LUCY WALMSLEY has reclaimed celebrity status from husband Dennis in their athletic Bourton-on-the-Water household – but it could only be temporary.

Lucy was awarded her first England vest for the British & Irish Masters Cross Country International held in Belfast earlier in the month and helped her country to a magnificent team victory.

With three runners to count from the four-strong team, Lucy finished a splendid fifth in her age category (third home among the triumphant England side) which earned them the Vet 40 Ladies Gold Medal.

Not bad for an athlete who considers herself more of a road race specialist at longer distances like the half marathon.

“I ran well in the BMAF Cross Country Championships at Bath in March, the day before my 40th birthday, and also in the Masters Marathon in Tenby, and I was delighted to be selected,” said Lucy, who runs for Bourton Roadrunners like marathon king Steve Edwards. “It is the best shape I have been in for some time.”

A busy workload at her practice (Stow Physiotherapy Services) and a young family (Lilly-Anne and Bertie) to bring up, has meant that competitive sport has taken a bit of back seat for Lucy in recent years.

In 2005 and 2006, she contested the World Triathlon Age Group Championships in Honolulu and Lausanne respectively, earning a brilliant sixth place finish in Switzerland in a time of 2hr 27min 16sec, just a minute off the bronze medallist.

Her latest gold medal saw her taking advantage of the step up to the 40-44 age category.

The family focus will switch to Dennis in 2013 as, having turned 50 in September, he wants to make the most of being one of the youngest in his new age group. Having won a World Masters Championship in Taiwan in 2003 and in Finland four years later, the same title will be Dennis’ focus next year.

“We do tend to take it in turns,” said Lucy. “I’ve got a couple of big marathons I would like to do next year and it would be great to be selected for the England Cross Country team again.

“But with Dennis going up an age group, I think it will be back to the child care for me in 2013.”