England gold for C&AC Masters pair Williamson and Johnson

Monica Williamson, centre, maintains her focus ahead of her run for England at Woollaton Park, with June Johnson tucked in just behind.
Monica Williamson, centre, maintains her focus ahead of her run for England at Woollaton Park, with June Johnson tucked in just behind.
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The depth in quality of Leamington C&AC’s masters’ athletes was emphasised at the British and Irish Masters Cross Country International at Wollaton Park in Nottingham.

C&AC contributed two athletes to the England team - Monica Williamson and June Johnson - with Phil Gould and Susie Tawney running in the later reserves’ race.

Williamson ensured England came away with the gold medal, finishing third scorer for the team and fourth in the 50-54 age group for the 6k race.

Having had only five weeks to prepare for the race after a month off with a foot injury, she ran an intelligent race, running the first of three 2k laps steadily before pressing on and working through the field.

She held off the challenge of Scotland’s Hilary McGrath in the final kilometre, finishing strongly in 23min 35sec.

She said: “I feel I ran to my potential on the day.”

The race was won by England’s Claire Martin in 21:14, her fourth victory in the event.

Johnson added to her impressive collection of international gold medals.

Competing for the first time in the new 70-74 age category, she was the second scorer for her team, finishing fifth overall in 33:31.

This was all the more impressive as she arrived at the course having been suffering from a bad cold which had hampered her training over the two weeks leading up to the event.

Tawney and Gould took part in the reserves’ open race which took place after the main races.

Tawney had an excellent run to complete the 6k course in 25:12, a time that would have made her the third of five scorers for the 55-59 team had she been selected.

Gould, a relative newcomer to international athletics, ran a strong race to finish in 27:23 for the 8k course, gaining valuable experience in the process.

Kenilworth Runners’ Stewart Underhill finished the open race in a time of 32:49.