HATTI Dean aims to put in a strong showing at Birmingham on Saturday to cement her place in GB’s team for the World Championships next month.
The Hallamshire Harriers runner is targeting a top three finish at the Inter-Counties Cross Country Championship at Cofton Park.
Only six athletes are guaranteed a spot in the British team for the worlds, in Spain. Dean, who has competed in the worlds four times in her career, failed to qualify for the tournament in 2010 after coming in 11th place in Birmingham.
Dean, 29, told The Star: “I had a bad race last year. It was bitterly disappointing. I went for it too much early on but I’ve learned from that. Sometimes you learn things even when you have a bad race and that has made me a better runner.”
In February, Dean competed in the National Cross Country Championships at Alton Towers, crossing the line over the 6km course in 23 mins 53 secs for runners-up spot. “It was a tough race; the conditions were awful,” she said. “I was pleased. It would have been nice to win but I gave it everything so I can’t complain.”
Dean spent three-and-a-half weeks altitude training in January in Kenya.
It is the second time in four months Dean has trained there.
She said: “It was a wonderful but gruelling training camp; all the trails were hilly which made it tough but everybody got used to it after a week or so.
“I trained at 6.30am and there were about 100 other Kenyans on the streets doing exactly the same thing! You just wouldn’t see that in England.”
Dean was in Kenya as part of the UKA/London Marathon Altitude Training Camp.