Riley and Hall win English XC
Debutants Peter Riley and Lizzie Hall were crowned men and women's champions after dominating performances at the Saucony English National Cross Country Championships in London. Both British internationals stood head-and-shoulders over their rivals at Parliament Hills Field to clinch the top cross country prizes of the domestic winter season.
Riley won his 12 kilometres race in a time of 38 minutes 53 seconds well clear of Frank Tickner who clocked 39:37 with Steve Vernon five seconds behind the runner-up. “I started to struggle after 7K," admitted Riley, despite his confident win. "I really pushed it on the big loop where no other race goes, and got a bit of a gap. I kicked on because I knew if I slowed they would get back to me. And as soon as I hit the deep mud on the second lap, my legs just went. I thought everyone was going to come back at me but it seems everybody was going through the same thing.”
Hall won her 8K race by 33 seconds in a time of 32:12 ahead of Gemma Phillips with former champion Tara Krzywicki third in 32:52.
"I have no idea where that came from," said 20-year-old Hall, taking full advantage of the absence of the big names in English cross country running, who are preparing for the Commonwealth Games.
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