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MCCAIN CARDIFF CROSS CHALLENGE preview

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Charlie Purdue

13 January 2011

Charlotte Purdue, recently nominated for European Athlete of the Year following her BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country run out, will look to continue her cross country domination at Blackweir Fields, Cardiff on Sunday 16 January at the second instalment of the McCain Cross Country Challenge.

Having shown her capabilities on the track in October at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where she finished sixth in the 5,000m and fourth in the 10,000m, the Aldershot, Farnham and District athlete started 2011 on a high with a fourth place finish at the BUPA International event, cementing her European Cross U20 gold won just a month earlier in Portugal.

Purdue will no doubt look to grab the top spot in Cardiff, giving her two wins from two races so far in the McCain Cross Country series, with Antrim and Birmingham still to play for.

Athletes and spectators in search of top quality cross country competition will head to the Welsh capital but with a group of usual front runners away training at the London Marathon funded UKA altitude camp in Iten, Kenya, a host of athletes will be eager to make the most of absentees including Lily Partridge, James Wilkinson, Helen Clitheroe, Nick Goolab, John Beattie, Stephanie Twell, Hatti Dean, Emma Pallant and Ricky Stevenson.

With just two months and two more cross country races until the World Cross Country Championships, which will be held in Spain on 20 March, Frank Tickner will look to improve on his fourth place finish in Liverpool and 48th finish at the European Cross, while Mike Skinner will look for a top five finish to improve on eighth place reordered at the BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country.

In the U20 age groups:

Signed up and ready for action, the junior men’s line-up includes Jonny Hay and Johnathan Hopkins. Both finished well at the first McCain event of the season back in November while Hay went on to come home in 14th at the European Cross Country a month later.

Annabelle Gummow returns to the course in the women’s junior race following her 10th place finish at the European Cross Country, she is joined by Louise Small who competed for a 13th place finish in Holyrood Park at the BUPA event.

Full report and results will be posted following the race.