One of the last major cross country events of the winter takes place at Prestwold Hall, with Cross Challenge prizes up for grabs
The annual UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships does not act as a trial for the World Cross this year, as the global event does not take place again until 2021, but there will still be British titles at stake plus plenty of prize money as Saturday’s meeting incorporates the British Athletics Cross Challenge final.
Given the particularly wet weather and succession of storms lately, athletes and organisers will be hoping the conditions do not end up resembling the sea of mud that met competitors at the 2018 event at the same venue – Prestwold Hall – near Loughborough.
Adam Hickey, the 2019 Inter-Counties champion, will hope his shoes stay on this time after one of them came off at last weekend’s English National at Wollaton Park when a fellow runner stood on his heel at the start.
There he finished fourth, but this weekend he will hope for no such problems as he tries to win the Cross Challenge title for the first time since 2014-15 as part of his build up to next month’s Virgin Money London Marathon.
Hickey will not have things his own way, though. Mahamad Mahamad leads the senior men’s Cross Challenge standings by four points and won the BUCS title last month in Edinburgh.
Calum Johnson, the English National winner last weekend, is also entered.
Kate Avery leads the women’s standings but entries include Charlotte Arter, Amy Griffiths and Dani Chattenton.
The cancellation of the World University Cross Country Championships in Morocco due to the coronavirus, meanwhile, might tempt some of the GB team who were due to compete there.
In the under-20 races Joshua Dickinson and Matthew Stonier are tied on points for the men’s Cross Challenge title, while Cera Gemmell, Olivia Mason, Saskia Millard and Eloise Walker are also on the same score going into this final round.
The under-17 men’s Cross Challenge standings are also very close with three Devon runners – Flynn Jennings, Johnny Livingstone and Oliver Smart – tied on the same number of points. Maya Todd McIntyre of Nottinghamshire leads the under-17 women’s standings.
The under-15 boys standings see Benjamin Peck, Christopher Perkins and English National champion Lewis Sullivan as the joint leaders, while Kiya Dee of Gloucestershire is the under-15 girls leader.
Alden Collier heads the under-13 boys standings and Zoe Gilbody leads the under-13 girls standings.
11.00am U20 men 8km
11.30am U13 girls 3km
11.45am Senior women 10km
12.35pm U15 boys 4km
12.55pm U17 women 5km
1.15pm U17 men 6km
1.40pm U13 boys 3km
2.00pm U20 women 6km
2.20pm U15 girls 4km
2.45pm Senior men 10km
» See the latest AW for Jason Henderson’s full preview to the UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships
» Look out for our social media and online coverage this weekend, with full reports in next week’s magazine