Victoria Wilkinson

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Victoria Wilkinson
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Personal information
Full nameVictoria Wilkinson
Nationality British
Born (1978-08-19) 19 August 1978 (age 41)

Victoria Wilkinson (born 19 August 1978 [1] ) is an English runner and cyclo-cross rider who was a world mountain running champion at junior level and who has several times been a national fell running champion as a senior athlete.

Cyclo-cross bicycle sport

Cyclo-cross is a form of bicycle racing. Races typically take place in the autumn and winter, and consist of many laps of a short course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and remount. Races for senior categories are generally between 30 minutes and an hour long, with the distance varying depending on the ground conditions. The sport is strongest in the traditional road cycling countries such as Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

Fell running Sport of running and racing, off-road, over upland country

Fell running, also sometimes known as hill running, is the sport of running and racing, off-road, over upland country where the gradient climbed is a significant component of the difficulty. The name arises from the origins of the English sport on the fells of northern Britain, especially those in the Lake District. It has elements of trail running, cross country and mountain running, but is also distinct from those disciplines.

Biography

Wilkinson displayed significant talent as a junior, winning national fell running titles at under-16 and under-18 level. She also finished second in the English Schools Cross Country Championships in 1996. At that time she was coached by her father Chris who was also a runner and cyclo-cross competitor who had won the Three Peaks Cyclo-Cross in 1972. Victoria was also advised by Keith Anderson and others. [2] Her most notable result as a young athlete was victory in the junior race at the World Mountain Running Trophy in 1997. [3]

The Three Peaks Cyclo-Cross is an annual cyclo-cross event over the Yorkshire three peaks of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent, in Yorkshire, England. Organised by Bradford Racing Cycling Club on the last weekend of September, it bills itself as the "hardest cyclo-cross race in the world". While other races may have comparable or even greater distances and height gain—Whernside, the tallest of the Peaks, only reaches 736 metres—it is the combination of gradient, terrain, and weather that give the Three Peaks its reputation.

Keith Anderson is a British former runner who was the national fell running champion and competed in the marathon at the Commonwealth Games.

The World Mountain Running Championships, is an international mountain running competition contested by athletes of the members of WMRA, World Mountain Running Association, the sport's global governing body.

A knee injury interrupted Wilkinson’s running career and she turned her attention to cyclo-cross, in which she competed at the World Championships. [4] She was a winner of the national cyclo-cross series [5] and had four consecutive second-place finishes in the British National Cyclo-cross Championships between 2002 and 2005. [6] She finished fifth in the World Cup series race at St. Wendel in Germany in 2003. [7] Some years later, despite limited experience on the type of course, she won the Three Peaks Cyclo-Cross in 2012. [8]

The UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships are the world championships for cyclo-cross organised by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). Since 2016, five events are organized each year – men's elite, women's elite, men's under 23, women's under 23 and men's under 18 (Juniors). Traditionally, the elite events are held on a Sunday with the other events held on the Saturday the day before.

British National Cyclo-cross Championships

The British National Cyclo-cross Championships are held annually. The winners of each event are awarded with a symbolic white cycling jersey featuring blue and red stripes, which can be worn by the rider at other cyclo-cross events in the country to show their status as national champion. The champion's stripes can be combined into a sponsored rider's team kit design for this purpose.

The UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup is a season-long competition in cyclo-cross, organised by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). First held in the 1993–1994 season, there are currently four awards, tailored to the different categories of riders: elite men, U23 men, junior men and elite women.

Around 2006, Wilkinson returned to more frequent racing as a runner. She has represented her country multiple times in both the World Mountain Running Championships and the European Mountain Running Championships. Her results in the global championships include eleventh place in both 2006 [9] and 2016. [10] At the European level, she was fifth in 2008 [11] and sixth in 2015. [12]

The European Mountain Running Championships is an annual international mountain running race. Inaugurated in 2002, it is organised by the European Athletic Association (EAA) in July each year. The venue for the championships is changed each year.

The 2016 World Mountain Running Championships was the 32nd edition of the global mountain running competition, World Mountain Running Championships, organised by the World Mountain Running Association and was held in Sapareva Banya, Bulgaria on 11 September 2016.

The 2008 European Mountain Running Championships were held on 12 July in Zell am Harmersbach, Germany. Held by the European Athletic Association, the competition was held on an up- and downhill course in the Black Forest. The championships featured 227 athletes representing 25 nations.

Wilkinson won the Šmarna Gora Race in Slovenia in 2007, the victory giving her enough points to finish second overall in the World Mountain Running Association Grand Prix that year. [13] She competed at the Commonwealth Mountain Running Championships in 2009 [14] and 2011, [15] finishing fifth on both occasions.

The Commonwealth Mountain and Ultradistance Running Championships, founded in 2009, was a biennial fell running tournament operated by the Commonwealth Games Federation. It had its last edition in 2011.

