A 15-year-old Swindon Harriers runner came fourth in the opening race of the UK Athletics Cross Challenge meeting in Cardiff this weekend.

Eloise Foster began the winter season in fine fashion as she came home in fourth place in the under-17 women’s race and was just five seconds off being on the podium.

Despite a difficult start to the race which saw her starting from the back of the pack after being slow to get to the start line, she managed to work her way all the way up to the front to claim a very strong finish, giving Foster a lot of hope for the forthcoming winter season.

Foster said: “That was probably my best-ever cross-country race, I was quite surprised at how well I did.

“I was a bit late lining up so to start with I was weaving in and out to work my way to the front.

“Then I got myself into a group of five somewhere in the top 20 and with 1k to go put in a kick.

“I was so close to making the podium so that was annoying!”

2023 has been a strong year for Foster, having been crowned British Triathlon champion in the Youth A 15 to 16 age group in the summer and also being part of a Harriers team, alongside Ella Spencer and Bella Ryder, which won the bronze medal at the Midlands Counties Road Relay Championships this autumn.

Aside from the excellent pace set by Foster, there were a number of strong performances from Harriers runners, as Spencer finished 23rd in the same under-17 race, Anubis Molina-Zekri placed 38th in the under-17 men’s race, Fletcher Hart came home 15th in the under-20 men’s race, and India Ibbotson finished 52nd in the elite field of the senior women’s race.