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Belfast International UK Cross Challenge report

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Belfast International UK Cross Challenge
Belfast International UK Cross Challenge

5 January 2008


Hayley Yelling, the 2004 European Cross Country Champion, retained her domestic regal status with a front-running victory at the Belfast International UK Cross Challenge, sponsored by Mizuno, this afternoon – while Kate Reed raced to the best victory of her burgeoning career in Milan.


Yelling, winner of the UK Cross Challenges at Gateshead and Liverpool earlier this winter, shrugged off the ‘flu bug that spoilt her Christmas break to dominate the senior women’s 5.6km race, though Kathy Butler closed to within 25 metres of her by the finish to give notice of her determination to mount a challenge for a place in the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in her birth city of Edinburgh in March. Double European junior champion Stephanie Twell, up with the leaders in the first half of the race, finished sixth, 13 seconds behind her training partner, Vicky Gill, who enjoyed a storming second half of the race.


As expected, Mike Skinner led the UK challenge in the men’s 9km, won for the second year by Moses Kipsiro. But behind Skinner came indications that the future battle for places in GB teams might hot-up in the shapes of 25-year-old Dave Webb and 19-year-old Lee Carey, training partners in the group coached by Bud Baldaro in Birmingham.


David Forrester, who won the European Junior Trial race at Liverpool from Carey, romped away with the Under 20 Men’s race today, more than 20 seconds clear of the opposition.


Under 17s dominated the Under 20 Women’s 3.6km, filling the first four places. UK Cross Challenge leader Blue Haywood led through halfway in her first ever race on snow but was over-powered by Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn AC) and Eimear Black (Ballymena and Antrim AC), who were fourth and third respectively in the Northern Ireland women’s 1500m rankings in 2007. And close behind third-placed Haywood came 16-year-old Bessie Rollins (Kettering Town Harriers), who was running in 30°C as recently as Wednesday in the Sudan, where her father John – a former Northern Ireland international – works.




Men (9km): 1 Moses Kipsiro (Uganda) 30:19; 2 Barnabas Kosgei (Kenya) 30:24; 3 Patrick Makau (Kenya) 31:00; 4 Mike Skinner (England / Blackheath and Bromley) 31:10; 5 Dave Webb (Northern Athletics / Leeds City) 31:30; 6 Lee Carey (Nuneaton Harriers) 31:51; 7 Gary Murray (Northern Ireland) 31:59; 8 Matthew Watson (England / Bingley Harriers) 32:04; 9 Lee Turner (Trafford AC) 32:07; 10 Mark Hood (England / Sunderland Harriers) 32:18.


Women (5.6km): 1 Hayley Yelling (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow) 21:20; 2 Kathy Butler (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow) 21:26; 3 Deidre Byrne (SLI Cualann) 21:39; 4 Vicky Gill (Northern Athletics / Aldershot, Farnham and District) 21:54; 5 Linda Byrne (Dundrum South Dublin) 22:00; 6 Stephanie Twell (Aldershot, Farnham and District) 22:07; 7 Carly Needham (England / Rochdale Harriers) 22:11; 8 Felicity Milton (Durham City Harriers) 22:11; 9 Juliet Potter (Midland Counties / Charnwood AC) 22:15; 10 Sarah Tunstall (Northern Athletics / Kendal AAC) 22:17.


Veteran men (7.4km): 1 Dave Morwood (North Belfast Harriers, M35) 27:17; 2 Gary Crossan (Letterkenny AC, M35) 27:31; 3 Robert Quinn (Kilbarchan AAC, M40) 27:38.


Under 20 men (5.6km): 1 David Forrester (St Helens Sutton) 19:25; 2 James Wilkinson (Northern Athletics) 19:49; 3 Mitch Goose (City of Norwich AC) 20:00.


Under 20 and Under 17 women (3.6km): 1 Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn AC) 14:54; 2 Eimear Black (Ballymena and Antrim AC) 15:03; 3 Blue Haywood (Lincoln Wellington AC / Midland Counties) 15:08.


Under 17 men (5.6km): 1 Chris O’Hare (Edinburgh AC) 20:04; 2 Daniel Clorley (Luton AC) 20:06; 3 Phil Hurst (North East England) 20:24.


Under 15 boys (3.6km): 1 Thomas Curr (Stroud and District AC) 13:44; 2 Andrew Monaghan (Lagan Valley) 13:51; 3 Adam Ingram (Lagan Valley) 14:00.


Under 15 girls (3.6km): 1 Rebecca Daines (West Norfolk AC) 15:53; 2 Lucy Farnell (Royal Sutton Coldfield AC) 15:55; 3 Marta Perez (Soria CA, Spain) 16:06.


Under 13 boys (1.8km): 1 Shane Fitzsimmons (Mullingar Harriers) 7:39; 2 Callum Short (Bolton United Harriers) 7:45; 3 Padraig Moran (Mullingar Harriers) 7:47.


Under 13 girls (1.8km): 1 Elizabeth Carr (Mullingar Harriers) 8:21; 2 Kathryn Gillespie (Central AAC) 8:23; 3 Siafra Clearigh (Dundrum South Dublin) 8:25.


  • Kate Reed, her confidence soaring since she led the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team to the silver medals at last month’s European Cross Country Championships, romped to the best victory of her career to date in Milan this afternoon.

  • The 26-year-old from Bristol finished the Cross del Campaccio almost half a minute ahead of runner-up Aniko Kalovics (Hungary) in heavy mud on the course on which she finished 15th at last winter’s Euro Cross.