HOOK distance runner Charlotte Purdue is looking forward to competing at the European Cross Country Championships after finishing second at the British trials in Liverpool.

The 22-year-old completed the 8.1km course around Sefton Park in 26min 48sec to finish second overall and first in the under-23 category.

Purdue was a member of a four-strong group that broke clear before the halfway stage of Saturday’s race. She did her best to stay with eventual winner Gemma Steel when she made her move but had to settle for second place, 12 seconds behind Steel but 20 seconds ahead of third-placed Steph Twell.

Purdue, who recently returned to competition after more than a year out with injury, said: “I am very pleased with the result. It was my first cross country race since 2011 but I knew I was going well in training.

“My aim was just to qualify for the European Cross Country team so to come second was a bonus. I did not expect to finish that high but I felt good during the race and was really happy with the way I ran.”

The result guaranteed Purdue’s selection for the European Cross Country Championships, which will take place in Belgrade, Serbia, next weekend.

Having finished second, she could have run in the senior event, but she has chosen to take part in the under-23 race.

“I am really pleased to be back in the team,” Purdue added. “It’s been a long and at times hard year but getting a medal at the Europeans would be a brilliant way to end it.”

Video courtesy of BritishAthleticsTV/ YouTube.