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English National Cross Country Championships Saturday 26th February 2022

After a gap of two years, the English National cross country championships finally returned to one of the best championship venues on the circuit, and the one that is recognised as the iconic home of “the National”, Parliament Hill Fields, in London. The weather was bright and sunny, and with good views from Parliament Hill itself to the famous London skyline. There were huge crowds watching the races and with over 9,000 pre entries across ten races, even with the usua

l drop outs, there were still very large numbers running in each event.

Parliament Hill offers a set of challenging courses, with steep rises, undulations and a fair amount of mud too. A long uphill start for all of the races offers a dramatic charge for early placings so as to avoid being caught in the traffic behind the leading groups.

Ben Tyrer competed in the under 15 boys race over 4k and finished in 23.35. The senior ladies ran 8k and Kate Lakeland finished 399th out of 1,011 finishers in 40.34. Sue Wickham recorded 56.53 and Julie Tyrer 63.30. The South of England champion Jessica Gibbon of Reading AC won the race in 29.00 and was chased home by North of England champion, Eleanor Bolton of Ribble Valley in 29:08 and 3rd went to Bronwen Owen of Leeds AC.

The men ran the longest distance of the day 12k, in the final race – very unfortunately, Will Metcalf forgot to tie on his timing chip above his ankle, although he finished not too far behind Wes Wilkinson who was 505th from a field of over 2,000. Paul Jeffries finished in 65.06. Mahamed Mahamed of Southampton AC won and he had won at Leeds in 2019 too. Emile Cairess of Leeds was 2nd and Olympic triathlon medallist Alex Yee of Kent AC was 3rd

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