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UK Athletics

Trio pre-selected for Chiba Ekiden Relay

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Sian Edwards
Sian Edwards

UK Athletics today announced the pre-selections of marathon internationals Jon Brown (Sheffield AC) and Peter Riley (Leigh Harriers) plus 17-year-old Sian Edwards (Kettering Town Harriers) for the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team that will compete in the world-famous Chiba Ekiden International Relays in Japan on 23 November.


Brown, fourth in the last two Olympic marathons, will take in the race as part of his preparations for the Fukuoka Marathon on 3 December.


Riley, the reigning English National Cross Country Champion who defeated Brown on the roads of the North East at the recent BUPA Great North Run, will also aim to prove his form on the cross country in an effort to gain a place in the Norwich Union GB Team at the European Cross Country Championships in Italy on 10 December.


Edwards, who will celebrate her 18th birthday on the day after she races with the seniors in Chiba, is also aiming to take advantage of the revised selection policy, which allows some of our more experienced performers to race in Chiba rather than in the European Cross Country Trials that are incorporated into the UK Cross Challenge meeting at Liverpool on 25 November. She was in the Norwich Union GB Junior Women’s Team that won the gold medals at last year’s European Cross Country Championships and in April went on to become the first GB teenager to finish in the top 10 at a World Cross Country Championships since Paula Radcliffe won the Junior Women’s title and Jenny Clague (Liverpool Harriers) finished fourth in 1992.


Brown and Riley will run 10km stages and Edwards a 5km leg in the Ekiden Relay, which is run over the full marathon distance of 26.2 miles. It is divided into six stages for the Men’s race and six stages for the Women’s race. The Chiba event is recognised as the world’s most competitive road relay.


Announcing the pre-selections, Spencer Barden, UK Athletics’ Senior Coordinator – Endurance, said: “Our primary focus this winter is the European Cross Country Championships. We are also anxious to field the strongest possible teams at Chiba. We have announced these selections so that the athletes competing next Saturday in the National Road Relays in Sutton Park know how many places are still available in the GB Team.”