7th August 2013

World Mountain Running Championships Trial Preview

The third and final leg of the British Athletics 2013 Mountain Running Challenge takes place in Whinlatter Forest, near Keswick this Sunday, 11 August.  This final race of the 2013 series includes the GB & NI World Championships Trial, used as the key selection race for the forthcoming World Mountain Running Championships in Poland on Sunday 8 September.

Taking on an ‘up and down’ format, the athletes will contest a lapped course with 250m of climbing and descending each lap. The junior women will complete one 4.8km lap, with the junior men and senior women contesting a two lap, 9.6km course, before the senior men tackle three laps with a total distance of 14.4km.

Following on from a great European Championships where GB & NI won medals in three of the four team races, competition for places will be intense. Emma Clayton (coach: Andrew Henderson) will start as favourite in the women’s race following her sixth place finish at the European Championships and her recent victory at a World Mountain Running Grand Prix race in Italy. She also has a comfortable lead at the top on the series standings, and so will be aiming for double victory on the day. The other contenders for spots on the team will be led by the women who secured team bronze in Bulgaria last month; Olivia Walwyn, Sarah Tunstall and Katie Walshaw, with Walshaw currently lying second in the overall standings.

The senior men put in their best performance for a number of years in securing team silver at the European Championships, however fifth place finisher Steve Vernon (Stockport) will miss the World Championship trial race due to a knee injury. This leaves the door wide open for Chris Smith, who will be looking to continue his good form after a breakthrough performance at the European Championships where he finished in a brilliant eighth place. Also likely to be in the frame are Orlando Edwards, Nick Swinburn and Tom Adams, whilst should Snowdon International Mountain Race winner Andi Jones and runner-up Murray Strain decide to toe the line, they should also be in contention. Adams, and Leeds City’s Adam Osborne (Phil Townsend) who was 19th at last weekend’s World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge, currently sit first and second in the overall series.

The four junior women who won team silver at the European Championships will fight it out for the three available places on the GB & NI World Championship team. Sixth and eighth in Bulgaria, Catriona Graves and Annabel Mason are likely to lead the charge, whilst teammates Georgia Malir (Andrew Henderson) and Lydia Sharpe (Janice Lawton) should also be right in the mix.

Favourite for the junior men’s race is Max Wharton (Brian Burgin) who was 14th at the European Championships, but he won’t have it easy with his GB & NI teammates Nathan Jones, Brad Traviss and Andrew Lawler all vying for a spot on the plane to Poland.

For more information visit the British Athletics 2013 Mountain Running Challenge section of our website: