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UK Athletics

purdue takes second mccain win

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Cardiff XC 2011

16 January 2010

On a grey and overcast day in Blackweir Fields, Cardiff, with the ground turning from firm to soft underfoot as the day progressed, Charlotte Purdue was able to take her second win of the McCain Cross Challenge series, cementing herself as an ever present and dominant figure of the 2010/2011 cross season.

One of the best competition offerings of the year, gifting good quality competition to athletes from U13 to veteran, the McCain Cross Challenge headed to Cardiff for the second instalment of four competitions, spread across the winter season from November to March.

Taking full advantage of the crop of absent athletes- currently training at altitude at the London Marathon funded UKA camp in Kenya- races provided an opportunity for regular top ten placing athletes to challenge for titles and others to make a name for themselves amidst a host of XC regulars.


Men’s senior race

Frank Tickner took the men’s senior title with a convincing lead, having shown his intentions early on.  Taking on the first lap with vigour, with only Ashely Harrell in close contention, by the end of the second lap he led the front runners with a 100m gap.

Tickner applied some pressure as they hit the first of three long laps, and headed out to the woods with a 20m lead on Harrell, before breaking away with a 100m spare as they hit the fourth.

At the bell Tickner led by over 200m and as the heavens opened looked set to take the win- whilst the group behind, including Ben Noad and Matt James ahead of Kaim Stone and Harrell, would be left to fight for second class honours.

Top five outcomes:

Frank Tickner (00:32:35)                               

Ben Noad (00:33:01)      

Ashley Harrell (00:33:10)                              

Matt James (00:33:14)  

Kaim Stone (00:33:20)                   


Women’s senior race

The wettest part of the day beckoned the senior women’s race to the course and provided the setting for Purdue- entering as favourite- to find her way through the rain and to the front early on.

That was the tone for the rest of the race, Purdue leading with Gemma Steel for close company early on before Purdue separated them. At the end of lap two Steele had Purdue in sight but Catherine Ansell and Lee Lattimore for company.

Purdue created an unassailable lead that leftdaylight between her and the chasing athletes- which was 600m by the tape- making it two from four wins on the McCain Cross Challenge series and another outstanding performance on her 2011 CV.

Top five positions:

Charlotte Purdue (00:24:27)       

Gemma Steel (00:25:25)              

Leigh Lattimore (00:26:19)           

Catherine Ansell (00:26:41)         

Jo Buckley (00:26:50)     


Men’s junior race

In the mists of an Aldershot, Farnham and District team assault, Jonny Hay took the individual honours in the men’s junior race and led three of his team mates across the line with him.

Right from the start it was clear anyone challenging for top spot would have to match the hard pace set by the AFD boys, who made it difficult from the onset.

As six athletes broke away, Jack Grey took on the running to lead through lap two. By the middle of the third lap he had broken away, taking some with him including Jonny Hay and Harvey Dixon.

En route to the finish tape Hay upset proceedings, braking away with 300m to go and taking a winning lead from Grey, who was left fighting strongly to hold off Ian Bailey.

Final top five placings:

Jonathan Hay (00:22:29)                               

Jack Gray (00:22:35)       

Ian Bailey (00:22:37)                       

Jonathan Hopkins (00:22:48)

Harvey Dixon (00:22:52)                               


Women’s junior race

Following a sixth place finish at the McCain Cross Challenge event in Liverpool, Annabel Gummow made an early effort to take the Cardiff edition of the series, but lost out to Louise Small in the late stages of the race.

Coming through lap one Gummow was just ahead of Small, who then made a tacticle case to stay with her stride for stride into the second and final lap.

Small's tactics paid off with just over 800m to go.She pushed on, took out a lead of 20m, before heading for the finish and a good win.

Isabel Brinsden held on to third from a fast finishing Natasha Cockram, representing South East Wales Schools.

Top five finishers:

Louise Small (00:16:24)                 

Annabel Gummow (00:16:31)

Isabel Brinsden (00:17:52)

Natasha Cockram (00:17:58)

Charlotte Arter (00:18:04)           

For full McCain Cardiff Cross Challenge Results, click here for the McCain Cross Challenge Home Page and select the Cardiff Tab