The biggest national cross country event of the season so far, the British Athletics Cross Challenge incorporating the European Trials took place in Sefton Park, Liverpool on Saturday over a course which was firm under foot and on a day when the weather was benign for the time of year.
Charlotte Alexander of Herne Hill Harriers went into the race as the leading under 17 woman in the British Cross Challenge series and consolidated her position with another very strong run to place eighth overall in a race which combined the best under 20s and under 17s in the UK.
Alexander was the winner of the race within a race to be first under 17 across the finish line and was rewarded with a gold medal and maximum points on the day for the race series. Her training partner and club mate Yasmin Marghini also had an excellent run to place tenth under 17 woman and 31st overall in the combined race to illustrate the current strength of the club in this female age group.
The Herne Hill presence in the race was strengthened by under 20s Alex Brown and Ella Newton who were both in the top 50 in their age category, Brown placing 48th and Newton just behind in 49th.
Elsewhere Sarah Grover was 3rd woman overall in the Hatfield 5 and placed 2nd in the Herts 5 mile road champs clocking 30.18, while overseas Simon Messenger continued his run (no pun) of PBs as he clocked 2.50.56 in the Florence Marathon for an improvement of almost two minutes on his previous best time.