Dave’s Radcliffe Challenge

Report: Dave Turnbull -

Want to measure yourself against one of the all time greats of British endurance running at Woodbank on a circuit that we have used since 1994 to gauge athlete’s fitness going into major cross country events. The circuit became known as the Radcliffe circuit after the World Cross Country Championships at Belfast in March 1999.

At the championships Steve ran the 8k junior race over a very muddy terrain to finish first GB junior, the following day Paula Radcliffe ran the same course to finish third in the senior women’s event but one second faster than Steve.

Before he competed at the championships Steve had used the circuit in his preparation for many months and won the Senior Boys’ English Schools’ title at Luton.

Then 10 days before the World Cross he set his best time of 6.29sec on the circuit which was a good indication of his fitness going into the World Cross. 

After that the course was christened the Radcliffe circuit and if you can run 6.29 on it you should be capable of making the junior men’s GB team, if you are a woman then that could be an indication that you could be something special on the cross.

Why is running over a 2km course relevant to running Cross country events which are 8km for juniors and over 10k for seniors? Running at maximum effort over 2km is right at the top end of the VO2max and is very similar to running a 3km race.

The added benefit of this test though is the circuit itself which is specific to the racing you get at major championships in that it involves tight turns a short hill climb x 3 and a 400 metres fast start at the beginning on the track and a fast finish and allows the coach to set the pace for the athletes.

Give it a go see how near you can get to the times set by Paula and Vernon back in 1999 the women’s club record is 6.52 set by Sarah Bouchard.

Saturday SK1 Group

Coaches Dave Turnbull, Bashir and Trafford’s Janet Holt have joined forces to establish a regular Saturday morning training group at Woodbank Stadium.

Starting at 10.30am the sessions begin with a 20 minute warm-up followed by drills and onto the morning’s main session, e.g. 3-4 x 10 minutes over cross-country terrain with 4 minute jog recoveries.

For further details contact Dave or Bashir.

Recent News