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team silver at world mountain running championships

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World Mountain running

03 September 2012

Great Britain’s Junior Women performed brilliantly to win a silver team medal in the 28th World Mountain Running Championships in Ponte di Legno, Italy on 2nd September.  

On a 3.9km uphill only course, which included 310m of ascent, European champion Annabel Mason ran well in a very strong field to finish fourth behind last year’s winner Lea Einfalt of Slovenia who only managed 3rd behind Sevilay Eytemis of Turkey and the in-form German Julia Lettl.

With four more years in this age group Mason is an exciting prospect for the future and is already looking forward to next year, “This has been a great experience for me,” she said “I really have loved the location and atmosphere and am pleased with my run. I want to go away from here and work hard to be even better next year.” She was backed up by Mel Hyder who ran an intelligent race to finish 6th and Caroline Lambert who celebrated her 19th birthday with 21st place.

The Senior Women’s course involved an ascent of 760m over 8.8km starting with a flat and fast loop around the town of Ponte di Legno followed by an undulating section in the woods before hitting the steep climb. Kate Goodhead was Britain’s top scorer in 12th, benefitting from the experience gained in European mountain races this summer. “I really liked the course,” she commented “it was runnable and easy to break into sections and there were plenty of flat bits. I found it easier than I have in previous championships and I think it’s because I’ve trained hard. I’m currently self-coached and have enjoyed planning my training. I spent three weeks in Austria before the trial working on strength-endurance and getting uphill race experience. I guess I could sum up my approach as ‘train hard, race easy’!” 

The GB team just missed out on medals, finishing 4th behind strong teams from the USA, Italy and Switzerland. Victoria Wilkinson finished 24th, Rebecca Robinson 30th and Emma Clayton (Coach: Andrew Henderson) 32nd.

Peter Harrison was best placed GB Junior male, running on the same course as the Senior Women. Harrison finished in 16th place behind Ugandan winner Michael Cherop and two Turkish athletes.  He said, “I’ve been training in Europe since 11 August and acclimatised well. The course suited what I’d been doing, which was steep climbs and a fast start. The start was pretty violent with punches and people knocked down, including Josh Griffiths. I ran the course on Wednesday and knew it would be hard but I climbed well and was pleased with my position as I was aiming for top 20.”

The Senior Men’s race of 14.1km was, as expected, dominated by Eritrea who filled three of the first four places. With their last scorer in 10th they had no problem beating Italy in the team competition.  GB finished 6th with strong runs from Steve Vernon (David Turnbull) and Robbie Simpson in 17th and 18th, followed by Joe Symonds in 36th and Chris Smith in 50th completing the team.

Vernon had been training for top 10 and went out with that purpose, “I was between 5th and 10th for the first 10km but the ski slope really took it out of me and I didn’t recover. People were streaming past me. I am disappointed with the position but not the race because the standard of mountain running has risen since I started in 2005.”

Simpson went into the race with no firm expectation of position but had also prepared very well. “I have been training well at altitude for a few weeks in Europe and was well acclimatised. I am really happy with my position, which is better than I thought. It was a hard course but I felt strong and managed to come through well. My leg speed was good on the flatter sections and the cool and breezy conditions suited me well.”

In the Open Race run over the men’s course, Britain provided the winning woman in Anne Buckley and the second placed man in Darren Kay.

Full results: 

JUNIOR WOMEN - 3.9km, 310m ascent - Teams: 1 Turkey (9), 2 Great Britain (10), 3 Germany (15) ... - Individuals: 1 Sevilay Eytemis (TUR) 0:20:14, 2 Julia Lettl (GER) 0:20:53, 3 Lea Einfalt (SLO) 0:21:09, 4 Annabel Mason (GBR) 0:21:39, 5 Alexandra Wallimann (SUI) 0:22:02, 6 Melanie Hyder (GBR) 0:22:06, 7 Anezka Drahotava (CZE) 0:22:20, 8 Cesminaz Yilmaz (TUR) 0:22:39, 9 Margot Pelanne (FRA) 0:22:50, 10 Vera Enizerkina (RUS) 0:22:58 ... 21 Caroline Lambert (GBR) 0:23:53 ...

