English National Cross Country Championships
Donington Park is the setting for this year’s Saucony English National Cross Country Championships. This is the first time that the now Joint Championships will be held at Donington. The event returns to Leicestershire for the first time since 1986 when the Women’s Championship was last held in the County while the Men’s event was held in Leicester in 1980.
Donington Park is a motorsport venue located near Castle Donington in Leicestershire, England. Originally part of the Donington Hall estate, it was created as a racing circuit during the pre-war period and is used these days as well for a multitude of events including huge Music Festivals. Having successfully staged the English Schools Cross Country in the Park 2 years ago, it is the turn of the Clubs to have ago. Northern Athletics have spent hundreds of hours organising the event and though the start and finish are in Donington Park the course goes onto adjacent farmland and crosses into Derbyshire.
The course looks set to be interesting and testing out in the Countryside with some sharp hills.
The central location and ease of access have meant entries from over 7850 athletes representing 538 affiliated athletics clubs have been received. Although not reaching the fantastic record numbers when the event was held last year at Parliament Hill, this is a healthy entry and beats the number the last time the event was staged by the North when there were 5637 entries for Sunderland in 2013. The numbers are also better than when the event was last at Alton Towers in 2011 when there were 7573 entries and Wollaton Park in 2013 when 7705 entered.
This the 129th time the Senior Men’s race has been staged and 2834 have entered while 1240 have entered the 84th Senior Women’s race. The good news is that most of the younger groups are up and very close to record numbers. This is the fourteenth year that all 10 age groups have had races and the following numbers are entered.
Junior Men 337, Junior Women 237, Under 17 Men 420, Under 17 Women 401 (just five short of the record), Under 15 Boys 569, Under 15 Girls 550, Under 13 Boys 634 (two short of a new record) and Under 13 Girls 632.
Predicting who will run is always difficult, however both Senior defending Champions, Charlie Hulson (Club: Sale, Coach: Steve Vernon) and Lily Partridge (Club: Aldershot, Farnham & District) are entered. Other past champions entered include Liz Janes (Club: Herts Phoenix) who won in 2006 plus two time winner Louise Damen (Club: Winchester) who claimed victory in 2011 and 2013. The first two to finish in each of the Senior Men’s, Senior Women’s, Junior Men’s and Junior Women’s races will be given the opportunity to run for England in the Home Countries International to be held in 2016 in Scotland. The Younger age groups usually support these Championships very well with the lead runners this Winter all entered.
Note: Donington Circuit have advised the ECCA that because of the nature of their establishment they do not allow dogs on site. Clearly if you have no alternative but to bring a dog, you will need to leave it in your vehicle taking all the precautions dog owners are aware of. The course and infrastructure is all on private land over which the ECCA has no control.
For further information on the Timetable and Entries see below.
Spectators are welcome, there is no entry charge but each car will pay a £5 car parking fee for the event.
For travel details see http://www.englishcrosscountry.co.uk/the-national-cross-country-championships/venue/
We will be giving live updates from the event on Saturday - see www.englandathletics.org/liveevents
Timetable & Entry lists
11am - Under 17 Women - 5.0k - click here to view Under 17 Women entries
11.25am - Under 15 Boys - 4.5k - click here to view Under 15 Boys entries
11.45am - Junior Women - 6.0k - click here to view Junior Women entries
12.15pm - Under 13 Girls - 3.0k - click here to view Under 13 Girls entries
12.35pm - Under 17 Men - 6.0k - click here to view Under 17 Men entries
1pm - Under 15 Girls - 4.0k - click here to view Under 15 Girls entries
1.20pm - Junior Men - 10.0k - click here to view Junior Men entries
2.05pm - Under 13 Boys - 3.0k - click here to view Under 13 Boys entries
2.20pm - Senior Women - 8.0k - click here to view Senior Women entries
3pm - Senior Men - 12.0k - click here to view Senior Men entries
(The event should be concluded by 4.30pm)
Preview Ian Byett ECCA