Williamson claims age-group gold at the British Masters XC Championships
Leamington C&AC’s Monica Williamson and Kelly Edwards both produced impressive displays at the British Masters National Cross Country Championships at the picturesque Rhug Estate in Corwen, Wales.
Competing for the final time as a W55 athlete, Williamson ran the perfect race to come from behind to claim her second title in this age category.
Conditions underfoot were near-perfect but with several sharp inclines and muddy patches it made for some gruelling racing on what proved to be a testing course.
The women’s race, over a distance of 6k, started on relatively flat ground but then took in two large laps of farmland terrain with a technical water crossing having to be negotiated twice during the race.
Williamson had her usual measured start, holding her place close to her nearest W55 competitor before overtaking her half -way through the first of the two long laps.
Feeling strong after a good period of training, she continued to pull away, taking advantage of her lead and overtaking several other competitors in younger age categories to finish eighth overall in a time of 24min 36sec.
She was elated by her win, saying: “I felt strong during the run and able to push on through the muddy sections and to get best age graded performance of 90.46% was an added bonus.”
Edwards ran a strong race to finish an excellent fourth place overall in 23:36.
Unfortunately, the three athletes in front of her were also in the W40 category, denying her an individual medal.
However, she can take pride in the fact that she beat all the younger athletes in the W35 category, illustrating the quality of her run.
Her performance was all the more impressive given she has had a recent period of illness and lack of racing leading up to the championships.
“I just lacked that little bit at the end which only racing can give you,” she admitted.
The race was won by Elizabeth Renondeau of Vale Royal in 22:52.