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McCain Cross Challenge

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Richard Goodman
Goodman - lined up for Cardiff XC


15 January 2010

This weekend’s cross country action will focus on the Blackweir Fields venue in Cardiff as round three of the McCain Cross Challenge leaps into action.

The event, which promises to be a festival of running, incorporates Schools Invitation Races as well as an Inter Area Match. It is the first chance in 2010 for athletes aiming for World Cross Country consideration to catch selector’s eyes in this midway point of the campaign.

Leading entries in the Senior men’s race include European Cross Country representative and 2009 Inter Counties champion Andy Vernon (Aldershot Farnham & District) and European Junior 10,000m silver medalist Simon Lawson (Cardiff) in what should be an interesting duel between the two young endurance talents.

The women’s field is a  review of cross country talent past and present with Jessica Sparke (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) – European U23 XC bronze medalist, sister Katherine Sparke (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) who represented GB at the 2008 European XC and  Faye Fullerton (Havering Mayesbrook) - 2008 World Student XC gold medalist representing one side of the coin, whilst experienced former GB international Jo Wilkinson (Bedford & County) and former Inter Counties Champion and Cardiff Cross Challenge race winner Tara Krzywicki (Charnwood) also line up. They will all have their work cut out however as former UK Steeplechase record holder and cross country talent Hatti Dean (Hallamshire) is also entered in Sunday’s line up.

Key names in the junior races include World Youth Championship representative Annabel Gummow (Bristol) in the women’s line up and Liverpool Challenge and European XC trials winner Richard Goodman (Shaftesbury Barnet) who finished fifth at the European Championships in December amongst the men.

Sunday's races begin at 11am, with the senior men’s and women’s races timed at 12:40 and 14:00 respectively. Reports and results will be available on www.uka.org.uk on Sunday.