Just before Christmas I got a call up to represent the North of England in an international cross country event in Brussels. I jumped at the chance and had a good run, finishing 14th in a strong international field.
Here’s what the Chronicle had to say about the event:
Carl Avery is certainly making up for lost time after returning to competitive athletics just over two years ago.
And the Morpeth Harrier is certainly in good hands after coming under the guidance of Commonwealth Marathon gold medallist Jim Alder.
Now 29, Avery is beginning to show his true potential and last weekend he received his first representative call-up for the big cross-country fixture in Brussels where he mixed it with numerous established internationals to finish in 14th place.
It wasn’t a surprise that he performed so well in Belgium for the previous week he had battled superbly through a white-out to finish runner-up in the North East Counties Cross-Country Championships in Sedgefield.
So, it certainly was a worthy call to don a North of England vest for the trip to the Belgium capital and he certainly added to his credentials where he confessed were ‘ideal race conditions’.
Avery, who is equally at home doing duathlons, was delighted with his performance and is now keen to build on it with an aim to gain a full international call-up.
“I got a call a couple of weeks before the North Easterns to see if I was available to go to Brussels and, naturally, I jumped at the chance,’’ said Seahouses-based Avery.
“I talked to Jimmy about whether I should do the North Easterns or not but he was adamant it would be OK and I certainly didn’t want to turn down the offer as it was my first-ever athletics call-up.
“Little did we know though how tough it would be. Sedgefield was unbelievable and I have to say it’s the roughest conditions I’ve ever experienced.
“Brussels was entirely different. It was warm and sunny while the course just had a couple of patches of mud as well as a short, steep hill and an uphill long drag on each of the seven laps.
“But I felt I handled everything well for I was really strong over the last two laps and finished close to the lads who were running for England which was my intention before we set off.”
For the full Chronicle report click here.