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Karrimor Great Trail Challenge Home Countries International

17/06/2012

Jo Zakrzewski was more than a little apprehensive as to whether she would have any speed left in her legs after running Comrades less than two weeks ago, but headed off down to the Lake District this weekend to take up the invite to race in a Scottish vest for the first time since declaring for Scotland. The event was the Home Countries International, and was being run as part of the Karrimor Great Trail Challenge in Keswick...

Most competitors were Fell runners and so did not seem too bothered by the stormy weather....with the torrential rain only easing up as the bus made its way to the start line.

The 10K race started with a very fast lap and a half of a rather boggy Station Field, with the eventual winner, England's Steve Vernon slipping and taking a tumble in the muddy conditions. The runners then descended a narrow trail and climbed some steps onto the old railway line, now a cycle path out of Keswick. After an undulating couple of miles punctuated with slippery and twisty boardwalks, the course climbed steeply onto the northern shoulder of Latrigg. The previous three days of rain made sure that runners were covered in mud as they headed up to the car park at the base of Skiddaw and then turned to undertake the favoured section of the fellrunners, the fast, steep descent down Mallen Dodd to the finish back at the field.

Jo started steadily, and as they raced along the railway line and on the steep climb, she gradually worked her way through the field. She knew the descent wasn't her forté but surprised herself by actually enjoying it and held on to finish as the first Scottish female counter in 38:41 in 7th overall and 5th International. Robbie Simpson was first Scottish male to finish and led the combined Scottish team to the silver medal position.

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