9 Jan

Steel Going For Gold

Gemma Steel

A champion line-up is set for the Great Edinburgh Cross Country this weekend. Despite the withdrawal of Olympic champion Mo Farah, crowds will still be able to get behind Great Britain’s recently crowned European cross country champion Gemma Steel and many other top international names.

Steel won the senior women’s race in Samokov, Bulgaria last month. She was initially due to be joined by GB team-mate Rhona Auckland who was crowed Euro under 23 champion in Bulgaria but the Edinburgh-based Scot has had to withdraw.

Also set for Edinburgh is Olympic and World 1500m gold medallist Asbel Kiprop (Kenya), multiple world gold medallist Bernard Lagat (USA) and current World cross country champion Japhet Korir (Kenya).

As well as standard senior races for the elite athletes, there is also an interesting mixed relay event in which Scotland will be represented by Laura Muir and Ross Matheson. Also taking place on the same day in Holyrood Park is the Great Winter Run 5K which always attracts a big field of recreational runners.

The picturesque route around Arthur’s Seat will give runners a chance to start the year with a well-deserved medal before the watching how some of the world’s great athletes do it. The Great Winter Run starts at 10.30am. The series of ten cross country races begins at 9.55am. BBC One will present live coverage of the senior races from 1pm.