16th December 2022


After three events of the 2022/23 British Athletics Cross Challenge series, it is all the play for with a fixture in Perth and the Final in Loughborough coming in the New Year.

Jess Gibbon leads the senior women’s standings after three events with a second place finish in Cardiff and third in Milton Keynes the best two results of her series so far. The Reading athlete, who was part of the silver-medal winning senior women’s GB & NI team at the European Cross Country Championships recently, leads from Megan Keith (Ross Cairns, Inverness) who impressed at the Sefton Park fixture last month finishing second overall.

Others to feature near the top of the standings after three races are Grace Carson (Bill Foster, Mid Ulster) and Alexandra Millard (Bill Foster, Invicta East Kent). The latter won at Teardrop Lakes in November, and also secured individual bronze in the U23 race at the European Championships, so she is one to watch out for during the rest of the series.

Meanwhile, in the senior men’s standings Mahamed Mahamed (Idris Hamud, Southampton) narrowly leads from Emile Cairess (Renato Canova, Leeds City) and his brother, Zakariya Mahamed (Idris Hamud, Southampton).

Mahamed senior tops the table on 108 points with his victory in Milton Keynes his best performance of the Series. Meanwhile, Cairess has secured full points in both the Cardiff and Liverpool fixtures which preceded his silver medal in Turin.

Zakariya Mahamed – who won the U20 title in 2018/19 – sits third in the standings with his best result of the series a third-place finish in Milton Keynes.

Elsewhere, Alice Bates (Shane Smith, Kettering) and Edward Bird (Mark Pauley, Poole) head the U20 women’s and men’s standings respectively.

Bates has dominated the Series to date, collecting full points at all three races over the last few months. She leads ahead of Megan Harris (Hayley Hemmings, Chelmsford) and Beatrice Wood (Dave Amey, City of Salisbury).

Bird has a two-point advantage over Luke Birdseye (Shireen Higgins, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow); both have earned a win each so far during the series. Bird secured the victory in South Wales while Birdseye – fifth in the U20 race at the Euro Cross – took the spoils in Milton Keynes.

Elsewhere in the U17 age group, Innes Fitzgerald (Gavin Pavey, Exeter) takes a comfortable lead in the women’s standings with Yasmin Kashdan (Vince Golding, Crawley) currently her nearest challenger three points further back.

Iwan Thomas (Neil Thomas, Carmarthen) and Isaac Morris (Mark Vile, Cambridge & Coleridge) share the lead in the U17 men’s age group, but it is Morris who has two wins to his name from Cardiff and Liverpool.

Libby Hale (John Griffiths, Swansea) and Millie Gold (Mark Gold, Cardiff) share the lead in the U15 girls age group; Hale won in Cardiff, while Gold triumphed in Milton Keynes. Matthew Clarke (Andy Bibby, Preston), winner at Llandaff Fields, leads the U15 boys standings from George Wilson (Joanna Louise Evans).

Luan Power (John Skevington, Wreake & Soar Valley) heads into the final two fixtures with a small lead in the U13 girls’ standings, while Rhuairdh Laing (Victoria Park City of Glasgow) holds a narrow advantage over Noah Homer (John Skevington, Wreake & Soar Valley) and Louie Hemmings (David Clay, Peterborough & Nene Valley) in the boy’s event.

An athletes’ best two performances plus bonus points, will be carried forward into the Final to be held at Prestwold Hall, Loughborough, on Saturday 11 March 2023.

Standings and other key information can be found HERE.

Entries are open for the fourth Cross Challenge fixture at Scone Palace in Perth, Scotland. Enter before 5pm on Wednesday 4 January 2023. https://www.uka.org.uk/competition/running/cross-challenge-series/the-british-athletics-cross-challenge/scotland/