January 2004


Report 'borrowed' from Running Fitness February 2004 edition.

For once, V S News has been "scooped" by one of the National magazines. Now that I've given them the credit, I hope they won't mind me copying a bit. This is from a report on the "British and Irish Masters Cross-Country International" held in Cardiff in Nov 2003.

The formidable talent of Ann Keenan-Buckley had Irish eyes smiling as she scored her sixth consecutive Masters' International victory. Although her victory was in seconds rather than the usual minutes, she still appeared to have enough in hand to fend off anything the opposition had to offer

After a repeat of Keenan-Buckley's usual tactic, hit the front and go away, the duo of Wales' Tracey-Anne Morris and England's Kathy Bailey pulled clear of the rest of the field. Stride by stride the determined style of Keenan-Buckley saw her edge away and although closed down by Morris in the final stages she had sufficient in her account to come home 80 metres ahead as Bailey finished a clear third.

In stark contrast to Lamb (the men's winner who had just turned 40 but had won many senior regional titles in the last 20 years) is Tracey-Anne Morris, runner-up in the women's race at Cardiff during an amazing November just 14 months after a stage when, as she admitted, "I was happy jogging about 5 miles three times a week".

The fireworks came early when Morris placed fourth overall in the none to easy Guy Fawkes 10 at Harrogate on November 2nd in 59min 48sec, more than two minutes inside the course record. Following Cardiff, she won the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k in her best ever time of 33min 23sec. Such was the manner of her victory here she left a host of internationals trailing in her wake.

"When I arrived and heard who was running I was stunned but it was nice to be in a race with this class of people," but it was former AAA 10,000m champion Bev Jenkins, World Championship marathon representative Jo Lodge and World half marathon representative Andrea Green who were the ones stunned.

"I ran for Wales as a schoolgirl over the country and apart from a few runs for Leeds City as a student in my mid-20's that was the end of my running career."

It was with a group from the Adams Gym she took up running, "just to keep fit and then I decided to compete in the 2002 Leeds Half Marathon," where she ran 88min 59sec, pretty impressive for someone on 15 miles a week.

It was at this time that Bob Jackson suggested that she joined Valley Striders. "You'd be better off running with someone than going round the block on your own," he said.

"The next year I somehow found myself accepted for the elite race in the Great North Run so I stepped up my weekly mileage to 40. It paid off as I came away with a time of 76min 34sec."

Contact lens optician Morris now has her eyes firmly set on this year's Flora London Marathon. "I'll have to step up my mileage again but I must admit I enjoy the regular 15 to 20-mile runs on a Sunday morning with the Striders."

N.B. Tracey's time was the 7th fastest by a British woman for 10k in 2003!