Liverpool European Trials

Sunday 4th December 2011

With the World Cross Country Championships moving to a biannual event, the trials to get in the Great Britain Team for the upcoming European Cross Country Championship were always going to attract a strong line up, but with a quick look at the results this could be seen to be the most competitive trials race for some time. Making the long trip up north to Liverpool were Charlie Grice, Max Pickard, Finn McNally and Jon Pepper (running for his first claim London Club of Enfield)
First up were the under 20 Men with Max, who has been in great form in recent weeks with a win at Goodwood CX where he turned over all the seniors as well as winning his age group, and a new PB and win at Brighton Park Run. Charlie was also in good shape going into this race although exactly what shape could not be known as he had just flown back from Kenya after having a month at altitude with the GB endurance squad in preparation. Needless to say with such a strong line up and with so much on the line in terms of GB honours the race went off at a blistering pace, faster than the senior men’s race to follow. Charlie was caught between a rock and a hard place in having been detached from the leading group he had to make all the moves to try and close down the gap to nail down a top 6 finish but having to do so much of the work into the wind he came up just short in 9th place, but will be hopeful to be picked for the England team that is travailing to Brussels for the Loto Cross Cup. Although disappointed not to make the top 6 this still ranks as his best CX performance to date and shows a notable improvement in his distance running. Max’s race did not go to plan and he will be looking to make up for it after Christmas and will be looking on the positives of his season so far.

The Senior Men’s race was probably the most difficult to call at the front end for some time with a string of 20 runners in the mix at any point in time, Jon will be disappointed not to have finished higher up coming home in 25th position, not a true reflection of the shape he is in. Finn having made his move up to Birmingham University seems to have settled in with a really gutsy 14th in the under 23 race(64 overall) , and must rank as his best race since his 10k in the summer, not far off an England call up.

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