East Kent AC
Martin [previously (Advised
by) Alan Storey]
Mary's College, Twickenham
Charlotte's Website here
26 Aug 2001
20 Apr 2002
12 May 2002
10 June 2002
18 May 2002
2 Sept 2001
6 May 2002
Charlotte began training with
Invicta East Kent AC when she was eleven years old. She wasn't keep to
begin with, just tagged along with her older sister, Lizzie. Both Dale girls
trained with a coach called Colin Tomlin. In 1996 Colin died, just after
Charlotte won one of her first races, the Under-13 600m Kent Championship.
Charlotte trained with some
other coaches, until they joined James Robert's squad. Following this
Charlotte won a number of Kent Championship titles including; 600m, 800m and
1500m and went with his squad to cross country meetings for the County and
She was 18th in the Intermediate
Girls Cross-country race at English Schools at Luton in 1999.
Charlotte then became ill
with an eating disorder and was made to stop running and was in hospital for
In 2000 Charlotte had won
the AAA U17 1500m title in a personal best time of 4:30.87
and ran the fastest 3000m times by a British under 17 that year with 9:35.25 and
9:34.9 in a mixed race.
Great Britain Junior Girls'
took the team Silver medal at the European Cross-country.
In 2001 she was 2nd in the
AAA U20s and won the English Schools Track and Field (Exeter) title at 3000m
before making her junior
international debut at 3000m against France.
English Schools Track and
Field Championships 2001 (1st,Senior girls 3,000m), With Louise
She then ran 16:38 for 9th
in the Hyde Park 5km and clocked a startling 33:31 at Ashford in October (much
the fastest by a British 17 year-old), to rank 6th in the British road lists for
10km in 2001. She
was then a runaway winner of the Junior race at the first Reebok Cross-Country
race of the season, as
she won at Birmingham by 53 seconds
and won again in the trial race at Margate.
She led the British junior team to silver medals with a brilliant fifth place at
the European Cross-Country Championships.
Charlotte started 2002
in brilliant style by winning the Kent junior cross-country by the astonishing
margin of over 5 minutes, a junior international race in Lisbon by 24 seconds
and the U20 Trials CC by 62 seconds.
She won the European
junior Cross-country in Edinburgh.
putting on another version of her one-woman wonder show – her first
having come at Cardiff in the Reebok Cross Challenge meeting last month
– Dale confessed afterwards: “I
was still nervous about the race. My calves have been troubling me and my
back’s been tight. But once I got into the race, I just tried to get
away from the pack.”
The ploy worked devastatingly: within 2km, she was 100
metres clear of a fascinating battle to impress the selectors, which have now
invited the top eight to a Preparation Squad Weekend.
Dale plans to run the UK 4km Championship at Brighton,
having opted against running the Senior Women’s race in Wollaton Park.
Instead, she went off to do a hill training session, explaining:
“I usually do hills on Saturdays, so I thought
I might as well.”
She fared brilliantly against seniors when 2nd at the World 4k Cross-Country
|On her 18th birthday, at the
World Junior Cross-Country she took the lead early in the race, but suffered cramp in
her calf and fell back to 31st.
Cross-country - Junior Women - 6km
first athletes to test the course were the Junior Women in their 6km race.
DALE who was celebrating her 18th birthday today and has been dominant
amongst the Junior women domestically this season, began the race
positively in pursuit of her aim of finishing top European. However she
started to feel a sharp pain in her calf during the second lap of the
three lap race, but battled on to finish 31st in a time of
said: "I felt
great on the first lap but then, on the second lap, started getting a
sharp pain in my calf every time I put my foot down. I was determined to
complete the race and just had to fight the pain to the finish."
Norwich Union GB Team finished in eighth place with 130 points, just two
points behind France in seventh on 128 points.
She made a brilliant track debut at
10,000m to win at Stretford in 33:10.6 to smash the British junior record and
her first 5000m, at the Kent Championships, took her to 4th on the UK junior
all-time list with 15:58.8. She also ran 33:05 and 33:06 for 10km on the roads
and ended the year with a magnificent front-running victory at the European
Junior Cross-Country in Croatia, leading the British to team
Charlotte rook the Gold
medal the Junior Girls' race at the European Cross-country in Medulin. Great Britain
Junior Girls' team
took the team Gold medal.
