3rd July 2022
SIX MEDALS SECURED ON FINAL DAY OF THE EUROPEAN OFF-ROAD RUNNING CHAMPIONSHIPS
It was a brilliant end to the European Off-Road Running Championships for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team as they added six medals to their overall tally in the up and down mountain races on Sunday morning.
There were three individual medallists on day three of the Championships: Scout Adkin (coach: Angela Mudge, club: Ambleside) in the senior women’s race, Eve Whitaker (Harrogate) in the junior women’s contest, and Finlay Grant (Dark Peak) in the junior men’s race. There were team medals in all these races as well, including team gold for the U20 men, with the senior men narrowly finishing fifth overall.
After a fourth-place finish in the uphill only race on Friday, Adkin returned for the challenging up and down course, and made sure of reaching that podium at the second time of asking.
With Switzerland’s Maude Mathys winning her second gold with a time of 1:17:30 and Monica Madalina Florea (ROU) bagging the silver, Adkin battled to her first European medal on her GB&NI debut in a time of 1:19:35, nearly a minute ahead of the fourth-place athlete, Sara Bottarelli.
The senior women’s team secured bronze overall after some solid displays by the Brits. Kate Avery (Shildon) continued her excellent transition to mountain running with an 11th place finish, while Holly Page (Lewis Walker, Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds) and Hannah Russell (Billy Proctor, Helm Hill) were 17th and 18th overall, with just four seconds separating them, to confirm GB & NI’s place on the podium behind Switzerland and Italy.
Earlier, Eve Whitaker sealed the individual silver medal in the U20 women’s race after an excellent performance which also spearheaded the team finishing in silver medal position too.
The Harrogate athlete followed Charlotte Rawstron’s individual medal in the U20 uphill race with silverware for herself. Ida Waldal stormed to victory for Norway, but the Briton held off the threat of Axelle Vicari of Italy to earn the silver medal.
Georgia Bell (Leven Valley) and Amelie Lane (Wharfedale) secured top ten finishes in ninth and tenth overall, while Isla Hedley (Innes Oglivie, Fife) was 18th, which saw the team win the silver medal behind France.
The first medallist of the day was GB & NI’s Finlay Grant (Dark Peak) who won individual bronze in the men’s U20 race by a five second margin from France’s Anatole Berthou. It was a tight finish to the contest as only eight second separated the top three with Italy’s Elia Mattio sealing gold and Marcos Villamuera (ESP) the silver.
Grant earned the first international medal of his career, while solid performances from the rest of the quartet secured them the team gold as well.
Fraser Gilmour (Robert Hawkins, Kilbarchan) was next home in an excellent fifth place, while Edward Corden (Michael Doyle, Stockport) was the third GB & NI athlete to finish inside the top ten with an eighth-place finish. Ben O’Dowd (Eden Runners) ended his campaign in 19th overall.
After a late withdrawal from Andrew Douglas due to covid, Joe Steward (Harry Kelly, Salford) stepped into the senior men’s up and down race, with the team finishing fifth overall. Meanwhile Chris Richards (Duncan Richards, Helm Hill) was the top British finisher as he achieved an excellent top ten finish in seventh place.
Max Nicholls (Peter Brenchley, Tonbridge) was the second counter for GB & NI in 18th, while Steward, who raced the uphill on Friday, coming home in 23rd. Matt Knowles (Sophie Dunnett, Lancaster and Morecambe) was the fourth and final counter for the team in 34th.
The Great Britain and Northern Ireland team came away with 11 medals from the inaugural European Off-Road Running Championships, two gold, three silver and six bronze medals to finish fourth on the medal table.
The Great Britain and Northern Ireland team medals:
Gold (2):Senior Women Team (Uphill); U20 Men Team (Up&Down)
Silver (3): Eve Whitaker (U20 Women Up&Down); U20 Women Team (Up&Down); U20 Women Team (Uphill)
Bronze (6): Scout Adkin (Senior Women Up&Down); Finlay Grant (U20 Men Up&Down); Charlotte Rawstron (U20 Women Uphill); Senior Women Team (Up&Down); U20 Men Team (Uphill); Senior Women Team (Trail)