Veteran Lerwick distance runner Arlene Bristow won an individual bronze and team gold medal at the 12th European Non-Statia Championships in France.
She was part of the Great Britain team taking part in the competition, for athletes over 35. The event was
held in the city of Yutz in the Lorrainne district and was well supported with over 1,400 participants from 20 countries.
The typically hot, mid-European weather made running conditions very different from those of Bristow’s usual training, and the windless day was a wonderful bonus after struggling through winter gales.
Her race began badly as she found herself boxed in behind slower runners in the funnelling at the very narrow start. The two times 5km loop course twisted through a residential area and over cycle paths and included 16 90-degree turns, so it was difficult to settle into a useful pace.
However, the course widened at 2km and the racing could really commence. Bristow worked her way through the large field to overall eighth place by the third kilometre. She held that position throughout the remaining distance and secured the bronze medal in her age category.
The winner was Belgium’s Nathalie Loubelle and the silver was taken by Great Britain team member and former Commonwealth Games finalist Sarah Wilkinson.
Together with third team member Sarah Vicks the British women won the gold medal in the team event, soundly beating the French into silver on their own soil.
Bristow said she would like to thank her family and friends for their continued support, and was indebted to the care and expertise of her doctor, Jim Unsworth, in her achievements.