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England sends six of the best to race

Gemma Steel

A six-strong team of elite runners from England Athletics are competing during the Bermuda Marathon Weekend.

Mark Brace, the team leader, said it would be an opportunity for the runners to learn how to adjust to competing in another climate and a different time-zone, and deal with other aspects of being away from their normal training and racing environment.

“They are all strong athletes, and we are coming over a day earlier, so the team will get time to acclimatise,” he said.

“There may be interest in competing in the mile and the 10K, although it will largely be up to the athletes which events they choose to compete in.”

The runners are Scott Overall, Matthew Sharp, Alexander Teuten, Gemma Steel, Jenny Spink and Rebecca Moore. Overall competed in the 2012 Olympic Games, while Steel won the 2014 European Cross County Championships.

Mr Brace said: “At the moment in England we are deep in the middle of the cross country season. The athletes are building up to the national cross country championship and for major road races; there is the London Marathon and some good half-marathons coming up, so this opportunity fits in nicely.”

Mr Brace is area coach mentor, specialising in endurance events, with England Athletics in the South West region. During his competitive years, he was a middle distance track runner capable of running sub-two minutes for 800 metres.

He has spoken with Geoff James, also of England Athletics, who was team manager of four runners from England who competed in last year’s Bermuda event. That team tasted success with Faye Fullerton and Charlotte Arter first and second women, respectively, in the 10K, while Nick Swinburn was third man in the 10K.

Mr Brace said he and the team were looking forward to visiting Bermuda. The team leader hopes to meet some coaches at the weekend conference, where one focus will be on physical preparation for endurance.

“It would be good to see coaches bring some local athletes along here to help on the day.”