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Endurance stars set for Cardiff action; ATHLETICS.

THE UK's top endurance athletes will make their way to Cardiff this Sunday for the 2013 McCain Cardiff Cross Challenge.

The event forms the fourth fixture in the 2012-2013 McCain Cross Challenge Series and this year will host an Inter-Area Match, a Celtic International, Schools Invitation Races and the Welsh Universities Cross Country Championships.

The Celtic International is shared around the participating nations with Wales taking their turn to host the event within the McCain Cardiff Cross Challenge in 2013.

The Senior Women's race will feature several former champions in the guise of Hatti Archer, Emily Pidgeon and Beth Potter, who won the Junior Women's title the last time the championships visited Cardiff.

Beth will also spearhead Scotland's attack on the U23 race in the Celtic International.

Louise Damen was the first Briton at the European Cross Country Championships and will head the England team, joined by Hannah Walker the current British Universities champion, Georgia Bruinvels and Emily Wicks.

Gemma Steel will make a welcome return to competitive racing in Cardiff and, despite the strength of the competition, the European bronze medallist from 2011 will look to go one better than her second place in Cardiff last time.

The men's event will feature the 2010 champion Andy Vernonm whom like in 2010, seems unstoppable this year.

Vernon took third spot in Antrim last weekend amongst a strong international field repeating his third spot from Edinburgh the week before.

His main competition may come from Frank Tickner, who returns to defend his titles from 2011 & 2012. Adam Hickey was a credible eighth at the European trials in November and will also look to better his fourth-place finish from last year.

Dewi Griffiths and Robbie Simpson will lead the Welsh and Scottish charges respectively.

The races take place on a flat, fast and picturesque course in Blackweir Fields and in surrounding woodlands alongside the River Taff. The first event starts at 11am.


Some of the UK's top cross country athletes will be in Cardiff this weekend
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 16, 2013
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