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Challenge for the birthday girl

PROMISING athlete Charlotte Dale will mark her 18th birthday by running the biggest race of her life in Dublin on Saturday. The Invicta East Kent youngster is part of Great Britain's junior women's team for the World Cross-Country Championships.

Dale, who lives in Whitstable, fell in the European Junior Championships but still came home fifth and her aim in Dublin is to be the leading British finisher. She and the rest of the GB squad have just returned from 10 days of warm weather training in Portugal and she says her preparations have gone as well as she could have hoped.

Dale said: "The trip to Portugal went really well. I was training with seniors like Helen Pattinson and Liz Yelling and I actually beat Helen Pattinson in one of the training races which has made made me feel a bit more confident."

The junior women's race will be run over 6km and the battle for the individual medals is expected to be fought out by the African nations. Dale says she has seen pictures of the course and it should hold no great fears. "It's not too hilly although there are some long inclines," she said.

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