Lauren Howarth feeling positive ahead of making senior World Cross debut
Lauren Howarth has said she is looking forward to following up taking on the best athletes in Europe at the Indoor Championships in Gothenburg with competing against the best in the world when she lines up in Bydgoszcz on Sunday.
The 22-year-old is joined by National and Inter-Counties winner Louise Damen and former European junior cross-country champion Steph Twell as well as Elle Baker, Gemma Steel and Emily Wicks on a senior women’s team that has been described by UK Athletics endurance coach Terrence Mahon as a possible ‘dark horse’.
But Howarth, who finished sixth in the 3000m in Gothenburg earlier this month, is just keen to build on the experience gained from her first her senior championships.
“I’m really excited for my first senior World Cross,” she said.
“Gothenburg was a surprise and I went there and raced well to get top six so now I need to carry my form on.
“That was my first senior GB & NI vest and it was great to take on the best in Europe, now I’m going to be taking on the best in the world so it was a good step towards this race.”
Following dominant performances from GB & NI athletes at the European Cross Country Championships in Budapest, Hungary, in December, Mahon is anticipating another strong showing from British athletes in what are likely to be sub-zero conditions on Sunday.
Referring to his ‘dark horse’ senior women’s team, Mahon said: “They may not have the firepower right up front but at the Euro Cross we had such a tight cluster that it was a pretty impressive team in terms of the team scoring.
“If we can replicate that then I think the senior women could do quite well.
“Looking at the success we had at the European Cross Country Championships and how the athletes did in the Trials at Birmingham we have a very good team that knows how to run in the expected conditions; I think that will work in our favour over a lot of the other teams.
“I believe the World Cross is the hardest race in the world, it tests the limits of any athlete and just being able to compete in it gives great experience of what it’s like to be in that type of event.”
Understanding of the demands of taking on such a tough race is World Junior 3000m bronze medallist Emelia Gorecka who will compete in the under 20 women’s event at the World Cross on the back of her seventh Inter Counties victory.
“The World Cross Country Championships have been described as one of the toughest events on the planet and having already competed in two previous championships a part of me would agree,” commented Gorecka.
“However, I won’t put any limits on myself, being a part of the World Cross is a fantastic experience and I intend to make the most of it by pushing myself to be the best that I can on the day and try to challenge the best in the world.”
» An in-depth preview to the World Cross Country Championships can be found in this week’s AW, out March 21. The action will be televised on BBC2 & HD from 12.00-2.05pm as well as on British Eurosport from 12.15-2pm. Follow @AthleticsWeekly on twitter and grab a copy of the March 28 issue of AW for in-depth coverage from Bydgoszcz.