Charlotte Dale took Paula
Radcliffe at her word yesterday by running from the front to triumph
at the European Cross-Country Championships on the Croatian coast.
The 19-year-old from Kent has a reputation for training hard - sometimes
too hard - and she dominated the race to win by a second and lead
Britain's junior women to victory.
But, in a disappointing
showing by the rest of the British squad on a course at Medulin battered
by fierce gales, the only other medal was a team bronze for the senior
Radcliffe is the only
other Briton to have won individual gold at these championships and her
pre-race message was that the team could be the best in Europe.
It was certainly the
case for Dale, who cites Radcliffe as an inspiration and trains alongside
the Olympic 5,000 metres silver medallist, Sonia O'Sullivan, at the St
Mary's College High Performance Centre in Teddington.
Dale was determined to
make up for last year when she finished fifth after falling at the start.
She said: "I was watching the
floor this time until the field began to sort itself out. I hit the lead
on the second lap but the wind was so strong in my face in the finishing
straight, I thought I was running on the spot."
earns gold glory
after Paula Radcliffe stood on the winner's podium at the World Junior
Cross Country Championships, Charlotte Dale showed she might be the
next breath of fresh air for British distance running.
The Spar European
Cross Country Championships rank only one tier below the global event in
which, during a blinding snowstorm in Boston, Radcliffe climbed the first
rung of the ladder which has seen her go on to become one of Britain's
finest athletes of all time by the age of 28.
18-year-old from Kent, showed the same strength of character in Croatia
today to battle through a gale-force wind and - in the company of Freya
Murray, Danielle Barnes and Rachael Nathan -add team gold to last year's
It is the third
time the British teenagers have come away from the European Championships
as overall victors.
But this could have
been the individual victory which heralds the arrival of Dale, the British
junior 10,000 metres record holder, as a genuine hope for higher honours
in the future.
Even in the last
50m when Finland's Elina Lindgren made a late dash from the chasing pack,
Dale had looked unbeatable.
"I knew there
was someone catching up on me," she admitted. "But there was no
way I was going to give the gold medal away. I just kept pushing as hard
as I could.
last year, I was determined to make amends. I got clear early and apart
from the wind which must have hindered everyone else as well, I just
maintained what I thought was a fast constant pace."
will sets Dale on same path as Radcliffe
Monday December 9, 2002
On the day Paula Radcliffe
waited on the BBC sports personality of the year award it was appropriate
that Charlotte Dale, the teenager identified as her long-term successor,
should claim her first major gold medal with a victory in the junior race
of the European Cross-country Championships in Medulin.
from Kent led most of the way in extremely windy conditions on a
3,750-metre course set alongside Croatia's Adriatic coast but had to fight
hard in the closing stages to keep Finland's Elina Lindgren at bay and
also lead Britain's youngsters to the team gold medal.
evoked memories of a similar breakthrough when Radcliffe
won the junior race at the world championships in Boston in 1992, a
performance that marked the beginning of her international career, which
peaked this year with a world marathon record in Chicago in October.
fifth in last year's European Championships despite being tripped early on
but she suffered a disappointing summer during which she failed to qualify
for the Commonwealth Games.
She was later
diagnosed as suffering from an iron deficiency, which was blamed on her
being a vegetarian. Her early career was disrupted by anorexia and to
combat this latest problem her doctor had suggested she started eating red
wasn't an easy decision," said Dale. "I
do take iron supplements but I had to start eating liver, which wasn't
very nice. But I'll do anything to help my running. I'm feeling stronger
In another move
which has contributed to her success Dale has relocated to the UK
Athletics endurance high performance centre at St Mary's College in
Twickenham where, among other runners, she trains with Ireland's Sonia
O'Sullivan, the former world cross country champion.
Charlotte is currently
living and training at
St. Mary's College Twickenham as part of the Uk Athletics Endurance squad. She
trains twice a day, frequently with top distance runners including, when she is
in England, Sonia O'Sullivan. Alan Storey, Sonia's coach is the squad coach at
Twickenham. She also studies maths and English there.
