6th August 2018
ADKIN AND GOULD WIN IN MOUNTAINS
Jacob Adkin and Emma Gould (coach: William Laye, club: Birchfield) were the senior winners at the 2018 Trial for World Mountain Running Championships (Uphill) which also doubled as the final event of the British Athletics Mountain Running Challenge at Skiddaw in the Lake District.
Adkins enjoyed a successful junior career in the discipline but injury problems over the last couple of years in the seniors has hindered his progression. However, after some notable wins in Switzerland over the last few months, he was an outside bet for victory this weekend, and he produced when it mattered on home soil.
Ever-present Andrew Douglas (Sophie Dunnett, Inverclyde) – a staple member of British team’s in recent years – led the race after the first loop around Latrigg and pushed on during the uphill section up Skiddaw. However, the Adkin ran a well-paced race to overtake him up the climb and hang on for victory in the event and book his place in the team for the World Mountain Running Championships in Andorra next month.
The Moorfoot athlete commented afterwards: “I was probably the most nervous I’ve been for a race, but knew I had managed to prepare well. Inspired by hearing the results of the junior race just before our start (Scottish 1-2 for the girls), I managed to steadily progress through the field and get into a good rhythm in the heat up to Skiddaw summit. I hadn’t expected that placing, but absolutely thrilled! And it was great to replicate the junior girls’ performance with a Scottish 1-2 with Andy!
Andrew Davies (Steve Vernon, Stockport) was third – with his concentration on the Jungfru marathon next month – and his coach Steve Vernon fourth. Max Nicholls (Peter Brenchley, Tonbridge) was closely behind while Keswick’s Daniel Haworth was sixth on the gruelling course.
European (up and down) bronze medallist Emma Gould medallist led from the start and finished with a convincing lead of nearly three minutes over second placed Victoria Wilkinson (Bingley) in the women’s standings.
Gould – who also shares the British Athletics Mountain Running Challenge title with Wilkinson – has been in commanding form this summer on the domestic circuit and delivered another showcase performance to seal her place in the British squad for Andorra.
Gould said afterwards: “I really wasn’t sure what to expect going into the race – I knew there would be a strong field and it’s a really tough, long climb so I just tried to focus on my own race and give it everything. I’m absolutely thrilled to have come away with the win.”
Wilkinson – who is not available for selection for the Worlds – was over a minute ahead of Bethany Hanson (Luton) after the duo battled hard for most of the way. Rebecca Robinson (Kendal) was the fourth female finisher with Bronwen Jenkinson (Eryri) fifth.
The junior men and women raced over 6.8km, 720m climb and 200m descent in the Lake District with Anna McFadyen and Joe Dugdale earning victories.
Long-time leader Lauren Dickson (Linda Smith, Lasswade) was overhauled by her compatriot Anna MacFadyen (Forres) on the main climb while Rosie Woodhams (Kendal) placed third.
European silver medallist Joe Dugdale (Copeland) led from start to finish to dominate the junior men’s contest. Newcomer Jack White (Peter Gore) from Norwich finished second with Euan Brennan (Andrew Henderson, Ilkley) third and Matthew MacKay (Graham Wright, Rossendale) in fourth place.
Dugdale, Brennan and MacKay were all part of the British team that won team gold at the European championships in Macedonia in July and they carried on their strong form in the uphill contest.
* Photo courtesy of Vicki Merrick