The Kenyans took one, two and three in the snow covered hills of Hollyrood Park at the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country 9km race on Saturday afternoon (January 9) whilst further down the field the Scottish Students won the battle for the Inter District Championships.
The Kenyans took one, two and three in the snow covered hills of Holyrood Park at the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country 9km race on Saturday afternoon (January 9)
Joseph Ebuya saw off the challenge from Titus Mbishei to earn gold in 28:41, two seconds ahead of his fellow countryman, whilst Eliud Kipchoge ensured a complete Kenyan podium placing third with 29:04.
Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele placed fourth with 29:17 with Mexican Juan Luis Barrios finishing fifth in 29:25. Ukraine's Sergiy Lebid placed sixth in 29:51 in front of four Englishmen: Chris Thompson 29:52, Mike Skinner 30:01, Ryan McLeod 30:19 and Lee Merrien 30:22.
Although the limited but welcome television coverage of the event concentrated on the leaders there were strong performances from the Scots athletes further down the field as they contested in the Scottish Inter District Championship.
Although there were no Scots in the top ten, Shettleston's Eritreans 20 year old Tsegai Tewelde (30:24) and 23 year old Tewoldeberhan Mengist (30:26), representing Scotland West, finished 11th and 12th, with Napier University's Irish student Dan Mulhare placing 13th with 31:18. Pitreavie's John Newsom, representing Scotland East, was the first home reared Scot, the 25 year old earning 14th place with a time of 31:22. Glasgow University's Matthew Gillespie was next, the 19 year old student led a strong Scottish Universities Team and finished 15th with 31:24, 13 seconds ahead of his 20 year old team mate Derek Hawkins who placed 18th. In 19th place was Edinburgh University's Scott Fraser, the 23 year old student completed the testing course in 31:37.
The next Scot was Murray Strain, representing the East district, the 26 year old Hunters Bog Trotter placing 21st with 31:51. Representing Scotland West, Shettleston's Jethro Lennox (33) just pipped club mate Tsegezab Woldemichael (26) by one second to place 22nd in 31:59. Central's Ross Houston, representing Scotland East, wasn't far behind, the 30 year old placed 24th in 32:05. Edinburgh University's Michael Gillespie (20) finished 26th with a time of 32:29. Scotland East pairing Andrew Liston (31) and Alasdair Anthony (32) crossed the line together in 32:47 to claim 27th and 28th respectively. Ten seconds behind was Irvine's David Millar (40), representing Scotland West and finishing in 29th place and first vet. Glasgow Caledonian University's Craig Ruddy (21) earned 30th with 33:03. Scotland East's 18 year old Alex Hendry placed 31st with 33:10, the Central AC junior beat West's even younger Lachlan Oates (17) by eight seconds. However the Shettleston Harrier's 32nd place was enough to secure second team prize for Scotland West.
Strathclyde University's Martin Graham (28) placed 33rd with 33:27, enough to ensure that the students would win the team prize. West's John McNamara was next, the Cambuslang runner placed 34th with 33:30, two seconds ahead of East's Neall Sheehan (24). The Lasswade runner wearing number 35, finished in 35th position. In 36th position, making his district debut at the age of 39, was Girvan's Kerry Liam Wilson representing West and finishing with a time of 33:34. Edinburgh University student Mark Hasket (21) placed 37th with 33:36. West's trio of Thomas Fay (21), Paul Sorrie (31) and Robert Gilroy (33) finished 38th, 39th and 40th respectively, the Shettleston pair finished in 33:39 and 33:51, with the Cambuslang athlete crossing the line in 33:55. East's Andrew Symonds (28) and Lewis Millar (25) placed 41st and 42nd respectively, the Carnegie Harrier beat the Central athlete by two seconds to finish in 34:01. Bellahouston Road Runner Kenny Richmond (40) completed the West Team, placing 43rd with 34:09. Edinburgh University's Hector Haines (20) placed 44th in 34:13, whilst his younger team mate Strathclyde University's Allan Ramsay (19) closed the race, finishing in 46th position with a time of 36:23.
View From the Front
First Scottish born finisher John Newsom told www.scottishrunningguide.com "I was delighted with my run, after at least 18 months of curtailed training and racing due to injury, I finally feel like I have my problems under control and can take the shackles off, run freely and start playing catch up. It's great to be back toeing the line knowing I can be competitive and this was the perfect race to boost my confidence for the rest of the cross country season."
Glasgow University's Matthew Gillespie was first over the line for the winning team, speaking to www.scottishrunningguide.com he said: " The snow was interesting to run on, it was really slippy and seemed to drain most of the runners of any form of speed. With a relatively quick start, I settled in and worked through the race with a number of athletes. By the last lap most of the field were fading fast, so it was all about concentrating and trying to lose as little as possible. I came out 15th which I was very pleased with!"
Team results, first six finishers count:
Scottish Universities 49
Scotland West 55
Scotland East 67