Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
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Louise Deman and Hatti Dean at the English National 2011

LOUISE DAMEN WINS A CLOSE NATIONAL


   LOUISE DAMEN won the Women's National in the last long sprint to the finish but till then, was strongly challenged by two previous winners, Hatti Dean and Liz Yelling. The latter was the first woman in the Wokingham Half marathon the Sunday before in 73:39.
   The first six of the 552 finishers were 1 Louise Damen (Winchester & District) 23:49; 2 Hatti Dean (Hallamshire) 23:53; 3 Liz Yelling (Bedford & County) 23:56; 4 Gemma Steel (Charnwood) 24:13; 5 Sonia Sammuels (Sale) 24:15; 6 Stevie Stockton (Vale Royal) 24:42. The first three clubs were Charnwood 45; Bingley Harriers 106 and, for the first time placed at National level, Serpentine RC who obtained the bronze medals with 169.
                                     
LOUISE DAMEN
Louise first started running at 14
Louise said of the race "It was close all the way round. That was what made it a race to be honest '
'It was something I always wanted to win. I won the National Junior 8 years ago.
'The first time I ever ran in a National was at Havant in 1997'
She added:-' I was pleased to run well at Liverpool in the Cross Challenge (November 27th-Damen 26:32; Dean 26:46; Steel 27:00 and Helen Cllitheroe 27:04) - As I was coming back from injury for that one"
           
HATTI DEAN
Hatti started running at school at 9 but I was not coached till I was 20. I was then coached by Martin Rush for two years. I am now coached by Bud Baldaro
" The National was a really, really good race but so hard, especially as they changed the course. I did not know really where I was going. They said it was 3 laps but it was kind of 21/2. I went through the start three times. I was guessing where we would turn to the finish.'
' Cross county is my favourite surface, other than today, in a weird sort of way.'
' I won the National two years ago (Parliament Hill Fields on the 2nd of February 2009).
' I would say that Louise was awesome today. I think I am in better shape than two years ago but it was a very unusual race. It was very soft going. However, the atmosphere at the National is just amazing"    

Alastair Aitken

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