ST MARY’S COLLEGE TWICKENHAM
away in a small corner of south west London, St Mary’s college in
Twickenham seems, at first, an unlikely base for some of the capital’s
brightest young endurance athletes, when you consider the college
doesn’t yet have an all-weather athletics track.
sometimes, an over-emphasis on facilities can miss the point; St Mary’s
college is succeeding in nurturing young talent not due to space-age
buildings, but thanks to a burgeoning partnership between UK Athletics,
the EIS, athletes and coaches and the college.
2002, St Mary’s has been a satellite base for the EIS in London,
offering applied physiology, strength and conditioning, physiotherapy,
nutrition advice, performance lifestyle advice and medical care to a range
of sports and teams, including the UKA Endurance athletes based there.
Providing access to that level of service where athletes live and study,
means that St Mary’s is more than the sum of its parts, as Mick Woods,
UKA Performance Centre Manager explains.
become a one-stop-shop, if you like. Athletes can live here, study here
and access key services from the EIS on a daily basis – whether it’s
physiology, strength and conditioning or physiotherapy.
with medical care – we have EIS Medical Director Roslyn Carbon and our
own physician Bruce Hamilton here for one session each every week -
athletes know that they can access a doctor twice every week on site, not
just for injury problems but for other matters,”
Mary’s has two full-time World Class Performance athletes based on
campus – Mo Farah and James McIlroy. Beneath that top strata there is a
group of World Class Potential athletes - Faye
Fullerton, Charlotte Dale, Jemma Simpson, Stephen Murphy and Darren
Sinclair, and they are all able to access support from the EIS on campus.
key to the whole setup is a team approach between UKA, athletes, coaches
and the EIS,” Woods
says. “Because the
athletes are here full time, it allows a greater deal of flexibility.
for example, an athlete needs some strength and conditioning work, Raph
Brandon, the EIS conditioning coach can normally fit around somebody’s
academic or training schedule. Similarly, that’s the case with
physiological and physiotherapy support too.
up those relationships on a personal level helps enormously. Sometimes,
accessing support can be as simple as just wandering by and having a
five-minute chat with somebody at the EIS, but that can really benefit
Woods’ role on campus is to make sure the athletes based at St Mary’s
get the level of service they need to succeed at the highest level by
working with athletes, coaches and EIS support staff.
like to see St Mary’s grow, by witnessing more athletes wanting to come
and study here. The demand for funded scholarships and programmes is too
high for us to cope with, but if we can attract athletes and encourage
them to come and study here, hopefully they can benefit from the high
a new all weather track due to be laid St Mary’s can only get better,
according to Woods.
my point of view, I don’t see any problems with the level of service
we’re getting from the EIS at St Mary’s. We can always get our
Performance and Potential level athletes into physiotherapy, strength and
conditioning and physiology whenever necessary.”
have a nice, compact campus and the local parks - Richmond Park and Bushy
Park - are ideal for endurance athletes. It’s already a really good
training base for endurance athletes and with an all-weather track on the
way, St Mary’s can only improve.”
|She won her first race of 2003 in devastating style, as Charlotte
Moore was second 1 min 16 sec behind her in the junior race at Cardiff.
CONTINUES CYCLE OF SUCCESS - and also resists temptation
man on a bicycle who was surprised to find that, on his ride through Bute
Park, Cardiff, yesterday, he was suddenly in the thick of the Reebok Cross
Challenge probably had no idea as he departed that he had just helped in
the training of Great Britain’s best young distance runner for a decade.
But Charlotte Dale needed a bike and a UK Athletics official was not
afraid to ask the stranger for a brief loan of his.
in her first cross-country race since winning the European junior title in
Croatia last month, had annihilated the field in the sixth fixture of
seven this season in the popular domestic cross-country series, but the
win was not enough. Dale wanted more. She had been persuaded against
trying for the double by racing the seniors three hours later, but
relaxing was not on her agenda.
this been a 5,000 metres track race, Dale would have lapped the field.
