British Champions from Telford.
Telford Athletic Club's Claire Martin and Paul Ward were both crowned British Masters Cross Country Champions in their respective age groups at the British Championships held at Ruthin, North Wales on Saturday. Claire Martin who had earlier this season won the Midland Womens Cross Country League Masters title has had another great season. This was to be her final race of a long season and she finished in style not only winning her over 40 age group but winning the race overall. She crossed the line in 22.52 for the 6 kilometre hilly course with her nearest rival Helen Berry from Holmfirth, Yorkshire 3 seconds adrift whilst third place went to Lucy Elliott from Winchester in 23.15. Claire from Aqueduct has done the event previously finishing second when it was held in Sunderland and winning her age group when held in Birmingham but has never before won the overall title.
Paul Ward followed up his excellent winter season which has seen him retain his Shropshire title to conclude his cross country season in style to take the British crown for his age group for the first time ever. He finished 5th overall in the tough 8 kilometre race which was won by Ady Whitwam from Morpeth, the reigning Army champion in 28.58, with Mark Powell of Leicester 2nd and Phil Hinch of Tipton 3rd. Paul from The Rock, came home in 29.30 to win the over 45 age group, a full minute ahead of his nearest rival Andrew Weir from Thames Hare and Hounds.
The next event on the calendar for these two will be as they lead the respective Telford AC mens and womens teams in the Midland Road Relays in Sutton Park, later this month