GB Women Strike Gold At Euro Off-Road Running Champs

GB women strike gold at Euro Off-Road Running Champs

There is a final day medal rush for Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Annecy on Sunday with the women’s squad wining the up-and-down race, Adrian Stott reports

Junior men’s up-and-down race

The junior races were run on a 5.9km course with 400 metres of climbing on the outskirts of Annecy. As in the trail races the previous day, hosts France had a clean sweep of the individual medals too.

Antoine Puydebois won in 27:46, backed up by Jules Mongellaz in 28:02 and Mael Henric in 28:18. They even took fourth place, with Jules Bariod clocking 28:26.

The first British athlete was Edinburgh University student Angus Wright. On his GB debut he finished in seventh with team-mates Sam Bentham 16th in 30:17, Jonathon Downie 21st in 30:39 and Jack Sanderson 25th in 31:20.

In the team race behind the French, Italy took the silver medals and Spain the bronze. GB and NI were a close fifth.

GB junior men

Junior women’s up-and-down race

Running over the same course as the junior men, Eve Whitaker took a superb bronze medal, adding to the silver medal she won in the uphill-only race on Friday.

Victory went to Margot Dajeux of France in 31:50, with Norway’s Ingeborg Hole taking silver in 32:07. Whitaker clocked 32:18.

France took the team title, but fine runs from Georgia Bell in eighth with 34:23, Amelie Lane 11th in 35:13, and Isla Patterson 14th in 35:29 ensured GB took the silver medals by three points from Italy.

GB WOMEN STRIKE GOLD AT EURO OFF-ROAD RUNNING CHAMPS

GB junior women

Senior men’s up-and-down race

The senior races were run over a 16km course from Menton-St Bernard to Annecy. It covered the last section of the trail course, run the previous day, with 900 metres of climb.

Superb packing by the British team ensured that in a close team contest they took the silver team medals two points behind France but crucially one ahead of Italy.

Uphill-only champion Joe Steward was fifth place with 1:12:23, Kris Jones was sixth 1:13:10 and uphill-only silver medallist Jacob Adkin 15th in 1:14:30 with Ben Rothery 16th place in 1:15:08

In a close finish for the individual title, Roberto Delorenzi of Switzerland, who was fourth in the uphill-only race on Friday, took the gold medal in 1:11:28, just three seconds ahead of Germany’s Lukas Ehrle, who clocked 1:11:31. Ehrle had claimed the bronze medal in the uphill-only race on Friday. Theodore Klein of France took bronze in 1:11:49.

Commenting on his weekend, Steward said: “Dead chuffed with the weekend. Great to bring home some medals,” while Rothery added: “I couldn’t have asked for a better debut. Proud of my run and loved the mud. Great to contribute to the team medal.”

GB WOMEN STRIKE GOLD AT EURO OFF-ROAD RUNNING CHAMPS

Roberto Delorenzi (Annecy 2024)

Senior women’s up-and-down race

Scout Adkin, an individual silver medalist from Friday’s uphill-only race, had another superb run, leading the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team to the gold medals.

Second at the summit of the steep climb up to Mont Baron at halfway, she finished in fourth, just three seconds off the individual podium.

Naomi Lang had a storming descent in the muddy conditions, gaining several places to take fifth in 1:25:07. She said: “If there’s a lake to dive into at the end, what could go wrong? The whole team gave their all and smashed it, which was great to be a part of.”

Eve Pannone, the GB third counter in 11th, with 1:27:45, ensured the gold medals by just one point from the Swiss team. Romania, in what is believed to be their first team medals at a mountain championship, took the bronze medals.

Pannone said: “The highlight was definitely winning a team gold. Everyone had really inspiring performances.”

GB WOMEN STRIKE GOLD AT EURO OFF-ROAD RUNNING CHAMPS

Nina Engelhard (Annecy 2024)

Nina Engelhard of Germany took individual gold in 1:22:44, completing a double after victory in the uphill only on Friday. In a close tussle for silver and bronze medals, Judith Meyer of Switzerland, just held off Romania’s Monica Florea by three seconds. Meyer clocked 1:23:09 with Florea, the bronze medalist from the uphill-only race, clocking 1:23:12.

The second edition of the combined European Mountain and Trail Running Championships saw a big increase in participation. It was also a very successful weekend for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team, who finished second in the medal table behind the French with 12 medals. Individually and collectively, they achieved five individual medals and seven team medals.

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