Over what was said to be a five-kilometre course, she drew away early to
win by 1min 16sec from Charlotte Moore,
the Commonwealth Games 800 metres finalist. Although her time, 18min
39sec, suggests the flat course was over-distance, she still had plenty of
running in her legs.
since Paula Radcliffe was
dominating home races in the early 1990s has a British endurance athlete
shown such promise. Reluctantly accepting the wisdom of her coaches, Dale,
18, stood down from the challenge of the double and settled for a one-hour
training run, accompanied by her stepfather on the borrowed bike.
Croatia and Bute Park, Dale went for a month’s warm weather and altitude
training in South Africa and she has returned, in the estimation of Alex
coach, looking even better than when she won her European title. “I
would say she looks stronger,”
Stanton said. “I
thought she looked great today. The way she is going, she has a great
that, in time, seems likely to see Dale overtake those of greater profile
who finished behind her yesterday. Moore
was celebrated by BBC Sport last summer for becoming the first British
teenager to break two minutes for 800 metres while Kathryn
and Bryony Frost, third and
fourth in Cardiff, made the front page of a tabloid newspaper and
BBC breakfast television.
by any Briton in her age group this season or last, Dale will step up for
her first senior international race against the Africans in Tourcoing,
France, next weekend. “I
am quite excited, but probably when I get there I will be terrified,”
by her coaches that two races yesterday would not be in her best interests
for next weekend, she admitted: “In
the past I have not listened and things have gone wrong.”
Hutchings, the last British man to win an individual World Cross Country
Championships medal, in 1989, and now the Reebok series co-ordinator,
watched Dale in admiration, but said: “We
are lucky that a talent like Charlotte has been discovered within a system
that is not good at catching talent.”
Charlotte was a clear winner (by 48 seconds)
of the Reebok Inter-Counties U20 Cross-Country.
seniors she was then second in the World Cross-Country 4k Trial race in Stanmer
In another fine
run she was 14th, and the first European finisher, in the World Junior Cross-Country,
although outpaced by thirteen Africans.
- MARCH 29: Charlotte Dale of Great Britain in action during the women's junior
race at the 31st IAAF World Cross Country Championships held on March 29, 2003
at La Broye in Lausanne, Switzerland. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty
Junior best for Charlotte Dale
who won the European Cross-country title last December and who was the
first European to finish in the World Junior CC in March, ran a British
junior best for 10,000m in 16th place in the European 10,000m Challenge in
Athens on Saturday.
The 10,000m has
rarely been run by British junior women, and no record is officially
recognised, but Charlotte is clearly able to compete at top-class senior
British Women’s Junior ‘Record’ for 10,000 metres:
9 Sep 84
22 May 98
3 Jun 98
20 Apr 02
12 Apr 03
from countries like Kenya, Ethiopia and China tend to be more precocious,
and the world junior record is 30:39.41 by Lan Lixin (China) in 1997.
junior record is 31:40.42 by Annemari Sandell (Finland) in 1996.
32:52.60 takes her to 67th on the world all-time junior list and to eighth
on the European junior all-time list:
Junior Women’s All-time list for 10,000 metres
27 Jul 96
4 Sep 87
25 Aug 89
25 Aug 89
12 Sep 01
1 Sep 96
8 Jun 88
12 Apr 03
Manchester Run Tuesday,
27th May 2003
Dale, the 2002 European junior cross country champion, was the top Brit in
fifth, though she just failed to set a new personal best with her time of
here against some of the names I have only read about in the past has been
a great experience," said Dale, whose
career had been threatened by an eating disorder. "I
am happy with how the race went, particularly as I was running for much of
it on my own," added the 19-year-old,
who now hopes to travel to the training base of Radcliffe in the French
Pyrenees next month.
"My aim this season is to win the
European junior 5,000m title."
Charlotte took the Bronze medal
in the 5000m at the Spar European Junior Track and Field Championships.
She broke her own British Junior record
when 16th in the European 10,000m Challenge in 32:52.60 and was 5th in the Manchester
10km road race in 33:10. She
took the European Junior bronze medal at 5000m in 16:07.26.
