By Peter Holmes on 01/12/09 at 5:41 pm
Coming off the back of his Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship winning season, Alistair Brownlee stepped up to the mark again with an impressive finish at the UK Cross Challenge in Liverpool, UK, gaining selection for the Great Britain under 23 team at the forthcoming European Cross Country Championships, which will be held in Dublin on 13 December.
Finishing in 21st position overall, and the sixth under 23, Brownlee was awarded his first Great Britain vest for cross country by a panel of selectors from national governing body, UK Athletics. The Brit has long reported that he puts much of his speed and endurance over the all important run phase of triathlon down to his cross country racing during the off-season.
Brownlee has a rich history of cross country honours, representing the famed Bingley Harriers, a renowned British fell (mountain) running club from the Yorkshire region. His younger brother, Jonathan, the junior world championship silver medallist from Gold Coast, also competed in Liverpool but just finished out of the national junior team positions in seventh.
Another world champion heading to Dublin will be Emmie Charayron, the French junior talent who won both the European and world titles in 2009. Having finished sixth at the International Cross Les Mureaux, she booked her place for the team going to Ireland. French National Coach Philippe Fattori explains that Emmie likes the tough and cold conditions of cross country, which should suit her to the Dublin course which is expected to be muddy and hard going.
Across on the other side of the Atlantic in Canada, double Olympic medallist Simon Whitfield contest the Canadian Cross Country Championships, where he finished an impressive tenth against some of the top names in North American distance running. As reported by ITU last week, Whitfield has adopted cross country running to gain extra race fitness for the 2010 triathlon season.
Canadian under 23 triathlon world championship bronze medallist, Paula Findlay, took fifteenth in the senior women’s race.