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mccain uka mountain running camp

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McCain Mountain Running
Athletes and staff on the inaugural McCain UKA Mountain Running Camp

09 May 2011

18 athletes, in the company of three former World Champions who made up an expert panel of speakers, attended the inaugural McCain UKA Mountain Running Camp at Borrowdale in Cumbria on 6-8 May.

The weekend opened with a general training session followed by the Q&A where the speakers - Martin Jones, Angela Mudge and Jonathan Wyatt - discussed training and race preparation with the group and what they believed contributed to their success as athletes.

Jones, twice winner of the World Mountain Running Trophy, competed in ten World Championships across road and cross country and communicated his belief that mindset is a key factor in mountain running; it was a view shared by six-time World Mountain Trophy Champion Wyatt, who represented New Zealand twice in both the Olympic and Commonwealth Games marathons.

Continuing that theme, Mudge, the World Trophy champion in 2000, focused on the technique of visualisation in preparation for competition. A Great Britain and Northern Ireland representative at the World Cross Country Championships on two occasions, the Scottish athlete also discussed the importance of regularly racing against your competitors to gain knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses and the benefits of training in the Alps in order to simulate race situations in high class mountain running.

All three speakers reinforced the benefit of speed work.

Saturday’s programme included a hill session followed by an overview of Anti-Doping in sport, in addition to a mountain running-specific conditioning session and presentations on the 2011 European and World Mountain Running Championships' courses and travel arrangements.

“I found it really helpful,” said Sarah Tunstall, runner-up in the Commonwealth Mountain Running Championships in Keswick (up and downhill event) in 2009 and also a silver medallist in the 2008 European Cross Country Championships (under-23). “It was a great opportunity to get together and focus on the season ahead. The Lake District provides the perfect environment and surroundings and it’s always beneficial to see everyone and get in some running outside of competition.”

20-year-old Mike Kallenberg, who made his World Mountain Running Championships debut a year ago, added: “It was just brilliant to have a Q&A with three World Champions! It was great to hear their thoughts and various training methods etc. Just being at a camp like this in such an ideal setting will really help my transition from the junior to senior ranks. It was a great group in a really relaxed environment.”

The Aviva GB&NI Team trials for the European Mountain Running Championships will take place in Keswick on 12th June and for the World Mountain Running Championships in Blackburn on 13th August.  Athletes interested in competing in these competitions can find more detail within the ‘Competitions’ section of the UKA website.

A full overview of the McCain UKA Mountain Running Camp including a more detailed overview of the key themes discussed, will be published soon in Athletics Weekly.

(Group photo courtesy of Pete Hartley: pete@petehartley.fsnet.co.uk)