Great South Run
Charlotte was second in the Great
South Run in October, finishing in 54:28, behind Sonia O Sullivan.
"Didn't she run brilliantly,"
O'Sullivan of Dale, "Charlotte's so small, I'm surprised
she wasn't just blown over," added O'Sullivan,
who has been lending the European junior cross country champion from Kent
lots of advice at their weekly training sessions.
Dale appears to be a quick learner. Showing no ill-effects of her windy
battering, she said:
"I really enjoyed the race. It was my first
ten-miler and I want to do more.”
31st overall in the mixed field and two positions ahead of Liz McColgan in
the women's results, Dale 19, said:
"I had an upset stomach
before the race but once I got started it went away and I really enjoyed
Dale said after her longest
race so far: “My legs
kept cramping and I had an upset tummy before the race, and I was worried I was
a bit dehydrated. So I had to have some physio just before the race. It was
quite windy out there, too, so I was happy to get under 55. When I started off,
Liz was just in front of me. Then Natalie was running with me up to about five
miles, but I think I pulled away from her after that. I could just about see
Sonia on the last straight.”
O’Sullivan summed-up the
problems: “I felt like a
boat out in the ocean. The wind was so strong that at times it was difficult to
keep my mile splits under six minutes. There was more than a minute differential
between miles with the wind behind you and those with it against you.”
It makes her the
third-fastest in the UK behind Paula Radcliffe
(Bedford and County AC) and Kathy Butler (Windsor, Slough, Eton and
Hounslow AC) in this year’s Senior Women’s rankings.
wins in Dublin -
Great Ireland Run 2003
Third placed teenager Charlotte Dale
left Dublin knowing that on a flatter course she could have bettered her
UK junior record of 33:10.
Last year's European Cross Country
junior champion was only 10 seconds shy of that time as she pushed
Australia's Benita Johnson into fourth place.
Doubts over Charlotte’s
remain over whether Charlotte Dale will be fit enough to defend her
European junior cross country title after she dropped out of her second
race in three weeks with calf problems.
a student at St Mary's University College in Twickenham where UK Athletics
has its high performance endurance centre is due to defend her title in
Edinburgh next month.
the 19-year-old dropped out of the trial race in Liverpool's Sefton Park
last weekend and admitted: "I'm
worried I won't be able to do it."
has been chosen by the selectors to compete in Edinburgh subject to her
proving her fitness and will continue to receive treatment at St Mary's.
the early stages of the junior women's 4km race in Liverpool, Dale showed
no signs of the calf problem that had forced her to pull out of a senior
women's race in Birmingham three weeks earlier.
opened up a 35-metre lead on the first, one kilometre lap, and was
followed by fellow St Mary's student Faye
Fullerton, who was chasing a place in the British team for the fourth
time in her impressive career as a junior.
a further 500m, Fullerton was passed by
14-year-old prodigy Emily Pidgeon, from
Gloucester, who then started closing on Dale.
said: "Charlotte stopped and
gripped her calf. She ran on again for perhaps 50m then stopped."
went on to win the race in 14 minutes and 28 seconds to gain automatic
selection for Edinburgh.
keen to repeat success
Junior Women’s champion Charlotte Dale is desperate to repeat last
year’s success in front of a home crowd, but fears injury could wreck
Dale (Invicta East Kent AC) and Dani Barnes (Newquay
and Par AC) helped win the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern
Ireland team gold medals in Medulin 12 months ago to follow the silver
medals won in 2000 and 2001.
But Dale’s preparations for tomorrow’s junior
women’s race have been interrupted by calf problems which, despite the
best efforts of her medical team, forced her to drop out of two races in
preparation for Edinburgh. Her build-up has been far from ideal, but she
said: "I got up to 90 miles a week in training before the problems
started. I've cut down to between 50 and 60 a week up to the
don’t feel very confident. But I would love to win it in front of a home
crowd. I have been in better shape. It's just a case of getting these
calves right and feeling good on the day."
Among the star-studded opposition are three of the
track golden girls from this summer's European Junior Championships,
including the athletes who pushed Dale into third place in the 5000m.
