A two-year plan to bring the World Mountain Running U18 Cup to Ambleside in the Lake District has had to be shelved due to Covid. But in its place a Home Countries U18 International race over the planned 5k/240m route will take place on Saturday 24 July.
Teams from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland and Wales will compete in what is a great opportunity to get some quality International racing and development in during these uncertain times.
The selection race for the England Team took place in Ambleside on 19 June and the quality of the young English mountain runners shone through again as both girls' and boys' records were broken in a fast race.
Local runner and English U17 Fell running Champion, Ambleside AC’s Charlie Allmond took the boys' race in 20.42, beating GB International Matthew Knowles’s 2019 record of 21.13, Horwich’s Toby Middleton was second and Jacob Deacon of Chorely Tri AC third. In a very fast race Will Longden of Buxton AC competed the four gaining selection with all four under the old record. In the girl’s race English Schools' Fell Running Champion, Harrogate AC's Eve Whitaker also broke the record in winning, just ahead of her sister, Alexandra in second, with Bingley’s Rebecca Flaherty in third and Isabell Richardson of Holmfirth AC completing a Yorkshire clean sweep for selection.
Charlie Allmond (Ambleside AC, Sarah McCormack)
Jacob Deacon (Chorley Tri & AC, Katie Hewison)
Toby Middleton (Horwich RMI, Andy Townsend)
William Longden (Buxton AC)
Charlie earns his first England vest by winning the Trial race. He has won all 3 of his age group races this year, including the Fell Inter-Counties. Toby was second in the Trial race by a handful of seconds. He competed for England U17 in the last Junior Home Countries International in Wales, finishing 8th. This is also the first time in an England vest for Jacob, who was not far behind in 3rd place in the Trial race. He comes to Mountain running from Triathlon/ Duathlon having won his last 3 events as an U17. William gains his second England vest, by finishing 4th at the Trial, having competed in Wales in 2019 at the JHI coming 12th.
Eve Whitaker (Harrogate Harriers, Mark Bryant and Joanne Day)
Alexandra Whitaker (Harrogate Harriers, Mark Bryant and Joanne Day)
Rebecca Flaherty (Bingley AC)
Isabel Richardson (Holmfirth Harriers, Katie Walshaw)
Eve wins her first England Mountain running vest and had a great trial race. Eve complements her fell and mountain running by competing as a triathlete, which clearly works - as in 2018 Eve was U15 English and Yorkshire Fell Running Championship titles having won the U13 titles the year before and in 2019 won the Year 10/11 English Schools' Fell Running Championships. Alexandra has already competed for England in the 2019 Junior Home International in Llanberis, Wales coming 4th, Alexandra was U17 English Fell Running Champion that year and like sister Eve, also has a triathlon background. Rebecca was 4th in the 2019 English schools Fell running Championships (Year 8/9) and has a strong track and cross country background winning the Northern Athletics 1500m title in 2019 and coming 4th in the 2020 Yorkshire Cross Country Championships. Isabel was 2nd in the 2018 FRA English Fell Running Championships and 3rd English Schools' Fell Running Champs (year 10/11) in 2019. Also with a strong track and cross country background, Isobel was West Yorkshire County Schools' cross country champion in 2020 and won the 1500m at the English Schools' Cup North Midlands Final.
We wish them all the best in the Home Countries International!
Click for Trial Race results (PDF 120kB)
Photo of Charlie by Steve Ashworth, photo of start and Eve by Duncan Richards