A look ahead to Saturday’s event at Margam Park near Port Talbot in Wales
The combined SIAB and Home Countries Cross Country International will take place at Margam Park near Port Talbot on Saturday (March 25), writes Alex Donald.
The event annually closes the domestic cross country season and this year will provide competition for the top British athletes that are not in action at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala.
The SIAB races will host competition between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The fields include national schools champions from each of the nations including, on the girls side, Olivia Mason for England, Sarah Healey for Ireland, Cera Gemmell for Scotland and Mia Roberts for Wales.
The boy’s fields include England’s Zakariya Mahamed, Darragh McElhinney for Ireland, Cameron Watson for Scotland and Osian Perrin for Wales.
The Home Countries International will feature England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Midland Counties, the North of England and UK Armed Forces. Additionally, Scottish Schools and Welsh Schools teams will contest the under-20 races.
Niamh Brown and Abbie Donnelly head the under-20 women’s start list competing for England.
Mountain runner Heidi Davies will lead Welsh hopes, with Sarah Dempsey leading Scottish ambitions after placing third in the Scottish National Championships at Falkirk.
Ellis Cross and Gus Cockle will race as part of a strong England team in the under-20 men’s race. Cross took the English National title in Nottingham earlier in the year.
Broc Drury is the Scottish National champion and is expected to lead the Scottish team.
The senior women’s race takes place over 7100m and should feature both youth and experience.
Lauren Hall, Phillipa Bowen and Juliet Potter all enjoyed top-10 finishes in the English National. Potter was also the highest placed athlete at the UK Inter-Counties Championships that will take the line in Margam.
Sarah Inglis heads the Scottish team and was the highest placed athlete in Loughborough from the Celtic nations.
Richard Horton has improved steadily over recent months, securing his first top-10 finish at the English National last month, so may be the man to beat in the senior men’s race.
Lachlan Oates and Murray Strain will both hope to feature, competing for their native Scotland.
» Map and timetable information can be found here