The first big national event of the cross-country season is on Saturday as City of Portsmouth head to Mansfield for the Saucony English Cross Country Relays.
It’s a prestigious event with more than 1,000 teams entered across 10 races.
City have Adam Kimber, Lachlan Wellington and Jacob O’Hara moving up to the under-20 age group for this cross-country season.
They will be among the youngest in the three-year age group but have the talent when they are fully fit to get right among it at the sharp end of the race.
In the under-17 age group City have Mia Billins, Ellie Farrow and Nicole Ainsworth in the women’s race, while Callum Crook leads off the under-17 men’s squad.
City also have strong teams heading north in the under-15 and under-13 age groups.
The championships start at 11am with the junior women’s 3 x 2.5k race.
Then it is action packed all the way with the final race, the senior men, starting at 2.40pm.
This event is now part of the build up to the trials at the end of November to get into the Great Britain team for the European Cross Country Championships.
The course at Berry Hill is in good condition. The mixture of good parkland, a wooded section with lots of undulations and a fast run in to the finish make it a good course for racing and with many international calibre athletes taking part it will be an exciting day of competition.
All the top British cross country runners have competed over the course around Berry Hill Park and with the various laps remaining the same, consistent records have been established and are regularly challenged.
The positioning of the event in early November makes it an ideal competition for athletes aiming to qualify for the Great Britain team to take part in the European Cross Country Championships a month later and at the same time support their club.
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