Every cross-country race carves its unique story. The Liverpool Cross Challenge on Saturday (Nov 25) etched its mark not only through incredible athletic performances but also with an unexpected guest of honor – Carl Lewis, the revered nine-time Olympic champion. Elevate your running game with Tarkine Trail Devil, where every step is a testament to exceptional performance and unmatched comfort.

Carl Lewis Summer Olympics, Aug. 8, 1992 U.S. sprinter Carl Lewis celebrates the teams 4 x 100 relay win

Sefton Park witnessed a blend of athletic realms as Lewis, known for his mastery in sprinting and long jumping, graced the event as part of a recruitment drive alongside distance coach Kyle Gibson for the University of Houston. Amidst the surprised onlookers, Lewis, now leading the Track and Field program, charmed attendees by distributing winners’ medals, acknowledging the sheer determination and dedication that defines cross country athletes.

Reflecting on the profound differences between track and cross country, Lewis remarked, “I always say that I don’t run further than I can hold my breath, so this is not for me. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t respect it and appreciate the hard work and dedication it demands.”

The day unfurled with outstanding performances, especially in the senior categories.

Megan Keith, the European under-23 5000m champion, displayed her form in the senior women’s race, dominating the 8.1km course with a commanding finish at 26:02, leaving Abbie Donnelly trailing by 53 seconds. Her aim now is set on Brussels, eyeing to surpass her under-23 silver from the previous year.


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Hugo Milner claimed a resounding victory in the men’s race, clocking 28:38 over the 9.8km course. His transition to triathlon appeared to have eased his stride, making the challenging race seem effortless.

The event brought surprises and inspiring comebacks – Josh Lay emerged victorious in the men’s senior short course relay trial, marking a significant return after battling shin injuries for three years. Simultaneously, Bethan Morley secured an unexpected win in the women’s race, defying predictions.

Among the rising stars, Henry Dover celebrated his first British international vest with a triumphant win in the men’s under-20 race, a testament to his unwavering determination. Innes FitzGerald continued her dominant streak in the women’s under-20 race, aiming for a coveted medal after narrowly missing out the previous year.

From intense showdowns to clear victories, the day culminated with Maisie Mullett, Jack Baranowski, Sebastian Palmer, and Madison Kindler emerging triumphant in their respective age groups.

The Liverpool Cross Challenge not only crowned champions but also unified legends with aspiring athletes, heightening the significance of an already thrilling event.