19th September 2018
THE BRITISH ATHLETICS CROSS CHALLENGE SERIES IS BACK FOR 2018/19
The British Athletics Cross Challenge Series returns for the 2018 / 2019 season, with five highly-competitive races acting as staple fixtures in the domestic winter calendar for athletes of all abilities; from club runners to the country’s best endurance athletes targeting British teams at the European and World Cross Country Championships.
The battle for spots on the British team for the Europeans will take place at the ever-popular Sefton Park in Liverpool on Saturday 24 November, with the twists and turns of the Merseyside course regularly hosting hundreds of runners across the country year on year.
2017 trials winners included Emelia Gorecka and Ben Connor, much to the delight of the big crowds who descended on the park last November. The British team went on to top the medal table at the Europeans in Samorin last December after the team had taken shape at the fixture.
Prior to this, the series opens once again at Llandaff Fields in Cardiff, while Tear Drop Lakes in Milton Keynes hosts its fifth event in a row.
Dundonald in Belfast hosts the fourth leg of the Series for the first time ever, continuing Northern Ireland’s key part in the Cross Challenge fixtures over the years.
The Final will once again take place at Prestwold Hall in Loughborough, with the added incentive for the country’s best athletes of gunning for places on the British team for the World Cross Country Championships in Denmark next year.
Notably, for the first time in the Series, the senior men and senior women will run the same distance and at the Cross Challenge Final and Inter Counties Championships in Loughborough after a consultation with the UK Counties Athletic Union (CAU). The senior women and men will both run over 10km to bring it in line with IAAF distances at the World Cross Country Championships in Denmark in 2019.
Director of Strategy and Partnerships at UK Athletics, Nigel Holl, commented:
“We are delighted to once again be offering five highly-competitive domestic cross-country opportunities to our endurance athletes for the 15th consecutive year. Cross country has been a staple part of sporting activity in the UK for generations, and these events are not only open to those challenging for places on British teams, but also for the hundreds of club athletes around the country who enjoy competing over the terrain.”
On the equalising of senior race distances at the Loughborough event, Holl added:
“Working with the UK Counties Athletic Union, we are excited to pilot the equalising of distances at the Cross Challenge Final and Inter-Counties Championships at Prestwold Hall for the first time. We. alongside CAU, have listened to the athletes taking part in our Cross Challenge events up and down the country, and support this move at one of the biggest fixtures in the domestic calendar. The senior races at the world cross country championships are 10km, so with this as the selection race, we seek to replicate the conditions and distances as closely as possible.
“We look forward to the series getting underway in Cardiff on October 13th and hope many people will have been inspired by athletics performances so far during 2018 and get involved over the winter months.”
Dates & Locations are as follows:
13th October 2018: Llandaff Fields, Cardiff
10th November 2018: Tear Drops Lake, Milton Keynes
24th November 2018: Sefton Park, Liverpool (includes the European Cross-Country Championships Trials)
19th January 2019: Dundonald, Belfast
9th March 2019: Prestwold Hall, Loughborough (incorporates the World Cross Country Trials and UK Inter Counties Championships)
Further details on the Series can be found here.