The most important race this side of Christmas - Liverpool. The third instalment of the British Athletics Cross Challenge takes place tomorrow and a humongous BUAC contingent will be journeying to Sefton Park to mix it with the pinnacle of British XC talent.
The top finishers of the infamous race are awarded with a GB vest and an opportunity to represent at the European XC championships two weeks later. This opportunity is not to be sniffed at and it generates a fantastic race against tough competition. That’s why so many of our athletes have chosen this as a pre-Christmas target.
Head coach Luke Gunn explains how the BUAC training has been tailored to facilitate optimum performance;
“We are always aware of our athletes' desire to race well at Liverpool so we taper our training specifically for it. We've come off the back of a heavy training block and have changed around the preceding week so that our athletes enter the race fresh enough to perform well but not so fresh that it is totally detrimental to the overall winter block. Finding this balance is something we as coaches endeavour to do for all our athletes and, with the benefit of many years of experience, we manage to perfect it every year. Last week we adapted our regular session at the 'field of dreams' to include an extremely fast first rep to really push our runners and get them accustomed to working hard on tired legs."
Replicating race conditions in training is of paramount importance and for no race is this practice more pertinent than Liverpool. The quick start is notorious and throws every runner out of their comfort zone immediately, really extruding the men from the boys. But that’s why we practice. If you’re there, look out for the BUAC squad absolutely bang on for pacing their first mile.
At BUAC we love nothing more than seeing the success of one of our own. This is especially true of our XC captains, Carps and Whitty, who have had the honour of electing ‘ones to watch’ on Saturday. These captain’s picks are athletes who have been drawing attention from the coaches and are forecast for a blinding performance.
Ollie Newman, Cambridge & Coleridge, U20 race
"Ollie's been consistently training hard and is a very hard worker. He could surprise a few in the under 20 race"
Kate O’Neill, Havering, U20 race
"Kate applies herself to everything she does, pushing herself in training AND in races. You can tell she wants to impress."
BUAC will be fielding athletes throughout the U20, U23 and senior races so make sure you get out there, make your voice heard and cheer for the mighty red and gold. A massive good luck to BUAC past and present racing - do us proud!
Let's get excited.