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Chase Corporate Challenge Championships

Report by: Martin Cunnane

October 1999 - New York

Shirley Griffiths
Wakefield's international 1500m runner Shirley Griffiths showed her well-being in New York where an inspirational run saw her finish a superb fourth for Royal Mail Letters in the annual Chase Corporation Challenge.

Griffiths, who works for Royal Mail in Wakefield had been a member of last year's victorious Royal Mail team, finishing 15th behind teammate Bev Jenkins.

But the in-form Griffiths led the team defence of the coveted trophy. Working hard from the gun she finished a highly creditable 4th woman and 62nd overall in the 3000-plus field.

The race attracts quality teams from some of the world's top companies and has qualifying heats in some of the world's major cities, including Frankfurt, New York and London. Griffiths qualified in London.

It was American international K A Bertrand who set a blistering early pace from fellow countrywoman K Griffin with Germany's K Porthof lying third just in front of Griffiths.

Bertrand never faulted and crossed the line first in 18 mins 34 secs, 26 seconds in front of Griffin with Porthof a further seven seconds adrift. Griffiths finished fourth Just two seconds further back in 19 mins 9 secs.

Griffiths took the scalp of Royal Mail Letters team-mate and current AAA 10k champ' Bev Jenkins, winner of the corresponding race last year, who finished fifth eight seconds behind the Wakefield star.

And Griffiths is now hoping for an injury-free winter with a view to mounting a challenge for a 1500m place in next year's Australia-hosted Olympic Games.