Cross country action returns to King’s Park as the British Athletics Cross Challenge season continues

The next stop on the British Athletics Cross Challenge calendar is Stirling, right in the centre of Scotland, with the meeting on Saturday (January 11) incorporating the Home Countries International, the Celtic International and the Scottish Inter-District Championships.

The venue is King’s Park, which sits in the shadow of the impressive Stirling Castle and provided the stage for last year’s Great Stirling Cross Country, where Laura Muir led the British team to mixed relay victory.

The international element to proceedings in 2020 will see senior and U20 teams from Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland compete in the Home Countries event, while U23, U20 and U17 sides from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland race for the Celtic title.

Local star Andrew Butchart, the Rio 5000m Olympian, will continue his journey towards Tokyo by leading a Scotland team in which he will be joined in the senior men’s line-up by athletes including last year’s Inter-District champion Lachlan Oates.

The England quartet boasts British Euro Cross captain Adam Hickey, while Kristian Jones, also part of the gold medal-winning senior men’s team in Lisbon, is in the Welsh line-up. Zak Henna is among the Northern Ireland selections.

In the senior women’s race, current Cross Challenge second-placer and European Cross team gold medal winner Kate Avery heads a formidable English line-up which also includes Emily Hosker-Thornhill, who was eighth in Stirling last year.

The Welsh team features Jenny Nesbitt, while Mhairi Maclennan, who won the Inter-District title at King’s Park 12 months ago, is on the Scotland team.

Fionnuala Ross, a European Cross team silver medallist with Ireland, heads the Northern Ireland team.

The under-20 races will feature the likes of Euro Cross team gold medallists Hamish Armitt and Will Barnicoat, plus Olivia Mason and Cera Gemmell.

In addition to the cross country action, the Run Stirling event will also play host to the Great Stirling Castle Run, a scenic 7km multi-terrain challenge.

Timetable

10:02 U11 girls (1km)
10:17 U11 boys (1km)
10:32 U20 men/U20 women (7km)
11:02 U13 girls (3km)
11:17 U13 boys (3km)
11:32 U17 women (6km)
11:57 U17 men (6km)
12:22 U15 girls (4km)
12:37 U15 boys (4km)
12:52 U23/senior women (8km)
13:27 U23/senior men (8km)

TV guide

The Stirling Cross Challenge is being streamed live online by Vinco and BBC Sport.

» A more in-depth preview can be found in the January 9 edition of AW magazine, available in shops or to order in print here. A digital version can be downloaded here. Check out our website and social media channels over the weekend, plus next week’s magazine, for coverage

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