Taking part in the high class Atapeurca International Cross Country in Burgos, Spain on Sunday 11 November, athletes from England had to work hard in their races. This early season event always attracts top athletes from Ethiopia, Kenya and from Europe. However Home Country athletes held their own with string of good performances.
Top placing went to Rory Leonard in the Under 20 Men’s race. Rory took 2nd after a close encounter with Jake Heyward of Wales, Leonard finishing 8 seconds behind Heyward in 18.25. Other England athletes included Connor Bentley who finished 12th with 18.47, Thomas Keen in 22nd in 19.09 with the same time as Benjamin West who was awarded 24th.
Three seconds covered the first 3 in the Under 20 Women’s race with Portugal’s Mariana Machedo winning in 13.36. England’s Zoe Wassell came home 3rd in 13.38 while a further 10 seconds back Grace Brock took 6th spot. Ella McNiven was next home for England in 22nd with 14.54 while Jessica Mitchell was 52nd with 15.42.
The Senior races were always going to be tough and so they proved. First British runner home in the Senior Women’s event turned out to be Charlotte Arter, placing 9th with 26.47 while other English runners were 15th Nicol Taylor (27.36). 26th Lydia Turner (28.08), 29th Eleanor Davis (28.20) and 41st Holly Archer (28.51). The race was won by Senbere Teferi of Ethiopia in 25.51.
The Senior Men were also up against stiff oppositon with the top 10 finishers all bring African; the winner was Jacob Kiplino in 25.10 while first Brit in this race was Andy Vernon in 12th (26.14). First of the England athletes was Kieran Clements 27th in 27.05, while Will Fuller finished 33rd in 27.11 and Tom Austin placed 67th of the 176 runners with a time of 28.24. Unfortunately Jack Gray didn't make it to the start line.