Callum Hawkins and Andy Butchart raced Mo Farah in Edinburgh early in 2016 – photo by Bobby Gavin
Double Olympic champion Mo Farah has put himself forward for selection to the Great Britain team in the upcoming Great Edinburgh International XC on Saturday 7 January.
Farah finished second to Garrett Heath in the 2016 event in Holyrood Park in Scotland’s capital, kicking off a year in which he successfully defended his 10,000m and 5,000m titles in the Olympic Games in Rio, and won his third Great North Run in a row.
The reigning world champion over 10,000m and 5,000m intends to warm up for London 2017 with an appearance in Edinburgh, with British Athletics to finalise their team after the Euro Cross Champs in Chia on Sunday 11 December.
‘Cross country events offer a perfect opportunity for me to measure my fitness and see how my training is going ahead of the 2017 track season,’ said Mo, 33.
‘I have made myself available for selection for the British team for this event. I placed second in this race last year and hope to go one better in 2017.’
The Great Edinburgh International XC consists of four separate events and pits the best of Team GB and NI against Europe and the USA.
Athletes compete across four races; the junior men’s 6K, the junior women’s 4K, senior men’s 8K and senior women’s 6K, with the overall winning team determined by the best aggregate finishing positions of the six best placed athletes in the senior category, as well as the four best placed athletes in the junior races.
The event will also see the return of the innovative International Mixed Relay event which will see national teams of four (two men and two women) compete in a 4 x 1K challenge for the Stewart Cup.
The popular Great Winter Run, held on a scenic 5K course that loops around Arthur’s Seat, provides the public with a perfect opportunity to dust off the New Year cobwebs before watching the world’s best test themselves in the international cross country races. Entries online
When a top class athlete of the calibre of Great Britain mountain running international Andy Douglas (pictured, centre) keeps coming back to the Inverness Half Marathon, it must be a race worth doing.
Entries have opened for the 33rd edition of the event, which takes place on Sunday 12 March 2017, and Douglas admits he’s keen to be on the starting line to defend the title he won so impressively earlier this year.
The Edinburgh-based Caithness man, who was short-listed alongside seven Olympians for this year’s Scottish Athlete of the Year award, has featured on the podium on all five of his appearances in the Highland race over the past seven years.
His victory this year was achieved in a speedy 65.38, just one second outside his lifetime best set in Barcelona last February, and the fourth fastest time in the history of the race. He also won in 2011, was runner-up in 2010 and finished third in 2012 and 2014.
‘I always enjoy competing at Inverness,’ said Andy. ‘It’s almost a local race for me and it has been great in recent years to see more and more members of my club, North Highland Harriers, taking part. It’s an excellent course, well organised, and seems always to be capable of delivering fast times.
‘I’d certainly be happy to do it again in 2017. It all depends on my racing schedule, but it has always been good for me to run there in the past. I want to see how fast I can run a half marathon in 2017 and I’d like to try for under 65 minutes.’
There’s always a special atmosphere at the Scottish Masters XC Championships and 2017 will be no different.
And, with the Scottish Veteran Harriers Club having staged a very successful British and Irish Masters XC event in Glasgow last month, it’s hoped there will be large fields when Scottish championship medals are up for grabs.
Dundee is the venue this time around with courses to be set up within Camperdown Country Park on Saturday 28 January.
Masters athletes should be thinking now about getting their entries in and these are to be made by post to Alex Jackson. The closing date will be first post on Monday 16 January.
Races are over 6K for Women (over 40) and Men aged 65 and over and at 8K for Men (over 40) from M40 through to M60.
Age on race date is the qualification and you must be a scottishathletics member to compete in this event.
All the medals on offer are outlined on the Road Running and Cross Country Commission website page for this championship.