Sat 24 March 2018, Nottingham
The SIAB/Home Countries International at Wollaton Park, Nottingham brought the domestic cross-country season to a close and in contrast to the sub-zero conditions of the previous week, the event took place in mild and dry weather. Preston Harriers Nathan Dunn was selected to run for the North of England in the Junior Men’s race, competing against athletes representing the home countries (England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland) and also those from the Midland and Eastern regions. The organisers had created a challenging 4 lap course which took the field up and down the Wollaton Park hills 3 times on each circuit.
John Millar (England) took control of the race from the opening stages. Dunn positioned himself near the front of the large pursuing pack as they gave chase. Even in the early stages of the race the climbs led to the field becoming quite stretched, and as the race progressed the repeated ascents really began to take their toll. As Millar continued at the front the large chasing group began to split, and the numbers at the front of the bunch began to dwindle on each lap, finally coming down to six athletes in the fight for the final positions. Dunn was well positioned within this bunch.
The final stages of the last lap brought a series of attacks from within the front group, and the order swapped and changed at several points. Millar (England) crossed the line comfortably in 1st place, however behind him a fast downhill finish saw all the athletes sprinting for the line with Rees (Scotland) in 2nd and followed by Wellington (England) Schofield (England) and Dunn (North) claiming 5th place, ahead of McMillan (England) to complete a very strong cross-country season.