TRACEY Greenway went back to Paluzza in Italy after a ten-year gap for what was meant to be a fun break with a bit of running thrown in – and returned home a world champion.
Greenway, a former member of Buxton & District Athletic Club, charged to first place in the over-45 category at the championships, winning a race-long battle with Germany’s Barbara Stich to finish 47 seconds ahead of her rival.
Only three women in the age group below went faster, and only five more in the first masters category, for over-35s.
“It was an amazing experience and I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet,” she said.
“Going back to Paluzza was just a weekend away, a nice trip, really. I had raced in Italy for England ten years before and it seemed a nice idea to go back.”
Greenway, originally from Yorkshire, has competed with Buxton AC many times in the past, running in the North Staffordshire Cross Country races.
“It’s my first year running masters races and it’s been really good,” she said. “There are so many fast older people running that it’s been really inspirational.
“The race was over two five-kilometre laps, with 1,000ft of climbing, and it was very close between me and the German woman for most of the race, but it felt good to get the better of her at the end.
“There was a descent near the end and I realised I could do that better than her and could get ahead on it, which I did.”
With this win under her belt and her enthusiasm for running as strong as ever, Greenway is now waiting to hear if she has been selected for the England Masters cross country team.