This year’s Home Countries International Cross Country takes place this Saturday at Wollaton Park, Nottingham. The course for this event is in a different area of the Park to where the Saucony English National Cross Country Championships were held 4 weeks ago and the races will be held over multiple laps of a 2K course. It had been hoped that near European Countries would accept invitations to compete but all have turned down the opportunity so the event is a domestic affair.
Scotland won the Senior Men’s team event last year so England will be keen to reverse the result this time. The 4 Home Countries all field teams in the 4 race programme as do the Midlands, North, South and the Combined Services.
The events get under way at 11:30 am with the Junior Women’s 6K over 3 laps, followed by the Junior Men at 12 noon, 4 laps, 8K. The Senior Women’s race starts at 12:45 pm and is also over 8K, 4 laps and the Senior Men end the programme with a 5 lap, 10K race.
Despite a number of athletes deciding that the cross country season is over for them, England still field strong teams. The Junior Women have Amy Griffiths 2nd in the English National and Grace Baker 3rd in the Team and the 2 Aldershot Farnham & Dist. AC athletes are accompanied by Marsye Haynes (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow AC) and Charlotte Taylor (Nene Valley H).
The Junior Men’s team is Doug Masson (Notts AC) 3rd English National, Calum Johnson (Gateshead H & AC) 4th, Alex Short (Chelmsford AC) 5th and Jamaine Coleman (Preston H) . Doug of course coming from Nottingham knows Wollaton Park well and will be cheered on by the locals.
Jess Andrews is the best placed runner in the English National in action, Jess finished 5th that day and the Aldershot, Farnham & Dist. AC athlete leads the quartet. Others in the Team are Miranda Heathcote (Newquay & Par) 6th in the National, Katie Walshaw (Holmfirth Harriers AC) 9th and Georgie Bruinvels (Aldershot, Farnham & Dist. AC) 11th.
The Senior Men’s team has National 3rd placer Andy Heyes (Hallamshire Harriers Sheffield) as the lead runner, along with Dan Garbutt (Durham City H), Ian Bailey (Aldershot, Farnham & Dist. AC) and Alex Bruce-Littlewood (Blackheath & Bromley AC).
Among the athletes to look out for from the other Teams are Dewi Griffiths who leads Wales Senior Men, Griffiths finishing 3rd in the Inter Counties, 2 weeks ago. Teworldeberhan Mengisteab leads Scotland Men and Ben Livesey of the Combined Services could feature. The Potter twins Jane and Juliet run for the Midlands while Sian Edwards, 2nd in the Welsh Championships runs for Wales, Sian of course was England under 17 Champion back in 2005. The North’s lead Women is Sarah Tunstall, 10th in the National.
The Event is funded and organised by the English Cross Country Association in association with Nottingham City Council and Notts AC.