European U20 10K Road Race

Tue 1 May, Oderzo, Italy

Preston Harriers’ Nathan Dunn was selected as a member of the England team for the European U20 10K Road race held in the beautiful historic town of Oderzo in northern Italy. The race took place in the late afternoon in pleasant, but warm conditions for distance running and consisted of nine laps of the town centre, where the atmosphere and the support from the crowds was superb. The event, which has been running for over 20 years, added the U20 international competition to the programme last year and there was a genuinely competitive international competition in the U20 races with teams from Sweden, Greece, Macedonia, France, Denmark, Slovenia, Moldovia, Czech Republic, Slovakia and of course Italy, all taking part. With only two previous 10k races under his belt the race format was one with which Dunn had had relatively little experience, and with the additional factors of the rising temperatures, multiple laps and water stations to contend with it was going to throw up some challenges. Nathan Dunn started with intent and positioned himself with the leading group. The early couple of laps were run at a steady pace as the athletes eased themselves into the event while trying to assess the competition. The tempo then began to step up lap by lap as different athletes started to try to impose themselves on the race. The increase in pace meant that lead group was beginning to reduce in numbers; however, Dunn had paced it well and sat in just behind the leaders. With three laps remaining Romanian athlete Adrian Garcea made his move, which proved to be decisive, and broke away from the front runners, quickly building up a commanding lead. Dunn was in the chasing pack of six, comprising a French runner, a Romanian and three Italian athletes, staying calm and moving himself to the front of the group. With 500m to go Dunn’s pace proved too much for the remaining athletes and he pulled clear to claim the silver medal. There was also the bonus of a further medal as England managed to claim bronze in the team standings.

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