Silvia La Barbera, who won the race, is in the Italy team along with her
twin sister, Barbara.
Possibly an even greater danger is Latvia’s Inna
Polushkina, who won the 3000m title as well as the 5000m silver medal in
* * * * * * * * *
as they are, the sore legs troubling European Junior Cross Country
Champion Charlotte DALE (Invicta East Kent AC) pale into
insignificance compared with the obstacles she has already overcome.
her love of athletics eased the trauma of her first coach dying in a
tragic accident is inspiring enough. But she also went on to beat a
life threatening crisis of her own before she defied all odds to win
the Junior Women’s race at last winter’s Spar European Cross
Country Championships in Croatia.
as she prepares for her final race as a Junior, at the 10th
Spar European Cross Country Championships in Holyrood Park,
Edinburgh, on Sunday 14 December, the diminutive 19-year-old from
Kent talks for the first time about the traumas that preceded her
triumph, in the hope that her story will help to spur other
teenagers to cope with problems life throws at them.
loved running since I was 12,” Charlotte
says, sitting in her ‘second home’, St Mary’s College,
Twickenham where she is one of the growing number of teenagers at
the UK Athletics Endurance Performance Centre.
sister, who is two years older than me, took me to the local club
and we started off with a coach called Colin TOMLIN. He had a lot of
good athletes and I was the youngest, but he always said to me,
‘You are the one who will make it.’
was a terrible shock when he died. I was only 13 at the time. It
took me a long time to get over him. In fact I still think about him
all the youngsters he coached, I am the only one who has carried on.
I wanted to do it for him ... and for myself, of course. He lived in
the woods I used to run through. On my training runs, I used to go
past his grave…”
like many teenagers, Charlotte encountered eating problems as she
grew – and they became so serious, she was forced to stop running.
started in 1998,” she recalls. “I
hated school. I didn’t have many friends and I thought if I lost
weight, people would notice me. They did: other girls would come up
to me and say, ‘You’re really skinny!’
went down to 4 stone and I did start to run a bit faster. But I got
so bad, I just couldn’t do it any more.
was in hospital in ’99 because of it. I had running taken away
from me for about a year. The fact that I was not allowed to run
made me more determined, more dedicated.
understood why they stopped me running; it was to get my weight up.
I wasn’t in hospital long – six weeks, whereas some people are
in for up to two years. They wouldn’t let me back into running
until I proved I could keep my weight stable.
like to thank my other two coaches, Peter BRENCHLEY and James
ROBERTS, for looking after me until I went to the UKA Endurance
Performance Centre at St Mary’s.”
her health stabilised and she went to St Mary’s, the first
Director of the UKA Endurance Performance Centre, Alan STOREY,
became her ‘meat monitor’.
think I’m over it now,” Charlotte
goes on. “I’m having red meat to
get my iron levels up. Alan got me into that. I used to eat just
fruits and drink lots of water. I have a better diet now.”
she loves life among the other young athletes at St Mary’s. “I’ve
always enjoyed training with older athletes. I do a lot of my runs
with Stuart STOKES [the AAA 3000m steeplechase Champion] and Steve
VERNON [the UK 4km Cross Country Champion] plus Kate REED, who had a
great run at the Ekiden Relay recently – though I’m missing
Sonia O’SULLIVAN [the Irish athlete, coached by Storey, who won
the World 8km and 4km Cross Country titles in 1998]. She’s been
training in Australia and I’m looking forward to seeing her again.
got up to 90 miles a week in training before my calf problems
started. Ironically, it’s because I’m putting on a little weight
and my muscles are developing. I’ve cut training to between 50 and
60 a week up to the Euro Cross.
never forget last year’s race. I really didn’t think I would win
it. I never believed I would be able to run against the gales that
were blowing that day. I think people were surprised when little me
despite the best efforts of two doctors, two masseurs and a mini
army of physiotherapists, her calf soreness has forced her to drop
out of two of her races in preparation for Edinburgh, though she
finished 15th among the Senior Women in the Dunkirk
International Meeting, France, on Sunday 30 November.
the athletes lining up against her are three of this summer’s Spar
European Junior Champions, including the athletes who pushed
Charlotte into third place in the 5000m. Silvia LA BARBERA, who won
the race, is in the Italy Team along with her twin sister, Barbara.
