Report – Elgoibar Jan 2022

On a very wet weekend in Spain, the ECCA fielded England teams at the Juan Muguerza Cross-Country Races, also known as the Elgoibar Cross-Country Races, held in the Basque Country, Spain. As usual this turned out to be a quality event with lots of African runners in the lineups.

The England Senior Men’s Team as selected by Eamonn Martin performed well behind the winner Nicholas Kimeli of Kenya who came home in 34 mins 05 secs. For England first home was Hugo Milner (Derby AC), 9th in 35.42, then came Matthew Stonier (Invicta East Kent AC) 11th in 36.03, William Battershill (Erie Valley AC) 14th in 36.14 and Jacob Allen (Highgate Harriers) 21st in 37.02 in a field of 65 runners. Eamonn Martin pronouncing how pleased he was with the performances overall.

Another Kenyan, Edimad Jebitok won the Women’s race in 26.03 while the English quartet selected by Sue Lamb were led home by Kate Holt (City of Stoke AC) 9th in 28.16. Then came Alex Millard (Invicta East Kent AC) 12 secs back finishing 10th, Pippa Woolven (Wycombe Phoenix) came home 11th also timed at 28.28 and Sophie Tarver (Wirral AC) finished 13th in 28.40.

In the Under 20 Men’s race selected by Keith Holt, William Barnicoat (Aldershot Farnham & District AC) led the way scoring a great win in 21.34, 12 secs ahead of Mathis Lievens of Belgium. Behind those two came Oliver Smart (Tavistock Run Project) finishing 6th in 22.22 and Alexander Melloy (Cambridge & Coleridge AC) 8th in 22.45.

For the Under 20 Women. Alice Garner led the way for England, finishing 3rd in 16.55, 2 secs down came Beatrice Wood (City of Salisbury AC) in 4th, while Louise Hackett (Wolverhampton & Bilston AC) was 5th 17.04 and Freya Bennett (Coventry Godiva H) was 10th in 17.39 for the team selected by Barbara Cutting.

The trip had been carefully planned following all protocols with the help of Ben Woolnough (Jamin Sports) and proved to be a great learning experience for all concerned.