English National XC Championships Castle Donington, 27 February 2016
The fresh winds that blew through the Leicestershire course did nothing to phase the thousands of competitors that took on a deceptively hard course for the 129th edition of this famous old race.
A small team of just six athletes made the trip north and none will have been more pleased than Jake Berry as he battled all the way to the line and secured 4th place in the Under 17 Men's race. He just narrowly missed out on the bronze medal but this run yet again proves what a talent he is. An international vest cannot be far off for Jake.
In the Under 17 Women's race Lola Wheeler placed well in 36th to record her best ever finish at the National.
The Senior men were on last as always and the churning of the course in the last km of each lap really made things tough going for the 1730 men that finished. One thing that has been evident this year in all the major Championship races is the quality and depth of the senior men's fields. Adie Lowther had his best ever run at the nationals but was three places down on his best finishing position. Mark Wilkins proved his marathon training is going well with a strong showing in 248th. Gareth Williams was the third man home after battling to keep his right shoe on for most of the muddy sections - but he got home in 1058th. U17 Men 4 19:51 Jake Berry
U17 Women 36 21:44 Lola Wheeler
Senior Men 150 47:41 Adrian Lowther 248 49:41 Mark Wilkins 1058 1:01:13 Gareth Williams