Sara Willhoit success in Europe!
7TH JUNE 2023
TEAM BRONZE IN THE WOMEN’S VERTICAL RACE AT THE WORLD MOUNTAIN AND TRAIL RUNNING CHAMPIONS
The senior women’s team won Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s first medal of the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships on the opening day of competition in Innsbruck-Stubai in Austria.
Scout Adkin (coach: Angela Mudge, club: Ambleside) and Joe Steward (Salford) both earned excellent eighth place finishes in the women’s and men’s vertical (uphill only) races respectively as action got underway.
In the women’s race, Scout Adkin produced another solid international performance as she secured eighth place to spearhead the British team to the bronze medal. It improved upon her individual 11th place finish in Thailand at last year’s edition of the Championships.
The European medallist maintained a consistent position throughout the race, holding eighth place from the halfway checkpoint to the finish line.
With every place important to the overall team score, the rest of the team packed well behind Adkin.
Sara Willhoit (Colin Livingstone, Shrewsbury) was next to reach the finish as she secured 20th position, just over 20 seconds ahead of Phillipa Williams (Dark Peak) in 23rd. Kate Avery (Shildon) was next in 24th, narrowly ahead of Slovakia’s Silvia Schwaiger.
With just two points between GB & NI and Italy in the team standings, the quartet battled for every position to secure their place on the podium behind Kenya and Germany.
Austria’s Andrea Mayr secured a home victory as she finished ahead of Kenya’s Philaries Jeruto Kisang and USA’s Grayson Murphy to take the individual gold.
In the men’s race, Joe Steward (Salford) was rewarded for his bold performance with one of the best results of his career as he placed inside the top 10. He was up in the top 10 at the halfway mark, and he continued to show his prowess on the terrain as he moved up two further positions in the closing stages.
He reached the finish as the second European in the field, with Kenya’s Patrick Kipngeno a clear winner by over 90 seconds from the next finisher.
Jacob Adkin (Robbie Simpson, Keswick) was the next British finisher in the men’s race in 22nd, just over a minute and a half back from Steward. Chris Richards (Duncan Richards, Helm Hill) was the third counter in 32nd, while Andrew Douglas (Sophie Dunnett, Inverclyde) ended the race in 50th position.
The GB & NI team finished seventh overall in the team standings with Kenya, Uganda and Switzerland taking the medal places.
*Photo credit – Jacob Adkin