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    Meryl Cooper the first Brit home in marathon at Transgrancanaria season opener

    on March 06, 2024

    Elite CurraNZ ultra-runner Meryl Cooper has kicked off her 2024 season in style, finishing seventh female home against a hot field in the Marathon event at Transgrancanaria in February.  

    She was the first Brit home in the fastest and most competitive race at the event, putting down an early marker to be selected for the European Off Road Championships in France in late May. 

    Meryl, who has represented Great Britain previously, said after the race: 'I am super pleased with my performance. This was my fourth year in a row racing at this event and it was exciting to line up against such a competitive field of athletes, but I was a bit nervous as I usually race longer distances. 

    “I signed up for the marathon for a few reasons: I wanted to work more on my speed over the winter, I have not yet raced this distance at the event and I have ambitions of representing Great Britain & Northern Ireland again.

    “This race was recommended by British Athletics to show current fitness ahead of the selections for the European Off Road Championships. This meant that I was going head-to-head with a number of Britain's best trail and ultra runners at this race. 

    “It was a super hot day but my preparations paid off and I stayed strong and in control throughout. I finished 7th female and 46th out of 1023 runners. I was also the first Brit to cross the line.” 

    Meryl has recently joined the Elite Trail Team, a group that provides comprehensive professional support for elite ultra and trail runners in the UK and Europe. 

    She says: ‘I have had help from Performance Coach Doug Stewart on a heat mitigation strategy. This seemed to work well for me and I coped with the heat despite doing most of my training in very low temperatures and a lot of snow. I also had great sessions before the race, learning from our support team on super important things such as nutrition, sleep and mindset. 

    “As always I loaded up with my CurraNZ in the week before the race and also made sure I had enough purple power with me for the days after the race to keep up the great recovery. I am feeling happy and satisfied with my performance, now enjoying an easy week of R&R and I look forward to starting a new block of work soon!”