International U18 Mountain Running Cup team selected

This year sees the 16th edition of International U18 Mountain Running Cup held in France on 27 May. It will be part of the MaXi-Race events around Lake Annecy and run on the paths of Mount Semnoz, located within the Bauges Mountains Natural Regional Park. 

England are once again fielding two strong teams with the athletes looking forward to the opportunity to race against some of the best junior mountain runners on the international stage.

Junior women

  • Georgia Bell (Leven Valley)
  • Rose Gilldaley (Eden Runners)
  • Amelie Lane (Wharfedale Harriers)
  • Lauren Russell (Highgate)

Junior men

  • Sam Bentham (Ilkley Harriers AC)
  • Ewan Busfield (Derby AC)
  • Joseph Ormrod (Rossendale Harriers, Steve Duxbury)
  • Charlie Pickens (Calder Valley Fell Runners)

Junior women

This will be Georgia Bell’s third time running for England, having competed in the Junior Home Internationals (JHI) in both 2021 and 2022.  In 2022, Georgia also ran for Great Britain in the European off-road championships, securing 9th place, and in the same year she became the English Schools’ fell running champion. This year Georgia also competed in the TCS London Mini Marathon where she finished in a fine 25th place.

Rose Gilldaley is new to mountain running and, after a strong performance in the trial race, is making her England debut in mountain running. She has a strong background in cross country and track running and has represented Cumbria in both disciplines.

This will be the fourth time Amelie Lane has represented England. In 2022 she ran at the WMRA U18 Cup in Saluzzo where she came 7th and was part of the gold winning team. A week later, Amelie competed for Great Britain at the European Mountain Running champs in El Paso, placing 9th. At the end of the 2022 summer, she won the U17 JHI and she is the reigning U17 British Champion. A good start to 2023 has also seen Amelie place 5th in the English Schools’ Cross Country Championships and 6th in the ECCA National Cross Country Championships.

Lauren Russell is another on the squad to secure her England mountain running debut, after leading the U17 girls home in the trial race. She has a strong cross country record and her notable achievements in 2023 include 3rd place in the English Schools’ Cross Country Championships, 4th in the CAU Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships and 5th at the ECCA National Cross Country Championships.

Junior men

Sam Bentham gains his first England mountain running vest after his fine run in the trial race. His experience over fell and cross country has led to some notable results; he is the current  U17 BOFRA (British Open Fell Runners Association) Champion, secured with 8 wins, as well as the reigning U19 Yorkshire Fell Champion. Along with his fellow teammates, he was also part of the 2022 winning team at the English Schools’ Fell Champs.

This will be Ewan Busfield’s third England vest after finishing first U17 at the recent trial race. It follows a successful cross country season culminating in 9th place at the English Schools’ Cross Country Championships and a place in the England squad at the SIAB Schools’ Cross Country International in Liverpool. Ewan represented England mountain running for the first time at the JHI in 2022 where he finished in a fine 4th position.

Joseph Ormrod  secures his fourth England vest with another strong run in the trial race. His debut in 2021 at the JHI in Ireland was followed in 2022 when he represented England in both the WMRA U18 Cup in Saluzzo and then at the JHI in Ambleside. Joe has a strong background on the fell and cross country and had some promising results in the 2023 major national cross country championships.

Charlie Pickens makes his second appearance in an England vest, after finishing third U17 in the trial race. He was part of the winning England team at the 2022 JHI in Ambleside coming off the back of a strong fell season. Charlie also finished 3rd in the U17 Boys Fell Running Association Championship in 2022.

We wish them all the best!

Photo by Neil Wilkinson