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Norfolk XC Championships: CoNAC star Iona Lake takes title in competitive ladies race

PUBLISHED: 18:40 05 January 2020 | UPDATED: 20:10 05 January 2020

Iona Lake takes victory at the Norfolk Cross Country Championships. Picture: Mark Hewlett

Iona Lake takes victory at the Norfolk Cross Country Championships. Picture: Mark Hewlett

© 2013 Mark Hewlett

Iona Lake was in a class of her own to take victory at the Norfolk Cross Country Championships at the Charles Burrell Centre in Thetford on Sunday.

Norwich Road Runners' Amy Beck at the end of the Norfolk Cross Country Championships. Picture: Mark HewlettNorwich Road Runners' Amy Beck at the end of the Norfolk Cross Country Championships. Picture: Mark Hewlett

The City of Norwich AC athlete made an excellent start to the year taking victory in 36:37 as the women's senior race also did the full 10km course for the first time at the event.

Bungay Black Dogs' Jo Andrews was second with Colleen Mukuya (Great Yarmouth & District AC) third.

Whilst Lake, from Hainford, has one eye on the Olympics in Tokyo later this year, she is determined to get a solid season of cross country into her legs before focusing on the steeplechase.

"The race went really well - I've never done 10K in cross country before but I quite liked it," said Lake, who won the women's event last year. "It meant I could go off a bit steadier and then relax into it a bit more.

Norwich Road Runners Jessica Behan at the Norfolk Cross Country Championships. Picture: Mark HewlettNorwich Road Runners Jessica Behan at the Norfolk Cross Country Championships. Picture: Mark Hewlett

"I was trying to hang on to a group of men in front of me but it's a course that I've always really liked. It's got a bit of everything the course though - a lot of turns and a few hills. There are a lot of mole hills but I really enjoyed it.

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"I decided to wear flats because I didn't want to ruin my feet - I've got a lot of races coming up."

Lake takes part in the British Athletics Cross Challenge in Stirling next weekend before the Southern Championships in Parliament Hill at the end of the month.

Alexandra Smith in action at the Norfolk Cross Country Championships. Picture: Mark HewlettAlexandra Smith in action at the Norfolk Cross Country Championships. Picture: Mark Hewlett

The 26-year-old will be hoping to showcase the benefits of working with her new training group after relocating to Teddington in London.

"The new training group is going well - it's taken a little while to settle in. Living costs in London are higher obviously so I'm also working as a nanny.

"It means there are a lot of early starts - doing the school run with the kids, train all day, and then pick the kids up from school but I've settled into that.

"I just felt like I needed to push into a different environment to train with similar girls. I trained with the guys here but they were just a bit further in front."

Amy Beck and Mabel Beckett at the end of the Norfolk Cross Country Championships. Picture: Mark HewlettAmy Beck and Mabel Beckett at the end of the Norfolk Cross Country Championships. Picture: Mark Hewlett

Full results are expected to be released by Athletics Norfolk in due course.

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