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Endurance Success for the GB & ni team

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Steve Vernon
Steve Vernon battles to a career best

IAU World Trail Championships, Llanrwst, Wales, 6 July

Ricky Lightfoot delighted the home crowd by winning his first world title in glorious sunshine on Saturday, leading the GB & NI team to victory in the process. Lightfoot took the title in 5 hours, 36 minutes and 3 seconds, some ten minutes clear of second place. Local athlete Iain Ridgway also ran a superb race to finish fourth, amid plenty of home support.

In the women’s race, Joanna Zakrzewski finished just outside the medals in fourth place, and with teammates Fionna Cameron and Tracy Dean in tenth and 14th respectively, the team took bronze, rounding out a great day for the GB & NI team. 

Full results: http://www.tdl.ltd.uk/race-results.php?event=1386&page=1


European Mountain Running Championships, Borovets, Bulgaria, 6 July

GB & NI's mountain runners returned from Bulgaria this week with three hard earned team medals.

The day got off to a great start with the junior women tackling a tough 3.5km course containing over 530m of climb and coming away with a fantastic team silver. Catriona Graves, earning her first GB & NI vest, was the team’s first counter in sixth, closely followed by 2012 European up and down champion Annabel Mason eighth, with Georgia Malir (coach: Andrew Henderson) 12th and Lydia Sharpe (Janice Lawton) 21st.  The junior men were next up and they finished seventh thanks to good performances by Max Wharton (Brian Burgin), Nathan Jones, Brad Traviss and Andrew Lawler, who were 14th, 19th, 29th and 34th respectively.

The GB & NI team are notoriously stronger at the biennial up and down championships, so it was always going to be an uphill battle for the senior women to retain the title they won in 2012, however they fought all the way to the line to beat Russia to the bronze medal by a single point. Trials winner Emma Clayton (Henderson) led the team home with a very strong sixth place finish, and she was backed up by Olivia Walwyn in 21st, Sarah Tunstall in 25th and Rebecca Robinson in 39th.

In the final race of the day, Steve Vernon (David Turnbull) produced his best ever performance at the European Championships to finish fifth and lead the GB & NI senior men’s team to a terrific team silver. Each and every member of the senior men’s team stepped up, with Chris Smith taking an impressive eighth place, Orlando Edwards in 18th and Robbie Simpson 29th.

Link to European Athletics report and full results: http://www.european-athletics.org/12th-european-mountain-running-championships/12049-dematteis-ends-the-mountain-reign-of-arslan-on-glory-day-for-italy-as-mayr-is-crowned-women-s-champion.html