HOLMFIRTH athlete Katie Walshaw struck gold on her Great Britain debut.
The talented Holmfirth Harrier helped the GB team take first place in the European Mountain Running Championships.
Competing in the searing heat of the Turkish mountains, Walshaw ran superbly to finish 10th and help her teammates collect those gold medals.
Fellow Yorkshire athletes Mary Wilkinson and Emma Clayton (both of Bingley Harriers) were just ahead of the Holme Valley ace in fourth and sixth places respectively – and Great Britain were clear team victors ahead of Italy and Russia.
The two-lap course involved steep climbs – including a section of stone steps up to a monastery – and a very technical descent, each lap measuring 4km.
“I was in about 25th place at the top of the hill first time round,” explained Walshaw.
“But I caught loads on the descent and managed by the finish line to have moved up to 10th position.”
Walshaw’s European adventure began when she finished third in the European Trial race at the end of May in Sedbergh.
Since then she has been working hard to improve her uphill skills, including sessions using the steps at Castle Hill to prepare for the Turkish course.
She was able to fly out to Turkey a week before the race to train on the course and also acclimatise for the weather – the temperature on race day was 30 degrees at 8.30am!
Walshaw’s next race will be representing England in the Snowdon International Mountain Race on July 21.