31st May 2019
BATTLE IN THE MOUNTAINS FOR SPOTS ON THE EUROPEAN TEAM
The second British Athletics Mountain Running Challenge will take place this weekend with the event coupling as the trial race for the European Mountain Running Championships (uphill).
Taking place in Skiddaw near Keswick in the Lake District, places are up for grabs in the British teams (senior men & women, junior men & women) heading to Zermatt, Switzerland – in the shadow of the famous Matterhorn – on 7 July.
Last time these uphill continental championships were staged, Sarah Tunstall (Kendal) won individual silver in the senior women’s contest, so she will have her eye on securing a spot in the team, with another attempt at European success on her mind.
However, she will face a tough field in the Lakes including winner of the first Mountain Running Challenge of 2019, Hatti Archer (Bud Baldaro; Hallamshire), European (up and down course) bronze medallist Emma Gould (William Laye; Mercia Fell), and team gold medallist from the 2017 championships, Katie Walshaw (Holmfirth).
2018 was a strong year for Jacob Adkin (Keswick) on the international circuit, placing sixth at the World Mountain Running championships (uphill). Notably, he won the trial race at Skiddaw last year, so has previous success on this course.
Other key names to watch out for are Andrew Douglas (Sophie Dunnett; Inverclyde) – ever-present on British squads over the last few years – who enjoyed a sensational win in Italy a fortnight ago, and Nick Swinburn (Lindsay Dunn; Morpeth), another who has several British team caps to his name.
The junior races will also be hotly-contested with Joe Dugdale (Copeland) leading the way after a breakthrough 2018 which saw him win European (up and down) silver as well as finishing fourth at the world (uphill) championships.
Fresh from an appearance at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus back in March, Euan Brennan (Andrew Henderson; Ilkley) will be another to keep an eye out for as will Joe Hudson (Alan Buckley; Keighley & Craven), Matty Mackay (Steve Duxbury, Rossendale) and Jack White (Peter Gore; City of Norwich).
In the junior women’s race, Rosie Woodhams (Kendal) and Anna MacFadyen (John Lees; Forres) will be among those striving to earn selection for the British team heading to Switzerland.