|Heather Foundling Hawker leads the GB/NI Team in Belgium |
The 23rd edition of the World 100km Championships, also incorporating the IAU European 100k championships was held in Torhout on the 19th June 2009. The Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team was led by Heather Foundling-Hawker (Honiton RC) the current UKA champion and a previous top ten finisher in this event. Accompanying Hawker was Sandra Bowers ( Winchester) making her international debut in this event.
The race which attracted over 200 athletes from 28 countries consisted of 5 loops around Torhout and the neighbouring village of Lichtervelde. Starting at 8pm an additional challenge is created by running throught the night. Foundling-Hawker starting conservatively was running comfortably at the end of the first lap.
As the race progressed and darkness fell Foundling-Hawker started to revel in the conditions. She increased her temp and was soon running strongly moving steadily up through the field. Despite tiring slightly over the last third of the race Foundling-Hawker hung on well to finish in a gutsy 8:36 :20 a very creditable 16th place overall and a top 10 finish in Europe.
Bowers after a promising start, struggling with sickness in the early part of the race. To her credit she hung in and started to recover in the second half, finishing strongly in 8:58:13, good enough for 23rd place. Both Foundling-Hawker and Bowers gave performances they should be proud of. Results:1. Kami Semick, USA 7:37:23
2. Irina Vishnevskaya, Russia 7:46:25
3. Monica Carlin Italy 7:53:57
16. Heather Foundling-Hawker GB/NI 8:36:20
23. Sandra Bowers GB/NI