 8th WT. Steve Vernon, who has been in great form of late, was running in the teens before an abdominal muscle strain pushed him back to 45th. Lloyd Taggart ran a solid 52nd place although he was a little disappointed. Another on his debut, Mike James was in a good position until a fall resulted in a back injury leaving him to rue what might have been.


Senior Women 8.5km: England were 6th team with 70 points, Wales 13th with 160 and Northern Ireland 15th with 197. The medallists were: 1 USA 35; 2 Czech Republic 37; 3 Italy 39.


Victoria Wilkinson ran an excellent race, having pushed for a top three place in the early stages. Finishing 11th was great result and would surely have fared better had she not committed herself so early. But Victoria has won the Junior title in the past and champion runners don’t always think cautiously. Rebecca Robinson in her WT debut ran a calculated race against her peers to take 26th place. Anne Buckley showed her maturity and tenacity to take 33rd place having wrestled injury throughout the summer. Mary Wilkinson was disappointed with 45th place having caught a stray elbow at around 2km. To her credit, she rallied to complete the course with a bloodied nose.


Junior Men 8.5km: England were 5th team with 61 points, Scotland 6th with 90, Wales 9th with 103 and Northern Ireland 17th with 197. The medallists were: 1 Eritrea 9, 2 Turkey 16, 3 Italy 40.


With two outstanding Eritreans setting the pace, the English quartet had their work cut out. Alistair Brownlee, the English National Cross Country Junior Champion who was newly-crowned World Triathlon Junior Champion, started steadily and then pulled through to the top 10. Having won his Triathlon title the previous week, Alistair was out of sorts but clung on the finish 17th for his best yet WT placing. Nick Swinburn (19th) and Alec Duffield (25th) were hot on his heels. Nick, who ran in the Junior Men’s race for Norwich Union GB at this year’s World cross Country Championships in Japan, came through strongly but thought he left his charge too late. James Kevan made up the quartet in 49th.


Junior Ladies 3.4km: England were 5th team with 23 points, Scotland 8th with 35, Wales 15th with 71 and Northern Ireland 16th with 74.


Off a windswept plateau and into the teeth of the wind, Emma Clayton and Heather Timmins settled quickly in to the top 10. Out of woods, Heather was the first English runner in 13th place closely followed by Emma 10 seconds behind in 16th. In the final 400m, Emma found another gear, moving from 16th for a brilliant 11th in the finishing order with Heather a tired but delighted 12th. Jenny Reed showed tremendous tenacity and willpower to claw back two places on the final run-in and finish 21st. All of this team are eligible to battle for places in the England Team at next year’s competition in Switzerland.


For full results visit the World Mountain Running Trophy website.