National Cross Country Championships 2012

Richard Lowson and Darran Bilton from the York branch of Up & Running, braved the challenging course of Parliament Hill Fields at Highgate in London to compete in this year's National Cross Country Championships. Representing Knavesmire Harriers and Leeds City A.C. respectively, both elite runners set off in bright sunshine at the stroke of 3pm in what was one of the highest quality fields this established championship has ever hosted. Known for its steep ascents and sharp turns, the energy-sapping 12k (7.5 mile) course overlooked the stunning panorama of the City, with all its sights. Not that any of the record field of over 1700 runners were looking at anything other than the terrain and indeed, those around them desperately trying to get in front and help their teams to the coveted National trophy. Richard had an amazing start and found himself at the sharp end of the field, with Darran hindered partly by his own large team (Leeds City decided to field all its big guns including numerous International athletes!) As the race progressed Darran overtook Richard and battled to get in amongst his own team members (he was lying 12th with only the first 9 to count in the honours). This he did, finishing 113th overall, 8th out of the triumphant Leeds squad. This guaranteed him being part of the ' first 9 to count ' trophy, though just saw him miss being part of the other main prize; the ' first 6 to count' trophy, which Leeds City A.C. also won! Further down the field Richard was having a battle royal that saw him finish the highest up the field in his life in an amazing 192nd. Not surprisingly he was also the number one runner for Knavesmire Harriers. Both Richard and Darran will be racing in the London Marathon on 22nd April, both starting on the 'elite grid' with the best in the World! A video of the National Cross Country Champs courtesy of Athletics Weekly magazine is available at; www.athleticsweekly.com/videos/saucony-english-national-men/ Known for its steep ascents and sharp turns, the energy-sapping 12k (7.5 mile) course overlooked the stunning panorama of the City, with all its sights. Not that any of the record field of over 1700 runners were looking at anything other than the terrain and indeed, those around them desperately trying to get in front and help their teams to the coveted National trophy. Richard had an amazing start and found himself at the sharp end of the field, with Darran hindered partly by his own large team (Leeds City decided to field all its big guns including numerous International athletes!) As the race progressed Darran overtook Richard and battled to get in amongst his own team members (he was lying 12th with only the first 9 to count in the honours). This he did, finishing 113th overall, 8th out of the triumphant Leeds squad. This guaranteed him being part of the ' first 9 to count ' trophy, though just saw him miss being part of the other main prize; the ' first 6 to count' trophy, which Leeds City A.C. also won! Further down the field Richard was having a battle royal that saw him finish the highest up the field in his life in an amazing 192nd. Not surprisingly he was also the number one runner for Knavesmire Harriers. Both Richard and Darran will be racing in the London Marathon on 22nd April, both starting on the 'elite grid' with the best in the World! A video of the National Cross Country Champs courtesy of Athletics Weekly magazine is available at; www.athleticsweekly.com/videos/saucony-english-national-men/