Lund & Bruce Earn Silver in Mixed Relay and Win Individual Medals the Next Day

by Clay Shaw
Photos by Clay Shaw and Karen Mitchell

Bathurst, Australia, February 18-19, 2023, World Masters Athletics Cross Country Championships—April Lund of Bismarck, North Dakota and Ben Bruce of Flagstaff, Arizona had convincing wins at the USA XC championships in Richmond, VA in January.  Both earned a chance to represent the USA in the first ever masters world cross-country events. The mixed relay was held on Saturday morning and gave us a chance to learn how we would do our photography later that day.

Masters in Australia starts at age 35.  Lund and Bruce are both 40.  It was one loop (2K) around the hilly and interesting course.  The men went first.  Ben Bruce surged ahead and handed off to April Lund.  Lund was passed by Olga Firsova and Lauren Mitchell.  Lund  said “she might have gone out a little too fast.” But Lund, however, passed Mitchell late in the race to give the USA team the Silver.  Olga Firsova and Stephen Stewart were the champs in 13:50.  Lund and Bruce were second in 14:11.  Lauren Mitchell and Russell Dessaix-Chin were third in 14:36.  In the 50+ Mixed Relay, the champs were Krishna Stanton and Stephen Moneghetti in 15:18.  In the 60+ Mixed Relay Victoria Gunn and Craig Downie won by eight minutes in 17:39.

Lund and Bruce continued their winning ways in the Sunday 6K cross country race. April Lund won gold in the W40 group in 23:53.  Olga Firsova won the W35 group in 22:23.  Ben Bruce took silver in the M40 in 20:30.  Roger Robinson came across the Tasman Sea from New Zealand to win the M80 4K in 24:01.


  1. 13:50 Olga Firsova & Stephen Stewart. AUS
  2. 14:11 April Lund & Benjamin Bruce, USA
  3. 14:36 Lauren Mitchell & Russell Dessaix-Chin, AUS
  4. 14:44 Anna Kasapis & Stephen Dinneen, AUS
  5. 15:06 Claire Rayner & Jeff Chaseling, AUS
Ben Bruce #24 of the USA vs Australia.
Ben Bruce look the lead on lap 1.
Ben Bruce of Flagstaff, AZ powers downhill on his leg of the Mixed Relay.
Ben Bruce hands off to April Lund in the 35+ Mixed Relay.
April Lund of the USA runs through the “Bondi Beach” with Lauren Mitchell of Australia giving chase.
April Lund of the USA teamed with Ben Bruce to earn the team silver in the 35+ Mixed Relay on Saturday. On Sunday, April won the W40 group in the 6K cross country race.
April Lund of the USA was third going into “the Chicane.” She would power uphill to pass the second place runner to take silver!
April Lund of Bismarck, ND opened up a huge lead on the third place runner in the 35+ Mixed Relay. April would win the W40 6Km race on Sunday.
Ben Bruce and April Lund represented USA well in the first World Masters Athletics Cross Country Championships.
Olga Firsova of Australia, along with Stephen Stewart won the 35+ Mixed Relay.
The schedule for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia, not including the Friday races or the World Masters Championships.

Categories: Race Coverage

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