Possibly an even greater danger is Inna POLUSHKINA (Latvia), who won
the 3000m title as well as the 5000m Silver medal in the track
in the field is 2000m steeplechase Champion and World Junior record
holder Catalina OPREA in a Romanian Team that also includes 1500m
Bronze medallist, Corina DUMBREAVEAN.
says of her title defence: “I don’t
feel very confident. But I would love to win it in front of a home
crowd. I have been in better shape. It’s just a case of getting
these calves right and feeling good on the day.”
* * * * * * * * * * *
Champion Charlotte Dale (Invicta East Kent AC) and her Norwich Union Great
Britain and Northern Ireland team mates face star-studded opposition as they
strive to strike Gold – twice over – in the Junior Women’s race at the
10th SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, on
Sunday 14 December. Dale helped win the Team Gold medals in Medulin 12 months
ago to follow the Team Silver medals won in 2000 and 2001. Dale’s preparations
have been interrupted by calf problems. She says: “I
got up to 90 miles a week in training before the problems started. I’ve cut
down to between 50 and 60 a week up to the Championships. I’ll never forget
last year’s race. I really didn’t think I would win it. I never believed I
would be able to run against the gales that were blowing that day. I think
people were surprised when little me won.”
despite the best efforts of two doctors, two masseurs and a mini army of
physiotherapists, her calf soreness has forced her to drop out of two of her
races in preparation for Edinburgh, though she finished 15th among the Senior
Women in the Dunkirk International Meeting, France, on Sunday 30 November. Dale
says of her title defence: “I
don’t feel very confident. But I would love to win it in front of a home
crowd. I have been in better shape. It’s just a case of getting these calves
right and feeling good on the day.”
* * * * * * * * * * *
The Race: "Charlotte
takes the Junior bronze"
defied her painful calf problems to add an unexpected Bronze individual medal to
the Gold she won last year at the European cross-country championships in Edinburgh in
race unfolded at an unremitting pace – stimulated by the brave Dale. She
pushed on ahead midway round the opening 1425m lap, but was dogged all the way
by European Junior 3000m Champion Inna Poluskina (Latvia). And when Faye
Fullerton, Volha Minina (Belarus) and Viktoria Trushenko (Russia) threatened
on the hill with around 800m to go, it looked as if Dale’s worst fears would
be confirmed and she would finish without an individual medal. Yet just when her
calves rebelled with the exertion of the hill climb, Dale’s determination
shone as brightly as the morning sun. She stormed down the slope as if her very
life depended on it – and comfortably held on to third in 16:04.
said: “I am quite
pleased. I didn’t even expect to finish let alone come third. My calves hurt
from the second lap but it’s only three weeks since I pulled out of the
Trials. I knew it would be a hard race. I ran against Inna in the 5000m at the
European Juniors. In the second lap, I thought I would just stay in third and be
happy with that. I can’t really be disappointed. It would have been nice to
win again, but no one can take the title away from me. I was honestly not going
to run two weeks ago. In the last week I’ve done some training that made me
more confident. I came for the Team, really. I don’t know where the strong
finish came from!”
Angela Newport said:
“Charlotte is such a star! She just got in the race and went for it. The girls
ran sensible races and were strong at the end. They ran with their heads, like
experienced international runners.”
battling bronze at the European Junior Cross Country Championships, she ended
2003 with a British junior record of 26:27 in the Whitstable 5, where she
defeated all the men.
switched coaches to former London Marathon winner Eamonn Martin at the end of
started 2004 with ninth place in the Great North Cross Country but abandoned
plans to make her marathon debut in London in April.
was 6th in the Junior/Senior/International/Veteran Women's race at the Reebok Challenge in
Belfast, in a time of 19.36.
date for Radcliffe's rivals
By Tom Knight
At 19, Charlotte Dale's
impact has so far come in cross-country, where her front-running style has
earned her the unenviable tag of being "the
next Paula Radcliffe".
