10th November 2017


The British Athletics Cross Challenge heads to Teardrop Lakes in Milton Keynes for the second of five legs tomorrow (Saturday 11 November), with stacked fields in both senior races sure to make for interesting viewing as the cross country season cotinues to unwind.

Champion of the overall series for 2016/17 as well as the race winner at the opening meeting in Cardiff, Chelmsford’s Jess Judd (Mick Judd) heads up a stacked senior women’s field, with company coming from 2014 European Cross champion Gemma Steel (Liz NUttall, Charnwood), Katrina Wootton (David Dix, Coventry), Lily Patridge (Aldershot, Farnham & District) and Harriet Knowles-Jones (Paul Roden, Warrington AC), with 19-year-old Knowles-Jones, a bronze medallist over 1500m at this year’s European Juniors, choosing to step up to compete amongst the seniors.

Hannah Nuttall (John Nuttall, Charnwood) and Claire Duck (Mike Baxter, Leeds) are also amongst those who will be contesting the senior women’s race.

The men’s race will also feature last year’s series winner, as Andy Vernon (Nic Bideau, Aldershot, Farnham & District) looks to maintain his fine Cross Challenge record. A four-time series winner as a senior, the toughest competition to Vernon over the 9.5km course is likely to come from Ben Connor (Steve Vernon, Derby) and Sam Stabler (Rob Denmark, Wreake & Soar Valley), the latter taking victory at the series opener in Cardiff four weeks ago.

Also athletes to keep an eye on are Mahamed Mahamed (Peter Haynes, Southampton), a individual bronze medallist as a junior at last year’s European Cross Country championships, and British Athletics mountain running international Andrew Douglas (Sophie Dunnett, Inverclyde), with the race also incorporating the senior men’s chiltern league.

Elsewhere, a host of British junior internationals will feature in the combined junior and U17 women’s race, including Khahisa Mhlanga (Mick Judd, Chelmsford), an athlete who has enjoyed a fine 2017, with victory at Cardiff’s curtain-raiser coming on the back of 800m gold at the European Juniors back in July, with last year’s U17 victor Amelia Quirk (Beverly Kitching, Bracknell AC) and Cari Hughes (Andrew Walling, Swansea Harriers), a second place finisher in Cardiff, also amongst the field, while the men’s equivalent features the likes of Ben Dijkstra (Leicester) and Zakariya Mahamed (Peter Haynes, Southampton).

Age group races from U11 upwards will take place across the day, beginning with the U11 girls, who tackle a 1.8km course, at 11:30am.

Milton Keynes is the second leg of the five series event which culminates in the Cross Challenge Final in Loughborough in March 2018 where the age group British Athletics Cross Challenge champions will be crowned.

For further information on the Milton Keynes Cross Challenge, click here.

Follow @BritAthletics tomorrow for updates on the event, and the British Athletics website for a round-up shortly after the end of the races in Milton Keynes.