Great Britain selection beckons for Mounsey
Calder Valley’s Ben Mounsey is set to exchange his England vest for a Great Britain one after a superb sixth place in North Wales last weekend. Mounsey built on his brilliant third at the recent Snowdon Mountain race when competing in the Home Internationals at Betws-y-coed.
Saturday’s race saw him pitted against the best fell and mountain runners in the UK.
Fortified by his now legendary 500km training months and a more number one spots than One Direction, he showed he is now the real deal.
Mounsey admitted he had been aiming for a top 15 place against the strongest rivals he’d ever faced.
He is a famed for being quick off the blocks but starts in a field as good as this are akin to an F1 grid, where it’s right foot down for the first corner and we’ll see who blinks first.
The race was based on three laps of a course and Mounsey had to gird his loins and swallow hard to keep tabs with the leaders on lap one.
“The positions changed after every lap, all except sixth which I was never prepared to give up,” said the Brooksbank School teacher.
“The third and final lap nearly broke me, I’ve never destroyed myself as much to protect a position in a race.”
“With England international Chris Steele breathing down my neck on the final descent I threw myself down the track and gave it everything I had left to hang on for sixth.
“I still can’t believe I’ve managed to do it, especially on a course which really didn’t suit.”
Mounsey helped England to the team prize and had three recent British champions behind him - Simon Bailey in 10th, Rob Hope in 12th and Lloyd Taggart in 24th.
The race was won by Scot Robbie Simpson, who will spearhead a GB team which will now include Mounsey.
Ben Mounsey on his way to sixth last weekend
Rising track and field stars: Halifax Harriers’ (from left) Lucy Puddephatt, Lucy Hall, Max Burgin and Ella Gill.