British Athletics has today announced the dates and locations for the 2015/16 Cross Challenge. The series incorporates five key fixtures across the autumn and winter season as thousands of runners seek to become Britain’s best cross country athletes. With nearly £30,000 in prize money up for grabs across the course of the Challenge, there is an extra incentive to take part in the series which offers quality and competitive cross country races over the coming months. The Challenge will cover the length and breadth of the country on the search for the finest cross country runners in Britain from the U13 age group to the senior level.

The series kicks off in Milton Keynes on Saturday November 7, returning to Tear Drops Lake after playing host during last year’s edition of the competition. After the first leg in Buckinghamshire, the Challenge moves onto familiar territory at Sefton Park in Liverpool on Saturday November 28, which will also incorporates the trials for the European Cross Country Championships which take place in France this December.

There will be two events held in January 2016, one heading to Antrim in Northern Ireland on January 16, before moving onto Cardiff a week later on January 24. The series finishes at Cofton Park in Birmingham for the Cross Challenge Final on March 12 which incorporates the annual UK Inter-Counties Championships.

Adam Hickey (coach: Eamonn Martin, Southend) and Lily Partridge (Mick Woods, Aldershot Farnham & District) were the Challenge winners of the senior men’s and women’s events in 2014/15. Both secured two wins apiece last year and their consistency over the series resulted in them walking away with the top prizes. Who will take the titles this year?

Partridge commented: “It was great to win the British Athletics Cross Challenge last year and finish my winter season with a win at the Challenge final in Birmingham. The races were a key part of my preparations for the European Cross Country Championships in Bulgaria and my transition to the summer track season. I have always enjoyed the Cross Challenge and look forward to returning for the 2015/16 edition.”

Full dates and location for the British Athletics Cross Challenge 2015/2016

Saturday 7 November 2015:  Tear Drops Lake, Milton Keynes (incorporates the Chiltern Cross Country league)

Saturday 28 November 2015: Sefton Park, Liverpool (incorporates European Cross Country Championships Trials, Mid Lancashire and Liverpool Cross Country leagues)           

Saturday 16 January 2016: CAFRE, Greenmount Campus, Antrim (incorporating Antrim International)

Sunday 24 January 2016: Blackweir Fields, Cardiff

Saturday 12 March 2016: Cofton Park, Birmingham (UK Inter Counties Cross Country Championships and Cross Challenge Final)