Borders athlete and British trials champion Jacob Adkin led a UK team win last Sunday at the European Mountain Running Championships in Switzerland and also made history by collecting the nation’s first ever senior men’s gold medal at the event.
Clocking 53:21.5 for the 10.1km uphill course (1020m of ascent) in Zermatt, he won by 24 seconds ahead of Norway’s Stian Øvergaard Aarvik, with Italy’s Xavier Chevrier third.
Jacob (23) also led his team to the title, as he was joined in the top 20 by his coach and Commonwealth marathon bronze medallist Robbie Simpson, in seventh, plus Andrew Douglas, who has won the opening two stages of the World Mountain Running Cup this year, in ninth, and Sebastian Batchelor (18th).
Peebles-born Jacob, who has links with Moorfoot Runners, tweeted: “I knew I was running well but I didn’t come in with any anticipation of any medal.”
Later, he added: “Overwhelmed by everyone’s support. In an amazing landscape, it’s a moment I won’t forget for a long time – European Champion & Team! I owe so much to incredible family & friends, you won’t know how much! And invaluable help from LiveBorders and Salomon.”
Jacob, who attended Peebles High School, then Edinburgh University, was coached at Moorfoot Runners by Gregor Nicholson to GB junior level (U20).
He moved to Keswick around 18 months ago after finishing his degree. Lately, he has been mentored and coached by top mountain runner and Commonwealth marathon bronze medallist Robbie Simpson – but he remains a member of Moorfoot for Scottish competitions.