Alan Storey, her coach,
believes that the marathon gives her the best chance of competing in
Athens, although much will depend on her finding a solution to the calf
injury which hampered her training for the European Cross-Country
Dale, who has suffered
with anorexia, has a problem with compartment syndrome, where the calf
muscles are too big for their sheath. Tests will determine whether she
Former European Junior Cross Country Champion, 20-year-old Charlotte Dale,
could challenge. Dale has recovered well from injury to run good times at
The Great North Run and over 10 mile distance in recent weeks.
Dale was second in the Senior Women's race at the Reebok Cross Challenge
race in Birmingham.
most convincing winner of the day was Hayley Yelling (Windsor Slough Eton
& Hounslow) who led from gun to tape and won by 31 seconds in 22:16
from former European Junior Cross Country Champion Charlotte Dale (Invicta
East Kent AC) with Liz Yelling
(Bedford & County AC) a further nine seconds back. Liz was to
the fore with Hayley in the early stages of the race, but she was unable
to stay with Hayley’s pace and was then overtaken by Dale early on the
second lap of the two lap race.
said: “I had a hard training week, I
didn’t ease down so I’m pleased to finish second. My legs were
really tired towards the end.”
The first three athletes home in the
Senior and Junior races will be automatically selected for the Norwich
Union GB Team for the Spar European Cross Country Championships which take
place in Heringsdorf, Germany on Sunday 12 December.
Charlotte Dale (Invicta
East Kent AC), who was European Junior Cross Country Champion in 2002 and
took the Bronze medal last year. She finished second in the Reebok
Birmingham Cross Challenge.
Dale was ? in the Senior Women's race at the Reebok Cross Challenge race
at Parliament Hills, London.
The mould for the women's 5 km race was set early on as favourite Hayley
Yelling (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow) took it out from almost the
start. Yelling, who helped Britain to win the team Gold medals in
the senior women's championship at the Europeans in Edinburgh last
December, held a commanding lead at the half-way stage with Natalie
Harvey-Firth (South London Harriers) in second spot just ahead of Kate
Reed (Bristol and West) with Faye Fullerton
(Havering Mayesbrook), Helen Clitheroe (Preston), Charlotte Dale (Invicta
East Kent) and Susan Partridge (City of Glasgow) in pursuit.
Cross-country relays - Charlotte Dale (Invicta East Kent) finished sixth
in the Senior Women’s 7km race in 17:40, 33 seconds behind winner Sabina
Mockenhaupt from Germany.
European Junior Champion Charlotte Dale (Invicta East Kent) finished 85 seconds
clear of the field at the Kent XC Championships at Sevenoaks.
|UK Inter-Countries XC
8km Championship: Running: The three medallists from last
year are all in good form: Defending Champion Kathy Butler (Scotland
East), who led home the Norwich Union GB Bronze medallists in Brussels 12
months ago, is back from her USA training base in good shape; last
year’s Silver medallist Natalie Harvey (Surrey) won the IAAF Permit
meeting in Diekirch, Luxembourg, a few weeks ago; and last year’s Bronze
medallist Hayley Yelling has not only won the European title but also
romped to victory in the English National.
are plentiful. Among them: Catherine Berry (Surrey), based in the USA, is
again entered after finishing seventh in this race 12 months ago;
former European Junior Champion Charlotte
Dale (Kent) was an impressive Silver medallist at the English
National; Louise Damen (Dorset) has had two great years as a Senior after
winning Inter-Counties titles as an Under 17 in 1999 and Under 20 in 2000;
new Scottish Champion Collette Fagan (Scotland West), the Inter-Counties
Under 20 Champion of 2000; former Inter-Counties and National Champion Tara
Krzywicki (Leicestershire) is back towards her powerful best; Sharon
Morris (Hertfordshire) has a consistent Inter-Counties record
including fifth in 2000 and 2002, and seventh in 2003; and Susan Partridge
(Scotland West), who is second in the Reebok Cross Challenge overall
Yelling won in a last minute sprint after battling throughout the race
with Invicta's Charlotte Dale.