Goodman settles for second best

By Brian Sacks, February 28, 2014

Richard Goodman produced another outstanding performance by placing second in the English National Cross Country Championships at Wollaton Park, Nottingham.

Goodman, 20, finished the 12km, three-lap race eight seconds behind the experienced cross country specialist Steve Vernon. Vernon, 33, now holds the record for the greatest ever number of National Championship medals — eight, including two golds.

Amongst the international class athletes left trailing behind Goodman were James Wilkinson — a GB steeplechase representative at last year’s World Athletics Championships — and Jonathan Brownlee, Triathlon world champion and Olympic medallist.

Goodman said: "The middle section of each lap was particularly exposed to the strong, gusting wind, and it also included a 200m stretch of very sticky mud. This meant that it was too risky to attempt a long run for home over the full final lap.

"When I reached the muddy section for the final time, there were lapped runners in the way, causing a bottleneck. Vernon and I were together at the front, and we each chose different racing lines through the mud. Maybe his dozen years of experience running the National helped him. He emerged from the mud and opened up a gap while I was still stuck behind lapped runners, and I couldn’t catch him on the final run-in. But it was a very pleasing race, and I am now back in full training for the Inter-Counties in March."

Last updated: 3:08pm, February 28 2014