KENYAN WORLD CHAMPIONS EYEING BUPA GREAT EDINBURGH CROSS COUNTRY TITLES
Reigning world track champions Vivian Cheruiyot and Linet Masai will lead the African challenge for victory at the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country next month.
Winners of global gold medals over 5000m and 10000m at last year's Championships in Berlin, the Kenyan duo are no strangers to the testing Holyrood Park course, where they will compete on 8 January 2011.
Cheruiyot has already made four appearances in the world's premier cross country event, finishing runner up on two occasions with a third position also under her belt.
Masai, who has IAAF World Championship Cross Country silver and bronze medals to her credit, has an equally impressive record. She finished second in the 2008 race and clinched the title in 2009.
The 21-year-old is already in great form this winter, having won two high profile cross country events on the European circuit; the Cross de l'Acier and Course de l'Escade.
"The field for the women's six km race is definitely coming together with the signing of these two world class performers," said Peter Riley, the meeting's elite athletes' coordinator.
"Vivian is returning for a fifth time after a tremendous track season, where she enhanced her pedigree when winning the Commonwealth Games 5000m gold medal.
"Earlier she achieved even greater accolades when capturing the IAAF Continental Cup crown and overall Diamond League title over the distance.
"Let's not forget as a past world junior champion she is a highly successful cross country runner and has performed consistently in the annual IAAF Permit Meetings in recent years.
"Linet will be arriving in Edinburgh having already shown great cross country form this season and I've no doubt both will figure prominently again in this year's race."
The presence of Cheruiyot and Masai will offer massive challenges to Freya Murray and Stephanie Twell, who will be leading the British challenge on home soil. Riley insists it will become even tougher.
Riley said "I'm in negotations to sign up several more big names for the race and hoping to reach agreement with managers and athletes in the next few days."
However Ethiopia's Olympic champion, Tirunesh Dibaba, a two-time Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country winner, doesn't figure in his plans. "She's still recovering from injury so will not be defending her title."
The Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country will be broadcast live by BBC Television. It will also feature international men's 4km and women's 6km races. The event is free for spectators, and all the action gets underway from 1pm.
The day also includes the 5km mass participation Bupa Great Winter Run and 2.5km Bupa Junior Great Winter Run. Entries are open at www.greatrun.org
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