Local International Masters runner Kerry-Liam Wilson travelled south to Sunderland for the British Masters Cross Country Championships which were held at Herrington Country Park under the setting of Penshaw Monument and came away with his first individual Masters gold medal after a hard fought battle over a muddy and hilly course.
Phil Hinch of Tipton AC, M35 took to the front when the race got under way with and led from the start to the finish with Kerry-Liam taking up second place after the second lap after a nip and tuck tussle with the two other runners in the photo Ben Reynolds M45 of Thames Hares and Hounds AC and Stuart Doyle M40 (same age group as Kerry-Liam) of Vale Royal AC.
A tough muddy and hilly four lap course was great for spectators as there were
various places on the course for shouting on club mates or family members and Kerry-Liam had his wife Kate down which helped as Kate could say to Kerry-Liam how much of a gap he has or who was closing him down which is a great help.
Going into the last of the four 2k laps Kerry-Liam was still holding out on second place but most importantly that first M40 place and coming in to the home straight was caught by Ben Reynolds who took the M45 gold medal in 28:18 with Kerry-Liam taking that all important gold medal for the M40 age group
just three seconds behind Ben in 28:21 and just nine seconds back in fourth place was the next M40 runner,Stuart Doyle.
Race winner Hinch clinched the M35 title winning the race in 27:53.
Kerry-Liam said afterwards “I came here for the M40 title as part of my race targets for this year. After doing the clean sweep in Master titles in Scotland last year I wanted to see what kind of challenge I could do at the British level and although it was a close fought battle today I’m happy enough to have claimed my first individual British Masters gold medal.
“I have two silvers,one bronze and two team golds but not that sought after Individual one and that
all changed today. I was nervous as I didn’t know many runners but quite a few knew of me so that added pressure could have affect on you but thankfully it didn’t hamper me.
“Also good that Kate could whisper to me as I ran by vital information so some of the credit has to go to her. There’s a road race Grand Prix down south I may target which has other British titles on offer so will see how the training goes. Averaging over 100 miles a week is definitely helping me.”