A round-up of Saturday’s British and Irish Masters Cross Country International at Wollaton Park
England, with a huge population advantage, again dominated proceedings at the British and Irish Masters Cross Country International on Saturday, winning the vast majority of individual and team titles.
First off was the women’s race over 6km and it resulted in a win for England’s Claire Martin who after four successive golds in the W35 category was a clear winner in 21:14 to take her first W40 title.
Third overall, Louise Rudd won W35 gold in 21:24 and another English gold went to W45 Julie Briggs in 21:51.
One of the closest races of the day was the W50 event. World W50 cross-country winner and world W50 10,000m record-holder Fiona Matheson looked to be on her way to a fourth successive title and a rare Scottish gold. However, she was caught in the last 50 metres by world W50 1500m record-holder Clare Elms who won the title in 22:16. England claimed the W50 team title to go with their wins in the W35, W40 and W45 sections.
Ireland did win W55 team gold and also won the individual title. Carmel Parnell remarkably won her fifth successive title in her age group with a win in 23:26.
Angela Copson has also dominated the W60 and W65 age groups over the last half dozen years and she won W65 gold in 25:45 which was quicker than the W60 winner Marian Hesketh who ran 25:53.
Scotland’s Betty Gilchrist won the W70 title in 30:49 as England won W60, W65 and W70 titles.
In the M65 race Northern Ireland’s Terry Eakins won in 23:51 and Ireland won team gold.
England won individual and team golds in the M70 and M75 categories with Martin Ford on 24:01 and Fred Gibbs on 27:04.
The second race was the combined M50, M55 and M60 race over 8km and was won by Ben Reynolds in 26:30.
Robert Atkinson retained his M55 crown in 27:17. In the M60 race Paul Elliott won in 29:10 and led Ireland to team victory.
The final race featured the M35, M40 and M45 and England won all three individual and team titles.
Matt Barnes made a successful major masters debut winning the 8km event in 24:55 for M35 gold.
Chris Greenwood who timed 25:03 and Tim Hartley who ran 25:27 successfully defended their respective M40 and M45 titles.
» See the November 27 edition of Athletics Weekly magazine for more in-depth reports, pictures and results