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World Cross-country Championships

23rd Mar 2005
Steve Vernon feels the heat in the World Cross-country Championships in Saint Galmier, France

Steve Vernon feels the heat in the World Cross-country Championships at Saint Galmier, France

The Harriers' cross-country international Steve Vernon finished 74th in the mens short course 4.2km race at the World Cross-country Championships at Saint Galmier, France.

The hot conditions and a low level altitude of 3,000 feet made this years championships especially hard for athletes from cooler climates.

The race was won for the fourth year running by five and ten thousand metre world record holder Kenese Bekele of Ethiopia, the first European was swiss athlete Christian Belz in 28th and first Briton was John Mayock in 53rd.

For Steve it was only his third race of the season after being out with a catalogue of injuries and even the week leading up to the race was having treatment on a suspected foot stress.

Steve said "I was pleased to even make the team, I ran as hard as I could but nobody could have expected conditions like this, after winning the trial only two weeks ago in blizzard conditions to come and run in eighty degrees is hard going without specific preparation".

Ironically Steve hopped straight on a plane for two weeks preparation with the U.K. endurance squad in Portugal to kick start the track season


Ladies win Wilmslow team title

Stockport ladies pulled off another team win in the Wilmslow Half Marathon last weekend. Although the quality of the field was not as high as the previous years with the Kenyan and Russian internationals absent, it did include Olympic boxing hero Amir Khan, running his first half-marathon to raise funds for the Tsunami Appeal.

Stockport's Jenny Murray led the ladies' race in the first few miles until Sarah Willmott of Blackburn broke away to win in 1.18.26 while Gill Bacon and Vanessa Mullholand finished just 40 seconds ahead of Jenny, who had been recovering from illness this last week and was lucky to run, in 4th place with a time of 1.23.16.

Meanwhile Estelle McGuire ran another solid race to finish 19th in 1.30.02, closely followed in by Jenny Knass with another personal best in 1.30.36, completing the winning ladies' team.

Also running well were Karen McCrackle 1.39, Jackie Carter 1.39, Sharon Glendon 1.42, Liz Bowden 1.43, Ros Mann 1.44, Helen Todd 1.46, Christine Yousefian 1.46, Joanna Robertson 1.47 (personal best), Jayne Lawton and Allison Coulson 1.49, Ruth Lee 1.52 (personal best), Jane Cocks 1.53 (personal best), Natalie Slack 1.56, Mandy Ellis 1.57, Helen Beard 2.04 (personal best) and June Sinnott 2.05.

It was pleasing to see so many ladies turning out and with a few others at another race, showing the way against our rivals and that we have plenty of ladies in depth!