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Age no barrier for the master runners at Nowton Park

PUBLISHED: 20:24 29 September 2018 | UPDATED: 20:32 29 September 2018

The start of the Eastern Masters Cross Country Champiionship at Nowton Park.Picture: RUSSELL COOK

The start of the Eastern Masters Cross Country Champiionship at Nowton Park.Picture: RUSSELL COOK

Archant

Age is no barrier for some. In fact many relish the chance to pit their athletic prowess against each other.

The start of the Eastern Masters Cross Country Champiionship at Nowton Park.Picture: RUSSELL COOKThe start of the Eastern Masters Cross Country Champiionship at Nowton Park.Picture: RUSSELL COOK

And that was the case as 174 runners turned up at Nowton Park, in Bury St Edmunds, for the first ever England Masters Inter Area Cross Country Challenge and Eastern Masters Cross Country Championship.

They had come from all over the country to take part in the event with three even travelling from Cornwall and others from the Midlands and North East.

Their ages ranged from 35 up to the 70s with many taking part in the event in a bid to make it through to the Home Counties International which takes place in Swansea, on November 17.

For two competitors it was a chance to meet up with fellow runners after they recorded success at the 2018 World Masters Athletics Championships in Malaga earlier this month.

The line up at the start of the Eastern Masters Cross Country Champiionship.Picture: RUSSELL COOKThe line up at the start of the Eastern Masters Cross Country Champiionship.Picture: RUSSELL COOK

Christine Anthony, who lives in Chevington, came back from the event after picking up a gold medal in the 4 x 400 metres relay and two bronze in the 800 metres and cross country team race.

But Saturday’s six kilometre race round the park took its toll on her as she came in fourth in her age category.

The 55-year-old, who is a member of the West Suffolk and St Edmunds Pacers club, said: “It was a tough run today as I’ve done so many races recently.”

Speaking about the event in Spain as she competed for Team GB at the biennial event she said: “It was a real surprise winning three medals. I never expected to return with any. It was my first international competition experience and it was very special.

Angela Copson who took part in the England Masters Inter Area Cross Country Challenge. Picture: RUSSELL COOKAngela Copson who took part in the England Masters Inter Area Cross Country Challenge. Picture: RUSSELL COOK

“I loved the whole thing and hopefully this is the start of my Master’s running career.”

She said she has set herself the target of a spot in Toronto in the World Masters Championships

as well as the European indoors in Poland next year.

Also running in today’s race was world record holder Angela Copson, from Spratton, near Northampton.

Christine Anthony who took part in the England Masters Inter Area Cross Country Challenge. Picture: RUSSELL COOKChristine Anthony who took part in the England Masters Inter Area Cross Country Challenge. Picture: RUSSELL COOK

At 71 the five-time record holder in the over 70s section has an array of victories under her belt and picked up seven golds and a bronze in the Malaga event including the 400, 800, 1,500, 5,000 metres, 10 kilometres, cross country and 4 x 400 metres relay plus the bronze in the 4 x 100 metres relay.

The Rugby and Northampton AC athlete has been running since she was 60-years-old and said she was “tired” from the recent competition.

“But today was a good event. I love being fit at my age as I can enjoy fun with my grand daughters and I also go swimming and it’s a lovely feeling as I cannot imagine sitting in a chair all day long.”

The men, whose ages ranged from 35 to 60, then lined up for the eight kilometre race through the park.

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