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.