She also raced cross country, finishing second in the UK Cross Challenge series in 2006-2007 [16] and ninth at Cinque Mulini in 2009. [17] In 2010, Wilkinson was first in the Yorkshire Cross Country Championships, [18] second in the North of England Championships [19] and fifth in the English National Championships. [20]

Cinque Mulini

The Cinque Mulini is an annual cross country running race in San Vittore Olona, Italy. First held in 1933, the course is unusual in that it revolves around a number of water mills, which lend the competition its name – meaning Five Mills in Italian. It is one of the IAAF cross country permit meetings that act as qualifiers for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. As one of the most prestigious meets, numerous world record holders and Olympic champions have competed at the Cinque Mulini throughout its history.

The English National Cross Country Championships is an annual English cross country running event which takes place in late February following the regional championships which all take place on the same weekend usually in late January. The English, Welsh and Scottish National Cross Country Championships are all usually held on the same day.

In the 2010s, Wilkinson has been prominent in fell running. She was the inter-counties champion in 2010. [21] She won the British Fell Running Championships in 2013 (jointly with Helen Fines) [22] and 2014 (jointly with Jackie Lee) [23] and the English Fell Running Championships in 2013 (jointly with Helen Fines), [24] 2014, [25] 2015, [26] 2016 and 2017. [27]

In 2014, Wilkinson won the Three Peaks Race, thereby becoming the first woman to win both the running and cyclo-cross versions of that event. [28] In the running version, she set a new women's course record of 3:09:19 in the 2017 race. [29]

She set a new record at the Tour of Pendle in 2017, taking thirteen minutes off the previous best women's time which had been set by Angela Mudge in 1997. [30]

Wilkinson's victories in 2018 included a new fastest time at the Kentmere Horseshoe in July [31] and a win at Burnsall in August where she broke the long-standing record which had been held by Carol Greenwood since 1983. [32] Wilkinson followed this with a new record of 1:43:01 in the Ben Nevis Race [33] and two weeks later earned the silver medal in the Ring of Steall Skyrace at the Skyrunning World Championships. [34]

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References

  1. Bill Smith, "Profile: Chris and Victoria Wilkinson", The Fellrunner, Oct 1996, 20-23.
  2. Bill Smith, "Profile: Chris and Victoria Wilkinson", The Fellrunner, Oct 1996, 20-23.
  3. WMRA: World Mountain Running Trophy 1997.
  4. "Wilkinson Happy to Endure Hardship on Painful Ride to Top of the World", The Times, 30 Jan 2004.
  5. British Cycling: Cyclo-Cross National Trophy.
  6. VeloUK: Preview: National Cyclo-Cross Championships.
  7. "Cycling: Hammond back in Britain", The Telegraph, 21 Nov 2003.
  8. British Cycling: 3 Peaks - Jebb & Wilkinson Interviews.
  9. World Mountain Running Trophy 2006.
  10. World Mountain Running Championships 2016.
  11. European Mountain Running Championships 2008.
  12. European Mountain Running Championships 2015.
  13. IAAF: Rare Defeat for Pichrtova.
  14. Commonwealth Championships: Runner from Skipton who Grew up in the Mountains and Called it Home.
  15. IAAF: Commonwealth Mountain and Ultradistance Championships – Report.
  16. British Athletics: UK Cross Challenge 2006 – 2007 Final Rankings.
  17. IAAF: Cinque Mulini 2009.
  18. Northern Athletics: Yorkshire/Humberside Cross Country Championships 2010.
  19. Northern Athletics Cross Country Championships 2010.
  20. English National Cross Country Championships 2010.
  21. Welsh Athletics: McCain UK Mountain Running Challenge inc. Inter-Counties.
  22. Vegan Runners: Helen Fines’ Best Season 2013.
  23. "Hebden's Victoria Wilkinson is Crowned British and English Champion", Telegraph & Argus, 18 Sep 2014.
  24. Vegan Runners: Helen Fines’ Best Season 2013.
  25. Inov-8: 2014 English Fell Running Championship review.
  26. Ian Hartman, "English Fell Running Championship 2015", The Fellrunner, Autumn 2015.
  27. Fellrunner.org.uk: English Champions.
  28. "Victoria Wilkinson Wins Three Peaks Race but Misses out on Cash Bonus", Craven Herald, 1 May 2014.
  29. Barlick Fell Runners: Three Peaks Fell Race - 29 April 2017.
  30. Fast Running: Jonathan Hopkins Wins Brighton 10K and Round-up of British Racing this Weekend.
  31. Inov-8 on Twitter.
  32. Burnsall Feast Sports & Classic Fell Race on Facebook.
  33. Inov-8: Victoria Sets New Running Record on UK’s Highest Mountain Ben Nevis.
  34. Skyline Scotland: Kilian Jornet and Tove Alexandersson crowned SKY World Champions.