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By Tony Sollis Tuesday 13 November 2012 Updated: 13/11 19:27
LEAMINGTON C&AC's Monica Williamson captured gold when she travelled to Belfast to represent England in the British and Irish Masters Cross Country International on Saturday.
This was the third consecutive year Williamson has gained selection for the national team in this prestigious event, which this year took place at Queen's University, Belfast, a late replacement venue for the Stormont Estate which was waterlogged.
Selection for this race is highly competitive with athletes having to prove their form over national standard races over the year.
Williamson had won her place in the team with silver in the BMAF national 10,000m track in August, having missed much of the earlier season due to injury.
Racing in the W50 category, she won team gold in beating teams from Scotland, Wales, Ireland and hosts Northern Ireland.
She completed the 6km course in a time of 23:29 to finish in fourth place in the W50 category and 22nd overall in the race.
The overall winner of the race was England's Clare Martin (W35) who took the title for the third year in a row.
The race was run over a 2km flattish course, although there were enough boggy and muddy patches and inclines over the three laps to ensure this was a tough test for the competitors.
Williamson finished strongly in the final lap to overtake several athletes from the other nations and was closing on the next W50 in front to finish second athlete for the England team.
She was pleased with her performance, particularly as she has struggled with training this year, had to overcome injury and her training leading up to the race was hampered by a viral infection.
She will now return to training to prepare for the British Masters National Cross Country Championships in March and will be competing for her club in league races in the meantime.
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