A 12-strong British team has been announced for the IAU World Trail Running Championships in Geres, Portugal on Saturday 29 October.
Tom Owens leads the team after narrowly missing out on a podium place in the individual event last year in Annecy, France. He recorded a time of 8:23.26, but played an important part in securing the bronze medal in the team event. The 34 year old, who placed an impressive fourth at the World Long distance Mountain Running Championships at the weekend, will be determined to get amongst the medals this time around on the 85km undulating course featuring 4500m of climbing.
Joining Owens in the senior men’s team is Edinburgh-based Donnie Campbell, who broke the course record by eleven minutes on route to winning the Hoka Highland Fling Race, which doubled up as the British trials. He recorded a time of 6:51:06 with Damien Hall and 2014 UK trail champion Kim Collison taking second and third respectively. Andy Symonds and Tom Payne complete the men’s line up for the championships.
On his selection, Campbell said: “It has been a dream of mine since I got into ultra-running in 2010 to run for my country so I am delighted to be selected to run for the British team at the Word Trail Championship in Portugal this year. We have a very strong team this year with great runners who are on top form and have loads of experience so I am feeling confident British team can build on their success from last year at Annecy.”
Owens was not alone in his record-breaking feats, with Beth Pascall entering herself into the record books breaking the course record that stood since 2008. Pascall’s time of 7:52:55 secured her first place in the Trials, where she finished ahead of Sally Fawcett, who secured the second automatic spot in 8:14.16. Sally Grant, the third automatic place was just under a minute behind with the 35 year old finishing in 8:15.04.
Jo Zakrzewski will bring a wealth of distance running experience to the team which includes a 14th place finish in the marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games where she flew the flag for Scotland. Holly Rush, who was ninth in the marathon at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and Jo Meek, fourth at the IAU World 100K World Championships in 2014 will bring their big stage experience to the senior women’s team.
Walter Hill, Team Manager for the IAU World Trail Running Championships said: “We have selected a very strong team to compete at the upcoming IAU World Trail Championships in Portugal.
“There is significant international experience within the ranks and I’m sure this will be essential in the build-up and indeed during the championships itself.”
The British Athletics team for the IAU World Trail Running Championships, Geres, Portugal, Saturday 29 October: