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british bronze at IAU World trail championships

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Tom Owens

1 June 2015

Tom Owens produced a superb performance to finish fourth against a high class field at the IAU World Trail Championships in Annecy, France on Saturday. Despite narrowly missing a place on the podium in the individual event, he led the GB and NI men’s team to the bronze team medal.

The fourth edition of the race was held over the demanding Maxi race course which involved completing an 85km route on the trails and mountains that encircle the Lac de Annecy involving 5300m of climbing. The British team were out in force as they took on the gruelling course in pursuit of silverware.

Owens, of Shettleston Harriers, made a conservative start to proceedings and consolidated 10th place at the 44km checkpoint. The next section contained one of the toughest hills on the course but this did not faze him as he moved up four positions before improving to his final fourth place after the final climb to finish in 8:26.23.

Owens said afterwards: “In my last 50 mile event, I had found the final couple of hours hard so I decided to respect the Annecy course, and start this one a little cautiously. It paid off as I certainly worked my way through the field well and felt strong in the last third. I was just beaten by three very good experienced guys on the day”.

Kim Collinson (20th), Lee Kemp (27th) and Paul Giblin (32nd) were part of the bronze medal winning team in France behind the hosts and the USA. Frenchman Sylvan Court won the overall title in a time of 8:15.38.

A women’s team consisting of experience and emerging ultra-running talent performed above expectations to secure sixth place in the team standings.

The British quintet was led home by Sarah Morwood in 26th with Sally Fawcett just seconds behind in 27th, then Lizzie Wraith (28th) and Bonnie Van Wilgenburg (40th). Tracy Dean withdrew from the race at 70km. Only minutes separated the fourth, fifth and sixth placed teams over the one loop course. Natalie Mauclair made it a French double as she took the women’s individual title in 9:30.59.

Men’s GB &NI standings

4: Tom Owens - 8.26.23

20: Kim Collison - 9.22.02

27: Lee Kemp - 9.37.32

32: Paul Giblin - 9.44.32

61: Paul Raistrick - 10.19.08

67: Iain Ridgeway - 10.30.19

Women’s GB & NI standings

26: Sarah Morwood - 11.32.18

27: Sally Fawcett - 11.32.33

28 : Lizzie Wraith - 11.36.17

40: Bonnie Van Wilgebnurg - 11.55.23

Full results at http://www.iau-ultramarathon.org