Megan Keith was as dominant as ever at the European Cross Country Championships on Sunday, as she clocked 25 minutes and 32 seconds in the U23 women’s division.
Great Britain’s Keith was no stranger to victories, as she’s already won the European Cross Championships twice in the past, placing first in U20 in 2021 and second in 2022.
This time, however, she was even more exceptional compared to her previous competitions, if that’s possible.
Laeken Park’s 7-kilometer course in Brussels was all set for the event that day; however, the ground conditions were uncooperative as its muddy soil added to the obstacle that the runners had to overcome.
Keith with huge stamina
But this proved no match for Keith, whose stamina, strength, and determination propelled her to the front of the pack early on in the race. By the first short 1000-meter lap, Keith was ahead of her rivals by two seconds, and by 2500 meters, this grew to a 21-second lead.
Keith, who showed no signs of slowing down and seemed determined to stamp her authority on the frontlines, stayed well in the lead, increasing the gap to 1 minute and 18 seconds by 5500 meters. Her stamina astonished those who were watching her beyond the track, as it was a difficult feat for anyone to keep up the speed while running through an energy-draining mud field.
Keith, who showed no signs of slowing down and seemed intent on cementing her dominance on the frontlines, maintained her advantage, increasing it by 5500 meters to 1 minute and 18 seconds. Her endurance astounded people watching her beyond the track, as it was a difficult feat for anyone to maintain speed while sprinting through an energy-draining mud field.
The big gap
Near the last lap, Keith had now managed to put an incredible gap between her and her competitors. She was running solo in the last few hundred meters, and seeing the finish line before her, she even tapped the hands of some of the spectators, all while speeding ahead and beaming widely.
As she broke the tape at the finish line of the U23 event, Keith stopped her time at 25 minutes and 32 seconds. And the gap between her and the second-placer? It was 1 minute and 23 seconds, a remarkable record that eclipsed the previous gap record of 39 seconds.
This is now Keith’s third medal at the prestigious event.
— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) December 10, 2023
Cover Photo: IG