Big end-of-winter event moves to Nottingham venue after several years of being held at Prestwold Hall near Loughborough
The UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships will move to Wollaton Park this winter because the usual venue of Prestwold Hall is unavailable due to a clash with a motor-racing event.
As well as being the de facto UK championships for cross country, the event incorporates the British Athletics Cross Challenge final and the trials for the World Cross Country Championships.
It has been staged at Prestwold Hall – a few miles outside Loughborough – since 2017, with the owner of the 1000-hectare estate, Edward Packe-Drury-Lowe, being an enthusiastic host, often running barefoot on the estate’s rolling grassland in his spare time.
However, Everyman Racing, who stage motor vehicle driving experiences at Prestwold throughout the year, have an event scheduled for the same day as the Inter-Counties of Saturday March 9.
Cliff Robinson, the long-time Cross Challenge and Inter-Counties organiser, was offered Sunday March 10 for the popular annual athletics meeting but felt it was not an option due to athletes travelling from all corners of the UK and teenage athletes having school on Monday.
The 2024 Inter-Counties will be an important event for young athletes with teams for the World Cross in Serbia selected from the meeting, whereas some senior athletes will be picked too from it.
But after months of uncertainty, these trials will now be held a short distance away in Wollaton Park – a Nottingham venue that last staged the Inter-Counties in 2009 when Steph Twell and Andy Vernon were among the winners.
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Wollaton Park is of course already an established and popular venue on the domestic cross-country circuit. The Inter-Counties aside, Wollaton Park has staged major domestic cross-country meetings like the English National (2014, 2017 and 2020) and English Schools Champs (2023) in recent years.
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