JUNIOR MEN - 8.8km, 760m ascent - Teams: 1 Uganda (13), 2 Turkey (20), 3 Italy (30) ... 11 Great Britain (111) ... - Individuals: 1 Michael Cherop (UGA) 0:42:33, 2 Adem Karagoz (TUR) 0:42:45, 3 Sonmez Dag (TUR) 0:43:10, 4 Moses Kurong (UGA) 0:43:20, 5 Nekagenet Crippa (ITA) 0:44:05, 6 Anton Palzer (GER) 0:44:09, 7 Charles Vannson (FRA) 0:44:49, 8 Abdallah Mande (UGA) 0:45:08, 9 Thibaut Imbert (FRA) 0:45:27, 10 Jan Janu (CZE) 0:45:30 ... 16 Peter Harrison (GBR) 0:46:42 ... 45 Gary Rankin (GBR) 0:49:23 ... 50 Joshua Griffiths (GBR) 0:50:11 ... 59 Brad Travis (GBR) 0:51:54 ...

SENIOR WOMEN - 8.8km, 760m ascent - Teams: 1 USA (18), 2 Italy (29), 3 Switzerland (58), 4 Great Britain (66) ... - Individuals: 1 Andrea Mayr (AUT) 0:46:35, 2 Valentina Berlotti (ITA) 0:47:04, 3 Morgan Aritola (USA) 0:47:26, 4 Burcu Buyukbezgin (TUR) 0:47:36, 5 Sabine Reiner (AUT) 0:48:07, 6 Mateja Kosovelj (SLO) 0:48:27, 7 Stevie Kremer (USA) 0:48:54, 8 Melody Fairchild (USA) 0:48:57, 9 Q Rodriguez (COL) 0:49:08, 10 C Frumuz (ROM) 0:49:24, 11 Viola Chemos (UGA) 0:49:32, 12 Kate Goodhead (GBR) 0:49:35, 13 Renate Rungger (ITA) 0:49:44, 14 Alice Gaggi (ITA) 0:49:54, 15 Sarah McCormack (IRE) 0:49:59, 16 Monika Fürholz 0:50:08, 17 Antonella Confortola (ITA) 0:50:33, 18 Petra Pastorova (CZE) 0:50:37, 19 Pavla Schorna Matyasova (CZE) 0:50:39, 20 Martina Strähl (SUI) 0:50:43 ... 24 Victoria Wilkinson (GBR) 0:51:12 ... 30 Rebecca Robinson (GBR) 0:52:07 ... 32 Emma Clayton (GBR) 0:52:14 ...

SENIOR MEN - 14.1km, 1150m ascent - Teams: 1 Eritrea (17), 2 Italy (31), 3 Russian Federation (75), 4 USA (88) 5 France (106), 6 Great Britain (121) ... - Individuals: 1 Petro Mamo (ERI) 1:01:35, 2 Azeria Teklay (ERI) 1:02:47, 3 Andrey Safronov (RUS) 1:03:06, 4 Debesay Tsige (ERI) 1:04:04, 5 Gabrielle Abate (ITA) 1:04:53, 6 Alex Baldaccini (ITA) 1:04:59, 7 Marco De Gasperi (ITA) 1:05:10, 8 Chechun Yuriy (RUS) 1:05:41, 9 Glenn Randall (USA) 1:05:48, 10 Atoy Estifanos (ERI) 1:05:50, 11 Mitja Kosovelj (SLO) 1:05:52, 12 Sage Canaday (USA) 1:05:55, 13 Xavier Chevrier (ITA) 1:06:03, 14 Joseph Gray (USA) 1:06:20, 15 Emrah Akalin (TUR) 1:06:27, 16 Jose Puentes (VEN) 1:06:29, 17 Steve Vernon (GBR) 1:06:40, 18 Robbie Simpson (GBR) 1:06:47, 19 Bernard Dematteis (ITA) 1:06:49, 20 Benjamin Bellamy (FRA) 1:06:57 ... 36 Joe Symonds (GBR) 1:08:18 ... 42 Brian MacMahon (IRE) 1:08:54 ... 50 Chris Smith (GBR) 1:09:39 ... 56 Nick Swinburn (GBR) 1:10:09, 57 James McMullen (GBR) 1:10:17 ...

OPEN RACE

SENIOR MEN - Luca Cagnati (ITA) 1:11:45, 2 Darren Kay (GBR) 1:14:04, 3 Walter Acquistapace (ITA) 1:18:14 ...

SENIOR WOMEN - Anne Buckley (GBR) 1:34:30, 2 Nancy Hobbs (USA) 1:39:28, 3 Graziana Pe (ITA) 1:41:29 ...