FARAH AND THOMPSON WILL LEAD BRITISH CHALLENGE FOR HONOURS AT BUPA GREAT EDINBURGH CROSS COUNTRY
After their best ever track seasons, champion runners, Mo Farah and Chris Thompson will switch their attention to winter campaigns at the start of 2011, beginning with the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country on 8 January.
Farah, who was crowned European Championships 5000m and 10000m gold medallist in August, and Thompson, who was runner up in the 10,000m, will lead the British team in the Men's International Team Challenge in Holyrood Park.
Their appearances for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland senior teams will see them compete in a high calibre competition against exceptionally talented United States and European Select squads.
Dathan Ritzenhein, the world half marathon bronze medallist and reigning US national cross country champion, heads his country's pursuit of honours. Ukraine's Sergey Lebid, who clinched a ninth European Cross Country title last weekend, will captain the continental squad.
This year the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country introduced the concept of a team challenge under IAAF rules with nine runners competing and the side with the lowest overall score from its first six finishers declared the winners, has been widely welcomed by all of the participating contingents who have selected very strong squads for the first ever staging of Men's International Team Challenge.
UK Athletics will also be showcasing many of its best under 23 and under 20 athletes in the eight kilometres race at the BBC televised meeting.
Ian Stewart, UKA’s head of endurance said: “We’ve had a brilliant 2010, most recently in the European Cross Country Championships where we finished top of the medal table.
"It’s great that we’ve got an early opportunity to continue the forward momentum for UK endurance running with a high quality international competition so early in the New Year.
"The junior boys were brilliant in Portugal, winning a team gold and a few of them are going to gain even greater experience by stepping up to the under-23 age group for the first time. With Mo and Thommo we’ve got our strongest guys back out there with the seniors.”
Adding even more spice to the race is the fact that Farah and Thompson, following intensive training camps at altitude in Kenya, were both absentees when Lebid romped to his latest European success in Albufeira, Portugal.
"I wouldn't say either of them has a point to prove against him. Their primary focus already is next year's IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Daegue," said Peter Riley, the meeting's elite athletes' coordinator.
"But they're a highly competitive pair. In front of a home crowd, they will be determined to show their superiority, not only against Sergey, but against Ritzenhein and all the other stars competing.
"It promises to be an exciting race, and of course, there is an added incentive for all competitors: every point earned will be vital to their team's overall success."
Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland Teams
Men's International Team Challenge
Under 23/Under U20 Men
The Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country, the fourth leg of the IAAF's Permit Season 2010/2011, will be broadcast live by BBC Television and will also feature international men's 4km and women's 6km races. The event is free for spectators, with all the action underway from 1pm.
If you would like to apply for media accreditation to attend the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country please apply on line - http://www.greatrun.org/mediaaccreditation/
The Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country takes place on Saturday 8th January in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh between 13:00 – 14:30 for a full timetable visit http://www.greatrun.org/Events/Information.aspx?ctid=184&id=2
Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country 2011- New format
The Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country has changed its title for 2011 and was formerly known as the Bupa Great Edinburgh International Cross Country.
The 2011 Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country will consist of 3 races, with a new International Team Challenge event.
• A short 4.2 kilometre course with the best male athletes in the world competing
• A 5.7 kilometre event contested by the world’s best female athletes
• The International Team Challenge which will see Great Britain and Northern Ireland Senior Men take on the United States and a European Select team over 8 kilometres.
Each country competing in the International Team Challenge will consist of nine athletes per team and the first six athletes to complete the course will receive a score based on their position. The team with the lowest overall score wins.
Entry into Holyrood Park is free for spectators and organisers are encouraging the public to take advantage of the opportunity to see the world’s best athletes compete, as well as the cream of young Scottish athletes on show within the main events and the Scottish Inter District Championships.
The Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country completes an exciting day of running in Holyrood Park, which starts as hundreds of youngsters take part in the 2.5km Bupa Junior Great Winter Run followed by thousands runners of all abilities taking on the 5km Bupa Great Winter Run.
Both events are part of the Bupa Great Run series, organised by Nova International, also organisers of the Bupa Great North Run and the Bupa Great Edinburgh Run.
The Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country Run and Bupa Great Winter Run is brought to you by a partnership between the City of Edinburgh Council, EventScotland and event organisers Nova International and is sponsored by Bupa.
Nova International, headed by Olympic Medallist Brendan Foster is one of the UK’s leading event management and sports marketing agencies. The company’s current brand portfolio also includes some of the biggest running events in the world all based on the Bupa Great North Run, the world’s biggest half marathon with over 54,000 entries.
Nova International was established in 1988 and has a strong sporting pedigree. Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Nova has established itself as a market leader in the world of sports marketing and event management. For more information please visit www.greatrun.org
Bupa’s purpose is to help people lead longer, healthier, happier lives.
A leading international healthcare provider, we offer personal and company health insurance, run care homes for older people and hospitals, and provide workplace health services, health assessments and chronic disease management services, including health coaching, and home healthcare.
With no shareholders, we invest our profits to provide more and better healthcare. We are committed to making quality, patient-centred, affordable healthcare more accessible in the areas of wellness, chronic disease management and ageing.
Employing over 50,000 people, Bupa has operations around the world, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, New Zealand and the USA, as well as Hong Kong, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, India, China and across Latin America.
For more information, visit www.bupa.com
City of Edinburgh Council
This event is part of the City of Edinburgh Council's Activcity programme, which promotes sport and physical activity events throughout the city. The Bupa Great Winter Run is a great example of an event which helps the people of Edinburgh to get active! www.eventsedinburgh.org.uk
. Edinburgh's sporting calendar for 2011 is shaping up to be truly exhilarating, the Touch Rugby World Cup in June, the Nocture City Centre Cycle Race in July, and the Golden Oldies World Hockey the World Karate Championships in September just a taster of what is on offer. For more information, visit www.eventsedinburgh.org.uk
EventScotland is the national events agency.
EventScotland is working to make Scotland one of the world’s leading event destinations. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors.
For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit www.EventScotland.org