Irish, Scottish, Welsh and English events feature across the country

Mah Mah

The big fields were at the Chiltern League that also incorporated the British Cross Challenge at the weekend as many athletes fine tuned themselves ahead of the upcoming European Cross Country Championships in December. Other big cross country events were at the Scottish Short Championships and also in Ireland for the Uneven and Novice championships. The Gwent League had a high turnout too. 

There were other big events with firmer footing at the Bushy parkrun and the Windmill 10k in Lancashire, as listed below. 

 Chiltern League/British Athletics Cross Challenge

 - 1,736 finishers

 Bushy parkrun

 - 1,280 finishers

Windmill 10K

 - 1,229 finishers

Scottish National Short Course Championships

 - 1,012 finishers

 Southampton parkrun

 -    911 finishers

 NI and Ulster Uneven and Novice Cross Country Championships

 -    857 finishers

 Nonsuch parkrun

 -    766 finishers


British Cross Challenge, Milton Keynes  

Mahamed Mahamed (handicap -5.3) and Kate Avery (handicap -1.0) retained their places at the top of the Cross Challenge standings as they took impressive victories in Milton Keynes.

Avery stopped the clock in 18:14 in a tightly contested race that saw her kick away at the vital moment from Jess Piasecki (handicap 2.0), to take maximum points, with the latter coming home five seconds behind.

Jess Judd (handicap -2.0) showed another positive performance after her fourth place finish in Cardiff as she came home third, while Pippa Woolven (handicap -0.1) finished fourth, 10 seconds behind winner Avery.

After struggling to get back to top form over recent years, Avery feels that she is back in the form of her life and ready to push for her spot on the European Cross Country team in Liverpool later this month.

She said: “I’m over the moon with that. Training has been going much better since the race in Cardiff and I wanted to be really strong and didn’t want it to be a slow pace from the start, so I tried to push it on a bit.

“It slowed down again but I picked it up at the end when it mattered. It’s a little shorter than Liverpool and Europeans will be which is what helped make it so close but it was still tough. You question yourself when you’re not seeing the improvements that you’d like but since the end of the track season, I’ve turned such a big corner and to win here is amazing.”

In slippery conditions, Mahamed found an extra burst of energy in the final 200m to pull away from Oliver Fox (handicap -4.5), and take consecutive victories in Milton Keynes, having shaved nearly two minutes off his 2017 time on the same course.

 In yet another tough race, Mahamed showed his strength on the Cross Challenge circuit and is ready to give his all to make the European team in a fortnight.

“It was hard again, it was another really strong field but I got the job done and now it’s onto Liverpool. Cardiff was a close race but I felt so much stronger today than I did then. I have to get back into the right mindset to perform well in Liverpool. I won and it’s job done from me for another week, but in two weeks it’s the really big test for me. Everyone will come out fired up in Liverpool and it’s winner takes all. I’m feeling ready and I really want to take something from that race and get into the team that travels out to Tilburg.”

The Cross Challenge series will resume in Liverpool at Sefton Park for the European Cross Country trials on Saturday, 24 November.

Parkrun results here

Other results here