Ellen Weir, a fellow Wimbledon High School student, helped Great Britain take the junior women’s bronze team medal in the European cross country championship at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin on Sunday 12th December 2021.

The Hercules Wimbledon Athletic club teenager, Ellen, was competing in her first international cross country race finishing 14th out of 99 runners in 14 minutes and 2 seconds. She was the second member of her team of six to cross the finish line after team-mate and race winner Megan Keith.

Ellen approached the race with motivation, reaching the one kilometre mark she was 52nd, seven seconds down on the leader. At the end of the second lap she was 21st, 10 seconds behind Megan who was leading the race. On the final lap she yet again improved to 14th place, an outstanding performance and result.


Questions I posed to Ellen:


When did you start running and racing and how did you get into it?

‘I started running when I was 11 as my dad’s a runner so I would join him for jogs and regularly did the local parkrun but I didn’t start doing it competitively until I was about 13. Then I started training more regularly with my local athletics club Hercules Wimbledon.’


How were you eligible to participate in this competition?

‘To qualify for the Great Britain team I had to come top 5 at the European Cross Country trials in Liverpool 2 weeks beforehand. It was a super tough race and despite still being in 8th with around 800m to go I managed to finish in 5th. At the competition all European countries can bring up to 6 athletes.’


How often do you train a week and did you do any additional training to prepare for this event?

‘I do 3 hard sessions a week, a long run and a recovery run. I also do 2 strength and conditioning sessions a week one with weights and one without. Most of my preparation ahead of the event was for the trials which I knew would have a super-fast start so I made sure to practise running fast and then settling into a race pace. After the trials I then just made sure not to overdo it or to get injured before the race.’


What are your future goals?

'My goal has been to qualify for Great Britain for the World Cross Country Championships but unfortunately due to covid that was cancelled. This summer on the track I will aim to go under 16:15 for the 5,000m. My long term goal is compete internationally at a senior level.'


We wish Ellen the best of luck in her future endeavours.