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Wilkinson sharpens up for European challenge
7:10am Thursday 21st June 2012 in Sport
Mary Wilkinson continued her preparations for next month’s European Mountain Running Championships in Turkey by finishing fourth in a closely-contested trail race in Keswick.
The 10km Karrimor Great Trail Race incorporated a home countries international between Wales, Scotland, Ireland and England with Long Preston’s Wilkinson representing the latter.
Despite the torrential rain in the preceeding days, the course remained good underfoot producing fast racing conditions and four athletes soon gained a significant advantage on the rest of the field as the race set out along a disused railway.
The course then turned and climbed the only significant ascent of the race to the summit of Latrigg before a fast descent to the finish in Keswick.
As in the trial race two weeks earlier, Wilkinson was able to maintain her position on the climb and use her descending skills to good effect to move into second as the race entered the final half mile of flat.
With the top four still closely bunched it remained anyone’s race, and in the final sprint for the line, Wilkinson had to settle for fourth, as seconds covered the top group with Kendal’s Rebecca Robinson coming out the winner.
Wilkinson’s Bingley Harr- iers team-mate Emma Clay- ton, also representing England, finished in third, and helped secure the team title for their country.
The race was a good test for the duo before they head out with the Great Britain team to Turkey where they will be hoping to once again perform strongly in a British vest.