England Athletics National Endurance Manager Tom Craggs encourages you to be a part of a unique cross country event on the 20th January. 

The London International Cross Country, organised by Eamonn Martin, will see some of the UK’s best athletes racing on a 2km loop around Parliament Hill – a venue steeped in XC heritage. The junior and senior races both include a home countries international with teams from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, North, Midland, South and East competing.

There are also automatic selections available for GB&NI at the World Cross and for GB Students at the World University XC Champs in Oman at the event which also forms a part of the British Athletics Cross Challenge series of races.

A new look for XC

Eamonn Martin outlined his vision for the event to me;

“The course in London takes place on a unique, spectator friendly 2km loop and includes running through a tent and also a large screen to watch the event live when it goes out of sight. There is a full commentary across the PA System and the race is being filmed and live streamed, there is a tent for those who fancy a beer or mulled wine etc on a Saturday afternoon at the event.”

The ambition is to create an event that not only achieves a fantastic series of races for athletes, but also creates a real experience for fans and spectators. There is a VIP tent and some cross country greats such as Andy Vernon, Wendy Sly, Julian Goater and Liz Yelling will be attending to have some interviews across the PA system and conduct the presentations.

Get involved

The 4km open races provide runners with a great chance to be a part of a special day in the British endurance calendar and there is still time to enter via the UK Cross Challenge web site. By entering these races you can pit yourself against athletes targeting selection for the GB Students team, but since they consist of only 2 laps of the 2km loop, they do not require a minimum standard for entry.

Head over to the entry page to secure your place in the 4km race now.

Calling all students

Eligible students seeking selection to represent GB Students at the World University Cross (in Oman on 17th & 18th February) should also secure an entry ASAP in either the 10km senior men’s or women’s race, or the 4km men’s or women’s race. Any student seeking selection must also complete an expression of interest with BUCS in advance. Full details on how to do this and the full selection policy can be found on the BUCS website.

Louise Damen will be one of the speakers at the event. Credit: Christian Clement

An overview of the day

The full timetable for the London International Cross Challenge can be seen below and promises to be a fantastic day of sport, so even if you do not intend to pull on your spikes get yourself along and enjoy some of the UK’s best athletes competing in this iconic venue.

10.45 U13 Girls 3km
11.00 U13 Boys 3km
11.15 Open Women’s & BUCS 4km Trial
11.35 U15 Boys 4km
11.55 U15 Girls 4km
12.15 Senior Women 10km
13.00 Senior Men 10km
13.40 U20/U17 women 6km
14.05 U17 Men 6km
14.30 U20 Men 8km
15.00 Open Men’s & BUCS 4km trial

Note: Senior and Junior races also contain the Home Countries International and area match within the race with 4 to run 3 to score.