Monica Williamson and Kelly Edwards of Leamington C&AC both claimed a team gold in their respective age categories for England in the prestigious British and Irish Masters Cross Country International which took place this year in Liverpool on Saturday 16th November. This annual event invites teams from the four home countries as well as Ireland and this year was England’s turn to host the event.
The race took place in the grounds of the famous Aintree race course and although the course was flat the long tufty grass and boggy patches made for energy-sapping racing. The women raced over 6km taking in three laps of the spectator-friendly course. Conditions on the day were near perfect with little wind to hinder the athletes.
Both athletes got their call-up from the England selectors on the back of performances through the year. Williamson, making an impressive tenth consecutive appearance in these championships, showed she still had international pedigree while at age 59 and in the final year of her age group secured gold for the W55 team. She ran an intelligent even-paced race and worked through the field overtaking competitors on the last lap to finish in the time of 24:33, the W55 winner being England’s Clare Elms in 22:31.
Edwards was making her debut England appearance in these championships and fully justified her selection coming in as third scorer for the winning W40 team and a hugely impressive 10th place in the overall race. She commented after the race that she had been apprehensive beforehand but was very pleased with her run and delighted to claim a gold medal for the England team. She finished in the time of 22:08, the race being won overall by W40 Kirsty Longley of England in 21:00.
Both Williamson and Edwards have a full schedule of winter racing ahead and will compete for their club in the Midland Ladies Cross Country league and the county championships with further national honours to aim for at the BMAF Championships in Wales in March.
Results can be seen online at: