Last Thursday saw England compete in an exciting team race in Armagh, battling cold, wet conditions and strong international competition. An exciting event on the road racing calendar, the Armagh International Road Races are known for their fantastic atmosphere and the wind and rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the North Ireland crowds.
It was an outstanding effort by England's quartet who fought a tactical race to bring home the silver medal in the 3k International team competition. Led home by debutant Lauren Church (Reading, Mark Booth) (9:25) who finished 7th, England's cumulative time of 28:33 was 3 seconds behind winners Scotland.
Steeplechase specialist Poppy Tank (Plymouth, Luke Gunn) was next over the line in 14th (9:33) with England 5km champion, with Ellie Wallace (North Somerset, Julian Emery) and Amy Griffiths (AFD, Luke Gunn) both running 9:36 to finish 17th and 18th respectively.
There was strong competition in the men's 5k race with Sweden taking the team title with only 7 seconds separating first and the England team in 4th clocking 41:44.
Steeplechaser Mark Pearce (Shaftesbury Barnet, Luke Gunn) led the team over the line in 8th with a strong finish clocking 13:52 just ahead of an excellent debut run from Linton Taylor (Leeds City, Bill Taylor) who finished 10th in 13:54.
England 5km champion Jack Gray (Cambridge & Coleridge, Mark Vile) was 15th in 13:58 with Kurt Taylor (Bristol & West) completing the team in 38th running 14:18.
Team leader Tom Craggs said:
“Once again Armagh has shown itself to be one of the deepest road race fields in the world and despite tough conditions provided an excellent opportunity for a fine England team to gain more international experience. Congratulations to all of the athletes who all had a fantastic race, battling the elements to represent England.”