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26th Jan, 2024, Alastair Aitken

British Cross Challenge (World Trial) – ABBIE DONNELLY of Luke Welligton AC was The Women-s10k winner at PHF.

Lead coach Rod Lewis but helped by ex-veteran Champion Bill Foster, when at Loughborough,.

3rd in the European Womens’ cross country Championships, with a best 5000 time on the track Of 15:56.53, when winning the British Universities Championships.

When did she start running ?

“When I was about 10.’’

“I raced at Parliament Hill before to-day, in the National when I was 10th “(U23 in 2018) She has a personal best 10k on the track at the Night of 10k’PB’s organized by Ben Pochee, in 2023, with a time of 32:10.16. “

Did she feel good all the way, in to-days race “ In the second to last lap my legs were starting to go. Just get to that last lap and give it everything” I thought (1st Abbie Donnelly 34:32; 2 Lauren McNeil 34:55 and 3rd Niam Brown 35:25).

Coaching “ Bill Foster was amazing at Loughborough.”

What was your favourite race you have done in your life so far?

“Possibly the European. The hardest race I have ever done.”( 3rd in Brussels on December 10th)

She has signed a professional running contract and is doing a PHD in history.


INNES FITZGERALD (Exeter) European ‘Under 20’ Champion in Brussels. She won at Parliament Hill over 6k in 21:08, 2nd Eliza Nicholson 22:17 and 3rd Jess Bailley in 22:28.

I asked Innes ‘When did she start running.’ Surprisingly the answer was “ When I was 15” (To be a European Under 20 Champion at 17 now)

Did somone in her club start her off?

“ No; It is me, myself, I live in Beer a small village’

Do you run round there Cross Country or the road?

“I mix it up. Do everything really. “!

Which race would you point to as a special one for you?

“The Euro-Championships definitely. That was my greatest achievement”

What is your program coming up now

“A few more cross-countries like the National Championships and some races on the track in the Summer.”

You have got some good times?

“ I have got the ‘Under 17 3000 record

I hope to do 3, 5 and 10k’s”

To-days course was very testing. Did it give you any problems?

“N ot really. The hills at the end were tough on my legs?

Are you studying?

I am doing my ‘A’ levels at the moment.