Harewood House, just outside of Leeds, proved to be a spectacular venue for the 131st National Cross Country Championships.

Pippa Woolven of Wycombe Phoenix Harriers has been in brilliant form recently, winning the South of England Championships last month. This was going to be a lot tougher opposition though for her and her team.

After a relatively steady start, Woolven and the other pre-race favourite, Emily Hosker Thornhill, of Aldershot began to pull away. With about a mile to go, Hosker Thornhill opened up a gap and pulled away for the win. Woolven battled all the way, finishing 24 seconds clear of third. This is her first ever national individual medal and the the first time a Phoenix athlete has medalled at senior level. Woolven now moves into the Inter Counties Championships where she will hope to gain selection for the World Cross Country Championships.

Teammates, Zoe Doyle, Lucy Rogers and Jenny Roberts performed well, resulting in a very pleasing ninth place finish for the team.

Kirsten Stilwell was the other stand out Phoenix athlete, finishing an excellent 10th in the U17 women. Stilwell is now looking forward to the English Schools Championships where she will be in the top year of the age group and has a very good chance of winning an England vest.