TWO Leamington Athletes won Gold for England at the annual British and Irish Masters Cross Country International race in Nottingham.
It was England’s turn to host the event at Wollaton Park on Saturday and Monica Williamson ensured her England team won 6k race in the 50-50 age-group.
The race started in misty drizzle with the athletes running the long uphill towards the impressive Wollaton Hall before a very fast downhill section and then a series of turns in a typically tough cross country course.
Weather conditions improved during the race and spectators were able to watch some excellent fast racing with some epic battles on the well-designed course.
Williamson finished third scorer for the team and fourth in her age group despite having had only five weeks to prepare for the race after a month off with injury.
She ran the first of three 2k laps steadily before pressing on and working through the field to finish strongly in a time of 23:35.
Williamson will now ease back on her training in preparation for the County Championships and the BMAF National Cross Country championships in the coming weeks.
June Johnson, also from Leamington, was competing for the first time in the new 70-74 age category and although cross country is not her preferred surface, she ran a very good race finishing fifth place in a time of 33:31 as her England collected gold again.
Her performance was made all the more impressive after arriving at the course suffering from a bad cold which had hampered her training over the last two weeks leading up to the event. Johnson travels to Lanzarote next week for some warm weather training.
To highlight the depth of quality coming out of Leamington, there were two more representatives who were selected as reserves for their teams and who both travelled to Nottingham to compete in the reserves ‘open’ race which took place after the main races.
Susie Tawney, who has represented her country on numerous occasions, completed the course in 25:12 while Phil Gould, who is a relatively newcomer to international athletics, ran a strong race to finish in 27:23 for the 8k course.