The British Athletics Cross Challenge returns to action for the 2017/2018 winter season this Saturday, at the new location of Llandaff Fields in Cardiff.
Last season’s senior women’s Cross Challenge champion, Jess Judd (Mick Judd, Chelmsford), returns to Cardiff looking to replicate her success in the Welsh city in recent times. After a brilliant season which saw her win bronze over 5000m at the World University Games back in August, Judd will once again look to the cross country season to build over the winter months.
Aldershot Farnham & District trio Louise Small (Mick Woods, Aldershot Farnham & District), Emily Hosker Thornhill (Woods, AFD) and Lily Partridge (Woods) will also feature, the latter a winner at the event back in 2015.
Jenny Nesbitt (David Walker, Worcester), who has placed fifth and sixth over 10,000m on the track at the European U23 championships and World University Games this summer, competes in her first cross country of the year. In addition, Cardiff’s Charlotte Arter (James Thie), part of the gold medal winning senior women’s team at the European cross country championships in 2016, will look to make an impression on home soil.
The men’s race is a wide open contest, with a number of athletes in contention for the overall victory. Second placer at this event in January this year, Kristian Jones (Swansea Harriers) arrives at the event in good form. He was fourth at the recent Great Scottish Run, setting a personal best of 66:11 over the 13.1 mile course. Another good showing over the half marathon distance came from Charlie Hulson (Steve Vernon, Sale Harrier Manchester) who clocked 65:33 in Cardiff a couple of weeks ago, so he may be in the mix for victory.
Elsewhere, Ieaun Thomas, who competed for the British team in the 3000m steeplechase at the IAAF World Championships, is also among the entries. 2016 European cross country U20 bronze medallist Mahamed Mahamed (Peter Hayes, Southampton) makes the step-up to the senior races this year so will be one to keep an eye on.
European Junior 1500m champion Jake Heyward (Paul Darney, Cardiff) leads the entry lists in a highly competitive U20 men’s race, whilst last year’s U17 Cross Challenge winner Khahisa Mhlanga steps up to the U20 age category this season.
Age group races from U11 upwards will take place across the day, beginning with the U11 girls at 11:30am.
Cardiff is the first leg of the five series event which culminates in the Cross Challenge Final in Loughborough in March 2018 where the age group British Athletics Cross Challenge champions will be crowned.
For further information on the Cardiff Cross Challenge, click here.