The MaXi-Race in Annecy provided the perfect backdrop for England’s young mountain runners to experience an elite international event and take on the world. A first step for some in the world of international racing and the next step for others as they continue their development into world class junior athletes.
The women were first to battle the 4.7km loop, which started at 1477m and it was Wharfedale Harrier Amelie Lane who lead the team home with an outstanding bronze medal. Amelie was 3rd to the top of the climb and pulled herself into contention for silver, with a strong descent finish which resulted in her being only 6 seconds behind long-time leader Keeghan Edwards of USA. Ines Sicilia of Spain was the clear winner; nearly 30 seconds clear of Edwards.
Amelie was well supported by Lauren Russell (Highgate) with a fantastic 5th position, Georgia Bell (Leven Valley) in 15th, and Rose Gilldaly (Eden Runners) in 31st, which was more than enough to secure a team bronze medal.
Following the high of Amelie’s individual and the team's bronze medal, the men were next up to the start line, hoping to emulate their teammates' achievements. Ewan Busfield (Derby AC) did his upmost to match Amelie’s performance but agonisingly missed out on a medal, finishing in 4th position. Strong finishes from Joe Ormrod (Rossendale Harriers, Steve Duxbury) in 15th, Sam Bentham (Ilkley Harriers AC) in 20th and Charlie Pickens (Calder Valley Fell Runners) in 46th secured the vital points for another team Bronze medal.
Amelie, Lauren, and Ewan will now be meeting up with the British Athletics junior team for the World Trail Running Championships in Austria at the beginning of June.