Race Report: Senior Women – Cross Internacional de Italica, Seville, 12 November 2023

Senior Women: Sarah Astin (Belgrave), Kate Axford (Belgrave), Phoebe Barker (Tonbridge AC) and Amelia Quirk (Bracknell AC)

This high calibre meeting is now part of the World Athletics Cross Country Gold Level series. The course distance of 9.7km consisted of 4 hilly laps and although the ground was hard under foot and the temperature hitting 23 degrees, it was still a challenging course to race.

With a contingent of East Africans in the field it was inevitable the race would set off at a fast pace. The English women were sensible to stay off this pace and all ran with the second group. As the race progressed the group started to break up with Amelia making her move followed by Kate, Phoebe and Sarah Astin.

The East Africans filled the first five places, followed by a Spanish athlete. Amelia and Kate crossed the line in 7th and 8th place respectively. Not far behind was Phoebe in 12th.

Overall the ladies were happy with their performances on this testing course and felt this was good preparation for the European cross country trials in Liverpool on 25 November.

Unfortunately Sarah Astin did not finish the race.