Home Countries International mountain running team announced

We are pleased to announce the mountain running team for the upcoming Home Countries International which will take place within the 2022 British Athletics European Off Road Running (Up and Down) Trialrace at Alva, Stirling (Scotland) on 22 May.

This is the 11th Mountain Running Home International and England have been very successful having had 10 Individual winners. On top of that the women have won the team title 8 times and the men have won the team title 7 times.

Men’s team

  • Chris Richards (Helm Hill Runners/Salford Harriers)
  • Max Nicholls (Tonbridge AC, Peter Brenchley)
  • Joe Steward (Salford Harriers)
  • Nathan Edmondson (Ilkley Harriers)
  • Matt Knowles (U23) (Lancaster & Morecambe AC, Sophie Dunnet)
  • Ben Sharrock (Ambleside AC)

Women’s team

  • Hannah Russell (Helm Hill Runners, Billy Proctor H)
  • Sara Willhoit (Mercia Fell Runners/Shrewsbury)
  • Ruth Jones (Salford Harriers, Duncan Mason)
  • Helen Smith (Ribble Valley/Wharfedale)
  • Eve Pannone (U23) (Eden Runners, Derek Hurton)

Chris Richards is the 2021 British Fell Running Champion and won the Inter Counties Mountain Running Championship race in Wales to gain selection for the Home International race. Chris has represented GB&NI as a junior at both World and European Championships in the past. Chris was also selected for the World Championships last year but the event was postponed. Max Nicholls is another athlete who has represented GB&NI at both World and European mountain running championships and was selected for the postponed World Championships last year. Max was 2nd to Chris in the recent Inter Counties race. Joe Steward finished 3rd at the Inter Counties Mountain Running Championships and represented GB&NI at the World Championships in Argentina in 2019. Nathan Edmondson represented Yorkshire at the Inter Counties Mountain Running Championships and finished an impressive 5th to gain selection and will be making his England debut. Matt Knowles is another athlete who has come through the junior ranks and also represented GB&NI at the World Championships in Argentina in 2019. Ben Sharrock was the 2nd U23 athlete in the trial at the Inter Counties and will be making his England debut at Alva.

Hannah Russell made her England debut in this race last year and has also won the first race of the English Fell Running Championships. Sara Willhoit  represented GB&NI at the last World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships in Patagonia in 2019 and finished 3rd at the Inter Counties, Sara also represented England at a Nations Cup trail competition last October – finishing 18th. Ruth Jones last ran for England in 2017 and has struggled with injuries over a few years but is now getting back to her best and finished 5th at the Inter Counties to gain her England selection. Helen Smith is another who hasn’t run for England for a few years, but also had a great race at the Inter Counties to finish 6th just behind Ruth. Eve Pannone is one of our leading under 23 athletes and in 2021 won the British U23 championship. Eve also represented GB&NI as a junior at the last World and European championships in 2019.

Team Manager Mark Croasdale tells us,

“With selection at stake for the European Off Road Running Championships to be held in La Palma, Canary Islands on 1st July – as well as the Home International – we are expecting some fantastic racing in both men’s and women’s events. We’ve selected strong teams and are determined to regain the team titles having finished 2nd in both competitions last year.”