Treats for all F5000 followers
ATEENAGE Edge Hill University student is aiming to represent Great Britain on the world stage after enjoying success in her first international competition.
Tiffany Penfold, who is in the second year of a sports therapy degree course, competed at the European U20 Cross Country Championships in Tilburg, The Netherlands, helping GB earn team gold after a very encouraging debut display.
She impressed selectors at the European trials having already produced some eye-catching runs last year.
A time of 9.37:25 in the 3000m in July – her only track run at the distance – ranks her eighth in Britain.
In her first road race, over 5k, her time of 17:02 was the third-best in the U20 age group. These performances culminated in a sixth-place finish at the British Athletics Cross Challenge held at Sefton Park, Liverpool in November.
“Leading up to the GB call-up, my coach and I agreed it would be unlikely I made the team, as it was the top five that made automatic qualification”, she admitted.
But, fortunately Tiffany got the unexpected nod. The journey has not been easy for the 19-year-old student from Egremont in Cumbria.
Tiffany has had to endure serious injury problems which made her consider a future without the sport she first took up at the age of eight when, encouraged by a neighbour, herself and her sister joined the Cumberland fell runners club.
“It was always a bit of fun at the weekends, and it wasn’t until I was 12 that I started training with one of the coaches’ group on a Tuesday and Thursday as well,” she recollected.
Her progression meant that she focused solely on the track – and at the age of 15 she qualified for the English schools’ 800m, having won her first county championships race.
But injury ruled her out of competing – and nearly out of athletics altogether. I basically quit the sport I loved and lost all my fitness. I lost any drive I once had,” she said.
Tiffany’s hunger for running eventually returned in her final year of sixth form at West Lakes Academy, with training taking place in a domestic setting.
“I decided to have a look at Edge Hill and loved the campus and sporting facilities.
“I looked at different degrees and after suffering with injury, which put an abrupt end to the best season I ever had, I decided to apply for sports therapy. The knowledge which I have gained from the course supplements my training well, as I have a deeper understating of a wide array of influential subjects, such as anatomy, injury prevention and rehabilitation.” The move to the West Lancashire university saw Tiffany link up with Liverpool Pembroke & Sefton Harriers & Athletic Club, allowing her really step up her training. Tiffany’s fell running background means she has always pursued middle distance running, with her e a r l y track experience com- ing at 800m and 1500m – although longerterm it could be 3000m which she concentrates on, with cross-country naturally complementing her work in to the off-season.
Continued Tiffany: “It helps runners build strength through the tough winter season, in preparation for the summer on the track.
“I have never sat down and decided to be a ‘cross-country runner’.
“However, they just complement each other in the opposing seasons.”
There is some tailing off in her training now, and even a few days off before her first action of 2019, at this month’s county championships.
But the main early-year focus is on the World Cross-Country Trials scheduled to be held at Prestwold Hall in Loughborough on Saturday, March 9, with the main event being held at the end of the same month in the city of Aarhus in Denmark. After that, the track season provides cause for optimism.
“The trials will be difficult, as I will have moved up to the U23 age category,” explained Tiffany.
“As the youngest, I expect the older girls will be stronger and more experienced. Nevertheless, I will give it my best shot. Regarding the track season, my coach and I have agreed to focus on 3k.”
She added: “We believe I have potential over the distance, and with specific training, we’re hoping I could really make something out of it.” MOTOR sports enthusiasts from the West Lancashire area with memories of the Formula 5000 series, which made regular visits to Oulton Park in Cheshire have a great opportunity to relive those golden days.
The Historic Sports Car Club is celebrating 50 years of the spectacular series at Autosport International at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham from today until Sunday.
The Club will mark the golden anniversary of the UK debut of the spectacular category with a showcase six-car display of the mighty five-litre single-seaters.
Cars from Lola, Surtees, Gurney and Hepworth will be on show, many as now raced with the HSCC.
A number of drivers from the period who raced at the picturesque Oulton Park circuit that continues to be a favourite with West Lancashire race fans are expected to be at the show.
Drivers of the standing of Tony Trimmer, Mike Wilds and Mike Walker all have Formula 5000 firmly inscribed on their career records.
All three are still active racers.
Less often seen around race paddocks these days are Damien Magee and Teddy Pilette, but both are due to be on hand at the NEC for what promises to be a terrific event.
Now aged 73, Belfastborn Magee raced F5000 in 1974 on his way to a brief spell in Formula 1 with Williams, while celebrated Belgian racer Pilette, now aged 76, won the 1973 and 1975 European titles for the standard-setting VDS team.
Former racing drivers Ray Allen, Chris Craft, Dave Berry, Alan Rollinson, Gordon Spice, Ian Ashley and Cyd Williams are all planning to attend the special event along with renowned F5000 entrant Sid Taylor and Nick Gethin, son of multiple F5000 champion, Peter.