A look ahead to the first event in the five-fixture series

The 2015-16 British Athletics Cross Challenge series kicks off at Milton Keynes this weekend. There is almost £30,000 worth of prizes up for grabs throughout the series this winter with the climax being the fifth and final meeting – the UK Inter-Counties Championships in Cofton Park in mid-March.

Teardrop Lakes is the venue this Saturday (November 7) in a meeting that will be held in conjunction with the Chiltern League, allowing a large number of club runners, many of whom will be masters, to mingle with current and potential GB internationals.

Adam Hickey, the overall Cross Challenge winner last winter, is among the entries for the senior men’s race and possible rivals for the Southend runner include Jonny Hay of AFD, Jonny Davies of Reading, Dewi Griffiths of Swansea, Jonathan Taylor of Morpeth, Nick Goolab of Belgrave and Matt Shirling of Liverpool.

Aldershot, Farnham and District athlete Lily Partridge, who was last winter’s Cross Challenge winner in the senior women’s age group, is not entered for Milton Keynes, but Katie Brough, the 2013-14 Cross Challenge winner, is in the field along with marathoner and former national cross country champion Louise Damen, mountain runner Emma Clayton, Faye Fullerton, Jenny Nesbitt (pictured), Beth Potter, Elle Vernon and Gemma Steel – making it a very strong field should everyone turn up.

The junior men’s race also has good entries such as Ben Dijkstra of Leicester Coritanian, Scott Halsted of Bracknell, Iolo Hughes from Menai, Jack Crabtree of Sale, Jamie Dee of Shaftesbury, Abel Tsegay of Invicta East Kent, plus Abdi and Mahamad Mahamad of Southampton.

The junior women’s race, which like the under-20 men’s race will be run with the under-17 event, sees Bobby Clay of Invicta East Kent against Harriet Knowles-Jones of Warrington as runners look to make their early mark in the season ahead of the second Cross Challenge – and European Cross Country Championships trials – in Liverpool later this month.

Timetable

11.30am U11 girls
11.45am U11 boys
Noon U13 girls
12.15pm U13 boys
12.30pm U15 girls
12.45pm U15 boys
1.00pm U20/17 women
1.15pm Senior women/masters
1.40pm U17/U20 men
2.00pm Senior men/masters

» See the November 5 edition of AW magazine, which is out in shops now or available to read digitally here, for more on the Cross Challenge series including history and future fixture info