Joe Steward Leads British Off-road Runners To Euro Gold In Annecy

Joe Steward leads British off-road runners to Euro gold in Annecy

Day one of the European Off-Road Running Championships in Annecy produced a medal rush for the GB team, Adrian Stott reports

Joe Steward

JOE STEWARD LEADS BRITISH OFF-ROAD RUNNERS TO EURO GOLD IN ANNECY

Led by Joe Steward winning the senior men’s race, British athletes won four individual and four team medals in the vertical races on the first day of the European Off-road Running Championships in Annecy, France, on Friday (May 31).

Junior men 

The junior men started proceedings running over a 5.6km course with 830 metres of climb. Great Britains Edward Hobbs finished just outside the medals in fourth. After being in a podium position earlier in the race, Thomas Hilton hung on well to finish in sixth and with Alexander Poulston in 10th, they landed the team bronze.

JOE STEWARD LEADS BRITISH OFF-ROAD RUNNERS TO EURO GOLD IN ANNECY

Switzerland led the way in the individual and team races with Matheu Buhrer taking the gold in 36:09. Compatriot Loic Berger clinched second with Frances Jules Mongellaz taking the bronze medal.  

Backed up by Fiorollo Camesi in fifth, Switzerland easily took the team title from France with Britain in third.

GB junior men in Annecy (Mark Croasdale)

Junior women 

In the second race of the day, run over the same course as the junior men, Eve Whitaker took an individual silver medal. This equalled her performance from the last championships in La Palma in 2022.

Germanys Julia Ehrle took the title in 41:50. Settling into the lead after the initial fast start, she was never headed and finished almost two minutes ahead of Whitaker (43:40) as Lili Beck from France was third in 44:19.

Although packing well with Isla Hedley in sixth and Lauren Russell in 10th, GB & NI lost out to France in the team competition by one point. Italy took the third team spot.

JOE STEWARD LEADS BRITISH OFF-ROAD RUNNERS TO EURO GOLD IN ANNECY

GB junior women’s medallists in Annecy (Mark Croasdale)

Senior men

The third race of the morning saw the men tackle 7.6km with 990 metres of climb. Salfords Joe Steward took the lead early on and was never headed as he won in 42:37. Jacob Adkin was third at the first timing point at 2.4km but eased his way into second place by halfway and maintained that to the finish to make it a gold and silver double for the British duo.

Adkin clocked 43:55 as Germanys Lucas Ehrle took third in 44:23. Kris Jones, finishing in 10th in 45:51, secured gold team medals for GB ahead of Switzerland and France.

Senior women

In the fourth and final race of the day, Scout Adkin matched her brother’s silver medal in the men’s race to take a superb silver of her own behind Germanys Nina Engelhard. As with the other races, once Engelhard had established a lead early on, she did not relinquish it. Leading by around a minute at halfway, she was to increase this to almost ninety seconds by the finish as she clocked 50:08.

Romanias Monica Florea took the individual bronze.


In a close team competition, France took the gold medals, with GB and NI taking silver. Adkin, who clocked 51:43, was backed up by
 Sara Wilhoit in seventh in 54:39 and Scarlet Dale in 13th in 55:42 as Elle Twentyman was 15th in 56:02.

The championships continue on Saturday (June 1) with the trail race run over 58.2km with 3450 metres of climb.

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