4th January 2018


The British Athletics Cross Challenge heads to Northern Ireland this weekend for the fourth and penultimate stop of the series at the Antrim International.

It was a stellar 2017 for Dewi Griffiths (coach: Kevin Evans) who ran a fantastic personal best over the marathon distance last October alongside a number of impressive performances over the cross country terrain. Injury forced him to pull out of the European cross country race last month but he will be looking to put that behind him and start 2018 in encouraging fashion.

Other domestic contenders include the experienced Andy Vernon (Nic Bideau, Aldershot Farnham & District), who was thrid at this event in 2017. Just a week before he and Griffiths compete for the British Athletics squad at the Great Edinburgh XCountry, the Antrim race will provide the perfect warm-up.

Others to watch out for include Luke Traynor (Glasgow City), who was just four seconds outside his 10km PB at the Corrida de Houilles race on New Year’s Eve, and Kris Jones (Swansea) who will don the Welsh vest as the event also combines the Celtic International.

International stars to watch out for include two IAAF World Championships London 2017 silver medallists; Kenya’s Timothy Cheruiyot who won 1500m silver and Morocco’s Soufiane Elbakkali who replicated that achievement in the 3000m steeplechase.

Among the entries for the senior women’s race is European cross country team gold medallist Gemma Steel (Liz Nuttall, Charnwood) and Swansea’s Verity Ockenden (Tony Houchin, Swansea). The latter was the first Briton home at the Cross Internacional de Venta de Baños in Spain last month, placing fifth in a competitive field.

Other British athletes to keep an eye out for are Cambridge & Coleridge’s Charlotte Christensen and Worcester’s Jenny Nesbitt (David Walker).

Among the international entries are world championships 5000m fifth placer Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi (KEN) and Fotyen Testafy (ETH) who was sixth in the junior women’s race at last year’s world cross country in Kampala, Uganda.

Full provisional entries and more information about the event can be found under the Antrim tab here.