The Scottish ultra running community is revelling in a feelgood factor after four athletes were named in the 11-strong GB and NI for the World 24-hour Champs in Italy in April.
And it is remarkable double call-up celebration for Marco and Debbie Consani – with the husband and wife team from Glasgow both picked to wear GB vests!
They are joined by Sharon Law with the other Scot named by British Athletics being Harmeny’s Fionna Ross. Ross won the the Tooting Bec 24 hour race in September 2014 with a new Scottish record run of over 233Km.
The IAU (International Association of Ultra-runners) stage the 24 Hour World (incorporating the European) Championships in Turin on 11-12 April 2015. Eleven athletes have been picked to represent GB and NI as they aim to deliver strong performances in Italy.
The women’s team just missed out on a world medal when the championships were last held in 2013 in Steenbergen, Netherlands. They finished fourth but secured a European Silver medal which was incorporated into the event. This year they will be challenging for a world as well as a European podium place in Italy.
Emily Gelder, bronze medallist at the 2012 IAU 24 hour World Championships in Katovice, leads the women’s team as they take on the world’s best ultra-runners. Law secured a European Bronze medal two years ago in the women’s race with a distance of 226.107km in 24 hours. They will be joined by Scottish 12 hour record holder Debbie Martin Consani and Fionna Ross.
The five-strong men’s team has plenty of experience including Steve Holyoak – the highest placed GB and NI athlete at the last World Championships in the Netherlands. Holyoak and his team mates will be seeking to run a distance around 250kms in Turin and a European podium position.
For Marco Consani, it is a first call-up. Marco tweeted: ‘Over the moon to be selected to be part of the awesome GB team competing at Worlds Champs in Italy. Someone pinch me.’
Debbie said: ‘We’ve been picked twice before in GB teams for events that were due to take place during 2014 – one in the Czech Republic in June and one in Taiwan in December.
‘Both would have been 24-Hour championship events but both were cancelled which was a big disappointment. So hopefully it is a case of third time lucky in Italy. We’re delighted and these are strong GB teams so it is exciting for everyone involved.’
Team GB 24 hour Manager Richard Brown said: ‘This is the strongest team we have put into the field and they will be fighting hard to follow in the footsteps of our successful 100Km squad who secured medals at their recent World Championships.’
The full Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team for the IAU 24 Hour World Championships:
Debbie Martin Consani